10 Car Detailing Tips to Preserve Your Car’s Value

It’s obvious that the better a car looks, the more it’s worth. The point of this article is to teach you how to detail your car properly so you can keep it looking good without spending lots of money on a professional detailer.

1. Pull the tags off your microfiber towels

Microfiber towels are used when cleaning about every surface on a car. This means scratches almost everywhere on your car if you don’t follow this rule.

One thing people often overlook is the tags on these towels. They are abrasive. Simply yank them off as soon as you buy the towel. The towel won’t fall apart.

2. Use automotive detergent

Using dish soap is not only insufficient, it’s also terrible on your paint. It’s strong stuff. It strips the surface of all its wax. That will leave your paint exposed to the sun’s damaging rays.

3. Rinse off as much gunk as possible before scrubbing

Debris left on a car’s painted surface will act as an abrasive while scrubbing. Be liberal in your rinsing process. Get off as much dirt, road tar, and bugs as possible with just water. It’s advisable to rinse wheel wells and the front bumper first. Move onto the rinsing the rest of the car. Go back to the wheel wells and front bumper later. The first rinse will turn the dirt into mud. The second rinse should rinse most of the mud away.

4. Use straight motions

I often see people washing their cars in a circular motion. It feels natural to make circles. I used to do it until about 3 years ago. However, scrubbing in circles causes swirls. Scrub back and forth in straight lines. If straight scratches occur, they’re at least far easier to remove than swirls.

5. Avoid silicon-based cleaners

These are dangerous because their use can lead to the material you’ve been cleaning to dry out, crack, break, and just look terrible.

6. Wax your paint, windows, wheels, headlights, and taillights

Yep, automotive wax isn’t just for your paint! About every 6 months, wax the entire car – and I do mean ENTIRE car. Waxing your paint keeps it protected. Waxing your windows makes them shine as well as bead off water. That’s especially useful for side windows that don’t have wipers. The water will just slide right off – with nothing left to obstruct your visibility.

Waxing your wheels makes them easier to clean. The reason why most wheels look dingy is because of baked on brake dust. Wax will create a barrier between the dust and the surface of the wheel. During the next wash job, the dust will easily wash away.

You know how most car headlamps are yellowed and dingy looking? It’s because the protective surface has been worn away. Bug guts, UV rays, and bits of road debris have slowly destroyed the protective surface. Wax will keep that from happening. It’ll protect the surface from alien contaminants. It only takes about 3 minutes to massage in and buff out wax. This is a lot cheaper than having to purchase one of those headlight restore kits in the future – those things require a lot of elbow grease.

7. Vacuum creases in seats

Crumbs and other nonsense tend to settle in the crease (or stitching points) in the seat. With debris trapped in there, it serves as an abrasive to the seating material. If you look closely at leather seats especially, you’ll notice they look tired and cracked around the stitches – this is why. Don’t just wipe down seats, vacuum them properly.

8. Remove bird poop immediately

Bird poop is highly corrosive. Remove it right away to keep it from eating through you wax and into your paint. Use a wet microfiber towel to wipe it off. DO NOT use a paper towel – it’s far too abrasive.

9. Wash after rains

Despite what many believe, your car isn’t actually cleaner after a rain. Especially in cities, rain contains pollutants we’ve sent up to the clouds. That nasty stuff then rains down on your car. After the rain passes, wash your car with clean soap and water.

10. Shake out floor mats regularly

Just like cleaning your seats, this action is also meant to remove abrasives. Floor mats get covered in small rocks. Your feet then smash these small rocks into the pile of the floor mat carpeting. This makes the floor mats wear out prematurely. Every once-in-awhile, shake out your floor mats. It only takes about a minute to do the entire car and it’ll keep the interior feeling new! Clean floor mats really do make a big difference.

Those are my 10 Car Detailing Tips to preserve your car’s value. Shine on!