Detailing your car not only makes it look nice, but it can also increase the resale value of your vehicle. That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips for auto detailing. From the basics to expert tricks, we’ve got it all.

According to Popular Mechanics, you should normally start with the carpet and mats so you don’t forget about some of the hard to reach places. Try using a stiff brush to knock free any dirt, and spray compressed air in any area that is hard to reach. If you don’t own a quality wet/dry vacuum, stop by a local car wash for a coin operated machine.

Want that new car smell? Don’t waste time with air fresheners: simply spray out the HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). That smell is actually created by the plastic and cloth materials in your car; however, mold and mildew in the vents can cover up the pleasant smells with bad odors. Spray out the vents with compressed air and change the cabin air filter when possible.

Do everything by hand, including the car wash. Rinse the car first to remove any dirt or grit that might scratch the car, and use a synthetic sponge to avoid the natural dirt found in real sponges. A liquid wax cleaner tends to last longer, though pastes give a better shine. Finish by drying by hand with a clean cloth to avoid water spots.

Finally, clean the glass with a non-ammonia based cleaner, because ammonia can damage car paint and vinyl. Use the back of your hand to get into nooks and crannies, especially on the inside of the rear window, and finish by wiping the window down with clean newspaper to reduce glare.

tips for auto detailing

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