Tips and Tricks for DIY Vehicle Detailing

For those looking at options for car detailing in Sri Lanka, did you know that you can do a very good DIY job? Unless you drive a significant amount, a thorough detailing job every six to eight-month should be enough. The first time you do a DIY interior cleanup of your vehicle will be long, especially if you haven’t cleaned it for a while. However, if you continue to detail your car at regular intervals, you can easily maintain the look of your vehicle for years.

First, let’s take a look at some of the materials and products you’ll need for detailing your vehicle:

  • Wiping and polishing materials

For serious detailing work, you’ll need a wide variety of towels and rags, from terry cloth towels for scrubbing to lint-free, fine cloth rags for cleaning and polishing. For a glossy shine on surfaces without the scratches, a microfibre cloth will do the trick. Remember, to make sure that the cloths are free of any residual chemicals before you start.

  • Brushes and applicators

You’ll need different sized brushes for cleaning dust from the air vents and other hard-to-reach spots. Depending on the cleaner you’re using, you may need a stiff-bristled brush, rag or sponge. See the instructions on the label of the cleaning product you’re using to make sure you have the proper applicator because it can make all the difference.

Now, let’s take a look at how to detail your vehicle effectively:

Windows and Mirrors

A good glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth can do wonders when cleaning glass surfaces. However, make sure that you’re cleaning glass and not plastic. For instance, gauge covers on the front console are usually made of plastic and for this, you can use an all-purpose cleaner.

Be extra cautious when cleaning tinted windows. Some tinting is a part of the window itself while others actually have a tinted sheet applied to the inside of the window. These can easily be damaged by cleaning products, especially those that contain ammonia.

When cleaning your vehicle windows and mirrors, always spray the cleaner on the cloth to reduce streaking as opposed to the glass itself. Doing so will also help avoid getting the cleaning product on other parts of the vehicle that may get damaged by the chemicals. Lastly, roll down the windows partly to get to that line of grime along the top quarter-inch. Many people completely forget to clean this but if you’re detailing like a pro, you cannot overlook any detail so give it a good wipe too.

If you’re dealing with streaks, it can get frustrating to figure out if the streak are on the interior or exterior surface of the glass. For this, make sure you wipe exterior glass surfaces horizontally while wiping interior glass surfaces vertically. This way you can always know which side the streak is actually on.

Front Panel

The front panel is the area that gets noticed the most. Unfortunately, with all the switches, knobs, vents and other nooks and crannies, it can be very difficult to clean and dust, but not if you have the right tools.

The Dashboard

Whether your dashboard is made of vinyl, leather or some other kind of material, it can be one of the toughest parts of a vehicle’s interior to clean. The angle of the windshield in some vehicles can create hard-to-reach parts on the dashboard and these areas tend to be the dustiest parts of the interior.

Start by vacuuming all the dust properly before you apply a cleaning product, making sure you reach as far as you can during the vacuuming process. After that’s done, you may want to apply an interior dressing appropriate for the material to keep it from fading or cracking from exposure to sunlight.

The Console

The countless buttons and controls in your vehicle can be maddening to clean because dust can get into every crack and crevice. But there is a simple trick to fix this dilemma. To clean the tightest spots and crevices, just wrap a cloth around the tip of a flat-head screwdriver. Make sure to use the thinnest cloth possible so as not to make the head of the screwdriver too bulky to do the job. If you’re worried that a metal screwdriver can damage the console, simply use a plastic knife wrapped in a cloth of cotton swabs instead.

Air Vents

Air vent grills may not be very difficult to clean but they can very tiresome due to its many parts. Using the correct tools can make the job faster. Use a soft, long bristle brush and a can of compressed air to clean dirty air vents in no time.

Use the brush to wipe as much dust off the vent grill as possible. To give it that new look, just fire a few jets of air from a compressed air can on the grill and the job’s done.

Door Panels

In many vehicles, door panels are made of a single material or a combination of materials that are the same as the upholstery, the seats, dashboard or other parts of the vehicle interior. Whatever techniques and products were used on those areas can also be used on door panels.

Remember that many door panels have cup holders or open compartments and these can be some of the dirtiest areas inside your vehicle. Before cleaning with a chemical product, make sure to remove everything large enough by hand and vacuum the rest thoroughly.


Lingering odours inside a vehicle, particularly those caused by pets and cigarette smoke, can be tough to get rid of. Before you purchase any odour eliminating product, make sure that there is nothing that is causing the bad smell to be stuck or hidden in any place, nook or cranny, because even the best product cannot permanently get rid of bad odours if the source still remains.

If you’re certain that the odour is coming from the carpet or upholstery, use the odour eliminating product of your choice generously to get rid of the unpleasant smell. If you regularly travel with pets or smoke, odours are bound to return. Improve the smell in your vehicle by hanging a car deodorizer from the rearview mirror.

You can also use this trick: find an old plastic food storage container and make sure that it fits easily beneath your vehicle seat. Cut one-quarter inch slots into the lid and fill the container with ordinary lumps of charcoal. Secure the lid and slide the container under the car seat, making sure it’s hidden from view. The charcoal will help absorb bad smells and freshen the interior of your vehicle without the need for car deodorizers which can only mask nasty odours.

If you’re looking for a professional option for car detailing in Sri LankaNanoTuff is the ideal option for you. Our comprehensive and affordable detailing services coupled with one of the best jobs of nano ceramic coatings in Sri Lanka will ensure that your vehicle will look brand new both inside and out for years to come.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *