We all want to start the new year right. That goes double for us who are celebrating the Lunar New Year.
By now, many of us would have visited the barber or salon. We would have also bought new clothes. And if you’re fastidious about spring cleaning, your home probably resembles a show flat, ready to welcome visitors (only eight at a time, please).
But with so many things to do and so little time, many of us (this writer included) have forgotten about car detailing. I went to pump petrol earlier today, and the queue for the car wash was at least 10 cars long!
If you’re in the same situation, fear not. Here are a few hacks to help you make your car shiny enough so your relatives don’t notice that it hasn’t been professionally detailed…
USE A “WASH & WAX” CAR SHAMPOO
Finding a grooming shop to perform car detailing is now impossible. Meanwhile, queueing at the petrol kiosk car wash is going to take ages at this point. Don’t forget the time spent waiting for the staff to eventually come dry your car.
Purchase a car shampoo that’s formulated to wash and wax. Don’t worry about using the right equipment at this point. Whether you have an old cloth, wash mitt or sponge, it’ll have to do.
Wash your vehicle from top to bottom. Before rinsing your car, use the remaining shampoo in the bucket to clean your wheels as well. If you have a tyre brush, use it to scrub your tyres.
Rinse your vehicle and dry it. If you’re in a hurry, consider “air-drying” by driving your car around your estate. Back in your carpark, dry off any remaining water streams or drops.
DEPLOY THE SPRAY WAX
In car detailing, spray waxes are used between actual wax applications. They do not contain as much wax as the paste or liquid car waxes. Think of spray waxes as a “top-up”.
No wax, however, can hide swirl marks on paint. If your paint is in good condition, don’t worry about this. But if not, then just send your car to the groomer after the Lunar New Year.
Now, prepare some microfibre towels. Or cleaning cloths if you don’t have any.
Apply the wax sparingly. When the cloth gets wet, flip it over to the dry side. If you spray too much, it’s going to be hard to wipe off. More wax won’t make your car shinier anyway.
At this point, your car should be looking reasonably clean and shiny.
SHINE YOUR TYRES
Car detailing isn’t complete without tyre shine. It’s the last step to making your car look good. These products are either sprays or liquids, with the latter requiring a sponge applicator.
To save time and avoid making messes, look for an aerosol spray. If you’re not careful with a liquid spray, product can end up all over your wheels, brakes or even tread!
Remember how you cleaned your tyres earlier? Well, that’s going to pay off now since tyre shine works best on clean sidewalls.
Like spray waxes, you should not over-apply tyre shine. Remember, too much product will result in unsightly drip marks on your wheels, along with sling marks on your car’s body. This will undo all your earlier work!
CLEAN YOUR INTERIOR
Cleaning the cabin is an integral part of car detailing. If you have no time to clear your boot and glove box, then focus on getting rid of other stuff instead.
You can use disinfectant wipes to wipe down the steering wheel, door handles, dashboard and door panels. Obviously, a dedicated car interior cleaner would be best for making these surfaces darker and shinier.
If you don’t have a car vacuum, don’t fret. Toss out any litter on your floor mats, then remove each one and smack it against a wall or pillar. That will help get rid of any accumulated grit, grass and leaves.
That’s it! If your car is in relatively good condition, it will look nice and shiny when your relatives see it. And if you have to give anyone a lift, they’ll notice the cleaner interior, too.