How to Detail Your Car at Home
Getting your car professionally detailed can be extremely costly. Luckily, this process is easy to complete at home for a fraction of the price. This guide will walk you through a DIY car detail, which can be completed in a couple of hours.
Use a can of compressed air (found at computer or office supply stores) to blow dust out of vents, the instrument panel and any other small areas. Stubborn debris can be removed with cotton swabs and pet hair can be removed with tape. Clean hard interior surfaces, such as your dashboard and instrument panel, with a damp cloth and a mild all-purpose cleaner that you can spray and wipe. If surfaces look dull, treat them with a rubber and vinyl conditioner.
Vacuum dirt and dust out of your carpets and door pockets, using the crevice nozzle to reach underneath seats and around the center console. Be sure to remove the floor mats and vacuum underneath them as well. If your floor mats are rubber, wash them with a mild cleanser. Use a foaming cleanser on any carpet stains. Do not oversaturate; this can cause mildew to develop.
Use a household upholstery cleanser to remove stains and clean cloth seats, or a leather conditioner with aloe on leather seats.
Soak the exterior of your car, including under the wheel arches. Mix a car cleanser (household cleansers and detergents can break down the paint job) in a bucket of water and sponge your car in a circular motion, working from the top down. Rinse and dry with a chamois or cotton cloth.
Use a stiff brush to loosen dirt and grime from the wheels and tires, rinsing as you go. A non-acidic cleanser can be used, along with a high-pressure jet of water.
The glass and side mirrors should be cleaned last with a household glass cleanser and a microfiber cloth. Roll down the side windows slightly so you can clean the grim off the top edges.
The last optional step is car wax. This will add a protective layer on top of your paint for up to six months in order to absorb stains and small scratches. These blemishes wear off with the wax, leaving your paint job unscathed.