Guide to Interior Car Detailing; Tips And Tricks
Like any professional will tell you, car detailing is both a science and an art. The science has to do with knowing what elements, chemicals, equipment, requirements of the customer, and everything else you’ll need to know before the detailing. The Art part of it means the ability to bring together all these factors, and utilize them for the best results possible. Thus, it’s not enough having the right car detailing equipment; you have to possess the skills and know-how in order to get the best results. Here at Woshline, we always strive to be professionals in our service delivery; we’re constantly acquainting ourselves with the industry standards and trends. In our efforts to serve you better and satisfactorily, we educate ourselves by attending workshops, seminars, conventions, and many other platforms bringing together major players in the car detailing industry. One common issue we’ve noted is that most people aren’t fully aware of how to go about detailing the interior of their car. In this post, we have taken time to give simple tips and tricks that you should try out the next time you’re detailing the interior of your car. Basically, you’ll need to have a decent vacuum cleaner, cleaning products, brushes, towels, sponges, and rugs.
- Vacuum cleaner; the vacuum cleaner should have an extension hose as well as a hand held attachment; you’ll need this to reach hard to reach areas and nooks. Some people also use a steam cleaning machine instead.
- Cleaning agents; take a moment to inspect the surfaces of the interior of the car, from the upholstery, plastic, vinyl, and carpeting materials. You’ll then assemble the cleaning products needed to clean each area effectively. We always recommend eco friendly cleaning agents that are devoid of the powerful chemicals used in most cleaning products; the chemicals may lead to fading of the car’s interior over time.
- Wiping materials; professional car detailing relies on specially made soft clothes and rags to wipe and polish the different surfaces. The cloth used to wipe and polish should be checked so as not to contain residual chemicals.
- Brushes/applicators; you’ll need to clean dust from air vents and other places that can only be reached using a brush. Thus, have brushes of several sizes including one with stiff bristles.
- Safety clothing; you’ll need an apron, gloves, and some safety goggles.
Quick tip; be careful on the cleaning products you’ll use for the interior as the surfaces may be highly sensitive to some chemicals. You can test the product on an inconspicuous area or surface outside the car; does the cleaning product cause a blemish, a stain, or is it easy to wash off afterwards?
The actual interior cleaning explained;
Here at Woshline, we always start by cleaning the driver’s area. This is done on the assumption that by the time we’re through, this side will have dried up fast and the customer can take back their car. You can start on either side though, doesn’t make much of a difference anyway. Once you’re done with the driver’s side, move to the other areas cleaning them thoroughly and keenly. Carpets and floor mats are, understandably, some of the dirtiest parts you’ll need to clean. It is okay cleaning these up last once you’re done with cleaning all the other areas like dashboard, windows, etc. Slide all seats back and forth to ensure that you don’t miss a thing, be sure to remove any coins, food wrappers, junk, papers, and any other unwanted items during cleaning. Clean the windows only after you’ve cleaned all the other areas, to avoid soiling the glass. Lower the windows and clean the top edges of the window panes, then close the windows and wipe both sides.
Quick Tip; when cleaning the floor mats, hold them a safe distance away from the car and shake the dirt loose. You may need to use a stiff brush to remove any mud and stubborn dirt caked in between the mat’s grooves and indentations. Once the dirt is removed, use a vacuum cleaner’s nozzle to remove any remaining dust and dirt. Once done, clean the mats with a powerful jet of water from your hose and hang them to dry.
