Dave’s 7 Steps for Spring

Dave’s 7 Steps for Spring

Scott Spector

Winter is finally over and Spring showers will be making flowers bloom before you know it! Dave asked me if I would give his wife’s “soccer-mom” mobile a Spring Cleaning. “You bet Dave,” I said as we scheduled an 7-step Spring into Spring detail of her Hyundai Palisades SUV. We’re not looking to spend half a day now and polish her SUV. Here is a simple and quick process to get your cars ready for spring if you don’t have the time or $$$ to get it spit spot. Everybody asks me several questions all the time like these:

“Where do I start – inside or outside first?”

     … if you have some stains in the interior, then start there so you have more time to dry and wick out any moisture. If you don’t, then it doesn’t matter.

“What can I do, because I don’t have all day?”

     …no worries, these 7-steps will get you done in a couple hours.

“What if I don’t have all the latest greatest tools?”

     …also, no problem as you don’t need them. Here’s how-to be efficient and effective

  1. Interior – remove everything that can be removed (personal effects, trash, etc.); start with the plastics and wipe them down with a microfiber towel and a one squeeze of a mild free-and-clear soap in a 3-gallon bucket; have a second bucket of just warm water; leave your seats and floors to the end. If you have compressed air,  use it. If not, use air in a can for computers or don’t use anything. Start with your dash and work your way down to center console. Work your way along the doors, handles, seat belts and belt locks.Vacuum front seats, floors first. Next, work on stains on seats – leather or upholstery stick to specific cleaner for your seating, avoid oversoaking the material, use a spot cleaner like Folex, hand brush, use warm water only, a microfiber; remember less is more, and seating dries darker, blot dry with microfiber and vacuum again. If you have an extractor use it or not.  Clean pedals with warm soapy water, a brush and wipe dry with a microfiber. Then repeat these steps in backseat, cargo area and trunk. (about 45 minutes)
  2. Engine – you have options here (air, water, pressure washer, rags’n bucket or nothing). Using mild soap again, brushes, agitate areas where it’s dirty and gently rinse. Make sure engine is cool first. If you engine is filthy, then you may need a degreaser and repeat the previous steps. Keep the bonnet (hood) open and allow to dry naturally. You can stop here or add water-based dressing by hand, rag or spray and let dry, wipe dry or use a blower to move liquid into nooks and crannies. (about 10 minutes)
  3. Wheels – Includes wheels, tires and arches. Grab a hose, pressure washer, water bucket, brushes and towels or whatever of those you have. If you’re in an apartment, use an aerator if you don’t have access to water. Pick what works best for you. Rinse with water first to remove loose dirt. Add same free-and-clear soap in your bucket and use a stiff bristle brush on your tires and wheel well if you can reach them.  The tire solution will turn brown from the dirt, grime and road film. Rinse with water if you have it, use water from your bucket and wash off the brown filth. <repeat> to remove any residual gunk, before moving on. Use your wheel brushes behind wheel covers and throughout the barrell of the rims. Repeat process for all four wheels and then tackle the wheel mats (rubber or fabric). fabric mats treat as if youre working your upholstered interior. Rubber mats use same cleaning liquids as wheels or choose a mat rejuvenator to remove the grit, grime and rinse to restore the matte black finish vs. a grey haze from worn looking mats. Don’t use trim shine, armor all or similar greasy liquids! (30 minutes)
  4. Undercarriage – use a pressure washer, hose or aerator, or grab a broomstick and some tape to attach to a hose and rinse the loose easy dirt. (5 minutes)
  5. Paint – Rinse your car with water first. Grab your aearator, or bucket and water with and a dedicated car wash shampoo like Meguiar’s Car Shampoo (just don’t buy a wash/wax combo), 4-5 microfiber towels. Work from top (roof) to bottom (rocker panels) with your towels. Fold a towel into fourths so you have 8 sides of towel. Remember not to contaminate your soapy water bucket by placing a dirty towel in there. Dirty towels get set aside. Rinse paint and wipe with 2-3 dry microfiber towels. (20 minutes) 
  6. Door Shuts – these are your door jams if you’re not tracking. Clean with a microfiber and soap then rinse and dry. (5 minutes) 
  7. Protection – If you haven’t done so, dry all surfaces with clean microfiber towels. Now, it’s time to clean glass. Never use windex that’s for indoor home glass and mirrors only! Use Invisible Shield or other automotive glass cleaner. You can make a mixture of 50/50 water and isopropyl alcohol. Cleaning your exterior glass first, use a Magic Eraser and spray the liquid onto it and begin wiping a second cleaning pass outside. Use two towels one to wipe the dirt and grime away and second towel to dry off the glass minimizing hazy swirls. Do the same process to interior glass. If you have tint applied to your windows, then DON’T use a Magic Eraser. Here’s a tip: clean wipers with same solutions and wipe dry. Apply dressing to tires and trim to protect them. You can spray your interior carpet and cloth seating with fabric protection like Scotchgard or Gyeon FabriCoat to minimize staining. (20 minutes)

Voila! She’s good to go in less than 2-1/2 hours and your car is cleaner and ready for Spring! If you’re a DIY kinda’ person, then this outdoor therapy may be just what you need to get rid of cabin fever. If this process is not your speed and you’d rather have us stop by and give you a Spring Detail, then give us a call/text – take advantage of our Spring Express Detail Special here.

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