Auto Detailing Basics – Cleaning the Carpet

The carpet in any car or truck is the first thing to show obvious signs of wear. Dirty shoes, debris from the road, spills, crumbs, and other causes result in carpets that capture and retain dirt. This is why your carpets, even after a quick vacuuming, always appear dirty and soiled.

Luckily, cleaning your vehicle’s carpets is easier than you think. Unlike other surfaces of your car, such as your dashboard or center console, the carpet is very similar to the carpet that you’d find in your home. This means that there are multitudes of cleaning products that exist that are both auto detailing oriented and inexpensive.

Auto Detailing Inside Tip: Laundry Soap Does the Trick!

Using laundry soap, mixed in concentrate with water, is usually all you need. For severe stains, a conventional stain remover (so long as it is non-bleaching) is typically all you’ll need.

Mix the laundry soap (the new “concentrated” detergent works best) into a nominal amount of water (about enough soap for 1 load of laundry in approximately 1-1.5 gallons of water) and use a scrub brush on the carpet. Be sure to really get everywhere with the brush, and ensure that your brush is always carrying a fresh supply of soapy water.

Once you have successfully managed to clean the soiled areas, take a separate brush and rise with clean water. Do not pour the water directly on to the carpet, but apply it liberally enough so as to rinse the carpet out. Then use a sponge to sop up any excess. Then, use a wet/dry shop-vac to suck up as much water as you can from the carpet. The vehicle may need to sit overnight to dry out with the windows open.

The Secret to Successful Auto Detailing is Consistency!

Anyone can clean their car. The benefit of using a professional auto detailing company is that they will take the time to ensure that a high-quality job is done. However, you can achieve that same result by being meticulous in your process as you clean. Your carpets, for example, may need several treatments to completely remove the dirt and stains.

Don’t forget to remove the floormats and seats to ensure that you are able to clean as much of the carpet as possible. Ideally, you should only have to do a thorough auto detail of your car two or three times per year. In fact, it can make a great Saturday afternoon project!

4 Useful Car Detailing Tips

Car detailing is an essential process to clean and restore the interior and exterior of the car. This type of work is a deep, top-to-bottom clean that leaves the car looking like new. It can even include removing wheels or other parts to reach the otherwise unreachable parts like the brake components, arch liners, and suspension. Here are a few simple car detailing tips to leave the interior and exterior of the vehicle looking like new:

Leather upholstery

Cleaning the leather upholstery as soon as a spill or mark is left behind can significantly increase the likelihood of a complete cleanup. If any marks like dye transfers from clothing, ink, or lipstick are left for 24 hours or more, the stain can easily set in permanently. There are plenty of purpose-made leather-cleaning kits in the market that can be left in the car to help with the timely cleanup.

Air vents

Brush out the air vents at regular intervals. The vents are a great dust magnet and easy to clean using the brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner. But, if the brush attachment is not small enough to collect all the dust, a simple artist's brush can be used to collect any dust that is left behind.

Deep-clean

Give the carpet and upholstery a deep-clean. A high-quality carpet cleaning machine can quickly lift the deep dirt that has been left to build up over time. Most of the cleaners will spray a cleaning solution to help leave the carpet looking like new while also sucking up the grime and dirt. The hardware to deep-clean the vehicle is widely available to rent for a day or two, or buy outright, which will likely be the most cost-effective option in the long-term.

However, for the carpet that is too ingrained with dirt, the best option is simply to have it replaced with new. It is relatively easy to buy the replacement carpet to match a specific make and model of car.

Squeaky doors

Car doors with an annoying squeak can quickly be rectified with a few squirts of WD-40 or a similar lubricant. Once the doors are moving freely, add a small amount of motor oil or lithium grease to keep away the squeaky noise and avoid issues with corrosion. Also, it is worth inspecting other parts of the vehicle, such as the door latches for the early signs of corrosion. A quick squirt of the silicone spray can help to maintain the condition of these parts.