The easiest way to keep your car looking shiny and new is to regularly perform detailing services. The process of detailing your car means returning its condition to as close to brand new as possible.
Luckily, there are 3 easy DIY car detailing steps that can keep your vehicle looking like it was bought yesterday.
1. Remove the excess gunk
Even if you avoid parking under trees and driving down dusty roads, your car will pick up airborne debris and the occasional bird dropping. Flying insects, tree sap, tar from newly paved roads and bird excrement all contribute to additional wear on your car’s exterior.
If bird droppings or dead bugs are left sitting on your car too long, the acid in them can wear away the paint. Likewise, tree sap and flying road tar can adhere to your paint and become harder and harder to remove as time goes on. The best thing you can do for your car is to remove these bits of gunk as soon as they appear.
If you are left with stuck-on filth, removal is an easy DIY process.
DIY debris removal
- First, spray adhesive-remover on the spot. For tree sap, tar or another sticky substance, leave sitting for about 5 minutes. For bugs and bird bits, only leave on for a few seconds.
- Next, wipe away with a soft cloth.
- If necessary, repeat the first 2 steps.
- Finally, wash the area with soap and water. Dry with a soft towel to remove any remaining residue.
For especially stubborn spots, you may need to call a professional auto detailing shop.
2. Fix any paint scratches
Exterior damage shouldn’t be ignored. When a paint scratch or chip is left sitting for too long, it can rust and cost more to repair. No matter how small the original damage, it will eventually eat away at the surrounding metal.
Before repairing a scratch yourself, check your manufacturer’s instructions. It’s also beneficial to call your insurance agent and see if your policy will cover exterior repairs that haven’t been caused by an accident.
Fortunately, DIY paint scratch repair is quick and easy. First, run your fingernail gently across the scratch. If your nail gets caught in the paint, it’s a deep scratch that should be professionally repaired. Otherwise, a light buffing polish will remove the scratch quickly.
DIY scratch repair
- First, pour a little polish onto a soft terry cloth and gently rub the scratched area.
- Next, let the polish dry completely.
- Lastly, wipe the polish off with the clean side of the cloth.
If this doesn’t solve the problem, the scratch is probably too deep and needs professional repair.
3. Clean your carpet and floor mats
Your floor mats are intended to protect the carpet from wear and tear. However, dirty, old floor mats make the entire car seem worn down. The best way to keep your carpet (and your entire car) looking new and clean for a long time is to immediately purchase rubber floor mats with deep grooves.
Place these mats in front of each seat, as well as the trunk or rear cargo area. This will prevent any spills or outside elements from destroying the carpet.
If you do have carpet mats, cleaning them is a relatively easy process. Simply remove the mats from the car and place them on the sidewalk or driveway. Then, vacuum any dirt or filth and use a carpet shampoo on any stains. Let the mats air-dry before replacing in the car.
To clean rubber or plastic mats, remove the mats from the car and spray down with a water hose. Then, scrub away any remaining dirt or stains with a brush soaked in soap water.
Your car’s carpet can be cleaned the same way as carpet floor mats. Vacuum up any dirt and use a carpet shampoo on stains. However, be careful not to use too much cleaner or water at one time. When the carpet is soaked and cannot air dry, mold and mildew could grow.
DIY car detailing can greatly improve the appearance of any car.
If you regularly follow these 3 easy DIY car detailing processes, your vehicle will look good as new for years to come. If you need help detailing your car or would like a professional auto detailing shop to perform the process, call your local Christian Brothers Automotive. Our friendly, ASE-certified technicians will show you the Nice Difference!