When it comes to professional car detailing in Sri Lanka, it can cost you quite a bit but doing it yourself is surprisingly easy on the wallet and easy for you too, with most of the tools and materials needed easily available in most homes.
If you have a decent vacuum cleaner and a variety of cleaning products, you already have the essentials needed for a good clean for your vehicle’s interior. Add in a mix of towels, rags, brushes, and sponges and you’re good to go. Here are two things that are essential to get you started:
1- A vacuum cleaner – A vacuum cleaner with an extension hose and hand-held attachments will be perfect. The attachments can easily be used to clean carpets and tight and hard-to-reach nooks. A steam cleaning machine can be useful too.
2- Chemical cleaning products – It’s likely that you already have the necessary products on hand to clean surfaces like plastic, carpeting, and vinyl. Note down the different surfaces of your vehicle and assemble products that are ideal for cleaning each surface of your vehicle.
Bear in mind that when using cleaning products on your vehicle’s interior you have to make sure that they are safe for a vehicle’s surface. If you’re doubtful, test on an inconspicuous area. If a blemish or a stain does show up, it will be hidden from view.
Now, let’s take a look at how to clean your vehicle’s interior like a pro:
Carpets and Floor Mats
This is a good place to start, seeing as carpets and floor mats tend to be the dirtiest part of a vehicle’s interior. However, if the cleanup of seats and the dashboard will create a bigger mess, make sure to clean the carpets at last so you will not have to redo it again.
Before you start, make sure to remove any coins, food wrappers, papers and other such junk that have accumulated. Slide the seats backward and forwards to make sure you haven’t missed any debris.
Remove the floor mats and vigorously shake them to get rid of dirt. Some floor mats have deep grooves to trap water and dirt can get caked between these indentations. If a good shake doesn’t get rid of all the dirt and grime, try loosening it with a stiff brush. Clean between the indentations with your vacuum cleaner’s bare hose nozzle.
Once the floor mats are free of dirt and grime, wash them with a strong jet of water from a garden hose and allow them to air-dry completely. If you have used a detergent to wash the floor mats, make sure to wash the cleaning product off thoroughly so that the mats are not slippery and unsafe during driving.
Once the carpets and floor mats are cleaned of dirt, the carpet needs to be vacuumed completely. Use the brush attachment and the other nozzles of different shapes and sizes to clean crevices and areas around the seats too.
The best way to wash any type of carpet is to use a steam cleaning machine, particularly hand-held models. If not, the variety of commercial carpet cleaning products will still work with the foam variety being the best option. With most products, you will need to spray it on and then brush it with a medium-stiff brush with extra effort for stain and problem areas. Make sure that you don’t get the carpet too wet as this can promote the growth of mildew and mold. If the carpet does become saturated, use a clean, absorbent towel to blot it dry. Stains that are difficult to remove may need an industrial-strength or specialized cleaning product. For chewing gum matted into the carpet, rub it with ice cubes for several minutes. When the gum turns brittle, gently pry it off the carpet.
There are three main types of materials used for vehicle seats and that is leather, vinyl, and cloth upholstery. Each material requires different cleaning methods. Before applying any cleaning compound, you will need to first give the seats and the area around and between them a thorough vacuuming to get as much dirt off as possible.
Leather seats can be luxurious but they have one big drawback: keeping leather clean and looking like new can be difficult. With time, dirt and grime get embedded into the leather surface, making lighter coloured leather look dingy. The good news is that a good leather cleaning product can take care of it easily.
Most leather cleaning products need to be sprayed or applied onto the seat and worked into the material by rubbing with a towel. If you’re using a towel, make sure to flip it often so that the cleaner side is constantly being used. Once that is done, dry the seats with a clean microfibre cloth. Then, allow the leather to dry thoroughly for a few hours. Then you can apply a leather conditioner to keep the material supple.
Compared to leather, vinyl is much easier to take are of cleanup is quick and straightforward and many products that you might already have will work on vinyl. Even some brands of glass cleaner will do a good job.
Make sure to go through the labels of the products you plan on using to identify one that is compatible with vinyl. Then, spray the vinyl seats with the cleaner and wipe it with a rag, making sure not to get the cleaner on any interior material. Then using a second rag, wipe down the seats completely and your vinyl seats should be ready to use in an hour or so.
If you have cloth seats, ask yourself if there are any tough stains you have to take care of and if the seats need a general cleaning or if you also have to get rid of bad odors. These factors will determine the type of product or the method of cleaning to use.
A multi-purpose upholstery cleaner will work very well but if you have tough stains on the cloth seats, you may need a specialized stain remover. Depending on the products you use, you may also have to use a household odor elimination spray.
When dealing with cloth seats that are difficult to clean, be very careful. The more liquid cleaning products you use, the damper the seats will become. As a result, the fabric will soak up more moisture and will not dry easily, leaving your vehicle smelling musty.
To minimize the risk of harsh chemicals and the risk of wet car seats, just sprinkle some baking soda on the seats. After several hours, just vacuum the baking soda and your vehicle’s interior should smell nice and fresh. The longer you let the baking soda sit, the more odor it will absorb.
If you’re looking to save the hassle of cleaning your vehicle’s interior by looking for a professional option for car detailing in Sri Lanka, NanoTuff is the right option for you. Our services are efficient, satisfactory and, more importantly, will not break your bank.