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Maintaining a clean and well-detailed car not only makes it look great, but it also helps to preserve its value and extend its lifespan. While many car owners opt for professional detailing services, it is possible to clean and detail your car yourself with a few simple tools and products. In this blog, we'll share some tips and tricks to help you get started with DIY car cleaning and detailing.

Getting Started: Gather Your Tools and Products.  We reccomend using a variety of quality microfiber towels that can be found on oberkcarcare.com  

We curate a variety of our personal favorite towels from your favorite suppliers like The Rag Company and Autofiber.

Before you start cleaning and detailing your car, you'll need to gather a few tools and products. Here's a list of what you'll need:

  1. Car wash soap: Look for a car wash soap specifically designed for automotive use. Avoid using household cleaners, as they can damage your car's paint.

  2. Microfiber towels: Microfiber towels are soft, absorbent, and gentle on your car's surfaces. Use them to wash and dry your car, as well as for detailing tasks.

  3. Cleaning brushes: You'll need a few different types of cleaning brushes, including a soft-bristled brush for the wheels and a stiff-bristled brush for the grime and dirt on the undercarriage.

  4. Detailing clay: Detailing clay is a clay-like substance that removes contaminants from your car's paint. It is a great tool for deep cleaning and should be used before waxing or sealing.

  5. Car wax or sealant: Car wax or sealant will protect your car's paint and help keep it looking glossy and new.

  6. Glass cleaner: Use a good quality glass cleaner to clean the windows and mirrors on your car.

  7. Leather cleaner and conditioner: If your car has leather seats, you'll need a leather cleaner and conditioner to keep the leather looking soft and supple.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning and Detailing Your Car

  1. Rinse your car: Start by rinsing your car with a hose or a bucket of water. This will help to remove loose dirt and debris and prevent scratches when you start washing.

  2. Wash your car: Fill a bucket with water and add a few drops of car wash soap. Use a microfiber towel or a soft-bristled brush to wash your car, starting from the top and working your way down. Rinse the towel or brush frequently to prevent scratches.

  3. Clean the wheels: Use a stiff-bristled brush and a wheel cleaner specifically designed for automotive use. Be sure to clean the inside of the wheel wells as well as the wheels themselves.

  4. Use detailing clay: Detailing clay removes contaminants from your car's paint that washing can't remove. Use a clay bar and clay lubricant to work the clay over your car's paint. Be gentle and work in small sections, rinsing the clay frequently.

  5. Apply car wax or sealant: After your car is clean and free of contaminants, you can apply car wax or sealant to protect the paint. Use a microfiber towel to apply a thin, even layer, working in small sections. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and allow the wax or sealant to dry before buffing it off. Now Ceramic coatings have become popular, but we reccomend talkign to a profesional to understand more. There si a whole blog we could write on the misconceptions of ceramic coatings.

  6. Clean the windows and mirrors: Use a glass cleaner and a microfiber towel to clean the windows and mirrors on your car. Pay extra attention to the edges, as they tend to accumulate dirt and grime.

  7. Clean and condition the leather: If your car has leather seats, use a leather cleaner and conditioner to keep the leather clean and protected from UV damage.  Most newer leather has a top coat. Using a leather prtectant can help avoid staining from black or blue pants often refered to as "dye transfer"


While paint correction and high level detailing is always desired, the general maintenance goes a long way in preserving the vehicle for years to come, whether it has a ceramic coating or not. 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more blogs to come.

February 02, 2023 — David Patterson

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