Are you tired of looking at the same old dirty car day after day? Maybe you are fed up with your vehicle and looking to trade it in for a brand new one. After years of wear and tear of your car, it can be a drag owning it. However, before you rush down to the dealership and make a hasty decision, stop and think.
Why do you need a brand new car? If the one you have is working fine, you should consider alternative options. You can keep your car looking clean without signing a new lease or emptying the bank account. The option we are going to be discussing today is car detailing.
So, what’s detailing? And what does it include?
Detailing is the process of thoroughly cleaning the car so that it looks the same as it did when it came from the factory. Cleaning and reinstating the condition of windows, trim, wheels, and surface of the car are included in exterior detailing.
Today we are going to explain how to detail a car exterior in 14 easy to follow steps. After reading this article, you will be familiar with the process and be confident enough to do it yourself.
So, without wasting your valuable time, we’ll explain how to detail a car exterior like a pro.
- 1 Why Car Detailing?
- 2 Materials You Need for Car Detailing
- 3 How to Detail Your Car Exterior: Secrets from The Experts
- 3.1 Empty Your Car
- 3.2 Clean Interior Dust with Vacuum
- 3.3 Use Cleaner for Stains
- 3.4 Wash the Removed Parts Outside
- 3.5 Hose Down the Outer Part
- 3.6 Clean the Remaining Dust
- 3.7 Make your Wheels Sparkle
- 3.8 Use Clay Bar after Washing the Surface
- 3.9 Freshen up the Engine
- 3.10 Rinse Your Car’s Exterior
- 3.11 Dry It Properly
- 3.12 Polish Your Car
- 3.13 Clean the Metallic Parts
- 3.14 Wax Your Car
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5 Exterior Car Detailing Tips and Tricks -Video
Why Car Detailing?
Materials You Need for Car Detailing
Wait, there’s a ton of things on this list that you may require to detail a car exterior properly. Not necessarily, all of these are must, but usually, these are the materials people everyday use in detailing chores.
- Air Compressor
- Glass cleaner
- Polishing Pad
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Wheel Brush
- Metal Polish
- Clay Bar
- Microfiber Towels
- Spray Bottles
- Wheel Cleaner
How to Detail Your Car Exterior: Secrets from The Experts
There are some steps you must follow in order to detail your car exterior. Easy steps! Following the below-stated steps accordingly will help you to finish the job smoothly.
Empty Your Car
Take everything out of your car. Nothing should remain covered. As for some fixed compartments, leave them. But make sure you take out everything that is detachable. It will help you to clean the parts easily.
Clean Interior Dust with Vacuum
You must clean the car interior first. Herein, clean everything with a vacuum. Start from a certain point and then roam along with the whole interior parts.
You can use an air compressor for this purpose. But go through every crack, every hole. No dust should remain.
Use Cleaner for Stains
Generally, the strains in the interior are not likely to be removed after vacuum cleaning. You need to use cleaners to remove them. To be exact, it should be foam cleaner.
Just apply the cleaner and rub a bit. It will help. After cleaning use a towel to wipe it around. That will help you to dry things up.
Here is our recommended best car cleaner- CarGuys Super Cleaner – Effective All-Purpose Cleaner
Wash the Removed Parts Outside
What about the parts you just removed from the car?
Those should be cleaned somewhere outside of your car. You may use a high-pressure hose attachment to clean them properly. After that, the carpet cleaner and foam cleaner can be used to remove stains from the parts.
Hose Down the Outer Part
It is a rule of thumb to make the outer part of your car totally free of dust before you start the detailing process. You can use hose attachments for this purpose. Hose down your vehicle with enough pressure.
Start from the top of your car and then go through every place.
There are different types of hose. It’s better to use the ones with small funnels. If the dirt is not removed, hose for some period.
The dirt will eventually soften up and get free.
Clean the Remaining Dust
For this process, a bucket of water and car wash soap is needed.
Take a bucket full of water and mix car wash soap in it. You should follow the instructions on the label of the soap. Then, soak the wash mitt into the mixture.
You should let it soak for at least 15 minutes. After that, it will be ready for the cleaning to do.
Make your Wheels Sparkle
You can spray wheel cleaner on your wheels and use clothes to rub them. The stains in the wheels are hoped to be cleaned after rubbing. If you don’t have a spray, you can use a mixture of soap and water also.
