If you’re just getting into the auto detailing business, or if you want to detail your own vehicle, then you’re probably looking for the tips and tricks that the professionals who have been auto detailing for years use. There’s huge satisfaction in seeing a vehicle that needed to be tidied up become a vehicle that is clean and shines like it is almost new. So to help you get started, here are a few of the basics of detailing a vehicle for beginners.
Automotive detailing is usually broken down into two categories. Wikipedia gives a more thorough explanation of the process of detailing, breaking the process into interior detailing and exterior detailing. Interior detailing will include a thorough vacuuming of the interior upholstery. A thorough interior detailing will also include steaming or shampooing out any stains on the upholstery, cleaning and shining interior hard surfaces, and cleaning the glass windshield and windows.
The first thing you will want to do is vacuum up any lose debris, such as food crumbs, pet hair, and dirt. Remove floor mats and vacuum them separately. Then you will need to either steam clean or shampoo the interior upholstery, and clean out all of the hard plastic surfaces, such as cup holders. You will also want to shine hard surfaces and leather. When you are doing a full detailing, don’t forget places such as door jams, glove compartments, and vents.
On an exterior detail job, a detailer will fully clean and wax the exterior of the vehicle. Any contaminants will be lifted from the body of the vehicle, hub caps and any chrome will be shined, and often-missed details such as exhaust pipes and license plates will be shined.
First, you will wash the vehicle, taking special care to remove tree sap, tar, and other contaminants that can be removed with soap, water, and elbow grease. You might also need to use a clay bar if you have noticed any metal shavings in the body of the vehicle. You can get into the grooves of your rims by using a special cleaning brush, and you will then want to apply a coat of wax to the entire vehicle.
Special Expert Tips and Tricks
People who have never detailed a vehicle before might not be aware of all the techniques that will make the job that much easier. CNN has several techniques that will make detailing easier. A few of the techniques include:
To get rid of pet hair, put on a pair of latex gloves. Rub the gloves over the surface of the upholstery to bring pet hairs to the surface.
Dry the glass on the inside in a different direction than you do on the outside. It will be easier to tell which direction any streaks are on.
Check Paint Surface
To check the body’s surface for all contaminants, put your hand in a plastic bag and rub it over the body of the vehicle. It will make any contaminants that you’ve missed all the more easy to find.
Detailing a vehicle takes a little bit of know-how, but most of it isn’t that difficult. And pretty soon, you’ll have a vehicle that will last longer, and you’ll feel pride showing to others.