The Science of Car Cleaning Products

In most cases you can clean and protect your vehicle with just a few basic car cleaning products. In this article you will learn some of the science behind auto detailing supplies so you can clean your car the right way.

Soil can be organic, non-organic or petroleum. That’s important to know. If you can identify the soil you’re dealing with you can use the right cleaner. When you use the correct cleaner most stains come out with ease.

Take organic soil as an example. Organic basically means that it contains carbon. Stains in this group include proteins, animal fat, body oil, mold, yeast, insects, bacteria and excrement. The classic example is the batch of hot French fries your three year old spilled on the back seat. That’s an organic soil stain.

Non-organic soil does not have carbon molecules. Most often we find these stains on the exterior the vehicle. A good example that frustrates most of us from time-to-time are water spots from minerals. Acid rain spots fall into this category, as well.

Finally we get to petroleum. These soils come from substances that do not contain or cannot be mixed with water. Motor oil, grease and road tar are the most common petroleum soils. Note that chewing gum is also a petroleum soil.

Now that you are aware of the three types of stains we can begin to discuss cleaners. Let me tell you, there are a lot of them. Unfortunately, no one has invented a true all-purpose automotive cleaner. Due to the many different surfaces and soils, automotive cleaners are complex mixtures of chemicals blended for a particular type of surface or soil. The most common chemicals used include surfactants, solvents, wetting agents, saponifiers and chelators.

Soaps and detergents are made using a surfactant. It’s an agent that has two compounds. One molecule is attracted to the soil itself, while the other loves water. The compound that’s attracted to water is a hydrophile. Its job is to surround the soil. The soil attracting agent is a hydrophobe. Its purpose is to break up the soil so the hydrophile can get to it and make it float away.

All cleaners needs a solvent of one sort or another to dissolve dirt and carry it away. Some solvents, including mineral spirits, work on petroleum soils and may be necessary on surfaces damaged by water. Did you know that the most common solvent used in cleaners is water?

Speaking of water, any solution that has a water base or mixes with water has a pH level. The term pH is merely a measurement of the relationship between hydrogen ions and hydroxyl ions. When you have more hydrogen ions than hydroxyl ions, that’s an acid. Likewise, if you have more hydroxyl ions than hydrogen ions it’s an alkali. Knowing this is important because any cleaner that falls at either end of the pH scale can cause serious damage.

The pH scale runs from 0 to 14. The lower half of the scale represents acids and the upper half represents alkalis. As you might have guessed, water is neutral and has a pH of 7.0.

If you know the pH of a cleaner you will know where you can use it. A carpet shampoo should have a pH around 8 or 9, whereas an all-purpose wheel cleaner should be between 12 and 14. Try using a cleaner made for wheels on your car’s fabric and carpet will make a pretty big mess.

Now that you know the basics you can better understand why there are so many car cleaning products and auto detailing supplies. Your vehicle has many different surfaces and they have different cleaning requirements. You can avoid using harsh cleaners by using basic protection. Wax the exterior several times each year and protect the interior with appropriate products. For the ultimate in protection, use an outdoor car cover or a waterproof car cover when you park outside.

Tips on Cleaning Car Interiors

Aside from looking great, having clean interiors can create a healthier environment for car. It will be safer when your parents or friends ride with you. Even if we clean ourselves everyday, if our surroundings are unclean, it will pose a risk on our health. Since we ride our cars to work, to the grocery or even to the mall, it is important that we keep it clean. The interior is the most critical area because it is where we sit throughout the ride.

Vacuuming

Take out your floor mats and vacuum the seats as well as the carpets. With the proper attachments, you can reach around the pedals, under the seats and even the sections between the central console and the front seats. It will make it easier to seep out dirt stuck in the farthest corners.

You can utilize a soft brush attachment for doors and dashboards. Be extra carful on the vents, sticking parts and knobs. You can also use this same attachment when vacuuming your seats. Since leather seats are fragile, make sure you do not accidentally scratch them with your vacuum hose.

Cleaning Door and Fabric Seat Upholstery

There are numerous kinds of upholstery cleaning agents available in the market. You can decide on what you prefer for your car upholstery. Although there are cleaning agents that make a lot of promises, your best bet is to go with a trusted brand that the majority uses.

Turtle Wax’s spray cleaners are good. You can use it to evenly spray on your door and seat upholstery then rub it vigorously. After this, use a dry cloth to wipe it off thoroughly.

You can also use a laundry detergent for alternatives. Combine it with some water then dip a clean cloth in it. Make sure you squeeze it well but it is still barely moist when you use it. Work harder on the dirty sections. Once you are finished, dry it out using a dry soft and clean cloth.

