Monthly Tips

Washing Your Vehicle

Before you can wax it, you MUST wash it! Use a soft; CLEAN wash mitt and a neutral PH car wash soap such as Stinger's’ Super Soap or Wash-N Wax.

Never use dish washing detergent. The dishwashing detergent damages the finish, stripping it of vital oils and the wax (you just put on last weekend) causing it to dry out.

Wet the car down first to prep the vehicle for the soap, this will also help in the removal of any bug grime. At this time, use Stinger Exterminator Bug Off with a Wash Mitt or Bug Block to remove bugs and any tar or road film that has accumulated. You can also presoak the doorjambs and hatch/trunk areas now using an all-purpose cleaner such as All Clean. Scrub if necessary with a Bug Block or Sponge, rinse areas before you wash the vehicle. Body side moldings can be scrubbed with a soft brush and all-purpose cleaner such as All Clean or Black Scorpion

The rims should be done first, before the body. The rims collect brake dust very easily so you'll need a small brush and a cleaner appropriate for your rims, (Chrome & Wire or Red Wasp Degreaser) by this I mean you'll need to know if your rims are clear coated or not. Remember the brake dust that's deposited is extremely hot and bonds very strongly with the irregular surface of the rims. Ensure you wet down the rims/tires first, you want to make sure the chemical is strong and not diluted with water. Stinger has several good products for rim cleaning, just read the labels closely when you make your selection. Don't overlook the under side of the vehicle, and the gas cap lid as well! Black Scorpion works well for cleaning rubber surfaces.

When washing, start from the top and work your way down. Rinse the vehicle a couple times as you work your way down. Don't forget to wash those doorjambs too! Don't forget - always wash/detail your car in the shade and the vehicle surface is cool!

When drying the vehicle off, you can use Stinger’s synthetic chamois to get the bulk of the water, but finish it off with a Micro fiber towel

When you're done washing and the car is mostly dry, apply Stingerís Premium Dressing to the tires and bumpers. I recommend to do this before waxing so all the little airborne droplets from the dressing won't get on the fresh wax. You can also spray the plastic parts, like the grill by the wipers, for example with silicone such as Stingers Shine. it now, like the grill by the wipers for example.

For the interior and the rubber and plastic guards inside the wheel wells, I recommend you use Stinger’s Pearl White as a dressing. It's very good, and economical. STAY AWAY from any products that contain formaldehyde or harsh preservatives, which can dry out your plastic or vinyl.

Vacuuming The Interior

The interior is really where you make or break a detailing job. This is what customers look at all the time. It has to be look great. Most people don't realize the level of the detail you go into when you clean a car, all the nooks & crannies where dirt can build up!

If you're doing a full detail (3-5hrs), wash and dry the car (mostly) first then move to the interior. This way the exterior is fully dried when you finish up the interior and are ready to prep/seal/wax.

To start, you'll need to vacuum the car out. Get anything that's not nailed down out of the car, floor mats etc. A good wet/dry vac is necessary for this. While you're vacuuming have a pointy semi-firm brush at hand to get the grime out of the cracks of the console and dash or whatever. A firm bristled brush is good for stirring up the carpet matt so you can get most of the dirt out of the carpet. Don't worry about getting absolutely everything at first; you'll be vacuuming again after the shampoo.

Once you've vacuumed out the vehicle, use Stinger’s All Clean to get the stubborn stains off the vinyl etc ... Don't forget the steering wheel, this is where lot's of gunk builds up! Use Stinger’s 40:1 window cleaner sprayed on a rag to get the headliner clean. There are several good cleaners such as All Clean or Green Hornet. For caked on grease stains use Black Scorpion or Red Wasp (test in a inconspicuous place) it might bleed the color from fabrics. Use it carefully! . Don't forget the trunk/hatchback areas as well!

Shampooing The Interior

Once the car has been vacuumed, you're ready to shampoo. Stinger All Purpose Carpet Shampoo and a stiff tire brush are needed here as well. Mix in the shampoo with water; you'll want a lot of nice foam. The foam is what you'll use. Using the foam, start with the carpets on the driver’s side, then the seats. This keeps the water to a minimum. Move around the whole car until you're done. If the carpet isn't too dirty, you don't have to scrub every square inch, just get the dirty areas. As for the floor mats, wet them down real good (this an excellent opportunity for the power washer) and spray the all Clean on them. Scrub them real good, then rinse very well. Hang them vertically and they'll dry off pretty quick. Also, Stinger carries Carpet Magic that can be mixed with water in a spray bottle. For carpets that are sun faded, Carpet Magic can bring back them back to life and make them look as good as new. Before shampooing use All Clean to get isolated stains out.

With the shampooing complete, you have two options. One, you can vacuum up the shampoo residue which will pull up the dirt, or you can use a carpet steam cleaner. Steam cleaners really pull up the gunk that's been imbedded in the fabric mat, but they'll leave the carpet slightly damp for a short while. Most of the time I only use carpet extractors on carpets that are really dirty. I could do it three or four times and still be sucking up dirt (the water turns really black!).

Applying The Vinyl and Leather Preserver

With the carpeting cleaned, it's time for the leather and vinyl. I recommend Stinger Pearl White it has UV protectants and lasts quite a while. Ensure you do not put it on the steering wheel, foot pedals or any glass or clear plastic surfaces. (The dressings will leave the pedals and the steering wheel slick which could cause an accident, it will also cloud and leave a residue on glass and clear plastic, which is extremely hard to get off). Spray the areas directly, let it soak for a minute or two, and then wipe it. I spray it on a rag for tight or sensitive areas. Sometimes I spray all the vinyl and leather before wiping it down, it depends on the vehicle though. On some cars it's better to just apply it to a cloth first so you don't stain any clear plastic.

Cleaning The Windows - Streak Free!

Finally, the windows. This is straightforward. Don't spray Stinger Glass Cleaner directly on the window, but onto a rag. All the little droplets will mess up the nice n' shiny dash! Have a Micro Fiber cloth ready to wipe it dry. With all this said and done it's time to add the fragrance. I use Stinger Air Freshener and deodorizer products that leave a fresh, clean smell. I spray the carpets, seats, and directly into the vents. This way when you turn on the air - mmm a nice and clean smell comes out again! The air conditioner is a trap for bacteria. Many people get sick and they can't figure out why, it may be these vents.

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