Cleaning the car seats; in most cases, car seats are made up of three main materials; leather, cloth upholstery, or vinyl. Suffice it to say that each type will require a different approach when cleaning. For instance;
- Leather; leather looks nice and stylish, even luxurious when used on a car’s seats. But any owner will tell you that keeping it clean and looking bright can be a tall task. With time, dirt and grime accumulate on the surface thus gradually turning the previously bright leather, into a pale, dingy shaded surface. Good thing is that there are numerous leather cleaning products to help restore the lost glory and allure. Most of these products are either sprayed or applied on the surface using a soft towel. Always ensure that you’re dipping the towel in the cleaning product regularly so that you don’t smear and spread dirt patches collected from one part to other parts of the leather. Once done, always dry the leather using a special microfiber cloth. Leather requires several hours to completely dry up. Leather conditioners should be applied once the leather has dried up. Some cleaning products use a two in one mechanism that washes and conditions the leather at once.
- Cloths; cloth covered seats are always easier to clean when compared to leather. Often, car owners struggle to remove stubborn stains on the clothes on their car seats. Same applies to any nasty odors that tend to linger for long on the seats. If the clothes aren’t that dirty and in need of any special stain removing products, the ordinary upholstery cleaning products will work just fine. You can also try odor elimination sprays, the kind used in households. Be very careful that you don’t soak the seats with excess water and cleaning products as this means they’ll take longer to dry up; you may be inconvenienced as you wait for days for them to completely dry up. Quick Tip; Baking soda works magic, sprinkle it on the seats and vacuum it after a about 3 hours. Baking soda naturally absorbs odor; it’s green and highly effective.
- Vinyl; Vinyl is the easiest of the 3 materials to clean. Just be keen and double check the cleaning products you’ll use to ensure that they can be used on vinyl. Use a soft sponge to wipe the vinyl using the cleaning products, being careful not to sprinkle the product on the interior or parts that can be easily damaged. Vinyl dries up completely about an hour or so after cleaning.
- Cleaning the engine bay; standard practice when cleaning your car is to wash the engine bay before cleaning the other parts of the car. Any dirt and grease from the engine that may fall on the car’s body will be easy to pick and clean off afterwards. Wet towels are draped over the front fenders so as to protect paint from any streaking and spotting when you’re using degreasers. Some modern cars have electronic and computer modules located in a single compartment in the engine bay. This is an area you want to keep water from to reduce any likelihood of damage; if you are unsure of where such modules are located or are afraid of damaging them, feel free to contact our Professional washers here sat Woshline; we’re always glad to offer our professional advice, consultancy, and actual car washing services. A cleaned engine looks great and enhances the performance of the car; however, it gets dirty very fast and one way of reducing this is by ensuring that you wipe off any excess water and streaks using a clean, dry towel.
- Cleaning windows and mirrors; a microfiber cloth
and glass cleaner will easily do the job of cleaning glass surfaces. However, tinted windows can be tricky and these require special attention. Some window tinting is actually glass that’s tinted, while others use a tinted sheet that’s applied on the inner side of the window. Tinted windows that use a sheet can be easily damaged by some cleaning products especially those that have Ammonia in them. Never hesitate to consult the vendor or shop that sold the tinted sheet if in doubt. Rather than spraying or applying the cleaning product on the mirrors and glass, apply the same on a cloth and then wipe gently. This reduces any streaking on the glass. Most people forget to roll the window down just enough to wash off the grime and dirt on the top edge of the pane; as a professional detailer, be sure to remember this part.
- Cleaning the console; cleaning the buttons and control knobs on the car can be quite tricky. These areas trap dust and dirt very fast and before you realize it, the cracks and crevices are covered in grime and all manner of dirt. To clean the console, wrap a thin piece of clothe on the tip of a screw driver; this is a good way to reach and wipe the hard to reach crevices. If you’re afraid the screw driver is too sharp and may cause scratches or damage, use a plastic knife instead. Wrap cotton swabs on the knife and use it to gently clean all cracks and crevices.
When did you last detail your car? Car detailing is the surest way of maintaining that new look and feel of your car for many more years. Woshline offers you fast, affordable and professional car detailing services in London and the surrounding areas. Feel free to contact us today and we’ll be glad to show you why we’re the leading car washers and detailers around. 100% satisfaction guaranteed.