With the change of seasons right around the corner, spring cleaning is in the air. As winter comes to an end, keeping your car clean can be a challenge. That’s why our team at Huffines Kia Corinth put together this list of car detailing tips to get your car clean and sparkling.
To keep your vehicle’s paint looking nice, give it a wash every two weeks or so. Regular washing helps keep dirt and debris from building up and can also prevent rusting. Just be sure to use proper car shampoo, as dish detergents and harsh soaps can damage the paint. You can even use a two-in-one car wash with a shampoo and wax combination to make the job easier.
Use Separate Wash Buckets
When washing your car, use two buckets to keep the clean and dirty water separate. Having separate buckets for the wash water and rinse water ensures you don’t spread around dirt and grime as you wash. For even more protection against transferring dirt and scratching the paint, get a grate for the rinse bucket to scrub off the washcloth.
Dry With the Right Cloth
Dry your car with a microfiber cloth or chamois to reduce water spots. Avoid using rough-textured cloths or towels since these can pick up dirt and abrasive particles and transfer them back onto your car. If you use a chamois, be sure to wring it out as you dry for maximum effect.
Clean the Tough Spots
When you shampoo your car, have a cloth handy to clean the door and hood closures where dirt and grime can collect. As you’re cleaning the windows, roll them down to get the tops and inside the window jams. Cleaning the hard-to-reach places like air vents and speakers is easy with an air duster and a paintbrush. Simply dust the tight spaces with the paintbrush and use the air duster to blow out the dust and debris from inside air vents and crevices in the dash, speakers, and other tough spots.
Polish and Wax in the Shade
Polish and wax your vehicle out of direct sunlight. An overcast day or shade tree are options for car detailing, as heat and direct sun can cause car wax to bake into your paint. Move your vehicle to a shady spot in your yard or driveway to clean the exterior of your car and apply polish and wax.
Brush the Carpet
When you vacuum your interior, try brushing the carpet with a utility or scrub brush to loosen up dirt and debris. Pulling up the dirt and particles beforehand can make vacuuming easier and help you suck up more debris. Deep clean removable floor mats outside of the vehicle to keep any extra dirt out while you’re cleaning.
Use Odor Eliminators
If you want to freshen your car, look for odor-eliminating products rather than air fresheners. Oder eliminators from popular brands are an excellent option to remove stale smells like food and pet odors. If your vehicle has an odor that’s tough to remove, you can also opt for a professional ozone treatment to eliminate the smell.
Change Your Cabin Filter
If it’s been a while since your last cabin air filter change, get a replacement to keep your car’s HVAC system running optimally. Going too long without changing the air filter can affect the system’s efficiency and reduce its ability to filter dirt and debris. Air volume can also take a hit from a clogged air filter and cause odors. Typically, you should replace the cabin air filter every 15,000-30,000 miles, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications.
Sanitize Your Seat Belts
The seat belts might not warrant much thought beyond car safety, but they can collect as much dirt and grime as other parts of your car. Since seat belts are one of the most touched spots of the car, it’s important to keep them clean with the rest of your interior. To give your seat belts a good cleaning, extend them as far as they go, clip them into place, and clean them with an all-purpose or antimicrobial cleaner and a small brush. Wipe the seat belts down with your microfiber cloth and let them air dry.
Give Your Seats a Deep Clean
Deep clean your seats by vacuuming up food, dirt, and loose debris before applying an upholstery cleaning product. Use a stiff-bristle brush to work in the cleaner a little bit and bring dirt to the top of the upholstery. If you have stubborn stains from food and drinks, you can apply a stain remover designed for your vehicle’s upholstery.
Keep Food and Drinks to a Minimum
If your vehicle is the daily driver, it can be tough to keep food and beverages out completely. Keeping your car clean and fresh can be more accessible, though, if you can limit the food and drinks allowed on the go. If you or your passengers do grab a bite to eat, be sure to clean up any spills as quickly as you can.
Keep a Waste Basket on Board
Put a small waste can in your vehicle for tossing trash on the go. A small car trash bin can do the trick for catching old receipts, used napkins, and gum wrappers. Make it a habit to empty the waste bin each day, and keeping your car clutter-free will be a breeze.
Invest in Quality Cleaning Products
When it comes to car cleaning and detailing, you’ll want the right products and equipment. Invest in a proper car shampoo that’s safe for all auto finishes. If you’re opting for a combination shampoo-wax cleaner, ensure it’s safe on all finishes and paints. For waxing, it pays to invest in a high-quality hard wax. If you can, pressure washes your vehicle rather than use a garden hose to clear away dirt more effectively. Car sponges, microfiber cloths, or a chamois are several more supplies you’ll want to invest in for keeping your car clean.
For more car maintenance tips, speak with the service team of Huffines Kia Corinth. We’ll answer your questions and help you choose safe and effective products for keeping your vehicle sparkling like new.