My friend asked me to detail her Ford Escape recently, and after about 8 hours of rubbing and scrubbing, her car looked almost new!
Who usually rides in your car?
The owner of this Escape has a couple of dogs and they shed a little so this fur had to come out of the interior. This was incredibly difficult since the dogs are short haired and so the wiry little hairs were all embedded in the seats. A neat trick I have used before is to take a strip of Duct tape and using the sticky side rub the tape across the surface with the fur on it. This did take quite a bit of fur out of the seats. She also has a horse so things like straw and saw dust were in there as well. Overall the interior was a little cleaner than the exterior, as it had been run through tar a few times over the past few months.
Where to begin?
I feel that the place to start on any project like this is with the dirtiest parts first. So I took it to the local quarter car wash and removed the floor mats and then vacuumed the thing out for about 30 minutes. Next is where you use the spray washer to hose off and scrub up the entire car. Starting at the top and working your way down get the whole thing wet and then spray on the tire cleaner followed by any bug and tar remover setting they may have.
The quarter car wash is a smart start!
While all of that chemistry is soaking I will pop the hood and spray in some engine cleaner followed by soap and finally a rinse. Make sure to not spray directly on the engine block or radiator. You can easily crack the block and maybe even fritz out the radiator if you are too aggressive with the spray wand. Don’t forget to hit the floor mats with the soap and rinse them really well. My quarter car wash has these large clips to hang these mats on which makes it easier to clean the mats.
Once you rinse under the hood really well it is time to go back and re-wash the tires and rims with the tire cleaner again, then soap the entire car down one time over and rinse it from the top down. After it is rinsed really well you can then apply their liquid wax if you are not doing anything else to the car right then. I had to clean off a lot of tar back at home so I skipped the wax step. As you leave don’t forget the mats! and make sure there are no cars zooming through the lot as I have almost been in a wreck there more than a few times!
Let the deep cleaning begin!
Once I got the car back home it was time to tear the interior apart. I took out all the mats again and used my shop vacuum to get into all the nooks and crannies of the interior. Also sprayed the seats with an upholstery cleaner made just for removing stains from car interiors. This really worked and the stains were 99% gone. Next I made the dash and instruments look like new with wet wipes and q-tips. The center console was pretty bad since it has had something spilled into it, plus the door rests were the same and all that took about an hour and a half all alone.
Cleaning the wheels was hard work!
Next I went outside and super scrubbed the wheels and tires with a tire and rim cleaner that I made myself. I start with some clean hot water and add a little shot of liquid dish soap, and then blended in about a cup of “Oxi-Clean” powder into a gallon of hot clean water. They were pretty caked up with the brake dust that accumulates on them over time. Next I scrubbed the tar off every inch of the car where the tires had sprayed the tar up and away from the road. Where the tar was particularly stubborn i used a dab of two cycle engine fuel I use for my chain saws. It is important to use only a little bit, and never straight gasoline!
Why use two cycle fuel mix on tar?
The oil in a two cycle mix helps dissolve and rub away the tar. Rinse and scrub these areas with the detergent you made, and make sure to wax this area liberally to help avoid this headache in the future. The blobs of tar on this car was It was halfway up the sides and some even made it inside the rear door jambs. Once the tar was all off I hand washed and waxed the entire car. lastly I did the windows inside and out with a special blend of window cleaner that I recently invented!
For any tips and tricks you want to know about please contact me and we can chat about it.
Thanks for reading my articles here on AC-Yahoo!