My goal with these free auto detailing tips are intended for two type of situations:
If you are like most, you probably find yourself getting overwhelmed at the thought of learning all kinds of new information just to perform the basic requirements to keep your car clean, protect your investment, and retain the resale value of your car...without being overwhelmed by the thought of learning new products and complex techniques.
Many people suddenly take a look at their car and realize how they have neglected their car and instantly become overwhelmed at the thought of trying to clean tier car to an acceptable level, without feeling so overwhelmed by the thought of learning the endless products and techniques.
Regardless of which position you find yourself, if you are new to the world of cosmetic car care it can be an intimidating proposition for most people.
Any person such as yourself often looks at their car, then looks inside their car and quickly freezes at the intimidating awareness of all the many materials your car is constructed with.
This moment becomes quickly daunting to most people trying to learn how to take care of each material and the product knowledge they must learn in order to get the results they are looking for.
Just know that you do not have to tackle everything at once. I always recommend you start with the very basics, get a handle on those, build some confidence in the process, then move forward based on you and your abilities.
Any trip down the car care aisle will make your head spin in circles as you are overwhelmed by the many brightly packaged products, all claiming to be the best!
If you are like me, I go into anxiety mode just looking at all the brightly colored packaging of the endless choices in car wash soaps, car waxes, car interior shampoos, and the endless tire dressings.
Chances are you wouldn't be here if you didn't have some basic interest in restoring, maintaining, and adding some additional beauty to your car.
You may have a new car you want to keep looking new. You may have an older car due for some cleaning and detailing due to deferred maintenance.
I will break this down for you as a person based on your needs and commitment to your car. regardless of whether you have a new car or a car with way too much dirt and neglect.
I will start here as washing your car is step one as this is the most basic of requirement, and also the starting point if you want to perform other duties of polishing and waxing of your car.
Chemical Guys HOL121 Best Car Wash Bucket Kit (11 Items)
Adam's Essentials Complete Car Detailing Upgraded Kit - The Essentials for Detailing by Hand - Clean, Protect, and Shine Your Entire Car - Retain The Value of Your Car with Proper Car Care
Daren's Tips: If you had to pick a single car detailing kit that delivers the most bang for your buck; this kit would be my free auto detailing tip to you!
Comes with the specific products needed for washing your car, decontaminating your car paint, cleaning your wheels, cleaning your windows, dressing your tires, etc.
ALSO comes with the tools necessary to use these many products to perform these necessary requirements.
The amount of money and time you will save through the purchasing of a quality and comprehensive detailing kit like this is more than most people can even appreciate unless you have spent the time and money trying to review and source all the products and tools individually.
Based on which of the kits above you may have chosen if you did, nether of them include any form of a dedicated car wax that you will want to apply to your car on a regular basis.
But before you wax your car, there is this stuff called air pollution (in the detailing community we refer to this pollution by the glorified name of industrial fall-out)
The air you breathe is filled with all kinds of particles (too small to really be seen) that settle onto your car paint. Some of these particles (tail pipe emissions, factory emissions, basic smog, etc.) will bond and etch into your car paint and glass.
It is not absolutely necessary to remove these bonded paint contaminants, but you would have to accept that you will officially be putting wax on top of these paint contaminants unless you do what is called paint decontamination.
If you want a complete understanding on the subject and more choices in clay bar kits you can see my page of detailing clay. But for now I will offer up a quality kit that will decontaminate your car paint, but not overwhelm you with endless options of the countless clay bars, and versions of decontamination "tools".
Chemical Guys CLY_113 OG Clay Bar & Luber Synthetic Lubricant Kit, Light/Medium Duty (16 oz) (2 Items)
Darren's Tips: Detailing clay (most commonly called the clay bar or claying your car) is a very important step in your car detailing efforts. As part of my free auto detailing tips I can tell you from experience that most people are completely amazed at how their paint feels once they have washed, clayed, and waxed their car.
I could overwhelm you with endless recommendations in detailing clay or clay bar kits like the one's below, but I am going to keep things simple here.
If you choose to take the necessary effort to use a clay bar on your car, you are in for a treat.
Your car will feel like waxed glass and will put a smile on your face bigger than you have probably experienced in a very long time!
If you do get the Adam's Ultimate Detailing Kit then you don't need to get this detailing clay separately as the Adam's kit comes with detailing clay.
Very few subjects of car care are more accepted, but also more frustrating sue to the endless choices in car waxes and the endless opinions from people who claim to be offering the best car wax for your car.
While I could do the same at my best car waxes page, I am going to keep things super simple here with my number one, top rated car wax I use both professionally and personally on my own cars.
"The best car wax is the car wax that makes it onto your car more often, not less often!"
If you took the time to read through my free detailing tips above which have everything to do with the exterior detailing, care, and maintenance of your cars paint, I want to cover the interior of your car.
Anyone looking into their car will quickly realize what appears to be a display of endless materials. materials you likely think will require special products and processes to clean and detail.
