A car is often one of the biggest purchases you make in life. It’s important to clean and maintain your car to best care for your investment. Looking after your car will help it stand the test of time and can even help to prevent costly repairs from wear and tear.

Cleaning your car is not as simple as just washing and waxing it. There are other steps which need to be considered and following a straightforward procedure like the below can be very useful in helping to make sure you don’t forget any areas.

The Exterior

Choosing when to wash your car can determine how well the final result looks. The ideal conditions to wash your car outside would be a cool, cloudy day, later in the afternoon and in a shaded area. These optimal weather conditions will result in fewer watermarks, less soap residue and fewer fingerprints.

Preparation

The first step to washing your car should always be to prep your materials and products. You will need; Car or Truck Wash, Microfibre Wash Mitts, Microfibre Drying Towel and Two Buckets. Additionally, you may also wish to add wax and tire gel to your kit. Once everything is prepared, you can follow the soap instructions to prepare your bucket with soapy water. Once this is done, you can then go ahead and give your car a quick rinse.

Shampooing & Washing

Using your Microfibre Wash Mitt you will want to begin working from the top down. There is a good reason for this and the purpose of doing so is to prevent any dirt or rocks that may be collected from the lower half of the car or the tires from getting caught in your cloth and scratching the vehicle. It is always handy to have a stool or milk crate on hand if you can’t reach the top of your car.

Working your way down, use the weight of the cloth to guide your cleaning. You don’t need to apply a lot of pressure. Just be gentle. Try to avoid circular motions as much as possible as this often leads to swirls of soap marks when dried. A “Two Bucket” Method is highly recommended as it means you are not washing your car with dirty water. At this point, your car should have a nice foamy lather on it. Remember, a good car shampoo should be PH neutral and will not damage the finish.

You will likely find that the bottom half of your car is much dirtier than the top. It can be a good idea to start with a fresh mitt once you get down to the bottom half and certainly use a new cloth on the tires.

Rinsing and Drying

Once you’ve cleaned everything, you can go ahead and wash off the soap. Using a Microfibre cloth, you gently dry your car, again from top to bottom to ensure you are not dripping water on places you’ve already dried. When it comes to your windscreens, a Squeegee is ideal, however, a Microfibre cloth will also be fine.

Detailing

Once your car is dry you can go ahead and hone in on certain key areas that will make your car look like it’s just been driven out of the showroom. Namely, the tires always look great with a quick spray and wipe of Tire Gel.

This keeps them looking shiny and black, whilst also protecting them from the sun. Finishing everything up with a coat of wax will add a layer of shine and will also provide an additional layer against hardship weather, bird droppings and pollution.

The Interior

Tidy Up & Organise

We tend to accumulate a lot of junk in our cars with anything from fast food cups, to gym clothes and everything in between filling our cup holders, back seats and boots. Freeing up your car of things that don’t belong in it will make you feel very accomplished very quickly.

Open all of your car doors and take three separate plastic bags; one for garbage, one for things to put away elsewhere and one for items to remain in the car but need to be tidied up.

Window & Glass Cleaning

The next step is to give your windows a good clean to ensure they are free of dust, dirt and fingerprints. The inside windows are just as important to your vision as the outdoor windows are.

The simplest way to clean your interior car windows is to spray Window Cleaner directly onto a microfibre cloth and to gently clean it from left to right, using the weight of the cloth to guide you.

Console & Dashboard

Once your windows are clear, you can tackle the consoles and dashboard. It’s important to do this before moving on to other parts of the process, such as vacuuming as oftentimes, crumbs and other small items will fall so this will help you to save time later on. This would also be an excellent opportunity to take out any child car seats so they can be cleaned separately as they can often be very sticky and dirty.

When cleaning the interior sections of your car, be sure to invest in a gentle yet effective interior cleaning product. This product must be safe for vinyl surfaces. A good product such as Armour Glaze will leave your dashboard and fittings looking new and shiny, not greasy and wet.

A high-quality product will not only provide these aesthetic benefits but will also protect your car interior from cracking and fades which can result from sun damage.

Smaller Details & Hard to Reach Places

Consoles and dashboards are often the easy part of interior car cleaning. It is all the tiny nooks and crannies that are often gazed over that can truly make your car feel brand new again. Some easy to miss places include; air-con vents, pedals, the backsides of passenger seats and seat belts.

Some cheap and very accessible tools that you may even have lying around your home can come in great use here. For example, a soft-bristled toothbrush can be useful for reaching small holes or around buttons, a foam sponge paintbrush is perfect for reaching between vents and a humble piece of Blue Tac is ideal for catching crumbs from cup holders.

Another important step in keeping your car cleaned is to pay particular attention to your carpet and floor mats. Begin by giving them a vacuum to ensure all major dust particles and other debris has been picked up. A brush attachment, as well as a hose attachment, are very useful in this instance as they allow for you to clean in between and under seats, as well as around pedals and seat tracks.

 

Carpet stains in cars can be treated in a similar way to regular carpet stains. A Carpet Pre-Spotter would be an ideal product to use on food stains, oil, mud or dirt marks on removable floor mats. It can be simply applied with a sponge and rinsed off with water and will restore your floor mats to their former glory. Additionally, a carpet deodoriser can be the perfect solution to any strong odors left from spills, pets or toddlers.

Taking the time to care and look after your car is one of the best investments you can make. It is always worth the time and energy!

If you have any additional questions about car cleaning tips, please feel free to reach out to us at sales@jamac.com.au or (02) 9838 1220.