Quick Tips For Improving The Look Of Your Car

Quick Tips For Improving The Look Of Your Car


Sometimes it really is what’s on the outside that counts.
That’s the opinion of many of today’s car owners who say they’re always on the lookout for ways to make their autos look better.

While many drivers turn to high-tech fixes, accessories and add-ons to change the look of their ride, many forget a simple-and inexpensive-step: waxing. Waxing helps protect a vehicle’s paint by minimizing the effects of wear and tear. But perhaps just as important, it can breathe new life into a faded paint job-helping your car look its best.

A thorough waxing can take less than 30 minutes-especially if you follow a few tips from the experts:

• Always wash the car thoroughly to remove surface dirt that can scratch the paint while waxing.

• Minor scratches and swirl marks caused by snow brushes, tree branches or improper care can be removed with a scratch and swirl remover.

• Apply wax evenly in a circular motion and always remove wax with a clean cloth.

Wax On, Wax Off

You may be surprised at just how far wax has come over the years. For instance, new Turtle Wax Ice looks more like baby oil than traditional car wax. It was designed to clean, shine and protect all exterior surfaces of a car, including plastic and rubber trim, without leaving residue.

“The paint on today’s cars has come a long way, but that exterior finish still needs to be cared for on a regular basis,” said Michael Schultz, head of the Turtle Wax Shine Center. “We developed the new Ice formula to provide better care for diverse exterior surfaces.”

For those who prefer to stick with traditional waxing methods, the original Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell and Platinum Series are used around the world.

Automotive Detailing: How to Clean Automotive Upholstery

Automotive Detailing: How to Clean Automotive Upholstery

Clean Interior
Source: Flickr

Maintaining or restoring the “looks-like-new” condition of their automobiles is a consuming interest for most car owners. Most owners are interested in preserving their investment, and in enjoying the full use of their vehicle as long as possible. Other owners are interested in restoring a vehicle to the best condition possible in order to sell it or get a good trade-in value. Still others are attempting to restore a vehicle as a hobby, joining the many proud owners of classic and antique vehicles. These consumers want quality automotive cleaning products that will enable them to refurbish their autos quickly, with as little effort as possible. One particular problem, especially with older vehicles, is how to clean automotive upholstery. Is it different from furniture upholstery? Can the upholstery be cleaned in place or must it be removed? Is it necessary to use products that are uniquely for these interior automotive fabrics?

Even new vehicles can become soiled. A misplaced cup of coffee, a forgotten and melted crayon, a wad of gum tracked into the car on the driver’s shoe, or a sick puppy can present a daunting cleaning problem. If the problem was neglected when it was fresh, or if it was only partially cleaned and then allowed to age with the car, it may be extremely difficult to remove. It is always best to deal with stains immediately.

By and large, the same product that will clean a leather or vinyl chair should work on a leather or vinyl car interior. Automotive carpeting should respond to the same techniques as household carpet, depending on the fibers used. The same can be said for fabric upholstery. Therefore, the first step in cleaning your car’s interior is to determine what it is made of.

Second, try to determine what may have created the stain. This step may be difficult if the stain has been there for a while or if you have just acquired the car. Spilled cola and grease may leave stains that are similar in color, but they would respond best to different types of spot removers. It is important to choose the correct automotive cleaning products for the job or stain.

Unusual stains should be dealt with first, before an attempt is made to clean and refresh the entire interior surface. Gum or other, similar, sticky substances need careful handling. There are products available now that will freeze them in place, changing their chemical composition, and thus allowing for easy removal by scraping them away.

Other messes, like the above mentioned crayon, also need special handling. Crayon is wax based, but also has pigment. Its removal may need two steps and two entirely different products, depending on how badly it has melted into the fabric. A product specially formulated for crayon removal is a good first step.
Sugar-based food and drink spills on fabric, even old ones, can be removed with a good spot remover. This step should be followed by a thorough steam cleaning. If these stains are on the stitching of vinyl or leather, they may respond to the spot cleaner alone. Grease-based stains should respond to being blotted with a good degreaser, such as Formula 21 Grease Stain Remover.

Once all the unique stains have been dealt with appropriately, give the interior a thorough, all-over cleaning, depending on the upholstery type. Leather and vinyl can be cleaned with a specially formulated product such as Fuller Vinyl and Leather Cleaner. Built-up grime on older seats may also respond to washing with a good degreasing product such as Fulsol All-Purpose Degreaser. Fabric seats and carpets should be able to handle a thorough steam cleaning. Care should be taken to not get the fabric too wet. Because the upholstery and carpet cannot be removed to dry, work slowly in small areas, and only dampen the surface enough to remove the soil. Leaving the doors and or windows open for a while after the cleaning is complete may also hasten the trying time. Check with the manufacturer before treating or steam-cleaning antique fabrics.

With a little pre-planning and care, and with the right automotive detailing products, you can become an expert in how to clean automotive upholstery.