We’d all love to hire someone to clean our cars out every week but times are tough and we’re all not made of money. Car valeting is not cheap. You are paying someone to clean, polish and wax your car as well as vacuum and tidy the inside. But doing it yourself can also be time-consuming.
Did you know that the wealthiest motorists are too posh to wash their own cars? According to a recent survey, rich drivers are more willing to drive round in a dirty vehicle for longer than ‘poorer but prouder’ owners.
So how can you achieve an as-new look from the comfort of your own drive? Here is the homeowner’s guide to an expert DIY car valet.
Step 1: Pre-wash your car
Rinse your car with water to get rid of any loose dirt. Mud is abrasive and when rubbed with a sponge it can damage your paintwork. A pre-wash ensures that you don’t scratch the body paint.
Step 2: Get a hot soapy bucket of water
Many people use a sponge and hot soapy water to wash their cars. Grit can get trapped in between the sponge particles and leave swirl marks, so we advise you to use a wash mitt. You can get specialist shampoo to retain the colour of your car. Start from the roof and work your way down one side of the car, before washing the other side.
Step 3: Pay attention to your alloys
Now use some soapy water to clean your alloys. A special alloy wheel brush will help you to get into those hard-to-reach crannies. Make sure the wheels are cold when cleaning them and that you get right under the arches.
Step 4: Clean your grill and bumper
Now head over to the front of the car to ensure underneath the licence plate is clean. Again, a special grill and bumper brush can help to really get it sparkling clean. Next, move to the rear of the vehicle and clean your bumper.
Step 5: Rinse the car
Wash away all the soap with a fresh bucket of clean water, a hose pipe or pressure washer if you have one.
Step 6: Clean your windscreen wipers
Your wipers can get clogged up with grime, so give them a good clean to make sure they move swiftly across the windscreen. Household vinegar is a great cleaning solution!
Step 7: Dry your car
A synthetic chamois can help to dry your car quicker as they hold a lot of water. Alternatively, use a water blade to remove most of the water off the bodywork.
Step 8: Check your engine coolant, oil and windscreen washer tank
Lift the hood of the car to check your fuel levels. If you don’t know where your engine oil or screen wash goes, here is some help. If it is approaching wintertime, don’t forget your antifreeze.
Step 9: Wipe down the interior
Next you can move onto the inside of the car. Empty the vehicle of any accumulated mess and then wipe down the dashboard, gear stick and control panels. Pay attention to the switches and steering wheel as these collect a lot of dirt. A demister pad can be used to clean the inside window. Don’t forget to clean the inside of the doors and the boot shut too. If your car has leather seats, use a soft brush to remove dirt from the crevices and then vacuum. Be careful not to scratch the leather with the nozzle. You can then use leather cleaner to polish the seats.
Step 10: Vacuum the car mats
Take the foot mats out of the car, pat them down and then vacuum them clean. If you have time and it is sunny, you could wash them with a special shampoo but the mats need to be air dried. Before you put them back in, vacuum the floor of the car. Don’t forget to tidy out and vacuum the boot, You may want to spray an odour eliminator onto the mats just to get rid of nasty smells like the pet dog, cigarettes or sweaty sports socks.
Why not add in a new air freshener so it smells clean for longer?
Step 11: Polish for perfection
This step is not compulsory but if you want to give your car that ‘showroom’ look, use some polish to buff the paintwork. It will leave it protected and looking super glossy. Whatever you do, apply the polish to an applicator as opposed to directly on the car and work in large circular motions.
So there you have a step by step guide to valeting your car. Remember, your car needs to be looked after all year round- not just in the summer. Show it some TLC and she will go the whole nine yards.
Information resource: www.safetywearworld.co.uk