Detailing your car

If your car is looking a little "tired" lately, maybe it could use some TLC. Detailing is one way to make it shine again.

As the name implies, detailing takes care of the details, cleaning the small things that ll add up to a great looking ride. If you do the job yourself, automotive experts advise allocating from four to eight hours to properly detail your car inside and out, advises DMV.org.

Inside clean everything from dash to dirty cupholders, corners and crevices, clutter and debris. Get into vents, switches, and seat seams where crumbs and dirt gather, using a toothbrush, small paintbrush or cotton swab. Canned air works well in areas too small to reach with these. Then wash using soapy water and a cotton cloth. Dry with a clean cloth.

Clean interior windows with glass cleaner. Vacuum tight spaces and carpeting using a crevice tool. Remove pet hair from seats and carpeting with duct tape. Clean seats and carpets with spray foam cleaner, adds DMV.org. Also, don't forget to clean door jams.

For the exterior, use a cleaner made especially for vehicles. Avoid laundry or dish soap, which can damage paint, advises Consumer Reports. Wash in the shade if possible, starting at the top and working your way downward, using a soft cotton cloth, or if you can afford the $20, invest in a lambswool mitt, which is gentle and does a thorough cleaning job, says Consumer Reports. Use a chamois cloth to dry the exterior. After washing, use a clay bar to remove any particles left behind. Then apply liquid car wax. Use wheel cleaner to remove road grime from rims, applying with a sponge and toothbrush.

Let your car dry thoroughly before putting the pedal to the metal, says Consumer Reports.

Of course, if the job looks too labor intensive, take your car to a trusted mechanic to do the work for you.

 

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