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Detailing Your Car

May 6, 2008
If you're like me, you cannot stand it when people get in your car with fast food or some other messy item like muddy shoes- you know- things that are going to make it a headache for you if you end up having to clean it off of the upholstery. Most people care about their cars. After all, they more than likely spent a ton of money. For most people, buying a car is the first major purchase that they'll make. Buying a house is usually the second major purchase. So, it's no wonder that after buying your first car that you'd want to work hard to keep it clean. For some of us, keeping our vehicles clean is a little more difficult because life throws us many distractions such as children, odd or long work schedules, business trips, etc. However, you should always make time to take care of the vehicle that gets you around.

It's in the Details!

Detailing your car is exactly what it sounds like. You are basically taking your car and paying close attention to every detail. Typically taking care of the exterior of your car will include things like:

- Washing and waxing your car
- Checking the tire pressure as well as tire tread wear
- Making sure all fluids (ex: windshield washing fluid, brake fluid, etc.) is filled
- Changing your oil (if necessary)

Interior Details

Not to discount the exterior of your vehicle, but the outside of your car will inevitably get dirty and scratched over time. It is still good to keep it as clean as you can, though. However, since the interior of your vehicle is where you will typically spend the majority of your time, this is where you'll want to focus the most attention. You'll need to get some cleaning supplies first such as car wipes, a microfiber cloth, a vacuum, a garbage bag, glass cleaner, upholstery cleaner, and an air freshener (optional). Next, there are some general steps that you should try to follow:

1. Throw it Out- Take everything out of your vehicle. This includes everything that is buried in your glove box. Put it somewhere (preferably in a bucket beside the car) where you'll be able to access. After you've finished emptying all of the junk out of your car, go through each item and determine whether or not you really need it. This can be decided simply by thinking about the last time you actually used it. If you don't need it, chuck it.

2. Windows- Using the glass cleaner, spray the solution on the windows, and using the microfiber cloth, go over the window so that it is streak free. Typically, you'll want to start with the front windshield and work your way to the back.

3. Wipe it Down- Using your cleaning wipes now, wipe down all the plastic or vinyl areas of the car such as the dashboard, steering wheel and door handles, etc.

4. Vacuum it Out- After everything has been wiped down, go ahead and vacuum everything out.

5. Remove Stains- After you've vacuumed, examine your vehicle for any stains. If there are any, use the stain remover to remove them.
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