Prized Possessions: Car Detailing Made Simple and Affordable


You invested a lot of money in your car.  It would be a shame to make it look less than extraordinary due to laziness or affordability.  Sure, those with big bucks can splurge on detailing services, but the truth is that you can place an equal amount of tender-loving care toward washing your own car.  Here’s how to apply simple and affordable detailing insights..

Interior First

Professional detailers start with the inside first.  A practical reason is to have the insides dry by the time customers pick up their rides, but more importantly, seat covers for cars and floor mats emit dust and debris that will get on the outside of the car anyway, so it’s best to wash the exterior second.

Consider buying a wet/dry vacuum.  Sure, you can take it to the gas station and pump quarters in a more powerful machine, yet an upfront investment guarantees that you can vacuum your car as often and for as long as you wish for a long time to come.  For those who are meticulous and appreciate a pristine interior, it’s well worth the investment.

Two Mitts

Professionals never use the same washing mitt to address the entire car.  Rather, they divide the car in two, addressing above and below the automobile’s beltline, using one mitt for each section.  The lower half of the car is likely to have more caked-in dirt and grime.  Therefore, it makes sense to reserve another mitt for the upper half, which is less dirty and the half that most people see and most appreciate.

Multiple Buckets

Borrowing another professional insight, those who know what they’re doing at home use two buckets.  One is for washing the car and the other is for washing the mitt before placing it back into the primary bucket.  The cleaning mitt is going to get very dirty, and though mixed with wash detergent, repeatedly placing a dirty mitt back into the same bucket will quickly soil the solution.  It’s much better (and professional) to use two buckets when cleaning the exterior.

Sheeting Method

You probably stand a few feet away when hosing off the car, right?  You’re doing it wrong!  Well, you’re not entirely wrong, but there is a better way.  Get closer (a few inches from the surface of the car) and spray so the water cascades down the surface in a sheet.  This method ensures there are less droplets left behind and makes for a better end product.

Micro Towels

All you need is an old shirt or cotton towel to wipe off the moisture, right?  No!  Cotton towels and shirts cause micro marring, the reason the pros use high-quality waffle weave microfiber towels.  There’s no exception; using an ordinary towel is not something the professionals would suggest.  The reason is scientific, but in short, due to a lot more fibers present on a micro-fiber cloth, dirt and water is better attracted, leaving the car cleaner, dryer, and shinier.

Now you’re ready to make your car look as if you drove it away from a detail shop.  No one has to know you did it at home in a much more simple (and affordable) manner.

Harvey Long is a high-end car parking attendant by trade and enjoys sharing his tips and suggestions with an online audience. He is a frequent contributor for a number of automotive and leisure websites.

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