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Keeping Costs Down and Cars Gleaming

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Keeping Costs Down and Cars Gleaming

Levi Quinn (SubmitYOURArticle.com)
April 21, 2011


Taking care of your car is important, and one aspect of a great car maintenance routine is weekly or bi-weekly car cleaning. Not only does keeping your car clean make it look better, it prevents the paint from fading and the interior of the car from molding or becoming stained. Even more importantly, it keeps your car's value intact and allows you to comfortably drive your friends and family around. Some people believe that the only way to get a really deep clean is to have their car detailed by professionals. While it is true that professional detailing is a wonderful way to maintain your vehicle, the truth is that you can perform the cleaning yourself for a fraction of the cost.

Detailing is expensive and, for simply the price of equipment and a Saturday morning, you can achieve the same thorough detail work as any other professional. When getting ready to detail your car, though, there are a few things you should keep in mind. By following these tips, you can save your budget and make your car shine like new.

1. Check the weather. Cleaning your car on Saturday only to have it rain on Sunday is a huge waste of time, so go ahead and flip through the news to ensure that your car cleaning efforts won't be in vain.

2. Purchase the right products. While no specific brand is better than another, car owners often have their favorites. Oftentimes, though, they pick up products that are not made for their car. Pay attention to the labels of everything you buy to make sure that your purchases are right for the upholstery and finishes that you will be using them on.

3. Start with the interior. Nothing is better than a fresh, clean interior, so go ahead and open all the doors to let your car air out while you get your supplies together. Pull out all of the mats and take out any seat or steering wheel covers, as well as any organizers that may be behind the seat or clipped to the visor. Once you have everything out, it's time to vacuum.

4. Be thorough! Halfway through a tough vacuuming job it can be really tempting to skip out on the glove compartment or space between the cup holder and the seat, but you really need to get everything if you want to achieve a professional-grade detail. This applies to all aspects of car cleaning, from vacuuming to waxing.

5. Dust. Normally, dust is the biggest culprit when it comes to dirty dashboards. Wipe down everything with the appropriate cleaner. Be careful, because not all finishes will require the same kind of products.

6. Clean the exterior. Start with a rinse, then use a soft cloth or sponge to soap the car up. Be thorough, getting every bit of dirt off of your car. Then rinse the soap off completely, leaving no soap scum.

7. Dry. Using a soft towel or squeegee, dry the outside of the car. If you choose to use a towel, make sure that it doesn't leave lint all over the car.

8. Wash the windows. This is important, because one smudge in a conspicuous location can ruin the effect of your detail job.

9. Wax. The finishing touch, a great wax job will bring your car's paint back to life and will protect it from the harsh environmental elements.

These tips should have you well on your way to a clean, shining car. Do the detail work yourself and you can save big bucks!

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