yellow vehicle after car detailing

A Beginners Guide To Car Detailing

Does car detailing seem overwhelming or confusing? It doesn’t have to be! There are steps you can take to make the process easier and more manageable. If you are a beginner or are looking for ways to improve your skills, these car detailing tips will come in handy.

Car care is a mysterious world that many people don’t understand. And because of that, they tend to shy away from it. But if you want to keep your wheely-baby looking new for as long as possible, you need to take care of it. There’s no way around it.

Car detailing is a process that involves washing and polishing the exterior and interior of your vehicle. It’s also a way of keeping your car looking its best. After all, who doesn’t want some car-bragging rights?

In this blog post, we'll tell you everything you need to know about what detailing a car is, the steps for a successful job, and what products to use for best results.

What Is Car Detailing?

Car detailing is the process of deep cleaning and polishing your car to make it look its best. It's also a way of keeping your car looking new for as long as possible. 

So then, how often should you be detailing your car? This will depend on how often you drive and where you live. If you live in a city with lots of traffic, like Los Angeles or New York, there will probably be more road contaminants — i.e., dirt — that will stick to the bottom of your vehicle. That means you should have your car detailed more frequently than someone who lives in a rural area without any traffic. 

Someone who doesn’t drive regularly and whose vehicle spends most of the time in the garage would not need their car detailed as often either. The exception to this could be if you live by the beach, and park your car in the open. Saltwater can damage your car by corroding its metal surfaces. 

Benefits Of Car Detailing

  • Car detailing makes your car look its very best. 
  • It increases the lifespan of the vehicle.
  • It protects your car’s interior from stains and dirt. 
  • It prevents the growth of harmful substances on the surface of the car.
  • It helps reduce the temperature of the car’s paint. 
  • It prevents the paint from fading. 
  • It makes the wheels shine. 
  • It decreases the amount of time it takes to wash and wax your car.

Types Of Car Detailing

Interior Detailing

This is the process of cleaning your car interior, including carpets, vinyl and plastic parts, leather seats, and headrests. 

Moreover, it also includes cleaning the air vents, seat heaters, door panels, and console. The main aim of interior detailing is to enhance the comfort level of the passengers. For best results, interior detailing requires some microfiber towels, a soft brush, a vacuum cleaner, and specific cleaning products.

Exterior Detailing

This involves cleaning the exterior of your car, including paint, wheels, chrome, and glass. The main aim of exterior detailing is to make your car look brand new by removing dirt and grime and restoring the look of its exteriors. To complete this process, you need to use products specifically designed for the job, such as clay, paint sealant, wax, a wash mitt, and microfiber towels.

Top 7 Detailing Tips For Beginners

1. Always Use Car Shampoo

nexgen high foam wash for car detailing

Washing your car with just water and a washcloth can do more harm than good. 

When you wash your car, dirt and grime are scrubbed off of the surface and could easily get caught in the paint, which will make the car look terrible in no time. And, if you don’t use any wax or polish, the dirt will just keep piercing into the paintwork until it starts to peel. 

It's important to always use a high-quality car shampoo that cleans thoroughly while leaving a protective layer so that future dirt won’t affect your vehicle as much. 

2. Use Microfiber Towels To Dry The Car

 detailing a car with a microfiber towel

Microfiber towels are super absorbent, quick-drying, and ideal for drying your car after a cleaning session. They are less likely to leave streaks and scratches on the paint — compared to a regular towel. Moreover, microfiber towels are safe on any car paint, thanks to their soft fabric and high-quality stitching.

3. Invest In a Buffer

A buffer is an essential part of any detailer's arsenal because it can remove scratches and swirl marks from your paintwork in just one go. Buffers are also useful for applying sealants and waxes because they distribute them evenly without having to spend too much time rubbing them on by hand.  

4. Waxing And Ceramic Coating

When talking about car detailing, you need to learn about waxing and ceramic coating —both important aspects of detailing a car

car detailing with carnauba spray wax

The most common reason people decide to get their cars detailed is that they want their vehicles to look brand new. However, if you don’t take care of your car regularly, it won’t look that amazing for long. It will start looking old and worn out as time goes by. Waxing and applying ceramic coating are essential to keeping your car looking good for the long run. 

nexgen ceramic car detailing spray

You don’t need to apply both of these products together. Ceramic coating can do the job by itself as it is one of the strongest and most durable car coatings available in the market today. It creates a paint protection film that won't only protect your paint job from any scratches but will also make it easier to maintain.

Before using a ceramic coating, you should first learn how to apply it correctly. Otherwise, you won't get the full benefits. 

If there are any dings or bumps, you'll need to take care of them before getting on with the application process, as clean and smooth surfaces are a must. You must also make sure weather conditions are favorable and should avoid applying this type of coating on a rainy day.

5. Polishing Basics

detailing a car with nexgen’s clay bar

When it comes to making your paint shine, there are two main types of polishing: clay and foam.  

If your car is in great condition, with no major defects, you can opt for either. Some professional detailers prefer to combine both, depending on the look they want to achieve. For example, if your car is in decent condition with a few minor blemishes, you can opt for a clay and foam combination to smooth out the surface while keeping the underlying blemishes. 

While you’re at it, use a clay bar on the wheels too! 

The wheels are just as important as the rest of your vehicle when it comes to cleaning, and they can get just as dirty. Clay baring is great for removing the grime that builds up on your wheels over time, and it will leave them looking smooth and shiny.

6. Take Care Of The Interior

car detailing with nexgen interior cleaner

Keeping your vehicle's interior clean is just as important as caring for its exterior because this is where people sit! You should vacuum up any dust or debris from under the seats before doing anything else with them so that it won't get stuck in your upholstery. You should also clean the headliner, carpets, and door panels with a damp cloth. 

nexgen interior conditioner

If you want to give your car an extra-deep cleaning, you can use an interior cleaner for dust, spills, dirt, and oils and to help shield interior car parts from harsh UV rays. Once you finish, you can continue by applying an interior conditioner to moisturize and protect the surfaces from water, food, and normal wear and tear.

7. Trim & Tire Shine

nexgen wet look tire shine

Once you’ve finished detailing the inside and outside of your car, it’s time to polish and protect the wheels and trims. 

If you have some spare time, also clean the vent grilles. Your vehicle is now ready to be driven and enjoyed for another few months — or even a year — with a fresh and new look. Your next car detailing will look even better, and you’ll have the skills and experience to complete it to perfection.

There are many ways to make your vehicle look good, and taking care of it doesn’t have to be a chore. By following the tips and tricks in this guide, you will be able to save time and money and have a great-looking car with little effort.

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