It’s all in the Details – Part 2
Interior detailing – Do it like a pro!
So your car‘s systems are all running well (or if they aren’t, you’ve made an appointment at Pickering’s Auto Service). You’ve detailed the outside of your vehicle when you read last month’s blog…now it’s time for the inside.
Whether you’re trying to get that “just new” feeling back, or getting ready to take advantage of model year-end clearances, here are a few pro tips on how to detail the interior of your auto.
Pet Hair Pick Up
Use static electricity to your advantage. Put on a pair of cheap latex gloves and wet them slightly. Run them, against the grain, over the carpets and seats in your vehicle. The static buildup will cause the hair to come to the surface for easy removal.
Manual Beats Chemical
Mechanical agitation is better for removing crumbs, debris and hair from upholstery. Brush with a stiff nylon brush before you vac or put cleaner on the seats and carpets.
If more aggressive treatment is needed to clean upholstery and carpet, start with a little bit of fabric cleaner and a dry WHITE cotton cloth. We say WHITE for a reason, colored cloths and towels may bleed color onto your surface if not tested first.
Two for One
Wipe your glass in two directions. Do the interior glass horizontally. Do the exterior vertically. Then, when you see the inevitable streak – you’ll know which side of the glass needs more work.
The Stink Treatment
Your car’s soft surfaces can absorbed smells…everything from old burger wrappers left under the seats to wet dog. To fix this embarrassing problem, leave a small, open bag of charcoal in the car for a few days.
If the smells are coming from the seats and the previous suggestion doesn’t work, sprinkle the offensive area generously with baking soda. Leave the baking soda on overnight and vacuum it up in the morning. Your car will have that…well…NOTHING smell!
If you want a scent, you don’t have to buy those hanging deodorizers, either. Just take a wooden clothes pin and put on a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil. Clip it to a vent and turn on the heater or AC for a couple minutes.
Clean your Steering Wheel
This very important step is often ignored. Take a little Dawn Dishwashing Soap and a wet a rag. Wipe away dirt, grime, oils and germs. If it’s really grimey – use WD40.
WD40 works on gum stuck on seats, carpets and floormats, too!
The Paint Brush Trick
Use a soft haired paint brush to get rid of dust in the seat cracks, around knobs and on the dashboard. It will get into small spaces and won’t scratch the leather or molding.
BLOW don’t SUCK
For really dirty interiors, BLOW out the dirt with compressed air. Be sure to open ALL the doors before you start this or you’ll just be pushing dirt from one area to another. And, before you start, don’t be lazy – pick up loose wrappers, etc so that you aren’t littering them all over your yard and drive. Compressed air works great under seats, in the cup holders, vents, etc.
More than CUPS
Speaking of cup holders, if yours is holding more than just cups and the bottoms are full of dried, sticky spilled sodas, stuck on change and gooey, sweetened coffee leftovers, try this. Put some warm, soapy water in the bottom of the holder, take a glass that fits into the holder and cover the bottom with a microfiber towel secured to the glass with a rubber band. Rotate the glass back and forth to scrub, then reposition the towel and suck up any extra moisture.
This is SICK
If your kid/dog/college roommate got carsick, you can use club soda to clean up the stain. Assuming you, of course, picked up the major stuff (YUCK!) , pour a little club soda on what’s left behind and leave on for no more than five minutes. Gently blot with a clean, dry paper towel. Repeat as necessary. Club soda also works on coffee, mud, blood, and grass stains.
Using harsh chemical cleaners and moisturizers on your leather interiors can make them look good – for now – but over the years these can actually dry and crack your leather. Simple, cheap olive oil can do the job just as well, if not better. Start with a small amount and rub it in completely. Vaseline works, too!
Glob Out the Gunk
On hard-to-reach debris stuck in cracks and crevices, try this:
Mix ½ cup of corn starch with Elmer’s glue and water. You’ll get a glob of sticky stuff that can pick up those tough-to-get pieces of gunk. If you’re a parent of a younger child you probably have some Play Doh around; that will work too.
Use an Old Toothbrush or…
Around buttons and knobs, they can’t be beat…unless, of course, you have a q-tip!
We don’t know HOW it works, we just know THAT IT WORKS! Magic Eraser can save the day when you’ve tried everything and still can’t get the stains off of your upholstery.
And finally, in an article from autoblog.com one of their detail tips is ALWAYS LEAVE THE HEADLINER ALONE! Even a small amount of rubbing or vacuuming can cause the glue that holds it in place to fail causing it to wrinkle or even fall.
Trent Pickering offers, “We don’t see a lot of spotlessly clean cars when they are brought in for servicing. Life happens. Pets happen. Kids happen. That’s why we wrote this blog for you! We don’t do detailing work, but we do just about everything else to keep your vehicle in good shape. Brakes and engine repair, electrical and exhaust systems, air conditioning and heating…even tires! Just as in the routine maintenance we are always talking about - and giving you coupons so that you DO IT! - Prevention goes a long way in maintaining your car’s value. Detailing time can be kept at a minimum if you routinely wipe down surfaces, clean up spills, etc. just like breakdowns can be minimized when you routinely change oil, filters and follow manufacturer’s recommendations.”
If you missed last month's blog, check out Part 1 now!