If you live in an area of the country with extreme winter weather, you understand that it’s impossible to keep your car clean for three to five months each year. As frustrating as this is, with spring comes the opportunity to get your vehicle back to the level of clean you prefer.
Professional detailing is a good option if you don’t want to do the grunt work. However, if you turn your car over to someone else to deal with a winter’s worth of salt, sand, and grime, you won’t have control over the products they use. Keep in mind that some cleaners are effective because they contain harsh detergents, butyl ethers, and caustic acids that can degrade your vehicle’s surfaces and do more harm than good.
If you opt to take a DIY detailing course of action, you can decide which cleaners and repair products to use throughout the process.
Wheels and tires
Choose a formula that clings to the wheel and tire and penetrates through layers of brake dust stuck to the rubber and metal. Brake dust can pit the metal of your wheels. It’s a highly corrosive mixture of carbon fibers and metal shavings made sticky by heat and friction.
Be especially cautious when choosing a cleaner for anodized, coated, or painted wheels. Chrome and roughcast aluminum can handle more caustic cleaners. If degreasers have turned your tires brown, use a rubber rejuvenator to restore the surface.
Clean wheels and tires one at a time to keep the cleaning agents wet. Dry them thoroughly with a towel you use only for wheels and tires. Prevent future brake dust problems by using a wheel protectant to seal the surface.
Tire dressings should be silicone-free. A high-quality formula will restore your tire surface finish to look new again while providing long-lasting UV protection with fade and crack prevention.
Tracking in salt, snow, mud, and grime is part of driving in harsh winter climates. Even with beefed-up floor mats, the interior of your vehicle takes a beating. Clean from the top down with a soft microfiber cloth to loosen dust and debris that accumulates on hard surfaces. Use a gentle water-based cleaner on those same surfaces after dusting. Products that contain silicone may make surfaces shiny after cleaning, but they attract dust particles and can turn the interior of your vehicle yellow over time.
Mist a clean microfiber towel with non-ammonia glass cleaner and wipe the interior surfaces of the windows. Check the label to make sure it’s safe for tinted windows.
Pay particular attention to vents, seams, and tiny crevices around cup holders and radio controls. Use a small detailing brush to remove dirt and grime. This is a tedious job, but it makes a big difference in the appearance of your car’s interior.
UV exposure causes irreparable damage to vinyl and leather upholstery and surfaces over time. After wiping down the seats with a specially-formulated vinyl and leather cleaner, apply a UV protectant to the seats, dash, console, and door panels.
If your vehicle smells musty after a long winter of accumulating crud, try a one-time use deodorizer fogger. This product gets into areas of your car you can not reach with any other cleaning product to permanently eliminate months’ worth of odors.
Wash your vehicle’s exterior by hand using a natural sea sponge or a micro-chenille wash mitt. Both are paint-safe and can scrub debris from your vehicle’s paint without causing scratches or swirls. Rinse the sponge or mitt frequently to release built-up dirt and debris.
Dry quickly with a specially-designed paint-safe squeegee and a large waffle-weave microfiber towel. Avoid using terrycloth, as it may cause swirls and will shed lint.
You may notice scratches or dings in your car’s paint that weren’t there last fall. It’s possible to permanently remove these with the Quixx Paint Scratch Remover 2-step repair system.
The application is easy, and you’ll see professional-quality results even with deeper scratches. Quixx Paint Scratch Remover works on all colors and gloss paint, including metallics. PDT (Plastic Deformation Technology) makes this product a test winner with America’s leading consumer magazine. The product also has TUV certification for proven effectiveness.
Handling small scratches in your car’s paint with the Quixx Paint Scratch Remover is a smart way to preserve your vehicle’s paint job without making an expensive trip to the body repair shop.
Spring cleaning your car may take a few hours of your time, but the results are well worth the effort. You’ll enjoy the summer months with a clean and well-maintained vehicle that only requires occasional maintenance to keep it looking well-cared-for.