Cleaning and detailing your car upholstery can seem more intimidating to people due to the endless materials in their car as well as the endless materials used to make modern day cars:
While cosmetic car care manufacturers will make dedicated products for virtually every material within your car, it can be made much more simple than what you will try and be taught or have lead to believe by the endless bad information circulating on the Internet.
My free auto detailing tips will now help guide you through the process of cleaning, shampooing, and detailing the interior of your car so you can get professional results with minimal effort.
When it comes to the interior of your car, one of the best free auto detailing tips I can offer is this:
"Your car interior can be very intimidating as you look and observe all the many materials. Just know I can help guide you through this and help you get the results you are after!"
I totally get it!
The inside of your car is filled with many materials that scare many people at the thought of trying to clean all these materials.
But continue to follow along as I break down the essentials car upholstery cleaners, tools, and steps that will take the scare factor out of detailing and cleaning the inside of your car.
Adam's Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner - Easy to Use and Effective on Even The Worst Stains - Safe, Non-Toxic and Hypoallergenic (16 oz)
Darren's Tips: I love this upholstery shampoo! Very effective for all your car interior cleaning needs. (can even be used to clean car leather, or yo can opt for dedicated car leather cleaners and conditioners below)
One of my most important free auto detailing tips when it comes to cleaning and shampooing your car upholstery is to do light, repeat applications until you achieve desired results instead of heavy applications of any car upholstery cleaner.
Chemical Guys CWS_103 Foaming Citrus Fabric Clean Carpet & Upholstery Shampoo (16 Oz), 16. Fluid_Ounces
Chemical Guys ACC151 Secondary Container Dilution Bottle with Heavy Duty Sprayer, 16 oz., 1 Pack
What good is finding the best car upholstery cleaners if you don't have the right tools!
Don't underestimate the power of the right scrub brushes and detailing brushes to go from good to great. From marginal results to professional results!
I will cover what I consider the essentials of tools you will need to clean and/or detail the inside of your car.
From vacuuming to scrubbing, to moping up your dirt and grime with the right detailing and cleaning cloths.
RIDGID 50313 4000RV Portable Wet Dry Vacuum, 4-Gallon Small Wet Dry Vac with 5.0 Peak HP Motor, Pro Hose, Ergonomic Handle, Cord Wrap, Blower Port
Darren's Tips: While this vacuum itself is all you need and then some for cleaning and detailing your cars interior (also a general utility vacuum separate from your traditional household vacuum cleaner), it is lacking on what I call more detailed vacuum attachments that will prove very useful in actually detailing your car versus just basic vacuuming.
See the accessory hose kit below as my "go-to" vacuum hose accessory kit for much more thorough cleaning or for the finer detailing of your cars interior.
RIDGID VT2534 6-Piece Auto Detailing Vacuum Hose Accessory Kit for 1 1/4 Inch RIDGID Vacuums
Darren's Tips: When you start adding up all this equipment and products just to clean and/or detail your car it can get expensive quickly. Many of you will try and vacuum your car with your household vacuum. While many household vacuums now come with more useful accessories and longer hoses, you will still struggle to use your household vacuum to clean and detail your car.
If you are a beginner, you will most likely underestimate how important vacuuming in general is (specificity to all those proofs materials in your car) which only mans having the right kind of vacuum is that much more important.
It's not about the power of a vacuum specifically that makes a dedicated detail vacuum so important, it is far more about a vacuum that is not only made for these types of vacuuming jobs, but a vacuum designed for use on these types of jobs.
Trust me when I say (this is directed specifically to any true beginner) that cleaning and detailing your car takes a lot of energy. While there are many of us (yes; me specifically) that finds cleaning our cars therapeutic, most people consider it a necessary evil.
And because of this it is a job made up of many smaller jobs that are easily kicked down the road. Down the road over and over until your car is a disaster and you are faced with a daunting challenge you might feel completely incapable of tackling.
And this is the very specific reason having the right products, the right tools and breaking the process down by starting with the basics is so important.
Because you are going to want to keep kicking this can down the road and the problem is only going to grow!!
Upholstery Cleaner Scrub Brush Set Cleaning Brush and Horsehair Detailing Brush for Car Interior, Seats, Boat, Couch, Sofa and Carpet
Detail Factory Ultra-Soft Detailing Brush Set
Kirkland Signature Ultra High Pile Premium Microfiber Towels, 36 Count (Pack of 1), Yellow - 713160
Darren's Tips: I use these virgin micro-fiber cloths for the more delicate tasks of detailing (applying wax, removing wax, apply quick detailers to the paint, cleaning car leather, etc.
Once they start being used and going through the washing process, I down-grade these cloths to more dirty jobs of detailing and cleaning until the point where I collect them in my garage for dirty clean-up of spills and dirty work where I know longer even want them near my washing machine.
We are buried in choices when it comes to proper paint care. Many people express their frustration by being overwhelmed by so many choices and so many other free auto detailing tips.
It is my attempt with these free auto detailing tips, to offer a simplified approach of proper paint care that not only covers the required basics, but if followed will provide a level of visual enhancement most people lack the ability to get.
If you did nothing else but the above recommendations, you would be ahead in knowledge and results of 98% of people out there with regards to proper car paint care.