15 Tips for Car Cleaning That Every DIY Detailer Should Know!

The process of detailing your own vehicle is not like the ones shown on YouTube. You don’t always have a lot of time, and you don’t have a two-car garage that has a wall full of tools, car care equipment, bumper stickers, air fresheners, and detailing supplies.

Sometimes you don’t have everything you need, like baking soda, rubbing alcohol, or a magic eraser. If you’re on the road and need to clean your car without going to the car wash, it’s not a good idea to run out of supplies.

In the article underneath, we’ll talk through 14 vehicle cleaning tips and hacks to assist you with keeping your vehicle cleaner and in excellent condition, they can be utilized from your vehicle’s inside and windshield wipers to your floor mats and air vents….


Hack #1: Brighten Headlights with Toothpaste


Although older automobiles utilized glass for their headlights, today’s automobiles employ plastic instead. Compared to glass, plastic is significantly less expensive, much simpler to work with, and much more resistant to impact.

However, it is also softer and less resistant to UV rays. The road’s rock chips, dust, and other debris will eventually wear away the UV protection that was applied by the factory, exposing the plastic. Your headlights will eventually become opaque and cloudy over time, significantly reducing their brightness to the point where they pose a danger at night.

Fortunately, a polishing attachment for your battery drill and some headlight polishing compound can easily resolve the issue. The majority of auto care stores carry these, which are effective at removing stains.

However, there is a quick fix that you can use in the event that you find yourself in a predicament where you are traveling for a vacation and realize that your headlights aren’t very strong.

Using a microfiber cloth and some toothpaste from your overnight bag, give the headlights a nice rubdown. After just a few minutes of buffing, you will be surprised by the results, even though you will need to use some elbow force. The tiny abrasive particles in toothpaste are hard enough to scratch and polish your teeth’s enamel. When polishing plastic, which is frequently softer, it works well.



Hack #2: Easily Clean Your Cupholders

Are your cupholders soiled? molten chocolate, snack crumbs, and spilled coffee During your daily commute, all of the car’s cavities receive their fair share of dirt and grime. Reaching into there and removing all of the debris can be a real pain. The issue can be resolved with this clever little trick.

Use a vacuum, if you have one, to remove all of the hard pieces from the cupholder. Then roll a nice, thick towel made of microfiber until it just fits in the cupholder. Push the roll into the cupholder by generously spraying it with a cleaning product from a spray bottle. To keep hold of the junk, rotate it a few times before pulling out while still rotating. If necessary, repeat.



Hack #3: Line Cupholders with Muffin Cups

The aforementioned method is effective, but it is preferable if your cupholders do not already become cluttered.

Cupcake molds made of paper or silicone muffin cups work perfectly in your car’s cupholders. They will store all of the grime and dirt, allowing you to either remove them and wash them more easily or replace them completely.



Hack #4: Clean Seams and Crevices with a Toothbrush

Interior detailing brushes come in a variety of sizes, and you can always find one that fits the tiny seams and crevices around the cabin and even the wiper blades. When it comes to cleaning, these are the most neglected areas, but they also tend to accumulate the most dirt and grime.

If you don’t have the right brush for detailing your car, you can use an old soft toothbrush instead. Just be careful not to scrub your leather seat too hard. Move slowly to ensure that the material is not scuffed or scratched.



Hack #5: With a screwdriver and a towel, you can get into tight crevices and between panels.

Some places are too small for a brush. The thick grime builds up in the spaces between the interior panels.

Scrape the insides of all gaps with a large flathead screwdriver wrapped in a towel made of microfiber to remove debris like pet hair and crumbs. Apply a generous amount of quick detailer or interior cleaner.

A plastic card, on the other hand, might work just as well.



Hack #6: Olive oil can be used to restore aged or dry vinyl, plastic, and other organic and petroleum-based materials like leather.

These materials are all susceptible to UV rays. They will eventually crack and dry out as a result of the sun’s damage over time.

To protect your interior from the sun, it is recommended to treat it once a year with a leather conditioner and UV-protectant.

A few drops of olive oil can be used as a temporary cleaning agent if you do not have one. The olive oil will penetrate the material deeply, restoring some of the depleted proteins and leaving behind a protective film on the surface.

While it is not the best option, it will prevent the leather from splitting and cracking until you find the right product.



Hack #7: Keep Your Supplies Organized The Right Way

If you don’t drive a limousine and have the skills to do so, you won’t be able to keep your supplies neatly organized in your trunk.

Make it a habit to put everything in its proper place by grabbing a few extra boxes and organizers from the closet. You should be able to use at least a few of the mounting spots in your trunk to secure the container, so use straps, carabiners, or a spare shoestring.

