There’s nothing more impressive than the shine of a new car. Though, no matter how new your current car is, chances are it doesn’t have the same shine as it did on day one.
Keeping your car’s condition looking perfect will preserve the car’s value. It’ll also appeal to potential buyers, making it easier to sell.
Having a perfectly detailed car doesn’t have to be a luxury. With elbow grease, you can detail your own car for a fraction of the cost of many car washes and detailing services.
So, even if your paintwork has begun to fade, it usually isn’t too late to put that shine back on your car. Read on for our top tips, to arm yourself with all the information you need to make your car paint shine like new.
What is Car Detailing?
‘What is car detailing?’ is a very common question. The term ‘detailing’ first became popular in America and caught on in the UK in the 90s.
Of course, we all wash our cars and have our cars washed. Though, there are different levels of cleaning a car.
A general car wash will take the form of a wash and vac. This involves a shampoo wash, a dry off using a towel to avoid streaks, and sometimes a spray wax. That’s as far as it goes.
Then, car valeting is another step up. Keep in mind that the more attention to detail, the more the wash will cost.
So, where does this turn into detailing? Well, detailing is when the wash goes deeper than what is on top of the paint. Firstly, a snow foam will remove any loose dirt. Then a clay bar will remove deep imperfections in the paint, such as tar.
A machine polisher is also a popular detailing tool. Used after the clay bar, it will remove any imperfections, whilst polishing the paint, leaving a swirl-free finish. This is then finished off using a good wax or sealant, to protect the bodywork.
How to Wash Your Car
1. Wash Your Car with Car Shampoo
Using car shampoo is one of the most vital steps towards making your car shine. If you use washing up liquid, most brands contain harmful chemicals such as bleach. This can break down the wax that protects the paintwork. Once this layer is damaged, you’ll likely notice your car paint turning dull and in some cases, even cracking.
Car shampoo will condition paintwork. This will stop the paint peeling due to age, ensuring a continuous glossy shine.
2. Apply a polish
Want to make sure your paintwork looks as good as the day it left the assembly line? We recommend that you apply a good quality polish. Car polish helps you smooth over any imperfections and scratches in your paintwork. Polishing your car is also necessary to achieve a perfect shine. It’ll remove blemishes, including surface scratches, swirls and even minor chips and scuffs.
3. Apply a wax
Once you’ve polished your bodywork, it’s a good idea to apply a coat of wax, to give a layer of added protection. This coat of wax will look glossy, protect your car’s paintwork from dirt and even enhance the shine.
4. Have any Paintwork Damage Repaired
Your car paintwork will never shine when it’s damaged. If your bodywork has key scratches, bumper scuffs or minor dents, it’s important to get this fixed.
Top tip: Take your car to a reputable specialist, such as Car & Truck (Bristol) Ltd. They are leading specialists of Car Bodywork in Bristol.
5. Don’t forget the glass
Now you have finished cleaning the bodywork and have a perfect shine, it’s also worth cleaning the glass. Use a glass cleaner and a clean microfibre cloth to make sure your windows shine – this is a perfect added touch.
Top Tip: Roll down your window halfway to ensure you can clean the upper edges of the window and ensure the whole window is clean.
6. Use Tyre Shine to go the extra mile
If you want to go one step further, ensure your tyres are sleek and shining. Wash over your tyres with a bucket of fresh, clean water and shampoo. Tyres are prone to holding dirt, grit and dust which you don’t want to spread over your paintwork! Use a tyre cleanser after shampooing to help scrub away excess dirt. Then, dry each wheel with a drying towel. Once dry, you can apply tyre shine. Nothing gives a more luxurious feel than clean alloys and smooth black tyres!
Whist detailing your car bodywork may seem to be more trouble than it’s worth. When you give it a go, it’ll be worth it. Your pride and joy will look amazing and you can sit back and appreciate all your hard work.