It’s that time of year to start thinking about auto details and spring cleaning. In the Winter we’re rushing for the holidays, quickly getting around in cooler weather, and our cars can become cluttered and dirty with debris. We don’t think about how neglected or cars can get until it’s time to open the windows or take down the top on a sunny warm Spring Day. Here are some things you can do when detailing your car to get ready for the Spring and Summer weather. We all need a facelift…so do our cars. If you have the cash or your just too busy, you can always go to your local auto body shop and let the professionals do it for you. It’s well worth the investment and it’ll smell and feel brand new! Here is what you wil need to do if you’re doing it yourself (DIY).
Let’s start here. Tools needed to DIY
To effectively remove the dirt and bacteria from the inside of your vehicle and make sure you get your car looking likes it just came off the floor, make sure you’re equipped with the following:
Disinfecting Cleaner Products (Spray, Wipes)
New Air Filter
Cleaning Cloths and Brushes
Wax and Buffer
Steps in the cleaning process for the Interior
Seats: After vacuuming the seats, the cleaning method required is based on the type of material.
Leather Seats: work a leather-specific cleaner into them with a towel (always on the clean side). After drying, apply a leather conditioner.
Cloth Seats: Liquid upholstery or fabric cleaners can work to remove stains, but be cautious about how much liquid you’re using that could cause moisture to be trapped in the material. Use baking soda to eliminate odors on the seats and vacuum after a few hours.
Vinyl Seats: It’s actually a fairly easy cleaning process. Find a cleaner that is suitable for the material and wipe with a cloth.
Door Panels: will be made of the same material as your seats, so use the same cleaning method if this applies.
Floor Mats and Carpet: Remove the floor mats from your car and shake, vacuum, and spray with a garden hose if necessary. While they’re drying, vacuum all of the carpeting and flooring in your auto’s interior that they were on top of. For dirt that’s really engrained, a steam cleaner may be necessary, but a carpet cleaner and brush should do the trick.
Windows and Mirrors: Glass cleaner will be needed. For the interior, use a newspaper or a streak-free cloth to wipe dry the cleaner sprayed on the surface. For the exterior, use a “squeegee” with the window cleaner to scrub and wipe away the excess solution. Mirrors can be cleaned with the same glass cleaner and paper towels.
Console: Dust can accumulate easily around all of the buttons and controls on your console, but it’s an important step in cleaning your auto’s interior. You can take cotton swabs or a thin object, such as a plastic knife or a flathead screwdriver wrapped with a thin cloth, to clean around the edges of the buttons. Use a toothbrush too if you want to get in those small cracks where food and debris has been packed in. Just be sure it has softer bristles, so you don’t scratch the interior.
Dashboard: Use an extension on your vacuum cleaner to take care of the loose dust and dirt on your dashboard, doors, wheel, and cup holders. Then wipe with a general cleaning solution or Armor All to protect the dark areas of your car from the hot sun. Cracking can happen if you do not protect it. Your local auto body supply store should have these cleaning agents.
Air Vents: Using a thin brush with bristles will get most of the dust and dirt from your vent covers, but also spraying compressed air can blow the rest of it out. Do this before you start cleaning otherwise you may end up cleaning all over again depending on how dirty your vents are. Your car’s interior will feel like new all over again and will help protect you from the dangerous bacteria that can thrive in this environment.
Steps in the cleaning process for the Exterior
Wash and Polish the Car
Be careful when washing…yes there is a technique. If you hit your dry paint with soapy water, you’ll just grind the surface dust and road grit into your paint finish. Professional detailers always start with a clear water rinse to remove as much dust and dirt as possible. Wash the exterior well weather it’s at a car wash or at home with a hose. Once it’s dry then you can wax.
Many car owners confuse polishing with waxing. But they’re separate steps. Polishing removes small surface imperfections and scratches and buffs the finish to a shine. Waxing adds more gloss and protects the finish from the elements. Apply a dollop of polish to the pad and wipe. Polish at a slow speed to spread the compound over the entire area for the best car cleaner. Then boost the speed and let the polisher do the work for you. Be sure to read the instructions on your polishing agent.
Tire and Wheel Cleaner
Clean the wheels with an agent that is made for this at your local auto body supply store. Once you spray it let it sit. Again, read the agent’s instructions. Depending on what they are made of you don’t want to strip them of anything. Most wheels are coated with chrome or matte vanish unless they are stainless steel. Wash them first to loosen the debris. This is where a stiffer brush will come in handy to get all the compacted dirt that has collected from the roads. Use a mild soap to scrub them, wipe them down, and rinse. Once they are dry and clean you can use a wet tire spray to give your car’s tires that brand new shine and deep black gloss.
Be safe on the road during your travels and if you should need assistance in case if an accident in San Francisco and surrounding areas please give Peninsula Auto Body a call at 650.588.0999.
You have the right to choose your car’s repair shop in San Francisco and surrounding areas. If you are in need of a repair shop due to an unexpected incident, call Peninsula Auto Body. We’re an I-CAR® Gold Class® repair shop in South San Francisco, CA. We also offer tow assistance and rental car assistance.
We live and work within the San Francisco Peninsula area. Our commitment to the community extends from helping our customers to helping our team members and right into the community itself. At Peninsula Auto Body, we are neighbors helping neighbors, especially after an automotive accident. From towing to filing claims to making sure you have transportation while we fix your vehicle, as your neighbor, we’ll help take care of you. We’re here in your time of need. If you have questions or comments, please contact us by calling 650.588.0999.