Tips for Car Valeting At Home
Over the last year, car detailing has become more popular among car owners. With the pandemic keeping many car washing facilities closed, motorists have had little choice but to pick up the bucket and sponge themselves.
But while cleaning a car doesn’t sound all that difficult, car detailing like a professional is an art. It requires time, care and a lot of attention. It also requires the right car detailing products and equipment.
Get the Right Tools
Ensuring that you’ve got the right tools for the job is vital to get that new car sheen. To truly get the same level of detailing as a professional, you will need similar car detailing tools.
Buckets: If you’re cleaning a car, then it’s pretty obvious you’re going to need a bucket. But just having the one bucket isn’t going to cut it; you need two, and ideally, they’ll have grit guards. Having two buckets means you can have one for the shampoo and the other for rinsing. Using the same bucket for both can allow dirt to get into your sponge or wash mitt and scratch the car.
Cloths and Mitts: When you think about washing a car, you instantly think about a bucket and sponge. Ironically, you should avoid sponges as they can cause minor scratches. Your best option is a wash mitt. Wash mitts protect the paintwork of your car. It’s also good to have some microfibre cloths and a glass cloth handy.
Pressure Washer: Having a good pressure washer can make a world of difference when detailing your car. Pressure washers can make the cleaning process more effective and efficient, and you can use them for more than just rinsing off the shampoo. If you attach a snow foam lance to your pressure washer, you can use it to apply snow foam just like the professionals.
Brushes: There are a few different brushes that are worth getting for detailing your car. First up is, unsurprisingly, a detailing brush set. Detailing brushes are perfect for cleaning small and hard to reach areas. Valeting professions usually have a few detailing brush sets; one for the interior, one for the exterior and one for the wheels. If you’ve got alloy wheels, get a specialised alloy wheel brush that lets you clean the wheels’ most challenging areas.
Get the Best Products
Now you’ve got the right tools for the job, you’re going to need the right car detailing products to use with them. Just like the tools, you’ll need to get high-quality products to get that professional shine. It might be tempting to go for a cheaper option, but better quality products do a better job and last longer.
Cleaners: There are a few different cleaners that you’ll need:
- Wheel cleaner
- Fabric/leather cleaner
- Window cleaner
Some cleaners do what they say on the tin (or the bottle), but it’s worth investing in high-quality products as they work faster and more efficiently.
Snow Foam: You usually use snow foam with a snow foam lance that will cover your car with a pre-cleaning foam layer. Unsurprisingly, the foam looks like snow and helps to lift dirt and grease from the paintwork. A lot of snow foams are available to buy in a bundle with a snow foam lance.
Removers: There’s a couple of removers that are worth getting. A tar and glue remover is perfect for any tricky bits of dirt that just won’t budge. Usually, you spray the remover, leave it for a few minutes and then rinse it off.
Sealant and Wax: Both sealants and waxes are a great way to protect the hard work you’ve put into the detailing. A sealant protects your car against bird droppings, bugs, road salt, and many other elements that can damage your vehicle on the road.
Wax is the final frontier in terms of the detailing process. It has both long and short term benefits; it’ll immediately give your car a glow like it’s brand new, and over time it will stop your paintwork from fading and prevents minor scratches. You don’t need to wax with every wash; every two to six months will do perfectly.
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