Make sure you do not get water inside your car because it can get into the electrical components, resulting to problems. Aside from this, if the water gets into your seats or under your carpet, it can lead to stains, corrosion and mould smell.

Cleaning the Carpet

Similar to the method you used on cleaning your upholstery and seats, you can clean your carpets the same way. First, evenly spray your carpet with some caret cleaner and rub it vigorously. Use a dry cloth when wiping it. Laundry detergents also work well with carpets. Make sure you do not soak your carpet in water; it will lead to corrosion and mould smell. Finally, dry out your carpet.

Cleaning and Polishing the Dashboard

To clean the central console, dashboard and other plastic parts, you can just use a barely moist cloth. Utilize only small amounts of laundry detergent when removing stains. Then dry it with a dry, soft and clean cloth.

You can make it shiny by spraying plastic polish and evenly spreading it with a soft brush. Make sure you do not directly spray on your stereo. You can use a brush to do so. Afterwards, gently dry polish your dashboard. You can also use a dry, soft and clean cloth. It will make your dashboard shinier and will also protect the plastic. Periodically, you can just use a soft duster, ensuring that your dashboard will look brand new for a very long time.

Getting Rid of the Air Conditioner’s Musty Smell

For unpleasant, musty smells from your air conditioner’s vents when it is turned on, you can just buy odor treatment from your local auto accessories shop. It kills the mildew smell and the bacteria. A good brand is Wynn’s. You simply spray it onto the outside air intake vent.

Another reason for the damp mildew smell can be a clogged air conditioner, drain tubes or an accumulation of debris under your cowl cover. You can just have your mechanic check on this the next time you have your oil changed.

For other auto cleaning and car washing issues, especially if you do not have the time to clean your car because of your very busy schedule, you can just take it to the nearest auto cleaner or car wash. I the US, the most trusted car wash chain is Auto Bell Car Wash. This was founded by Charles Howard Sr. in the year 1969. They have an ongoing promo which provides customers with unlimited full service washes for only $39.95 a month. This promo is available in all their locations. They cater to a large selection of car appearance services. /they aim to maintain your car’s safety in an affordable price.

They offer several services. First is the full service wash. This includes vacuuming; exterior washing; window, mats, tires and wheel cleaning; wiping interiors and hand finished exteriors. They also have double polyprocess service. This is their exclusive service that requires a couple of steps of polishing and clear coating.This is designed for today’s finishes. It also includes Auto Gloss to reduce surface tension and enhance the shine.

And third is the polish service done after the finish is cleaned. They make use of a special non-abrasive polishing agent that removes all minor scratches. After this, they will apply a sealer.

Auto Detailing Basics – Cleaning the Carpet

The carpet in any car or truck is the first thing to show obvious signs of wear. Dirty shoes, debris from the road, spills, crumbs, and other causes result in carpets that capture and retain dirt. This is why your carpets, even after a quick vacuuming, always appear dirty and soiled.

Luckily, cleaning your vehicle's carpets is easier than you think. Unlike other surfaces of your car, such as your dashboard or center console, the carpet is very similar to the carpet that you'd find in your home. This means that there are multitudes of cleaning products that exist that are both auto detailing oriented and inexpensive.

Auto Detailing Inside Tip: Laundry Soap Does the Trick!

Using laundry soap, mixed in concentrate with water, is usually all you need. For severe stains, a conventional stain remover (so long as it is non-bleaching) is typically all you'll need.

Mix the laundry soap (the new "concentrated" detergent works best) into a nominal amount of water (about enough soap for 1 load of laundry in approximately 1-1.5 gallons of water) and use a scrub brush on the carpet. Be sure to really get everywhere with the brush, and ensure that your brush is always carrying a fresh supply of soapy water.

Once you have successfully managed to clean the soiled areas, take a separate brush and rise with clean water. Do not pour the water directly on to the carpet, but apply it liberally enough so as to rinse the carpet out. Then use a sponge to sop up any excess. Then, use a wet / dry shop-vac to suck up as much water as you can from the carpet. The vehicle may need to sit overnight to dry out with the windows open.

The Secret to Successful Auto Detailing is Consistency!

Anyone can clean their car. The benefit of using a professional auto detailing company is that they will take the time to ensure that a high-quality job is done. However, you can achieve that same result by being meticulous in your process as you clean. Your carpets, for example, may need several treatments to completely remove the dirt and stains.

Don't forget to remove the floormats and seats to ensure that you are able to clean as much of the carpet as possible. Ideally, you should only have to do a thorough auto detail of your car two or three times per year. In fact, it can make a great Saturday afternoon project!