The part that receives most of the mud and other dirty things is the tire. You need to clean them up too. You can use detergent or soap to clean them up. That really helps to make your tire free of mud.
Warning: Many wheel cleaners contain harsh chemicals that are safe for using only aluminum wheels. If you have uncoated aluminum wheels, use a product designed specifically for them.
Here is our recommended best car wheel cleaner- Sonax (230200-755) Wheel Cleaner
Use Clay Bar after Washing the Surface
Sometimes the outer part of the car gets sandy.
Especially after the wash. It’s very irritating. You can use the clay bar to get rid of this trouble. But you must wait for 20 minutes to apply the clay bar. Otherwise, it will not be as effective as expected.
Here is our recommended best clay bar for the car- Mothers 07241 California Gold Clay
Freshen up the Engine
The most important part of your car is the engine. Though it is not open to the dust, it should also be cleaned. You need to spray some grimy components with a degreaser.
Wait for two minutes. After the cleaner soaks in, blast the grease off. While cleaning, put a rubber protector on rubber parts. It will help to clean them soft and flexible.
Rinse Your Car’s Exterior
The outer part of your car needs to be rinsed. And it includes the tire also. Start from the top. It will help your car to get rid of the soap, and dust.
As for wheels, rinse between the spook. Don’t overlook the braking parts also.
Dry It Properly
After rinsing your car, you have to dry it. But before that, you have to wipe your car off. Use a damp microfiber cloth for that purpose. It will easily absorb water from the exterior.
Use a dry microfiber cloth after that. It will absorb the remaining water.
Polish Your Car
Polishing your car requires some materials;
- Polishing Pad (Our pick: Benavvy 9pcs Polishing Pads Kit)
- Power Polisher (Our pick: Avid Power Polisher)
- Clean Cloth (Our pick: AmazonBasics Cotton Washcloths Towels)
- Polishing Compound (Our pick: Meguiar’s G12310 PlastX Clear Plastic Cleaner & Polish)
You need to perform the following tasks in order to polish your car. And, remember, you need to complete them sequentially.
- Prepare the polishing compound and apply them on your car.
- Start polishing them with polishing pads. Try to do it at a medium-low pressure. Always maintain side to side motion and low pressure.
- Notice the stains and spots. If they are gone, stop polishing. Some parts will still have blemishes and spots. Polish those parts again.
- Now, use a clean and dry cloth to wipe off the polished area.
Clean the Metallic Parts
You have to clean the metallic parts separately. Some different materials are needed for that. Such as:
- Metal cleaner (Our pick: CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner)
- Microfiber cloth(Our pick: AmazonBasics Cotton Washcloths Towels)
Here are the steps you need to follow;
- Apply the metal cleaner on a microfiber cloth.
- Rub your car with the cloth. What happens is, the metal cleaner gets spread. Spread it all over your car.
- Leave it for some time. It will get dry.
- Again use a microfiber cloth. Use it to wipe the metal trim off your car.
Wax Your Car
Apply a protective wax coating on your car. The materials used for waxing are;
For waxing the car entirely, you have to:
- Apply wax directly to the applicator. The wax has to be liquid.
- Start spreading the wax all over your car. Use light pressure while spreading. Don’t rub it. Remember, you are applying a coating only.
- Let the wax dry for some time. Let’s say 5 minutes. The air will help you dry it.
- Wipe the wax off. Use a microfiber cloth.
Warning: Never wax the dirty car. Sand on the car body will cause deep scratches in the paint.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to detail the exterior of a car?
Exterior detailing consists of vacuuming, windshield cleaning, window wash, tire cleaning, Rims cleaning, trim cleaning, wax, and so on. And the detailing cost will depend on how many services you need.
Generally, 50-150 dollars is the charge for an average to the large-sized car.
Can I wash my car with just water?
Yes, you can wash your car with a pressure washer but you have to careful that it may damage anything. But remember some Stains can be removed only by water.
Exterior Car Detailing Tips and Tricks -Video
Bingo! Detailing is done and dusted.
Now your car will be shiny, glittering, and fast. Probably, you will get back the car you bought some years back. This was all for today. I hope it proved helpful. Stay happy. Stay blessed.