Detailing Used Cars

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by John Gregory, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. John Gregory

    John Gregory Guest

    I bought a used car this past Fall and didn't have a chance to detail it.
    Now that Spring has arrived, I'd like to see how close I can come to making
    it look new. I'm looking for advice on an assortment of products and hints
    to detail a car. Need to know:

    1) Soap! What cleaning agent should be used for the body"

    2) Spot remover - body! Something like regular 409 or "Green Stuff" or
    "Purple Stuff" for marks on the surface?

    3) Polish! What's best... that lasts longest?

    4) Leather! What do I use for a general cleaning of the leather and what do
    I use to get spots out. There are a few paint marks on the surface of the
    leather and some black marks on the back seat where - I assume - a baby
    carrier was strapped in place. An aluminum frame probably caused the black

    5) Carpet! Nothing out of the ordinary after 40K miles but it needs a good
    cleaning. I was planning on simply vacuuming it then using a "Little Green
    Machine" upholstery cleaner for the carpet. Only problem with that is it has
    no rotating brushes; it just sprays detergent water and sucks it back up
    with the operator applying whatever force desired with the small brush
    that's attached to the nozzle.

    The rest of the stuff I think I have a handle on; spray for the tires to
    make them shine, Similar stuff for the dash. Regular glass cleaner I suppose
    for the instrument panel.

    Most of this I assume is common sense but I think people who do this for a
    living have shortcuts and materials perhaps that aren't commonly used by
    John Gregory, Apr 19, 2004
  2. John Gregory

    Lisa Horton Guest

    I just used a regular leather cleaner (Eagle One) and it got the leather
    completely clean again.

    But I can give you a tip that's useful for both leather and the
    plastic/vinyl interior panels, no matter what cleaner you use. The tip
    is a brush, and circular motions. The brush gets into the crevasses
    that form the texture of the plastic, and the circular motion ensures
    that the bristles get into each and every crack. The other tip is LOTS
    of clean towels to soak up the dirty cleaning solution.

    Lisa Horton, Apr 19, 2004
  3. John Gregory

    John Gregory Guest

    Soft, medium, or hard brush? Something as soft as a car body brush with
    long, soft bristles or a food brush with short stiff ones?
    John Gregory, Apr 19, 2004
  4. John Gregory

    SMoo Guest

    I bought the $40 Meguiars car care kit, which includes the tire shine,
    cleaning soap, gold class car wax, interior cleaner, etc.

    I used it on my 88 Thunderbird, and the difference is UNREAL.

    I haven't gotten a chance to use it on my LeBaron yet... Meaning my wife
    hasn't stopped throwing things to do at me long enough for me to go out and
    do it.

    I used Turtle Wax polishing compound on a friends 91 Daytona, and then the
    Gold Class car wax, and it looks like it just rolled into the showroom. I
    wish I had photos to send.

    After what it did on my Thunderbird, I'm going to be using Meguiars for a
    long, LONG time!
    SMoo, Apr 19, 2004
  5. John Gregory

    N.Cass Guest

    I would reccomend Meguires Gold Class; I have had good luck with it

    I would also reccomend Meguires, just about anything with detailing I
    am partial to Meguires as I have had good experiences with them

    For carpeting, just about any Auto Carpet Shampoo does pretty good; just
    spray it on the carpet, use a brush or rag with warm water and rub it in
    the carpet, then vaccume dry. Leaves the car smelling good afterwords

    I would reccomend a tire wax or dressing instead of a "spray". the
    dressing lasts a lot longer and usually doesn't get all over the car
    when you drive. Armorall detailers advantage works pretty good for the
    dash and other vinal stuff

    Hope this helps!!!
    N.Cass, Apr 20, 2004
  6. John Gregory

    marlinspike Guest

    The best information you will find anywhere is at
    Richard - a satisfied reader of articles and customer of products
    marlinspike, Apr 20, 2004
  7. John Gregory

    Lisa Horton Guest

    Of the various and sundry scrub brushes around the household, the one
    that really worked on the car interior was a small round (about 2
    inches) brush from Target. Medium bristles, medium length. For the
    more heavily soiled and/or stained textured hard plastic panels, a
    stiffer rectangular brush worked better.

    The key is to remember that the brush only loosens the dirt, it doesn't
    remove it. That's what the large pile of clean terry towels is for,
    removing the loosened dirt. You can get a big package of white terry
    work towels at Costco for under $15, well worth it if you don't already
    have a large pile of clean terry towels that you are allowed to stain :)

    Oh, and Google is your friend, you can learn a lot about "detailing" or
    "auto care" or "auto interior cleaning" via a few hours with Google.

    Lisa Horton, Apr 20, 2004
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