One of the first things customers notice when they collect their repaired vehicle from us – is that it’s clean. REALLY clean! (That’s because we give it a thorough interior and exterior clean).
The next question we’re often asked is “What did you use? How can I keep it this clean?” Today, we’re giving you our insider tips on how to get the best result from your next car clean!
Windows and windshield
- A microfiber cloth and a spray of water work well and won’t cause streaks.
- Roll down the windows a few inches to get the grime on the top edges.
- For the rear window, use the back of your hand so you don’t strain your wrist.
Dash and doors
- Using an electrostatic dust cloth, sweep the dash, knobs, vinyl surfaces, and plastic trim.
Floor and seats
- Start by taking out the floor mats and shaking them [well away from the car – you don’t want that dust to re-settle on your clean dash or duco]. If you don’t have floor mats, get them―they protect the carpeting and can be replaced if stained or worn.
- Vacuum the mats, the seats, and carpet, in that order. Slide the front seats all the way back and make sure to get the debris (spare change and fossilised French fries) from under the front seats. Then move the seats all the way forward and vacuum underneath from the backseat.
- Tilt the seats back so you can get the nose of the vacuum down in the cracks.
A warm, sunny spot might seem like the perfect place to wash and dry your car, but it guarantees streaks. Wash in the early morning or evening, or in a shady area.
- Hose off loose dirt.
- Lift the windshield wipers and spray the cracks below both windshields.
- Blast the undersides of the wheel wells and the hubcaps.
- Make sure your wash mitt is clean – give it a rinse off. If your mitt is dirty, it will contain grime that can easily ruin the finish because of your car.
- One-eighth of a cup of mild dishwashing liquid, in a bucket of water is fine for unwaxed finishes. Starting with the roof, soap an arm’s-length-size section with your wash mitt and rinse it immediately. Then tackle the front, the sides, and the boot, in that order, using the same method, so you go from most to least clean for the sake of the soapy water.
- To prevent streaking, don’t suds up the windows (you’ll wash them separately).
- Use a separate sponge to scrub only the especially grimy areas: the windshield wipers and the tires. Save the right front wheel for last because it gets the dirtiest.
- To remove tar, saturate a cloth with a mixture of 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon linseed oil; rub into the tar and remove.
- Rinse off your car, making sure to power the soap out of nooks such as the rim of the petrol cap cover, under the door handles, and the innards of the side-view mirrors. If you don’t rinse thoroughly, soap seeps out and streaks the car.
- Before water spots have a chance to mar the finish, use a towel to mop up the surface. Fold the towel as it gets damp.
- If you have a chamois, use it to mop up any remaining dampness.
- Remember to dry spots like the roof line just above the windows, which could spill excess water later when you move the car.
- Bugs, grease, and grime make auto glass harder to clean than the windows in your house. For cleaning windows and bug-spattered headlights, try a solution of one part white vinegar to two parts water.
- To avoid streaking, give the window weather stripping a few hours to dry before you roll down the windows.
In Between Washes
You won’t need to do the full clean-up every time. But quick touch-ups between bi-weekly washes (yes, every two weeks folks) can make them easier.
- If you live in a dusty area or frequently pass road construction, hose off the car between washes.
Brighton Panel Works specialises in prestige car repairs, providing services ranging from panel beaters and paintless dent removal to courtesy cars. We are experienced in repairing all prestige car models, including Range Rover, Audi, Volkswagen, Lexus, Volvo, Porsche, Mercedes and BMW. Our clients come from all across Melbourne, including Hampton, Glen Iris, Toorak, Armadale, Malvern, Brighton, Elwood, Elsternwick, Bentleigh East and more.