When you first bought your new 2016 Camry from our Columbus Toyota dealership, Germain Toyota of Columbus, it was perfect and still had that intoxicating “new car smell.” But even after a short while, your brand-new Camry will start to show inevitable signs of wear and tear.
Properly detailing your Camry not only keeps it looking sharp, but you’ll also save money on expensive professional detailing services, as well as feeling a sense of accomplishment when you step back and see how your handiwork has brought the luster back to your Camry (or any other vehicle, for that matter).
In Part 1 of this 2-part series, we’ll cover what materials and products you’ll need, how to clean your car’s interior, how to properly clean your car’s windows inside and out, how to clean your car’s wheels, and how to properly wash your car.
In next month’s Germain Toyota of Columbus’ exclusive DIY car-detailing installment, we’ll talk about more advanced techniques, such as how to deep-clean your vehicle’s exterior using a paint clay, proper use of a random orbital polisher, the difference between polishing and waxing, and how to give your tires a long-lasting shine.
We consulted car detailing guru Ian Civgin for some of his best car detailing advice which we share with you now. However, remember to check the cleaning and car care information in your Camry’s owner’s manual for any additional “do’s and don’ts” before you begin. Always follow the directions on each detailing product before use.
Before we get started, let’s talk about the materials and products you’ll need. The initial cost of purchasing a few simple detailing tools more than offsets this expense because you can use them over and over again. Some of the materials and equipment, easily obtained at your local auto parts or “big box” stores, include:
- Stiff Scrub Brush
- A Soft Scrub Brush
- Foaming Carpet Cleaner
- Several Different Microfiber Cloth
- Can Of Compressed Air
- Glass Cleaner
- All-Purpose Scrubbing Pad
- All-Purpose Interior Cleaner (for cars)
- Spray Bottle
- Leather Moisturizer/Protectant
- Acid-Free Wheel Cleaner
- Wheel Brush
- 2 Buckets
- Paint Clay
- Spray Wax
- Car Soap
- Lamp’s Wool Mitt
- Hose With Spray Nozzle
- Mild One-Step Polish & Applicator
- Random Orbital Polisher
- Masking Tape
- Synthetic Wax (Paint Sealant) Or Carnauba Wax
- Tire Shine Gel & Applicator Pad
- Cleaning Your Interior – The first step is to use a microfiber cloth to remove any dust or particles from the dashboard and center console. Use a Q-Tip and compressed air to blow contaminants out of nooks and crannies. Follow this with your vacuum’s crevice tool, using it on the carpets and floor. If you have cloth seats, use a stiff brush to remove any particles. Follow this up by vacuuming the seats.Thoroughly clean your floor mats by taking them out of the car and using a foam carpet cleaner and scrub brush to work the cleaner into the floor mat using a back-and-forth motion. Once they are clean, take a microfiber cloth and twist it into the floor mats to remove any residual foam. Once they are dried, vacuum the floor mats before putting them back into the car.
- Cleaning Your Windshield & Windows – Have you ever noticed the buildup of haze on the inside of your windows? This chemical film can be easily removed by using a glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Spray some cleaner on the windows and use straight up and down strokes. You’ll need to do this multiple times, making sure to use the clean part of the cloth, for the best result. Remove any remaining streaks with a plush microfiber cloth. This same technique can be used for the outside windows as well.
- Cleaning Leather & Vinyl – You can use a pre-mixed cleaning solution or mix a cleaning concentrate with water and put it into a spray bottle. Spray the cleaner on a microfiber cloth and run it on the dashboard, center console, and other interior surfaces until clean. Always use the clean part of the cloth.Spray the all-purpose cleaner liberally onto the leather surfaces and use a soft brush with small circular motions to remove embedded contaminants and debris. Wipe surfaces clean with a microfiber cloth and follow up with quality moisturizer or protectant specifically formulated for leather and vinyl.
- Restore Your Wheels – Cleaning your Camry’s aluminum alloy wheels, as well as the tires, does take some effort but the end result is worth it. Begin by filling two buckets with clean water. Use one of the buckets only to rinse of your wheel brush, leaving the other one to rinse off the wheels themselves.Then apply an environmentally friendly acid-free and water-based wheel cleaner directly to the wheels, wait about five minutes for it to loosen dirt and debris, and then use the wheel brush to wash it off. Repeat if necessary and don’t allow the cleaner to dry on the wheels. Give the wheels a final rinse and rub dry using a clean microfiber cloth. You can also remove brake dust and other contaminants with some paint clay, paying careful attention to use a spray wax for a lubricant to avoid scratching the surface of the wheel.
- Give Your Camry A Bath – Using the right materials, such as a lamb’s wool mitt, two buckets, and a detergent specially formulated for vehicles are two essential prerequisites. Make sure the car’s surface is cool to the touch and then mix the car wash into one bucket, leaving the other bucket filled with clean water. Rinse the car with a hose, thoroughly wet the lamb’s wool mitt in the soap bucket and wash using straight-line strokes. Concentrate on one area of the car at a time. Use the clean water to clean the mitt of accumulated dirt and grime before using it further. There’s also a product called “Grit Guard” that you place in the bottom of the rinse bucket. Rub the mitt on it to remove any dirt and debris.Rinse off the car and then dry it using microfiber cloths.
Check out our Car Detailing Tips Part 2 from Germain Toyota (coming soon)! Don’t have time to detail your car? No worries! Visit our Toyota dealership at 5711 Scarborough Blvd. Columbus, OH 43232, or give us a call at (888) 711-8804 to schedule a car detailing appointment with one of our experts. We look forward to getting your car summer ready and in top-notch condition!