When it comes to car detailing, there are a number of areas of your car that can benefit from a focused clean. A showroom finish is all down to the tools and technique you use, and a bad job can end in disaster. Below, we explore the different areas of your car that could use some extra attention and what’s involved in detailing those areas.
If you picture beautiful, supple leather seats and a gleaming dashboard that never dulls - you should consider regular leather treatments for your leather surfaces. The worst thing you can do for your leather is to leave it untreated. It will be likely to dry and crack over time, particularly if you’re often parked in direct sunlight or in high heats. There are many leather treatment products on the market, but be sure that you’re using a good quality treatment to truly extend the life of your leather surfaces. You may consider having your leather treatment done by professionals, which is an affordable alternative to doing it yourself. It takes an even application with care to achieve the best result without streaking, and should be completed at least every 6 - 12 months. With regular care your leather will improve with age like a fine wine and help your vehicle hold good value over the years.
CARPETS & FABRIC
Just like at home, the carpet and fabric surfaces in your car can hold onto lots of dirt and dust, which builds up over time. This can wreak havoc for those with allergies or asthma. Spills, dirty feet and regular passengers can leave unsightly marks that need your attention. When vacuuming alone won’t cut it, you should consider steam cleaning to help you lift dirt and stains and restore your interior to its former glory. There are domestic steam cleaning machines that you can hire for use on carpets and couches, but be aware that these can leave your seats and carpets sopping wet if the extraction process is not strong enough. A professional service will usually allow you to choose particular seats or one area of the car if that’s all you need. Otherwise, a reputable car care specialist will often have a package where they clean all fabric surfaces or the whole interior of the car (often including cleaning leather, plastics and trims too). While your surfaces may still be damp afterwards, the strength of professional machines will be more likely to remove as much water as possible. A good tip after steam cleaning is to leave your windows open slightly and run the engine with the heater on for half an hour or so, whilst supervising your car.
If your duco is looking a little dull, there are a number of ways you can restore its shine. Depending on the condition of your paintwork, a paint cleansing treatment may do the job. Also known as a ‘clay bar’, this kind of treatment will remove environmental grime that builds up on the paint from general exposure to the elements. If you run your hand over the bonnet before and afterwards, you’ll be amazed at just how smooth the duco will feel once complete. This kind of treatment involves a lot of elbow grease and is generally cost effective to save yourself the trouble and have it taken care of at your local hand car wash.
When your paint has deteriorated further, with superficial scratches visible to the eye, or staining from things like bird droppings and acid rain - a cut and polish is what you’ll need to bring back the showroom shine you’re craving. There are cutting pastes available off-the-shelf that you can use by hand, or otherwise a buffing machine for a bigger investment. However, undertaking a DIY cut and polish is fraught with danger. You risk leaving swirl marks across your car and buffing away layers of paint. When it comes to paintwork, restoration is definitely a job for the pros.