Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Detailing Our Cars And Saving My $$

Having your car professionally detailed can be quite expensive.  Even still I don't think those that do car detailing for a living make what they should.  It is a lot of hard work and for what they have to deal with, I'm quite certain they do not make enough money.

We have a rule at our house, we don't leave our car unless we take everything with us.  I've never been one to allow trash and debris to accumulate in our vehicles.  When the weather is bad we kick our shoes outside of the door to make sure we don't bring a lot of extra snow or dirt into our vehicles and we rarely eat or drink in them.  We have always tried to keep our vehicles neat and tidy.

When my daughter bought her"new" car it was pretty obvious to us the previous owners didn't necessarily share our auto philosophy and that's okay.  Most people don't and that is why car detailing is a necessary profession.  Since then we have been waiting for cooperative weather in order to tackle that very job ourselves.  Finally we got our chance.

I always make sure and clean the door jambs

Amazing how much better they look

Last spring I used some of my bonus check from work and invested in a Little Green Machine carpet shampooer.  I knew this was the right piece of equipment for spot cleaning our new carpet as well as for cleaning our cars.  It is small enough and light enough to fit into tight spaces and mighty enough to do a really good job.  This machine definitely did not disappoint.

Magic erasers work great on steering wheels at removing grime

My car needed some serious love as well.  After a winter of nasty weather, a vacation to California, and then several windy wet storms it was an atrocious sight.  Covered in bug guts and dirt, plus the inside hadn't been cleaned for a while.  The girl and I drove our respective cars down to the carwash and ran them through, then used their free vacuums to thoroughly clean up the insides including the trunk and spare tire areas.  We don't have a great area to hand wash our vehicles and our spigot is a long way from the driveway so it works best for us to go to the carwash.  Plus their vacuums are super powerful and do a really great job.

A little bit of laundry stain spray and a brush works well on stubborn spots

At home we finished cleaning the interiors and washed the windows on the inside.  Favorite product for cleaning windshields hands down is Sprayway glass cleaner.  It is amazing stuff.  Then we got busy the next day and cleaned the seats in my daughter's car and I cleaned the inside of my truck before I shampooed the carpets and upholstery.  They turned out amazing.

Back seat of the truck completed

Front carpets all done

New floormats

My daughter's car has a lot of work that needs to be done on the outside.  We will be tackling it in phases so it isn't too overwhelming.  We started on the hood which was quite oxidized and over two days we managed to buff it out with rubbing compound, followed by polishing compound and then a nice coat of wax.

We removed the bra from the hood of my daughter's car
Serious amount of oxidation

It took a lot of elbow grease to get the job done, but the results are quite amazing.  She is thrilled to pieces and excited to keep working on it.  Never did she think this was remotely possible, but now she knows and it has her motivated to keep going.

Already a huge difference!  Wax on; wax off...

If you are wondering about good tips and ideas for detailing cars I recommend YouTube.  I found several videos on the subject and learned a lot of great ideas that saved me time and got me the results I was hoping for.  My favorite YouTuber on the subject is this guy.  He is from Scotland and I really appreciate his humor.

I put the sun shade in the windshield to keep from roasting myself
 while I worked, which made an amazing difference

My favorite tip is to use a scrub brush and brush the carpet after you have vacuumed it to loosen up hidden dirt and debris.  Then vacuum again and you'll be amazed at how much better the carpets come out.  This is really a good idea if you are also planning to shampoo your carpets.

This puppy has more than paid for itself

Another thing is not to over saturate the carpets and upholstery.  We used laundry stain remover and a brush to clean up stains on the carpets, a rag on the upholstery.  I sprayed all the surfaces down with my Fabulosa all purpose cleaner (1 part Fabulosa to 4 parts water) and then I used a solution of warm water with a hefty splash of white vinegar in the machine to clean everything up.  Worked beautifully and left everything clean and fresh smelling.

I added a stink tree (known to most people as air fresheners) to my truck because I happen to like that but you can totally skip this if these aren't your thing.  Once the tree is hung I'm officially done with detailing at that point.

All spiffy clean inside!  Love it!
Those aren't really white spots on the seat, just the light filtering in

I'm super excited with how well our three vehicles have turned out.  It makes driving so much more enjoyable in a clean and shiny vehicle.  I just love it!  We still have some more work to be done on both my truck and my daughter's car so stay tuned to see what all we end up doing.


  1. Make sure you use tire wet on your tires. It makes them black and Shiney and helps condition the tire. I use Murphys oil soap in my bissell to clean the upholstery. Furniture oil is good to use on the platicket inside. It cleans and conditons the plastic.

    1. We did use the tire shine. Thanks for the tips! :)

  2. That's a hot and difficult job and I applaud you girls! They look great!

    1. Thank you!! It was a lot of work, but so worth it.

  3. I love my little green machine. It is definitely one of my better purchases. I use it a lot to clean up after the cats and nothing works better on stairs. I hadn't thought to use it in the car but I will now.

    1. They are great for cleaning up after kids and pets. I had one years ago and wore that bugger out! LOL So happy to have another one.


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