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Car Wash And Detailing Tips To Keep Your Car Looking Like New

Mid aged man washing a car
When you purchase a new car it looks so pristine. Not a crumb on your carpeting, no smudges on your windows or dust covering your dashboard. It's beautiful, until you leave the lot of the dealership, then it never looks the same. It doesn't have to be that way though.
You can have that pristine looking car all the time by taking your car to the car wash often to have it professionally detailed, but if you're like most people, you can't afford the car wash every day. See below for some car washing and detail tips to keep your car looking like new.

Exterior Cleaning

The exterior of your car should be washed often to prevent things like tree sap, bird droppings and asphalt from eating through the clear coating of your car. Leaving these things on your car can do plenty of damage, some of which can be irreversible. When washing your car, be sure to do it in a shaded area to prevent car wash soap from drying on your car and leaving spots.
  • Washing. Wash your car using a car wash soap. Use the amount recommended on the manufacturer's directions. Pour the recommended amount into a clean bucket along with water. Spray your car down to get it wet, then begin washing your car with the soap and a soft sponge or a microfiber cloth.

    Work in sections to prevent the soap from drying. Start at the top of the car, then rinse the soap off. Work your way down to the hood or rear, and finally around the car and down to the wheels. This is the most effective.
  • Drying. You can allow your car to dry on its own, but it may leave spots. Dry your car using a microfiber cloth or a chamois cloth that absorbs the water without leaving behind any residue.
  • Waxing. Waxing your car helps protect the clear coating, and helps protect your car from dirt and other debris, keeping it shiny for much longer than not waxing.
Apply the wax to your car evenly and in small circles. Apply the wax all over your car, including on the head and tail lights, then allow it to dry.
Once the wax is dry, you can begin removing it. Remove it with a microfiber cloth using small circles to get it off.

Interior Cleaning

Clean the interior of your car to keep it smelling fresh and your upholstery looking like new.
  1. Vacuum the upholstery and floors with a shop vacuum to remove pet hair, gravel, dirt and other debris that may have accumulated. To help get up pet hair, you can use a squeegee or even a rubber glove.
  2. Wipe down the entire interior using a damp cloth to remove dust.
  3. Once clean, use another cloth with a dab of Vaseline on it. Use the Vaseline to moisten the dashboard, steering wheel and door panels that can easily dry out. You can also use a product such as Armor All to clean and protect these areas.
  4. Get into crevices such as the vents using a small foam paintbrush damp with water. For other areas, such as small cracks between the gear shift panel or on the dashboard, use a screwdriver covered with a cloth (to prevent scratching) and wipe these areas down.
  5. Use newspaper and a glass cleaner to clean the interior windows and remove smudges and to get rid of the haze that can build up on the inside of windows.
You can't beat a car wash and detail job done by the pros, but sometimes it just isn't in the budget. Use the tips above to help lengthen the life of that professional job and to keep your car looking like new. Take your car to Grand Prix Car Wash San Pablo when you're ready for your next professional cleaning.