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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-30-2007, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Cleaning Tips & Tricks

I taught i'd throw up a topic for people to post thier tips and tricks about cleaning the interior and exterior of their cars, I'm personally looking for some tips and tricks on how to clean the interior of my car. Anything goes, diffrent products, ways of cleaning, cleaning in diffrent orders what ever gets your car looking magiclly shiny and clean!!

I've noticed that using solvent on the valve covers and other gloss black pieces under the hood brings a nice shine to them, make sure you use a wet paper towl to wipe it on and a dry lint free towl to wipe it off with.

A tooth brush works wonders for them cracks you cant get to with a towl of some sort aswell!

I use 409 for the Intake plenium it cleans all the grease and finger prints off it really good.

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Last edited by Xpid; 05-30-2007 at 11:05 PM.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-30-2007, 11:16 PM
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I always start with a good vacuuming, Then get the dash, door panels, lower B/C pillars, and upper A pillars with Natural Shine. Then I go over the seats with leatherique pristine clean leather cleaner. If the windows are dirty I use clearvue glass cleaner. Before winter, and after winter I shampoo the carpets, and rejuvenate the leather with leatherique rejuvenating oil.

I also remove the front and rear seats in the Spring to vavuum and shampoo the carpet where the vacuum is too fat to reach!

Engine: I use simple green and high pressure (low around intake and alt.) If I want a shine I use Hot Shine, and a Natural shine for a factory look.

Exterior: I wash at a minimum of once a week (but everyone knows how I keep my car lol) I clay when I feel that the paint isn't smooth as it should be, probably once every other month. Then I usually put one or two coats of Zaino Z2 or Z5, then go over it with Z6 Ultra clean gloss enhancer. I also put a coat of natural shine on the Specials body cladding.

I put a coat or two of Hotshine gel tire shine on the tires, and the car is clean...
95% of the above listed is a normal cleaning for me... about 6-7 hours worth other then that Its a 2 day process, including highspeed buffing, polishing, and sealing.... Im OCD


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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-31-2007, 01:59 AM
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My free time for washing is kind of sporadic, so my routine varies by length of time between cleaning. Sometimes I do a polish before wax, sometimes I don't. I clay my first wash of the spring every year, and several times throughout the summer and fall. I tend to use polymer sealants if I know I won't be able to detail for a while. Before Carlisle I will be spending some SERIOUS time doing extensive work on bringing the finish to as close as new as possible. However, with the engine, I wouldn't really consider using high pressure. I don't put a ton of mileage on my car now, so the engine bay stays pretty clean. And with regular cleaning, nothing ever really builds up. My engine bay is clean enough now to the point where I don't even have to use Simple Green. Wheels I use a basic wheel cleaner, and every other time I use a Michelin brake dust repellant/sealer. Adds a bit of shine as well as protects the finish of the wheel. Interior I use natural shine on plastics and vinyl surfaces, shampoo my carpets once or twice a year, and use Lexol cleaner and conditioner 2-3 times a season as well. I usually only have to use Natural Shine once a year because it protects to the point that a quick wipe down with a clean terry towel takes the dust off, and it stays off. I also use compressed air to clean out all the little spaces. Saves A LOT of time as opposed to trying to wipe every square centimeter.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-31-2007, 10:01 AM
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As far as making the wheels shine how they should, the most important thing I've learned is you have to treat them just like the rest of the exterior of the car. They are clear coated just like the paint, so clay glaze polish wax them just the same. Having them nice and smoothly waxed like that also makes them a breeze to clean, just a nice wipe and back to freshly waxed shine.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-31-2007, 01:15 PM
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The oem chromes are clear coated too???
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainMorgan
As far as making the wheels shine how they should, the most important thing I've learned is you have to treat them just like the rest of the exterior of the car. They are clear coated just like the paint, so clay glaze polish wax them just the same. Having them nice and smoothly waxed like that also makes them a breeze to clean, just a nice wipe and back to freshly waxed shine.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-31-2007, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, i'm having a bit of a problem keeping my engine bay clean, i cleaned it the other day and then it rained and now it's so dirty it looks worse than the out side of my car... I need like a shield under my engine to keep it from getting dirty...
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-31-2007, 06:43 PM
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Get yourself a rubber mallet and whack the floorboard while you're vaccuming. Do this before you use a spot treatment or shampoo treatment and it knocks loose all of the crud that will turn into mud and be pushed down into your carpet. It even helps do less work if you have an extractor. Go out and find a pole or tree far away from your car and beat the shit out of your floormats against them. Don't stop until you're getting almost no dust out of them.

