Hiring a professional to detail a luxury car can cost hundreds of dollars. Why spend money on a job you can do yourself? Detailing a vehicle (and your new Savini Wheels) from home has never been easier, as you have all the necessary tools and resources at your disposal.
However, you can still make mistakes if you’re not careful. Here are seven common errors people make when detailing cars at home and how you can avoid them.
Wax gives your car a terrific smooth shine and adds another layer of protection, but too much can make the paint appear foggy. You only need two layers: one to set the foundation and a second to add the finishing touches. If you’re new to waxing, apply just one layer until you get confident with the process. You can never be too careful, especially with older models with special types of paint (like your treasured old school ride or dressed up donk).
Additionally, you must apply the wax correctly. Many people make the mistake of pouring it right onto the car’s surface, which often leads to an uneven coat and damages the paint color. Instead, use a foam applicator to gently rub the wax on the surface.
2. Using Household Detergents
Soaps and detergents made for household objects don’t have the same chemical properties as car cleaners. They can strip wax, rub away paint and cause stains. Don’t let their similar look and smell fool you. Always use proper cleaning products made exclusively for vehicle exteriors. Your car’s paint and protective layers will thank you for it.
3. Drying With the Wrong Towel
It’s vital to dry your luxury car with the right towel. A common dish towel can rub dirt and dust into the paint, while a microfiber version is soft enough to lift water and dirt from the vehicle without causing damage. Use two of them: one for cleaning and one for drying.
4. Overusing Chemicals
A ride’s carpeted floors go through a lot of use. They need a powerful chemical compound to soak in and remove all the dirt, but many people go wrong by leaving the products in for too long.
Even worse, they might neglect to wash out all the chemicals, which causes permanent damage to the carpet. Avoid overusing these products on your carpet by vacuuming the interior to remove the big stuff. You won’t have to use as much cleaner and can wash it out more easily.
The opposite logic applies to the rest of the car’s interior. The dashboard, steering wheel, center console and other high-touch areas need nontoxic cleaning products that you can safely get on your hands. Look for disinfectant wipes that contain at least 70% isopropyl alcohol to get good results without hurting yourself.
5. Washing in Direct Sunlight
You might think that a sunny afternoon is a perfect time to detail your car, but you’re better off moving to a shaded area or waiting for the clouds to roll through. Direct sunlight heats your vehicle no matter the outside temperature and causes it to dry faster, which could interrupt your washing process or prevent you from properly drying it with a microfiber towel.
Plus, hot cars are often painful to the touch. We’ve all accidentally burned our hands on door handles before. Save yourself the pain and move your vehicle out of the sunlight. Early in the morning or in the late afternoon are perfect times for washing your car rims and getting your ride so fresh and so clean.
6. Doing the Wheels and Tires Last
Newbies often save the wheels and tires for last because they’re so focused on cleaning the car’s body. Wheels are the dirtiest parts, so you risk getting grime and dirty water on your newly cleaned vehicle by leaving them until the end.
It’s a good idea to wash from the top down, but wheels of all shapes and sizes need a proper initial cleaning before moving on to the body. Additionally, make sure you use a solvent-free tire cleaner. Solvents can eat away at rubber tires and cause the surface to wear down faster.
If dirt has settled into your wheels and you think it’s time for an upgrade, give Savini’s SV-F Flow Form line a try. They’re made using advanced flow form wheel technology to be lightweight and strong. They’re perfect for performance-minded enthusiasts who want lighter wheels with style. These flow forged wheels come in a variety of styles and finishes to match your personality and car’s theme.
7. Using the Wrong Glass Cleaner
Glass requires a different cleaning product than the rest of your vehicle. Believe it or not, Windex and other common window cleaners don’t work on car glass. They contain ammonia, which can cause streaks and damage your interior if it trickles down. Look for ammonia-free options online or at your local hardware store.
Pamper Your Luxury Car
Detailing your luxury car is a fun activity, but it’s easy to mess up. Don’t feel bad if you make one of these mistakes — you aren’t the first person and won’t be the last. Just remember the solutions for each error.
Park out of the sun, get the right cleaning materials, start with the wheels first and make sure you apply the right amount of wax. Pamper your luxury car the way it deserves to be.
Author Bio: Oscar Collins is the founder and editor-in-chief at Modded, where he writes about cars, luxury topics and more. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates!