Step-by-Step Instruction for Detailing the Outside of Your Car

By Product Expert | Posted in Tips and Tricks on Monday, November 25th, 2019 at 5:35 pm
Back window of vehicle with dust and wash me! written on it

How to Detail the Exterior of a Vehicle

A car detail is basically a deep clean to the interior and exterior of a vehicle and is intended to return it to its original condition. Detailing the exterior of a vehicle is not the same as car washing, instead, it includes cleaning, using detailing clay, polish, and wax. Interior detailing involves cleaning the interior of a vehicle using steam-cleaning and vacuuming techniques. There are plenty of benefits to detailing your vehicle, not only does it look extremely clean after, but it can help increase the resale value of your vehicle.  

Exterior DetailingHand holding sponge and cleaning car wheels with soap

It is recommended to wash your vehicle every week and detail every few months if you want to keep the outside of your car looking sharp. Follow the steps below to get the most efficient clean.

  1. Spray the entire car with water to remove dust and dirt.
  2. Use a cleaning solution on the wheel and tire surfaces and after allowing the solution to soak, spray the wheels with water. Then, use a wheel brush to scrub the wheels and tires and rinse when you’re done. Repeat this step to maximize your clean.
  3. Rinse the body of the vehicle and then start cleaning it with car wash soap and a car wash mitt. Work in sections and start at the top of your car, working your way down while making sure to scrub all the dead bugs, dirt and other materials. Rinse each section before moving on to the next. Once the whole car has been washed, towel it dry using a microfiber towel from top to bottom.

Learn more: How to Clean Coffee Spilled in Your Car

Applying Clay, Polish, and WaxMan wiping car with yellow microfiber towel

Detailing clay is used to clear the exterior paint of contaminants and is a necessary step in detailing your vehicle. Polishing your vehicle helps remove the small scratches that your vehicle gathers on the road. Finally, applying wax creates a very thin protective layer that helps prevent damage to the vehicle. Check out the steps below to learn more.

  1. Using auto detailing clay, work in two-foot sections and work rub the clay thoroughly on the vehicle until the clay can easily slide across the surface.
  2. Before polishing a vehicle, park it in a shaded area. Get a soft pad damp and pour the polishing compound on it. Scrub the car with the polish and pad in small segments, working your way around the car. Wash and rinse the vehicle again.
  3. After the car dries, was the exterior using a non-cleaner wax. Spray the wax onto a small section and use a dry microfiber buffing towel or to rub the wax in using a back and forth or circular motion. Once complete, move onto other sections and make sure you wax the entire vehicle, including headlights, mirrors and windows. For more detailed instructions, read the label on the wax bottle.
  4. Polish the wax using a microfiber towel after it has dried. Use an eraser or toothbrush to remove leftover wax.

Read More: How to Change Headlights

Let us know what other methods you use to detail the exterior of your vehicle! For more tips, check out our blog. Thank you for reading!