A paint stir stick is perfect for fishing shit out from underneath seats and between seats and consoles.

A horse hair brush works well on those little nooks and crannies. Before you use any cleaner or treatment on your interior, get the dust/dirt out of the cracks or they'll just turn to mud and get pushed deeper in the cracks.

After washing, get an electric leaf blower or reverse your Shop-Vac to blow all the water out of the nooks and crannies on the car.

After drying, open the doors and put the top down (or open sunroof) and spot clean all the areas you missed. Trust me...you missed some. ;)

The same type of brush or a detailer's brush will do great for getting all that annoying compound/polish/sealant/wax/whatever residue from around and inside the body lines.

Treat leather the same as human skin. You'll need to massage your cleansing/conditioning product into it. It will take awhile. If you're not skittish, use your hands or put on some nitrile gloves and do it that way, otherwise you're wasting the product by letting it get sucked up in the towel. Only use the towel for excess when you're done.

Also, don't forget the damn pedals. Do NOT use any protectant on the pedals or steering wheel, for the love of God! Get a toothpick to get out all of the little rocks that get embedded in the grooves in the pedals.

Edit: Q-tips! And no ammonia based cleaners on the glass.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-01-2007, 01:14 PM
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No ammonia based cleaners on the glass? If I remember right, that includes Windex. Why not? Does it pit the glass?
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-01-2007, 01:29 PM
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Ammonia will turn your tint to a very purple color.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-01-2007, 02:12 PM
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Like Ryano said, ammonia will ruin your tint, but ammonia is also harmful to just about every single surface on the inside of your car. Simply put: Don't use it anywhere near a car. There are far too many quality, affordable ammonia free glass cleaners on the market to ever have to use it again. My fiance' and I don't use ammonia based glass cleaner in the car OR the house. This makes it easier when I'm detailing and run out. I just run inside and steal what she uses in the house.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-01-2007, 02:20 PM
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ammonia eats away at rubber and rubber type stuff I believe

I use a stiff brush to get stuff out of/loose in my carpet, never thought of hitting it

for spots you cant reach with the vacume try using a paper towel tube or wraping paper tube
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 12:27 PM
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Smile Best window cleaner

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Originally Posted by stretch86 View Post
No ammonia based cleaners on the glass? If I remember right, that includes Windex. Why not? Does it pit the glass?
The best window cleaner I have found is plain water sprayed on and removed by drying with newspaper. Sounds crazy, but it works best and no ammonia! [/FONT]

Last edited by smithed; 03-19-2008 at 12:27 PM. Reason: font
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 12:54 PM
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I remove the center concole, and all the dash panels and pockets, throw them in the dishwasher on gentle cycle, then use a no-silicon based dressing on them, meanwhile, scrub all the crevices and grooves in the car. Crevice tool on the vacuum gets the french fries out from between the seats fairly effectively. Turtle wax makes a great carpet cleaner for the mats and any stains that magicly appear on the carpet. I occasionally use wax on the underside of the trunk and hood, along with the inside of the doors...not on the exterior ( I plan on painting it this year, and don't want any fisheyes ). For glass, vinegar and water with newspaper.Washing the outside takes some very expensive cleaning supplies...dollar store dish soap,just a drop with lots of water, and a long handled scrub brush for the wheel wells. Again with the non-silicon based dressing on all the outer trim and tires. Touch-free foam tire dressing for inside the wheel wells. A little mineral oil on the aluminum rims, and away I go.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2008, 09:36 PM
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Well for a basic wash. I will list them numerically
1) Rinse the front end of the car
2) Use RainX bug and Tar remover on the grille
3) then wash the whole car
4) tire shine and dry
5) walk around and open and slam the doors get the water that falls
6)quick detail any spot I missed
7) clean the engine bay
8) polish the muffler
NOW FOR THE INSIDE
1) Take out the floormats, hold them with one hand and smack them with a golf club with the other
2)vacuum the rest of the floor
3) Armor-All the dash and console
4) every other wash I use leather care on the seats
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-21-2008, 12:47 AM
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We've got a Bissell Little Green "steam cleaner" (I use quotes because it's just hot water, not actual steam) that I use to clean the seats and carpets. Works AMAZING to pull dirt out of the floorboards and get stains out of the seats, and it's really portable. Worth every penny of the 75 bucks we paid for it, plus it's great for getting stains out of the carpet in the house. I do a vacuum first then the steam clean. Actually I plan on doing it this week when it warms up.
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