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The Details on Auto Detailing

Posted by on 7/30/2014 to Auto Body
The Details on Auto Detailing

Auto Detailing Tips and Tricks

There's more to detailing a car than just the wax and polish. The order you complete the steps in makes a big difference to the final result.

Start Inside

Clean the carpets and air ducts before moving outside to clean the exterior. Anything that blows out during the process can contaminate the area with particles. It's best to start by loosening all the dirt and dust from carpets by using a stiff-bristled brush before vacuuming.

Air Ducts
Use compressed air to blow out dust from the air ducts inside your vehicle. When spraying the canned air, aim for the walls behind the vents. Dust tends to collect there and this technique will help to dislodge it for easy vacuuming. The best auto detailing professionals use this technique to lengthen the duration of that "new car smell."

Auto Detailing Checklist

Driveway auto detailing is often done out-of-order. This causes splashes and dust from some areas to affect others, leaving spots, streaks and dirty residue. Performing the steps on this checklist in order will prevent these problems. Professional auto detailing tips and tricks are included and, when done correctly, will ensure excellent results. By focusing on these steps, most people find that their car detailing has never looked so good.

  • Loosen the dirt with a carpet brush on cloth and carpet interior surfaces.
  • Blow out air ducts with compressed air.
  • Vacuum all of the interior spaces.
  • Clean the wheels before moving to the paint. During this step, it's usually best to avoid acid-based cleaners.
  • Move on to hand washing the paint. Soap solutions designed for cars work better than dish detergent.
  • Be sure to squeegee the surface after hand washing. This step will help to ensure no dust settles on the car's surface during the drying process. 
  • Inspect the paint for damage. If you see deep scratches that show the metal, it's best to see a pro for touch-up work. They have all the tools to handle these repairs.
  • Use paint cleaning clay to remove minor swirls (scratches) from the paint.
  • When you are ready to polish, use an oscillating polishing machine rather than a rotating head. This is one of the best pro auto detailing tips for amateurs, because it produces great results while avoids many of the common issues, like buffer swirls, associated with rotating polishing machines.
  • Choose a waxing compound. There's been an ongoing conversation between pros about the benefits of waxing paste vs. waxing liquid. When it comes to auto detailing, both work well. Choose whatever suits your own personal preferences.
  • Wax only lasts a few months. Once you've completed waxing, note the date and schedule another waxing in three or four months. It's a great way to protect the car's paint from scratches and dust.
  • Once the rest of the exterior is finished, move on to the glass. Use an ammonia-free cleaner and a microfiber cloth for best results.

Professional-looking auto detailing isn't difficult to achieve; it just requires care and practice. Following these steps, you'll soon have that factory-fresh shine you're looking for.

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