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How to Detail Your Vehicle with Professional Car Care Products | NAPA

wiping off a dashboard

The Benefits of Detailing Your Vehicle

How often do you clean the interior of your car (and by clean, we don’t just mean throwing out the fast-food wrappers and old coffee cups)? Detailing, a professional type of automotive deep cleaning, is done to restore your vehicle back to fresh-off-the-lot conditions. Detailing typically takes a few hours and can easily cost you a couple hundred bucks. However, it’s a critical part of car maintenance if you want to retain the investment of your vehicle. The recommended frequency of getting your ride detailed depends on how much abuse your car endures. It’s always good practice to get a deep clean done about once every six months to keep your car looking spiffy.

From your inner wheel wells to the nooks and crannies of your dashboard, a proper detailing ensures peak presentation with no crumbs, spills or grime plaguing your ride. If you’ve got some time to spare and the right car detailing supplies, you are ready to roll up your sleeves to do the dirty work yourself. If you aren’t quite sure where to start, remember to consult the friendly experts at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store for the best tips, tricks and tools to get the job done!

The Supplies You Need to Detail Your Ride

You don’t always have to leave car maintenance up to the professionals. Detailing your own ride isn’t terribly complicated, but you’ll need specific car detailing tools and car care products if you’re trying to complete a professional-level cleaning yourself. To get that spotless dazzle back, make sure you’re well-equipped with a complete car detailing kit, including everything from a vacuum and gloves to car polish and buffing pads.

Your factory upholstery probably doesn’t look as good as it once did. Cargo mayhem, carpooled kids and tracked dirt can all wreak havoc on your fabric or leather. The good news is that a little elbow grease and the best car detailing products can help you wipe away the visible (and not-so-visible) build-up of grime, grease and whatever else hides within the crevices of your cabin.

  • Get Out the Dust Busters

A handheld vacuum will absorb crumbs and dust plus is the first step to interior cleaning. However, to tackle those matted stains and fibers, you’ll want to use a steam cleaner to further disinfect and sanitize after applying some heavy-duty carpet and upholstery cleaners to completely eliminate any blemishes. Once you’ve covered every inch of your cabin (even under the seats), make sure to give your floor mats and smaller compartments a deep scrub.

  • Leave No Surface Left Untouched

Studies show that your steering wheel contains as many (if not more) germs as public toilets, so it’s best to stay on top of your antibacterial cleaning supplies. If you’ve got leather seating, apply protective leather cleaner to remove grime and leather conditioner to keep your leather smooth, oiled and soft. And, don’t forget to wipe those window smudges with a serious glass cleaner for pristine visibility. Remember to take your time here, and make sure you treat every sneaky spot, crack and vent that may house those dusty, germy particles.

  • Perform an Intense Car Wash

After you’ve restored your cabin to OEM conditions, you can work on a comprehensive, deep clean. Grab a creeper seat to get down to business. Like a traditional car wash, you’ll need some buckets, sponges and cleaners that can break down the dirt, mud and environmental grime that’s basically molded onto your vehicle. Start with the top body, and then work your way to the doors and tires. You’ll want to have specialized tire cleaner and tire brushes that can scrub off packed-on mud and lodged rocks.

  • Restore That Polish

As tempting as it is, don’t let your vehicle air-dry. Grab some microfiber towels to wipe all the lingering moisture away to prevent ugly water spotting. Before you grab that polish, take an extra step by buffing your car to remove the effects of oxidation and bring unmatched shine to your exterior, including your headlights. Buffing pads for cars are sold in the form of foam, wool and microfiber. The best buffing pads for car detailing will depend on how abrasive your exterior is due to build-up. Once you choose the right buffing pad, make sure you’re gentle and slow to avoid accidental damage. Finally, you’ll want to choose the best car polisher you can find along with a sealing wax to lock in that luster. You can even top off your ride with that new car scent for the final touch!

Good as New, and Done by You

After restoring your vehicle to peak conditions, you’ll marvel at its gleaming, new-like shine and wonder how it could ever look any different. Your hard work has paid off! By having your own collection of professional car care products and learning the process of DIY automotive detailing, you’ll save time, money and the hassle of relying on experts. Keeping up with your car’s cleanliness and cosmetic appearance will only add value to your ride in the long run. With a little hard work, the right tools and some NAPA Know How, you can bring your vehicle back to mint condition and enjoy the luxury of that new car feeling all over again.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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More than 90 years ago, the National Automotive Parts Association ("NAPA") was created to meet America’s growing need for an effective auto parts distribution system. Today, 91% of do-it-yourself customers recognize the NAPA brand name. We have over 6,000 NAPA AUTO PARTS Stores nationwide serving all 50 states with a unique inventory control system that helps you find the exact part that you need.

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