Detail & Clean LLC

How Detail A Car Part 1

How detail a car- part 1

I started off in this crazy cleaning adventure not by cleaning houses but by cleaning cars. Well actually I started off in this crazy cleaning adventure long before that, I’m looking at you my psycho OCD friend, but the details of that little genetic gift is for another blog post altogether. So cleaning cars aka detailing cars, how do you do it? Obviously it’s not rocket science and there’s lots of videos out there explaining how to detail cars, but if you don’t want to watch a video, and would rather a little light reading, you’ve come to the right place.

The power washer is your friend. Get yourself a nice power washer for your car. You don’t have to go crazy on spending either, they’re relatively cheap. Make sure the hose isn’t stiff though. You’ll want it to dance beside you as you spray down your car. Trust me I had a power washer hose that hardened like cement, and I basically had to pick up my power washer every time I moved around the car. It was great in the summer. I basically got a nice cold water spray down as the Summer sun roasted my skin like marshmallows, but in the fall and winter, not so much. I pretty much got hypothermia. That’s another thing, protect your skin from the elements. In the springtime and summertime, wear a hat and shirt and suntan lotion. In the fall and winter, wear rubber boots and a waterproof jacket. You get it. Also disposable gloves, and micro fiber towels are so worth the investment. If you’re cleaning houses you should already be swimming in those items. Alrighty then. Here’s the ultimate checklist to detail your car…

  1. Power wash the entirety of the outside of your car. Really get in those cracks and crevices and spray down your wheel wells. I have a really cool attachment to spray underneath my car too, but I’d say this is optional. Also open up the gas tank and get in there. Next open up all your doors, your hood and your trunk, and power wash the door jams. Be extremely careful when power washing around your hood. You don’t want to damage your engine. Some detailers say as long as the battery is disconnected you can spray down your engine. I don’t recommend it, but it’s your call. If you want to clean your engine, Chris Fix, you all know the name, has an awesome tutorial on how to do that on YouTube.

  2. Wash your tires and rims. There’s some really cool brushes you can purchase that are designed just to wash your tires. You’ll want to wash your tires first before you wash the rest of your car. You’ll understand someday if you don’t.

  3. The spray foam cannon is incredible. I still don’t know for sure if it washes the car better than say the old school scrubby scrubb scrubs but it’s just so much fun. Get one, it attaches right to your power washer. Trust me you’ll thank me later.

  4. Now you really have to go back to the old school car cleaning tactics after you spray foam your car. That’s right, get to scrubbing. There’s no other way. Sorry they haven’t built the car scrubbing robot yet. I must admit though, its very satisfying to see years, well in my case days, of dirt build up falling off your car. Just a side note, some pros use brushes to scrub inside the cracks and crevices. They’re pretty fun as well. If there’s any tar bumps, you can use a clay bar to remove those stains, just make sure you never use it on a dry surface.

  5. And of course, after washing comes drying. My least favorite part of the job, but hey, it’s a free workout. Really get in there and dry until there’s no more water left on your car. Woohoo you’re done washing the outside of your car.

  6. Going from my least favorite to favorite…removing all the trash and debris from inside the vehicle. Clear it all out. Don’t forget the glove compartment and the door pockets, and under the seats, and of course the center console. I swear some people have more items in that center console than their apartment or house. Put everything that isn’t trash into a bag. This is the time when you should remove the floor mats as well.

  7. My second favorite part, vacuuming. Having a really good vacuum is crucial. I have a vacuum/shop vac and the suction power is incredible. What a difference a good vacuum makes. This is where I’d spend a little more money. I also purchased a really cool attachment for my vacuum that allows me to vacuum in between the car seats and the doors and other tight spots, what a game changer. Some pro detailers like to take out the seats to really see what they’re working with. I never did that due to liability reasons but if it’s your car, and it hasn’t been cleaned, in say, ever, then why not?

  8. Next you’re going to want to spray down the whole inside of the vehicle with an All purpose cleaner and water mix, and use detail brushes to get into the small spots. You should really take a big chunk of time on this step. This really separates the men from the boys. This step will allow you to have a clean car, or a detailed car, it’s your choice. When you’re finished this step, go ahead and take a little break, you deserve it.

  9. This is the last hump, and then you’re home free, washing the floors and seats of your car. Yes I’ll admit, for me, I don’t jump for joy when I’m about to wash the seats and floors and floor mats but holy moly what a difference it makes. Once again spray everything down with an All purpose cleaner and water mix. You can purchase a sprayer, and you’ll definitely want to purchase an Extractor. Have fun with it. It’s oddly satisfying and disgusting all at the same time, watching the extractor suck up the dirt from your seats and floors and mats.

  10. Get stoked, you’re almost done, but don’t get sloppy, or complacent. This is where the magic happens. The finishing touches. Break out your bottle of Protectant, I suggest 303, because you’re having a protectant party. Spray your protectant into a polishing pad and go to town. I want you wiping down your interior. wiping down your exterior trim, and don’t forget to wipe down the outside of your tires. Whoa, your car is looking amazing.

  11. Now grab your glass cleaner and spray down the inside and outside of every window. Make sure to switch out your micro fiber towels and to take the tags off of them. You don’t want to scratch your windows. One more note, make sure not to forget about the tops of the windows that roll down. Those poor little guys always get forgotten.

  12. This is it, you made it to the end. The last step that ties it all together. Waxing the outside paint of your vehicle. This step should never be forgotten. This is going to make your car look like a show stopper obviously, but its also going to protect your paint. Just remember if you’re as big a psycho as me and wash your car way too much, you shouldn’t wax it every time you wash it.

That’s it my friends, you detailed your car. That wasn’t so bad was it? You know what else is cool? If you enjoy cleaning and don’t necessarily want to start a house or commercial cleaning business, you could always start a car detailing business. I wish you luck in whatever you decide. Until next time.

Btw, the World doesn’t need anymore Agitation…

So why be mean, when you can clean.

PS. email me if you want to know specifically what products I use!!

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