DIY | The Ultimate Spring Car Detailing
It is that time of year, finally!
Many of us will simply pay for a spring detailing at a local dealerships such as Pfaff Volkswagen, Pfaff Porsche, H.J. Pfaff Audi, Pfaff Audi, Pfaff BMW, or Hallmark Toyota – but many of us will either send the car through a quick wash or do a full detail ourselves.
To those who prefer to complete their own spring detailing, this is for you. If you are looking for more detailing (clay bar, polish & wax), all of our dealerships offer these services to make your car shine like new.
The detailing that goes into your car will set the bar for the rest of the year and determine how much upkeep you will need to do. The cleaner the car, the easier it is to maintain. Also, if you follow the instructions below, it should eliminate almost all salt, removing the risk of rusting.
Below you will find a shopping list of recommended products you should purchase, and keep handy to make sure you bring your vehicle back to that new-car look and feel.
Note: Items with a ‘*’ are highly recommended, where as all others are optional. It is also highly recommended to read and follow all instructions on products used.
Visit or call your dealerships parts department to purchase all necessary cleaning supplies.
Estimated Time: 4 hours
• Body Conditioner/Shampoo*
• Spray Detailer/Spray Wax*
• Rim Cleaner*
• Tire Shine/dressing*
• Window Cleaner (ammonia-free)*
• Leather Chamoi or Drying Cloth (micro-fibre)
• 4x Wax Applicator
• 1 Tooth Brush
• 10x Micro-Fibre Cloth
• Fabric Cleaner
• Leather Conditioner
• Leather Cleaner
• Interior/Trim Cleaner*
Finding an approach can be challenging because where you start is where you end. Follow this approach for the perfect clean. The following steps combine both exterior and interior cleaning/detailing to maximize your time.
1. Remove floor mats & clear garbage and other clutter from vehicle
2. Hand wash and fully dry vehicle. Wash plastic mats. Use chamoi to dry vehicle.
3. Open doors and wipe/dry door jambs (dry for now)
4. Vacuum interior (floors, seats, trunk/hatch, and mats)
5. Use interior cleaner and wipe dash, and all plastic components This includes stereo, instrument cluster, steering wheel (if rubber), e-brake, cup holders, interior doors, side panels, pedals, and all other visible plastic and rubber areas.
6. If applicable, use leather treatment to clean all leather surfaces, followed by leather balm or conditioner.
7. Use Fabric Cleaner to remove salt stains or other stains on seats. *Test a small area before full application.
8. Clean inside windows. Trick: soak a cloth with cleaner and wipe windows, use a dry micro-fibre cloth and re-wipe windows. Roll down window partially and clean the top portion. Roll up window.
9. Use glass cleaner to clean all screens, metallic components, gauges, and windshield. Apply to cloth then wipe, wipe again with dry cloth for polished look.
10. Using detailing spray, toothbrush and clean micro-fibre cloth. Apply detailing spray to cloth and wipe down door jambs, work around door hinges trying to remove all soot possible (if needed use toothbrush). For smaller crack/openings, slide cloth through and wipe back and forth a few times.
11. Clean more detailed spots around door. This includes trim, rubber parts, under door and in all cracks.
12. Do the same for the hatch.
13. Open engine compartment and with the same cleaning cloth, clean plastic on engine components, intake, battery and fuse compartment and all other areas where dirt exists. Use wheel shine (read instructions first), spray a cloth and wipe on engine. It should leave a transparent residue.
14. Use rim cleaner and clean all rims. Apply to cloth and wipe.
15. Use tire shine and shine all wheels (only the side-wall). Apply to cloth and wipe on.
16. Using spray shine/wax, soak cloth and apply section by section. Let dry and wipe off with clean cloth.
17. Using tire shine (note: make sure that tire shine is OK for trim). Apply to all plastic, vinyl and rubber parts. Wipe excess shine after.
18. Using window cleaner. Clean all windows. Soak cloth and apply, wipe down windows with a clean cloth.
19. Do a one over. Look at all crack and crevasses. Observe your vehicle form different angles to make sure nothing was missed.
20. Let car sit for 2-hours for all products to cure before driving.