Your Complete Guide to Detailing – Part 2
OK! We now have all the tools to tackle everything from engine detailing to paint correction!
So if you are ready to go, lets start our detail.
Unless the interior detailing consists of nothing but a wipe down, I always detail the interior first. Always. My reasoning is this: If the exterior is dialed in already, why let it sit and collect dust, or worse, while I am cleaning the inside of a car? Interiors can take a few hours sometimes.
Here are my steps to a complete interior detail:
Remove everything loose from the car (make sure to look under the seats and between them as well.). Empty the glove box, and also look inside the armrest.
Vacuum the whole interior very thoroughly.
Use your steam cleaner if you have one, to get into crevices and the vents on the dash and blow out all remaining debris. Compressed air will also do the trick. If you don’t have air or steam, use a wet micro fiber towel and wipe the area as well as you can. For the vents, I spray a gentle cleaner and use this brush to clean. Vacuum again.
Next, take a clean micro fiber towel and your ALL PURPOSE CLEANER or a specific type cleaner and wipe down the interior. Use a brush to agitate stains in carpets and floormats. Make sure to spray the cleaner solution onto the towel and then wipe. Don’t ever directly spray chemicals on the seats, whether they are covered in leather or cloth. Be smart and safe. Nobody likes permanent stains. For stubborn dirt, use a gentle brush.
Don’t forget to clean the headliner. Often time, you will find fingerprints, and soft drink splatter up there. Be extra gentle with headliners, because some of them are very thin.
Seat belts – if the stains are stubborn, this is where you “can” spray your interior degreaser directly onto the fabric. Use a stiff brush to agitate. Repeat process if need to.
Once all plastic, vinyl, cloth or leather surfaces are cleaned, I move on to cleaning the windows. Use a dedicated window cleaner to make sure that you can do the job properly, especially, if the car is a neglected one. I always clean the rear window first, as this is usually the hardest one to clean. Next is the windshield and lastly I finish up with the side/door windows. Do pay close attention to the side windows and roll them down an inch or so, so that you can clean the edges, that most people miss. You will see build up of dirt – sometime I have to use a polish to get it all clean, if the window cleaner didn’t work.
Once the windows are done, I move onto protecting all vinyl, leather, plastic.
If the vehicle has wood or metal trim trim, I normally do more than just a wipe down. I use HD SPEED my favorite All In One polish and gently polish the trim get the maximum shine possible and the product will leave protection behind as well.
If some of the interior protectant or leather conditioner ended up on the windows, please use a Quick Detailer or a window cleaner to clean off the residue. Make sure to not spray the glass directly, spray the product on the towel and wipe clean the area.
Double check everything one more time and if the interior is in mint condition, you are ready to move on to do the exterior!