How to Detail Your Car at Home Like a Pro

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Keeping your car clean isn’t just about looks! Regular detailing can help maintain the resale value of your ride–and prevent expensive problems down the road.

You don’t have to pay a ton of money every month for a professional detailing service. Instead, use these tips to keep your car spotless at home.

Rinse First

Put down the soap! Before you start washing, rinse your car with plain water first. You’ll remove most of the dirt with a quick spray from the hose. Then you can start washing with soapy water and other cleaners.

Use the Right Products

Speaking of soap, put down the dish detergent! If you’re going to detail your car at home, then invest in a bottle of actual car wash soap. DIY is great for crafts, but not so helpful when it comes to caring for your car.

Always Dry After You Wash

Never let water dry naturally on the exterior of your car after washing. This can cause water spots–and those are tricky to remove. Dry the body and windows with a soft cloth or chamois to completely absorb all the water.

Don’t Neglect This Hidden Spot

The top part of your windows is usually hidden… until you roll them down and discover grime and gunk! Cleaning that edge of the window will help prevent streaks and even preserve the rubber seals since grime won’t build up in them.

Get Intense with Your Vents

Car vents get nasty with dust over time. And because of the way they’re constructed, a vacuum doesn’t do that much good on those little louvered slats. Take a small, cheap paintbrush and get in there to knock out all the dust. Use a little dusting spray or furniture polish on the bristles for maximum effectiveness.

Lube the Hood Latch

Nobody ever thinks to clean this small, yet important part of their car. The latches on the hood can easily become clogged with grime and grease buildup if you’re not careful. Over time, the metal can even rust. Clean with a rag, then hit it with a little WD-40. You can also lube the latches on your doors and gas cover while you’re at it.

Brush, Then Vacuum

If you’re like me, then vacuuming your car is the worst. I put it off as long as possible, but eventually it’s got to be done. Before you vacuum, however, make sure that you’ve already brushed all the crumbs and dust from the doors, dash, console, and vents.

Then use a stiff brush to pull up all the hidden dirt in the carpet. This extra step makes a huge difference! You’ll get so much more of the dirt and debris out of your carpets by taking the time to brush them first.