Easy Car Detailing Tips and Tricks


All the daily wear and tear adds up over time to bring down the value of your car. And it makes it less enjoyable to drive. You could take it to a professional to have it detailed, but that costs money. Furthermore, you lose the use of your car for the day. Save yourself some money and keep your car by doing the detailing yourself. Make a list of what needs to be done and do what you can when you have time. Here are some handy car-detailing tips and trick and the answers to questions you may have about how to detail your car.

1

What's the best way to grease the hinges on my car?

Lubricate all of the hinges on your car twice a year. This is one of those chores that needs to be put on the spring and fall car maintenance list. Use spray white lithium lubricant on the door, trunk lid, hatch and hood hinges, and latches. Easy does it with this type of lubricant, though. Only use a tiny amount. Have a paper towel or old towel handy, attach the straw to the spray nozzle, insert the straw in the hinge and give it a quick squirt. Wipe the hinge exterior with the towel right away. Avoid using petroleum-based lubricants on hinges. Many types of hinges have plastic parts that the petroleum will degrade.

2

What can I do to preserve the rubber seals on my car doors?

Spray the rubber weather stripping on your car doors with silicone spray. It will protect them from weather extremes and prevent sticking when temperatures dip to below freezing. If your car has a double weather-strip seal on the doors, spray them both. This should be on the fall car maintenance chore list, but it can be done as often as every month. Silicone spray is also excellent for lubricating windows. The silicone will have them sliding like new. Attach the spray straw, lower the window and spray the silicone in the track. Silicone will also keep the window from freezing shut in the winter.

3

How can I get red ink off the leather upholstery in my car?

Wipe the seat with leather conditioner then apply ink lifter directly on the ink. Wait for 30 seconds then use a clean, absorbent cloth to wipe it off. When that's done, take a few minutes to wipe down the seats with leather cleaner and apply a protective leather cream. This will make future clean-ups much easier. Remove the ink immediately. Waiting even until the next day can mean the difference between completely removing the stain or being stuck with a lighter ink stain. This is true of other types of stains, too, like lipstick or the dye on plastic bags from the store.

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4

What is the best way to clean dust out of my car vents?

Use a thick paintbrush with stiff bristles, the type that artists use for painting, and a spray furniture polish and dust remover. Stand outside the car and spray the paint brush bristles with the furniture polish. Run the paintbrush bristles across the vent slats to remove the dust. Wipe the brush off with a clean rag when the dust accumulates and re-spray it with furniture polish.

5

What is the easiest way to get stickers off my truck windows?

Heat the sticker up with a hair dryer set to the hottest setting. Peel up the first corner of the sticker with a single-edged razor blade, plastic scraper or old credit card. Grasp the edge of the sticker with your fingers and slowly peel it up. Continue heating and peeling until the sticker is gone. Cover the surface below the window with a towel. Put a few drops of an adhesive remover like Goo Gone on a paper towel or rag and wipe off any adhesive residue left on the glass. Finish cleaning the glass with window cleaner and a paper towel.

6

What's the easiest way to wax my car?

The easiest way to wax a car is with a spray on/wipe off wax product like Turtle Wax 1-Step Wax & Dry. It is incredibly easy and doesn’t take any more time than drying your car. Wash your car, spray it with the Wax & Dry then dry it. Be sure to do just one panel at a time, so the spray doesn’t dry on the car before you get a chance to wipe it off. It will restore depth and shine to even older car paint and protects it from the elements.

When you have more time and want to protect your car’s paint with something a bit more substantial, apply a synthetic polymer wax or paint sealant like Meguiars Ultimate Liquid Wax. Simply apply a few drops of the liquid wax to a foam waxing pad, wipe it on the car in a circular motion then let it set. After the wax develops a haze, wipe it off with a microfiber towel and buff it to a deep shine with a circular motion. You can also use this wax with an electric buffer and buffing pads or get the Meguiar’s DA Power System Pack and attach the buffing attachment it to your power drill.

7

How can I fix chips in my car's paint?

Chips in the paint from gravel or debris are easy to fix yourself. This should be done as quickly as possible to prevent rust. If they have already begun to rust, you can still fix them, but it will take a bit more effort. For small, clean chips, all you have to do is brush-touch them with paint that matches your car's paint. A dealer that sells your type of car can supply the right paint color based on your car's VIN or Vehicle Identification Number. The paint color number is also listed on the sticker in your car's doorjamb. Use a cardboard matchstick or a dabber to apply paint to smaller chips. The matchstick gives you much more control over where the paint goes than the brush applicator. Use the brush to apply paint to larger chips.

8

Is it okay to wash my truck with dish soap?

Regular liquid dish soap will clean the truck, but it is not formulated to remove the type of dirt that accumulates on vehicles. Liquid dish soap will also dull your car's paint over time. Use car wash soap and save your dish soap for your dishes. Car wash soap like Griot's Garage Car Wash, Meguiar's Gold Class Car Wash and Mothers California Gold Car Wash are specially formulated to remove dirt, grime, and bugs that accumulate on a car. Car wash soap also contains special ingredients that help protect your vehicle's finish. Tires and wheels should be washed with special soap, too, like Griot's Garage Wheel Cleaner or Armor All Extreme Wheel & Tire Cleaner. These tire cleansers are formulated to wash off the brake dust and road grime that accumulates on your tires. Wash the car from top to bottom, dry the windows first and open the doors, trunk lid, hatch, and hood to dry the jambs last.

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