How to Valet Your Car Properly
12 December, 2014
If you’re looking to sell your car or just want to get it in tip-top condition, then valeting it is a great way to get a car looking its best. Keeping your car clean and well maintained not only improves the appearance, but protects against general light wear and tear. A full valet service can sometimes be expensive, so learning how to do it yourself is a great way to save money. Here are our top tips for valeting your vehicle.
Although it does involve some extra work, washing your car by hand is really beneficial. This close contact with your car allows you to notice any little changes, such as dents or minor scratches that may otherwise go unnoticed. Although jet washing cars is quicker, you do need to use a cleaning product to properly wash the vehicle. Wash the car with water to begin with, then apply an appropriate shampoo or cleaning product and wash with a soft sponge. Avoid using household washing detergents as they can strip wax coatings from a car’s paintwork.
Try to remember hard to reach areas like seals and door hinges, where dust and dirt can accumulate. Wipe them with a soft cloth rather than a sponge to avoid dripping excess water, and use a cotton bud to get into any little nooks. Another easy to forget area is the boot. Wipe around the boot opening with a similar soft cloth to remove any nasty build-ups.
Waxing is an important step in the valeting process, to provide additional protection for the vehicle. Buff and dry the vehicle after waxing using a soft chamois cloth, and steer clear of letting the water dry naturally. Avoid applying wax in particularly hot weather as this can cause the wax to dry quickly and congeal, making it difficult to remove.
Once you’ve got the outside of the car sparkling, it is time to move inside. A full valet is not complete without making sure the inside of the car is also attended to, so this is another important step. With the interior of the car, it is once again crucial to use specific car cleaning products rather than average household alternatives.
Vacuuming is a great way to instantly improve the state of your car interior. A good vacuum is often enough to lift the appearance of car seats, but if more stubborn dirt and stains are present then apply a specialist car cleaning product. It can be worth testing any product on a small, hidden area of the upholstery before applying to the whole seat, just incase there are any adverse effects. Always allow around a day for the car seats to dry properly after a full upholstery wash. This is usually best done in the warmer, summer months. Car footwells are another area that can often be heavily affected by dirt and mud, so pay particular attention to them when you’re vacuuming.
Specific dashboard cleaning products, such as silicon oil spray, are great for adding a new-car sheen back to the inside of your vehicle. Use them sparingly, per the instructions, and ensure that you buff the majority of the product off to avoid leaving an oily residue. Never oil your steering wheel, as this can affect the level of grip and impair driver safety.
Some of these tips and tricks are incredibly simple, yet are often very effective ways of improving the appearance of your car. A good valet service has the potential to add to the value of your vehicle with regards to potential buyers, or can simply improve the driving experience and allow you to make sure your car is always well maintained. Investing some love and care into your car always pays off.