How To Make Your Car Shine Essay
Detailing a car is like art. You start off with a filthy car. Put some hard work and sweat into it. You, the artist, can turn it into a masterpiece! When I was a young boy, I would help my Dad detail his car every weekend. When I was fifteen, I got my driver’s permit and started detailing cars. I made a simple flyer with colored wording and flashy pictures of exotic sports cars and posted it in my neighborhood. At sixteen with my driver’s license and a car, my business took off. I have quite a bit of experience detailing cars and would like to share with you how to do it step by step. To detail a car properly, you must first start by doing a thorough cleaning of the interior, exterior, and finally by clay barring and waxing it.
The first thing to do is to make sure you have a shaded area to work in, so your car won’t water spot while drying it. Having a garage is ideal. Remember to keep hydrated if it’s hot. Open all the doors and trunk. Remove any floor mats and give the carpet and upholstery a good vacuuming. While vacuuming use a skinny nozzle on the tube of the vacuum, so you can get in the hard to reach places, for instance in between the seat and center console and the under the seats and in between the seat crevasses. A lot of times when you vacuum sand is the most difficult to get out because it’s so small. There is also a lot of pebbles and dirt that get stuck in between the crevasses. It just requires diligence and patience with the vacuum to get this pesky filth out. Next wash the floor mats. If they’re rubber, use a brush and soap.
Move the front seats full fore and aft to get to all the accumulated dirt and loose change. If the carpets are clean, except for a minor stain or two, use a foaming cleaner to get the stains out. Saturate the stain with cleaner, working it in with a damp sponge. Let it sit awhile and then blot it out with paper towels or a dry cotton cloth. When you remove the stains from the carpet a lot of times the cloth will turn brown or whatever the color of the stain is. That is a good indication to know if the stain is coming out. Repeat if necessary, and then go over the area with a damp sponge before final blotting. Don’t over saturate the carpet and risk getting mildew.
Next move onto the seats of the car. If the seats are made of cloth, just do a thorough vacuuming. If there are stains you wish to remove, I recommend using a foam carpet and upholstery cleaner. Some good brands for that product are Armor All and Meguiars. If the car seats are leather, use a leather cleaner/ conditioner. I recommend using Ice Total Interior Care. It is great for all interior surfaces including leather, vinyl, and even carpet stains. It cleans and conditions and doesn’t leave a slippery residue or smell. Apply the cleaner to a microfiber cloth or cotton cloth. But microfiber is the best. Then do circular motions on the seats. Leather seats tend to accumulate elbow grease, which makes lighter colored seats brown and gives it that greasy feeling. So it is good to be thorough and use generous amounts of leather cleaner/ conditioner.
The color will be the same when it comes off on to the cloth. You may need to do a lot of rubbing and circular motions, to remove the grease/ dirt. Also it is good to fold over the cloth and use the clean side because you don’t want to rub off the dirt on the dirty side back on to the seat. Make sure you cover all the seats surfaces thoroughly to achieve maximum cleanliness. Frequently add more interior cleaner to the cloth and check the color of the cloth, as it will turn to a brown or black color depending on how dirty the seat is. It is good to fold the cloth to the other side so that you don’t wipe dirt back on to the seats from the dirty side. In worst case scenarios you may have to use more than one cloth. Also wipe down the dashboard real good because those tend to get dusty. In some instances some leather seats are really old and can be dry and cracked. I recommend using a leather conditioner and apply generously.
Next move on to the windows. Use two clean microfiber cloths. I recommend using a product called Invisible Glass, because it is clean and easy to use and leaves hardly any residue. Spray the glass cleaner onto the cloth and wipe the windows thoroughly. Then use the second cloth to wipe off the excess film residue. Windows are tricky because you can’t always see film residue. You have to go back and check them and wipe again. My recommendation is work in good lighting. The last step in detailing the interior is to get q-tips. Dip them in water and get in between the air vents and all the small corners and crevasses because there will probably be dust in there. You will be surprised how black the q-tips turn if your air vents haven’t been cleaned in awhile.
The next step is to clean the exterior of the car. To do this you will need a bucket, car wash soap (don’t use dishwasher soap as it will strip the car of wax), a sponge, brush and a lug nut brush. Start off by spraying down the rims. Sometimes rims have a lot of break dust that gives it a black color. This is especially common on European sports cars like BMWs, which are notorious for this. If your rims are really dirty and have a lot of brake dust, that’s hard to remove. I recommend using a tire and rim cleaner, which is a foam or spray that you put on the rims that helps to loosen the dirt. Use the sponge to clean the rims.
Make sure you get the corners double-check them because rims with complex designs make it easy to miss a spot. Use the brush for the tires and lug nut brush to get in between the lug nuts. When removing brake dust using a sponge from the kitchen is the best because it’s small and easy to get into the small crevasses. Brake dust gets baked into the rims from the sun and heat. Which makes it annoyingly hard to get out. I like to use a sponge where half of it is rough, and the other half is smooth. Lightly use the rough side of the sponge and make light small circular motions on the stubborn brake dust to remove it, and that usually doest the trick.
Then spray down the car and wash the car with the carwash soap and sponge. Make sure to frequently spray down the car, as you don’t want the water to dry on the car and cause water spots. Then move the car inside and dry with a good-quality chamois or a soft thick-nap terry cloth towel. Open all the doors and the trunk and use the cloth to wipe off the water inside the spaces and corners. Then you can spray tire shine on to the tires to make it look jet-black.
Finally its time to clay bar and wax. This is the most tiring part of the process, but is also the most rewarding, because it makes the biggest difference in your car’s finish. Clay barring removes all the contaminants from your paint that are stuck onto the clear coat. These contaminants make your paint feel rough. These contaminants include deposits from acid rain, bird poop, dust, and tree sap. Clay barring makes the paint as smooth as glass and makes it shiny. The kit you need for doing this is called Meguiars Clay Barring Kit. First start by spraying the quick detail bottle evenly onto the paint surface.
Use the bar of clay with back and forth motions until the bar starts to move freely across the paint. Frequently check the clay, as it will get dirty from picking up all the contaminants. Fold the clay over to a clean side and pinch off the real dirty pieces. When the car feels smooth, use a microfiber cloth to buff the paint. It should feel smooth as glass. Lastly use wax to protect your paint and give it the ultimate finish. I highly recommend using Turtle Wax Ice Liquid Polish because it goes on clear and doesn’t leave white dust. Use an applicator pad to apply the wax evenly on parts of the car. I like to wax half the car at a time. Then let it dry for a few minutes and then wipe it off with a microfiber cloth.
Detailing a car is not an easy job and that is why many people pay someone to do it for them. The reason I detail cars is, because people pay well for car detailing services. If you follow the steps above, you will probably put in two to three hours or more and your car should be smooth and sparkling. When I return it to a customer and see the smile on their face and receive great compliments I receive great satisfaction knowing that the job was well done. Plus I am greatly rewarded with hard cash! I hope these instructions help you to achieve great car detailing!
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