Paying attention to the details

Spring has sprung! Well… according to the calendar, at least.

The cold, snowy weather is still a constant threat here in New England, and honestly… I’m about to go absolutely bat-shit crazy. It has been an insufferable, long winter, and just like a lot of you, I’m dying for some sunshine, 60 degree weather, and a freshly grilled good ol’ American burger.

But as much as we’ve suffered, our cars have suffered more.

Taking the car to the local car wash has been a futile chore. As soon as we get that “superior” wash done, the snow rolls in soon after and the road sand once again blemishes our perfectly clean cars. And that same damn, annoying salt and sand on the roads get stuck on our shoes, which in turn gets all over our carpeting, in many cases absolutely ruining what once was a fantastic pair of floor mats.

If your car is your child like mine is, this winter gave you an ultimate dilemma: should we go outside in 20 degree weather and clean our car out completely? Or, should we stay inside and snuggle up our blanket and watch Netflix?

…More often than not, I chose the latter.

Thankfully, warmer weather will be rolling in soon, and that means one thing: MLB season has started, and the Yankees are going to slaughter the Redsox car detailing time!

A complete, professional vehicle detailing job can cost upwards to $200. That’s like… 800 cups of ramen noodles, or 40 $5 foot longs from Subway. You’re mostly just paying for their time and labor in completing the job, but if you have a free afternoon on your hands you can easily get professional detailing results by yourself.

1. Invest in wash and wax supplies

Washing your car by hand is a major plus if you want to sustain the look of your vehicle. The car washes are great and all, but all it really is is recycled, dirty water and giant brushes that may or may not be scratching your car. Get a bucket, a sponge, and some car “shampoo” instead. I promise, you’ll be more impressed by the results.

As far as waxing goes, this is by far the most tedious process when it comes to detailing. Purchase some wax and some microfiber clothes and slowly condition the exterior of your car in circular motions, being careful not to miss a spot. If you have plastic molding on your car, make sure not to get the wax on it: its difficult to get out, and will make previously black plastic an ugly, dirty white. Let it dry, and then gain some serious arm muscles by wiping it completely off.

It’s a must for car detailing, as a good wax can get rid of many small imperfections on your paint that have occurred during the winter months.

I typically take two days to wax my car, just because of how tired I get. It’s a workout, for sure.

2. Interior cleaner is a must.

Armor All is a car geek’s best friend. Routinely clean your car with Armor All to clean your dash and all plastic componets. It’ll restore it to almost original shine!

And don’t forget about leather seats! The worst thing about having leather is those awful cracks that always seem to come. So if you have leather seats, buy leather conditioner. It’ll not only clean the leather, but moisturize it, stopping it from cracking.

For those dirty floor mats and interior carpeting, purchase some carpet cleaner and go to town! Just make sure to follow the directions carefully, otherwise you may end up doing more harm than good.

3. Trim Restore

If you’ve ever owned a car with black plastic molding (such as the bumper or the mirrors), then you know how the sun really can turn that once brilliant black finish into a gray mess.

Crank up some ACDC, put some trim restorer on your car, and get back to black. Use it a few times during the summer when the sun is shining it’s hardest.

4. Don’t forget to brush your teeth! I mean… headlights.

There are plenty of products out there designed to get that foggy look out of your headlights and bring them back to total clarity. But you might not have to pay at all…

Rub some toothpaste into your headlights with a microfiber cloth, and slowly but surely it will defog your headlights and clear them right up.

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