How To Maintain Car After Detailing (Don’t Neglect This)

a guy washing the exterior of his car to maintain it nice and clean

Everyone loves the way their vehicle looks after a high-end detailing. Inside and out, the car looks nearly brand-new (sometimes it’s even better than new!). Maintaining that fresh appearance, smell, and feeling is often a challenge. You’re in the right place to learn how you can do just that!

After detailing, you need to clean the rims, tires, and interior regularly to maintain a car. Use the window cleaner every time you stop at a gas station. Keep your vehicle waxed every few months, and don’t forget to leave a microfiber cloth inside the glove compartment for last-minute cleanings.

Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following info about maintaining a detailed vehicle:

  • What you should regularly clean to preserve the appearance
  • Common mistakes that beginners make after a detailing
  • Insider tips to make your car look as good as new
  • Get a car detailing starter kit for beginners (should be enough)

a collage of photos showing how to keep the car clean inside and outside

1. Keep the Rims and Tires Clean

Your car’s tires and rims are two of the first features that people notice. Both parts can get dirty very quickly, which means they’ll make a clean car look bad right away. The last thing you want is for your detailed vehicle to look like it went through a mud wash! All That Gleams mentions that the arches, rims, and tires are the most obvious spot on a car.

Here’s how you can clean the rims and tires:

1. Get a car rim brush…

Try the Chemical Guys Complete Wheel, Rim, and Tire Kit. It comes with everything you need to wash your car’s base, including the wheel wells that tend to be a problem area for most car owners.

2. Spray the tires and rims…

then add the chemical cleaning solution with a sponge or towel. Rub the whole area in firm, circular motions to remove tough debris and grime.

3. Use a rim brush to scrub away the brake dust…

It gathers in the spaces between the rims. Make sure there are enough suds to scrub around with the brush. It’ll start to look brown, which means you’re getting rid of the gunk.

4. Spray down the tires and rims…

Consider repeating the process to seal the deal. You could also use rim-protective solutions or tire shiners (chemicals that are designed to make your rims look wet, shiny, and black at all times).

2. Take Advantage of Gas Station Cleaning Areas

We’ve all been to a gas station that has car washes or window cleaners. Keep your tires filled, and don’t forget to wipe down your windows. Windshield wipers can’t cover the whole surface, so you must remove the debris from edge to edge.

The effectiveness of gas station car washes is debated, but you can find a high-end station on significant highways. If you can find a deluxe package for a reasonable price, it doesn’t hurt to go through it during a long road trip. Consider the car washes that use tower scrubbers rather than jetted water to protect the wax coating, especially if you’d had your car waxed just recently!

3. Wash the Car Weekly

Speaking of car washes, you should manually wash your vehicle every week or two. You don’t have to use wax or buff the paint, but a bit of suds and water can be a good thing. The Auto Geek Online community suggests that weekly washes can make a huge difference by adding longevity to a detailing job.

If you don’t have a car washing setup, try the Chemical Guys Wash Kit. It comes with 16 pieces to get your car looking as good as new any time you use it. You can use the washing suds or try their wax to add a nice shine every couple of months. You’ll save quite a bit of money by manually washing the vehicle rather than going through a gas station car wash every week.

4. Don’t Eat or Drink in the Vehicle

the hand of a woman holding and eating a banana inside her car

Growing up, your parents probably told you to leave the food out of their car. Crumbs and drink spills can wreak havoc on a vehicle’s interior. The seats will become crusty and gross, and the buttons won’t work as they used it. Odors can develop, and it’ll take a long time to get rid of everything.

In short, don’t eat food or drink anything other than water in your car. If you’re going on long trips, pack some snacks in a cooler and plan 10 to 15-minute stops at rest areas to eat.

In other words, don’t do anything inside your car that can potentially stain it, make it dirty, or make it smell… you know, weird. More importantly, don’t allow anyone else riding along do any of those things either, especially not smoking!

5. Park Under Covered Spaces

According to Auto Guide, bird droppings, tree sap, pollen, insects, and other outdoor debris can ruin any paint job. Not only does it require laborious cleaning, but if you leave it unchecked, many natural substances are acidic enough to eat away at the paint.

Tree sap can cause indents and rust. When it’s left for longer than a day, it hardens, and you’ll have to use a whole lot of elbow grease to get it off. Improper techniques can cause further damage. Make sure you loosen it with a heating device, such as a blow dryer.

You can use tarps, car hangars, or park in the garage. Using a car cover has been known to mar the surface because it scrapes dust and debris on the paint.

6. Keep It Waxed

One of the top tips from Detailed Image is to wax your vehicle a couple of times per year. Whether you do it yourself or you want to hire a team of experts, regularly waxing the paint can add a nice protective coating. It also looks great, which nobody ever complained about!

A simple way to wax your car is to use the Chemical Guys car mentioned earlier in the article. It takes less than an hour to clean and wax your vehicle. Why not spend a short amount of time in favor of several months of a fresh appearance?

7. Leave a Microfiber Cloth Inside

Keep a soft cloth in the glove box or a side compartment. You never know when you’ll have a few spare seconds to wipe down the LED display or clean dust off of the buttons. Microfiber cloths can get rid of light debris instantly.

Note: Don’t use paper towels. Contrary to popular belief, they’re a terrible choice because they leave small bits of paper behind. You’ll have to use another cloth to clean it off again. However, you can use shop towels.

8. Remove Water Spots and Debris Immediately

Water from raindrops and sprinkler systems can be some of the most damaging things you’ll encounter as a car owner. They might seem harmless, but there are loads of minerals in every drop of water. Check your local listing to find out what chemicals and minerals are in the water supply.

Calcium adds to the water hardness and total dissolved solids (TDS). When either of them goes up, it’s harder to remove spots from your car’s paint. Calcium sticks to paint like nothing else, causing permanent marks if it’s not cleaned quickly enough.

A Quick And Final Recap!

a guy keeping his car clean outside his driveway

As you can see, cleaning your car and maintaining it after a nice detailing job will keep it looking fresh throughout the upcoming months. There’s no need to watch it gradually get dirtier. By following the tips from this page, you’ll be able to drive the cleanest, shiniest, newest car in the neighborhood.

Here’s a quick recap:

* Make sure you clean the rims, wheels, and arches after long drives.
* Regular cleaning cycles will lengthen the new appearance of a detail.
* Clean the inside of your vehicle and keep the crumbs and drinks outside.
* Don’t leave bird droppings, dirt, debris, dust, or water spots on your vehicle.



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About Me

Hi there, I’m Rod. Honestly, I don’t do much cleaning around the house (and until recently – my car)…

But I’ve always been strict and disciplined in keeping with my workspace clean and organized; my office, my desk, my bookshelfs, etc. A lot of that discipline comes from studying Lean methodologies in the past.

One thing I’ve struggled with has been keeping my car clean! So lately I started buying a few items and putting in some work!

I became interested with “best practices” for detailing a car, and that’s what you’ll find on this website. Hope this information helps you!

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