person car detailing front grill

To say that people love car shows in America is an understatement. Nearly 7 million households attend auto shows each year. Plenty more car enthusiasts love to attend and participate in classic car shows all around the country.

Are you one of those enthusiasts? Do you want to take your own vehicle out and show it off?

Then car detailing is a skill that you’ll need to master. We’re not talking about just picking up the trash and vacuuming the carpets. You want your car to be spotless for the show and here are some tips to help. 

1. The Clay Bar

Do you know how to clean the exterior of a car? Most people think it involves simply washing it down with mild soap and soft cleaning tools and then waxing it afterward.

If you do only this, you miss a very important step in true car detailing

Bonded contaminants cling to the paint’s surface so well that washing with soap and water doesn’t remove them. These contaminants can cause oxidation over time. 

To remove them, detailers use a clay bar. The clay bar dislodges those rooted contaminants and leaves the finish actually clean and smooth to the touch. Think of it as an exfoliating bar for your car. 

2. Polishing the Paint

If your paint is looking a little rough, you may want to polish the paint before putting on the protective coat of wax. This will remove light scratches, mild oxidation, and other blemishes. 

If you want to get an upper-body workout, you can polish your car by hand. If you prefer to zip along a bit quicker, opt for a polishing machine.

3. Clean the Engine Bay

The average car owner is happy with a thorough interior and exterior cleaning of their vehicle. Most people never even give a thought to what is under the hood.

However, for car enthusiasts like you, this extra step is well worth it.

A clean engine bay makes it easier for your mechanic to diagnose engine troubles. On top of that, it makes the car look impeccably maintained. This is helpful when you plan to sell your vehicle. 

Regardless, cleaning the engine bay also helps protect all the rubber and silicone parts from normal wear and tear.

4. Shampoo the Carpet

Vacuuming will pick up the loose dirt and debris on the floor of your car. But if you want truly clean carpets (and a fresher smelling interior) you’ve got to shampoo the carpet. 

Pull out the mats and scrub them down. Leave them in the sun to dry if possible for a fresh, outdoorsy scent. For best results, you’ll have to shampoo the carpet in your car as well. If you’ve been diligent about vacuuming the mats regularly, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

A Most Thorough Car Detailing

There you have it, four often overlooked tips to give your vehicle the best car detailing possible. To be clear, these aren’t all the steps, but ones you might not think of. 

Remember, when it comes to detailing your car and getting it ready for a show, there is clean and there is truly spotless. That’s what you’re aiming for and these tips will help!

Looking for more great car maintenance tips? Be sure to browse through the rest our blog.