Nothing beats that clean, ‘fresh from the showroom’ feeling when you step into your car! However keeping your car well cleaned doesn’t just provide a nice experience for you, but can also help you maintain the value of your vehicle. So how do you go about giving your car a proper spring clean?
What you will need:
Hose pipe or pressure washer
Bucket of warm water
Microfibre cloth for interior
Sponge or wash mitt for exterior
Microfibre cloth or chamois for drying
Window cleaner and kitchen towel
Upholstery cleaner/Leather cleaner
Wheel brush (optional)
Wheel cleaner/alloy wheel cleaner (optional)
Dashboard cleaner/polish (optional)
Car polish/wax and additional microfibre cloths (optional)
Old wrappers, parking tickets, childrens toys - whatever clutter has gathered in your car remove it along with your car mats so you can access each area of your vehicle's interior for a complete all over clean!
Give the inside of your car a good hoover including the seats, floor and boot. Use a small, narrow hoover attachment to whisk away any crumbs and dust which may have gathered in nooks and crannies.
Light marks on fabric seats may come away with a damp microfibre cloth however more stubborn stains will require some upholstery cleaner. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to clean your seats, trying not to make the seats too damp as they can take a long time to dry.
Leather seats will need a specific leather upholstery cleaner which can come as cream, spray or even a wipe. Follow the instructions on the product carefully - starting initially with a small, inconspicuous area if this a new product in case of any adverse effect.
Wipe over your dashboard and any other hard surfaces such as the inside of doors and backs of seats with a damp microfibre cloth to remove dust and dirt. For stubborn dirt you can buy specialist dashboard cleaner or polish products. Use earbuds or a toothbrush for small, hard to reach places such as vents and around buttons.
It’s easy to forget to clean the inside of your windows before moving on to your car’s exterior. Simply use window cleaner and then dry with kitchen towel to prevent smearing. This will help improve visibility as well as your car’s appearance!Carefully replace your car mats and any other items you keep in your car.
Ideally wash your car on a dry, cloudy day. However if it is sunny - move your vehicle into the shade if possible to prevent streaks from drying too quickly. Ensure your windows are up before hosing down your car with your garden hose or pressure washer from top to bottom - this will remove and/or loosen the main areas of dirt.
Add the recommended amount of car shampoo to your bucket of warm water before sponging the entire car from top to bottom carefully cleaning each area of the vehicle. If you accidentally drop the sponge at any point, check for grit which could scratch your paintwork before continuing.
Again, using your hose or pressure washer fully rinse all of the shampoo from the vehicle with plenty of cold water.
Windows and Mirrors
You’ve done the inside of the windows so now it’s time to get the window cleaner out again to ensure the exterior of the windows and windscreens are clean. You can buy specialist car window cleaner or just use your household window cleaner. Now is also a good time to clean your wing mirrors.
Depending on how dirty your wheels are they may be sufficiently clean from the shampoo and rinse. However, a wheel brush with soft brizzles can help with stuck on dirt and then be rinsed again if required. Alloy wheels are prone to brake dust which once baked on may require a specialist alloy wheel cleaner.
Fully drying your car is the key to getting that properly cleaned look with no marks or streaks. You can do this with a microfibre cloth/towel or chamois. Carefully wipe over each part of the car, wringing out the cloth when it becomes sopping wet and replacing it if it becomes dirty. To get it perfectly dry follow with a dry cloth to completely absorb all the moisture.
For added shine you can now apply a wax or polish product. There are a huge range of products available to protect and keep your car’s paintwork shiny. Polish is normally applied to your vehicle one panel at a time with a microfibre cloth, left to dry and then buffed off with a new clean cloth to the desired shine!
A good wash and interior clean really can transform your car! At Imperial Cars all our vehicles are fully valeted inside and out to showroom standard - so you can buy a car which looks as good as new - and with regular cleaning can stay that way!