It’s that time of year when we all need to save some money here and there after the extra expense of luxuries at Christmas.

Ever thought about cleaning your own car? Not only will it save you some money but it can also provide you with a much needed work-out after all the Christmas extravagance.

Here’s a run-down of how to keep your car looking and smelling great.

Polish polish polish

Don’t use dish cleaning soap to clean your car. This will strip away any protection your auto paint still has. Instead make a small investment into some auto cleaning solution that will actually bring out the shine in the paint while also giving a layer of protection against scratches and stains.

Polish is supposed to make the auto paint shine and smooth the surface of the paint. So why not go all the way and use an oscillating buffer for an even better finish?

Here’s a good pro trick. Hold a ruler perpendicular to the paint on your newly polished car. The higher the number you can read reflected in the paint the more polished it is!

Wax

Wax is meant to protect the paint and when you bought your car new from the dealer it would have had a coat. However over time that coat of wax will have worn away within months so don’t forget to add a fresh coat.

Glass windows

Leave the glass until last because it will have dirt from the previous parts you cleaned.

Use a microfibre cloth for the best look. This will take care of any residual cleaning solution that can cause streaks on the insides of your windows.

Don’t forget to roll the windows down a little to clean the top edges.

Also don’t skimp by using just a wet rag. Watermarks can seriously impair visibility when you need it most. Glass cleaning solution is inexpensive and can help to treat the glass where minerals may have deposited.

Keep that new-car smell longer

The trick to accomplishing this without resorting to air fresheners is to use a portable compressor to blow the dirt out of air-conditioning ducts with compressed air. Target the compressed air at the contours of the ducts behind vent grilles. This is where dust can stick and turn into dirt which can create that musty smell in your car.

If your vehicle has a cabin air filter you can change it or just blow away the dust.

Nooks and Crannies

If you want to get serious about the inside of your car the way to do it is by hiring an air compressor to blow the dirt out of the nooks of your car’s floor. Once they are out of their little hiding places you should find it easy to simply pull up the dirt with your vacuum cleaner.

Also use brushes with stiff bristles to pull up stubborn dirt and stains from carpets and seats. Of course if you have leather seats please don’t use brushes on them. Instead use some leather cleaning products infused with conditioning oils to not only clean the leather but also to treat it.

Detailing

These days taking care of your car’s appearance has never been easier with improvements in auto paint and the cleaning products available to the mass market. Advancements have made their way from the professionals down to the ground level car enthusiasts.

On the other hand this does not mean that you should tackle any job yourself. When it comes to detailing you should either proceed with caution or seek help from a professional. A professional who uses a rotating buffer to clean and resurface paint with wool would be the first to tell you that these machines are not for amateurs. When carrying out detailing tasks the order of the tasks is of utmost importance.

If your paint has a deep scratch going through to the metal of your vehicle the best way to fix the blemish is by sanding and then filling the scratch with the right paint using a pinstriping brush. You might be tempted to have a go at blending this with the surrounding paint but it takes serious experience. For this type of fix it is better to go to a professional.

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