23 DIY Car Detailing Tips That Will Save You Money


These are great DIY tips to detail your car while saving you money.

1. Begin at the Top

It’s common practice to start from the bottom while cleaning the car. However, that means as you move up, junk from the top will drop to the bottom. That’ll require further cleaning. Hence, clean from top to bottom.


2. Suck Up Dust as You Go

Make sure to vacuum the dash and headliner. You should also sweep the dust out of the cracks with a detailing brush.


3. De-stink the Interior

good smelling spray

Buy an aerosol can of non-smoke spray to eliminate any bad odors in your car.


4. Clean the Leather

clean leather

Clean up any spills immediately. Pre-treat the leather with a conditioner prior to cleaning.


5. Lubricate Trunk Hinges, Hood Hinges, Window Tracks, Door Weatherstripping, and Gas Tank Door

lubricate stuff

Overall, this lubrication will keep your car running in peak condition and you can do it all yourself!


6. Rinse Before Washing

Before you start with soapy water, rinse it off with some water. This will loosen the dust and road grit before you wipe it down with soap.


7. Brush Out the Air Vents

clean filter

People rarely clean the air vents in the car, however, they do trap a lot of dust and need to be dusted to ensure the highest air quality you and your passengers breathe.


8. Deep-Clean the Carpet and Upholstery

Use a carpet cleaner to get the deep dirt in the fibers.


9. Replace the Carpeting

Preformed carpets for your car can cost as little as $200. Invest in them when your carpeting is beyond help. It will give your car an elevated and luxurious feel.


10. Fix the Torn Leather

replace ripped leather

Use a leather/vinyl repair kit and take the time to repair your leather correctly. If you don’t you may have to entirely replace them down the line. The ripping will only get bigger as you ignore it.


11. Scrape off Stickers

Use a degreaser and a fresh razor blade to scrape off bumper stickers and decals.

12. Get Rid of Minor Paint Scratches

Use 3000-grit sandpaper, polishing compound, and polishing pads. Use a dual action polisher to remove small paint scratches.


13. Fix Paint Chips

detailing paint

Repair small paint chips as soon as you can before they become larger.


14. Plastic and Vinyl Colorant

Several light coats of colorant can really brighten up the car.


15. Refinish Wheels

Repainting and finishing your wheels can give the car a new sheen.


16. Splurge on Soap

splurge on soap

Spend a little on good soap. Don’t be the person who uses dishwashing soap.


17. Microfiber Mitt Over Sponge

Microfiber mitts get rid of the grit, but also don’t trap it in pores as sponges do.


18. Clean Out the Junk Under the Seats

declutter interior

Slide your seats forward and clean the junk underneath. A lot of stuff gets lost down there.


19. Apply Protective Film

Buy a protective film for your cars exterior online for about $120 and apply it yourself. This reduces paint chip damage.


20. Graphite Up the Door Locks

door graphite

Dry graphite powder will keep the door lock mechanism working for a long time.


21. Get Rid of Squeaky Doors

Squirt squeaky hinges with WD-40 to eliminate corrosion and that squeaky noise.


22. Get a Dual-Action Polisher

polish your car

Don’t confuse these with high-speed buffers since they operate at higher speeds. Polishing before a wax makes all the difference.


23. Replace Wiper Blades

If your wiper blades streak when you press the washer button, they need replacing. Go for a branded replacement. Their UV protection lasts longer. It’s super easy to do yourself.


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