When you’re going on a long trip by yourself, keep all of your drinks, snacks, and other supplies in a box organizer or even a miniature trash can in the passenger seat or the back seat. While keeping your eyes on the road, everything you require will be within reach.



Hack #8: As a last-minute clay bar lubricant, use car shampoo or quick detailer.

Are you detailing your car but you forgot to get clay bar lubricant? Simply refrain from drying the clay on your body panels!

Having said that, you won’t need any specific products as long as you provide adequate lubrication. You can get out of your rut and move forward with your detail using this trick:

  1. Due to their use on dry, likely dusty body panels in the middle of nowhere, quick detailers typically contain additional lubricants.
  2. Rinseless shampoo can be mixed 1:1 with water to create a slippery film on which to apply detailing clay.

Although neither of these is an ideal substitute for specialized clay lube, they can save you in a pinch.



Hack #9: While vacuuming the car, brush your carpet and upholstery.

You may already know this trick, but many car owners don’t know how to properly vacuum the carpets in their vehicles.

As you vacuum, you should brush your carpet with a stiff nylon brush. The brush will wreak havoc on the carpet, tearing the fibers apart and removing any dirt or debris that has become lodged within. Vacuuming will have a greater impact and last longer.

To achieve a uniform color, brush the carpet in a single direction after you are done.


Hack #10: Blow Junk Out with Compressed Air


If you have access to compressed air, you can use this trick to thoroughly clean the car without taking the seats out.

Your home’s nooks and crannies are a magnet for trash, crumbs, and other debris. To get in and remove it is a real pain. Even the most effective vacuum attachments can only go so far.

Clean junk and trash out of all the nooks and crannies under the seats with compressed air. To catch them as they fly out, hold the vacuum at the opposite end.

A carport blower with an outer tank works best, however a 12V tire siphon can likewise make a nice showing.



Hack #11: Use a Ceramic Coating to Keep Your Paint Shinier and More Protected for Longer!

Are you sick of washing and polishing your car only to have it ruined in a month? Try coating with ceramic!

This is not shady business. You can cover your entire vehicle with a ceramic coating kit for less than $100. To shield the paint from UV rays, water spots, brake dust, bird droppings, oxidation, and other surface contaminants, the coating forms a thin glass layer on top of the paint. The finish appears to be highly reflective and glossy.

Ceramic coatings are also hydrophobic, keeping the surface clean for a significantly longer period of time by repelling water and preventing dirt from settling and sticking to it.

The paint cannot be shielded from scuffs and scratches by a ceramic coating, but everything else is miraculously protected by it. Try the Ceramic Shine Spray-On Ceramic Coating from Torque Detail.



Hack #12: A Strain Washer Uses Definitely Less Water Than the Nursery Hose


Washing your vehicle with a nursery hose? Stop! Garden hoses only produce up to 40 PSI of pressure and use 7 to 15 gallons per minute.

While producing 40 times more pressure, pressure washers use one tenth as much water. All of the soapy solution, dirt, and other stuck contaminants are eliminated by the water’s force.

You’ll finish the job in much less time, with much greater efficiency, and without wasting any of this valuable water.



Hack #13: Utilize Waterless Washing in Water-Limited Regions


Do you reside in a dry spell region, where water is scant and valuable? Did you know that you can clean your water without using any water at all?

With just a few microfiber towels and no water, you can effectively clean the entire vehicle with a quick detailer like our Turbo Waterless Wash.

You can try a rinseless shampoo if you have access to water but don’t want to get everything wet. You blend some in a pail of water and apply it only once without washing the vehicle off. The panels are then cleaned and dried with a dry microfiber towel.



Hack #14: Use a wash mitt made of microfiber to prevent scratches while washing.


This is a common practice among detailers. Scrub your body panels only with a wash mitt or towel made of microfiber.

The majority of swirl marks and light scratches are the result of improper washing and scrubbing with brushes and other hard and stiff materials. Even on black automobiles, microfiber is soft enough to leave virtually no marks on the paint.

Using a lot of dish soap and warm water, scrub in straight lines by moving the mitt back and forth and then side to side. You’ll leave fewer swirl marks and the paint will be easier to polish and buff out this way.



Hack #15: Exercise in the Sun?

Wash One Panel at a Time Every expert in detailing will advise washing the vehicle and applying finishing products under the shade. It is true that leaving cleaning products and tap water to dry in the sun can result in unpleasant mineral spots, especially if the area has hard water.

Work on one panel at a time if you are unable to bring your vehicle into the garage. Always use a clean microfiber towel to dry it, and make sure it stays wet until you finish.

To avoid reusing soiled rags, make sure you have enough towels on hand to wash, dry, and coat the vehicle.


These 14 easy hacks will help you effectively detail your car when you’re in a pinch and don’t have everything you need. Your road trip will be much more comfortable if you pay attention to the smallest details.