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Detail your car like a pro

How to: detail your car like a pro

Sometimes a wash just isn’t enough. Show your car you care with an automotive makeover.

1. Wash and dry

You probably wouldn’t wash your hair with a bar of soap, nor would you lather your body in dishwashing liquid. Apply the same logic when cleaning your car – not all suds are created equal. Use a car wash that contains a cleaning agent, conditioner and wax. The cleaning agent cuts through dust and dirt, the conditioner brings out your paint’s colour and the wax protects against the elements. Lather on, hose down, dry off.

2. Polish

Give your paint a deep, warm shine with carnauba wax polish – a natural product derived from palm leaves. Just squeeze a small amount onto a foam applicator pad, then massage into your paintwork in a circular motion. Wait a minute or two for the polish to dry, then wipe off with a microfibre cloth

3. Detail

Refresh your cracked or faded plastic bumpers and mouldings with plastic trim detailer, which comes in both gel and spray form. Simply spray or rub on, then buff off with a microfibre cloth.

4. Treat your interior

Give your seats and carpets the once-over with a car vacuum cleaner. These are great for reaching pesky nooks and crannies and can be run from your car’s cigarette lighter or USB port.

If your upholstery is leather, use a spray-on cleaner followed by a leather conditioner. If your seats are cloth, spray a cleaning foam on any marks or dirty areas, then wipe off with a cloth or sponge.

5. Touch up

Make minor scratches disappear with touchup paint. First, find your car’s paint code; this can be found on the firewall of your engine bay, next to your compliance plate or in your door jamb.

Next, head to your nearest auto store – they’ll use your code to mix up a perfect match.

Shake the applicator bottle, then lightly brush over the affected area. If you’re applying multiple coats, wait 15 minutes between each. After 24 hours, your paint should be dry.

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