6 Tips to Detail Your Kia Like a Pro
There is more to washing your car than simply keeping it clean. Did you know that improper washing and drying methods are the most common causes of damage to your car’s paint work? If you choose not to bring your car to a professional, you can do your own washing and detailing. Here are six tips for cleaning and detailing your Kia like a professional.
1. Wash Often and Rinse Well
Some detailers recommend you wash your car every week. At the very least, wash off obvious problems — like bird droppings and mud — as soon as you notice them so they don’t harm the paint. Be thoughtful about what you put in the bucket. Household detergents can be too harsh on your car’s finish, and can strip off the paint’s protective wax. Professional detailers recommend using a milder car-wash soap.
2. Think Microfiber
Lambswool or microfiber cloths are the best choice for reducing friction and scratching. They are also easier to wash, rinse and dry. When drying your car, chamois or terrycloth towels are common choices, but the better pick is a waffle-weave microfiber towel.
3. Give Your Wheels Extra Attention
If you wash your Kia regularly, simply going over the wheels with a cloth and car-wash soap, or using a spray-on product, might be enough. However, if you allow grunge to build up, you will need the extra muscle of a dedicated wheel cleaner and brush. Just be sure the product you use is formulated for your type of wheels.
4. Clay Before Wax
Pros have been using clay for years. A clay bar system will remove contaminants, preparing your car for polishing and wax. Follow with a good wax or other sealant to protect the paint finish. Wax one section of the car at a time, using a foam or microfiber applicator pad in small, circular motions.
5. The Deepest Cut
Scratches that are deep enough to catch your fingernail but haven’t gone through the clearcoat will need the attention of a heavy polish and power buffer, or a dedicated scratch-remover kit. If a scratch is deeper than the color coat, and you can see white primer or metal, you can try applying a touch-up paint, but may prefer to have the area professionally repainted.
6. Love Your Leather
If you keep the leather clean over the life of your car, it should look virtually new, even after more than 10 years of daily use. Leather cleaners should be used regularly, before the material becomes too stained. You probably won’t need to use a leather conditioner, as most leather upholstery is now protected by a thin plastic coating.
You might wonder if regular care will boost your Kia’s resale value. The simple answer is yes. Dealers look at a car’s overall condition and how well it has been cared for over time, so regular cleaning will reward you with a good-looking car and a nice return.
Image via Flickr by MrVJTod