Car Detailing Tips

Let's face it: even if you bring your car in every so often for a thorough detail at TXG Automotive, you still need some upkeep. Welcome to our car detailing hub - you'll learn some tips and tricks from us to keep your car looking nice and clean, even after your detail.

At TXG, our professional detailing equipment goes above and beyond - but at home, there's still things you can do in your own garage. A clean car means a happy drive. We know all about that. Our auto detailing is one of our specialties. But realistically, your car might need a TLC touch-up once a week. Here's some tips for some common messes you may need to tend to.

Car Cleaning Maintenance can be a breeze
Photo by Christine Sandu on Unsplash

DIY Danger

We've all seen a few questionable DIY solutions, cleaners, or fixes online for an array of issues. While it's up to your discretion, we always recommend using an intended product or letting detailing handle it. For the longevity of your vehicle, it's best not to experiment. Make sure anything you try is well-researched and safe.

Got Pets? No Problem.

We all know man's best friend can get . . . hairy. Even if you have seat protectors, pet hair will find its way into your car somehow. The frustrating issue is that the carpet fibers stick to the hair - meaning it's definitely a pain to get out, and the average vacuum won't do the trick.

Preventative measures are the way to go - make sure you're brushing your dog before trips if they're high shedding, and protect your seats with a seat cover from pet hair, accidents, and more.

Even if you've got leather seats, your dog or cat could scratch and damage them  - protect your vehicle for the long-term. If you take these steps, the amount of pet hair will be less to begin with.

If you've got pet problems, TXG Automotive will get the hair out and your vehicle will look brand new.

The Dreaded Seat Stain

You're cruising through your morning commute, when suddenly, you have to slam on your breaks and your cold brew goes flying. Most of us have been there - stains on cloth seats are nothing to mess with. The best practice is to treat the stain right away, or as soon as you can.

Some say baking soda and vinegar works, if you're a firm believer in that mixture. However, you can also use detergent with hot water, or buy a product specifically for cloth seat stain removal. If you've got a carpet cleaner with an attachment, you can try that out, too.

As for leather seats, you'll have to be more careful. There are many DIY how-to's online, but we recommend picking up a leather seat cleaner to ensure the integrity and quality of your leather seats remains. If you can't get the stain out, come on down to TXG Automotive and let our professional equipment do the heavy lifting.

Window Woes

Here's another common issue on the interior - the insides of your windows. If you have a child or pet, the insides of your windows may get dirtier much quicker. Fido sticking his nose against the glass or your toddler smearing their hands across from the reach of their car seat - we've been there.

Make sure to touch up your windows with a basic glass cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth or microfiber mitt. This is a quick process, but makes a huge difference.

But what about the outsides of your window? Even a quick run through the local car wash will leave water spots. You can always pick up a water spot removing product, or let the pros handle it at TXG Automotive. If you've got the time, you can also gently squeegee your vehicle after a spray-down to remove excess water and prevent water spots.

In South Dakota, water spots are no joke - hard water spots on your car can be impossible to get off. Rather than trying vinegar or damaging your paint finish, bring your car down to TXG Automotive for a buff - we will get those hard water spots right off of your vehicle with our auto detailing.

Carwash Consistency

Make sure that in general, you take your car through the local wash often - especially in the winter, when contaminants in snow and road salt can damage your vehicle's exterior over time. While it may be fun to draw a work of art on your back window, that's a good sign your car needs a good cleaning. Auto detailing is a big part of keeping your car in good condition, but that doesn't mean you should wait until a deep-clean detail for maintenance. A car wash is an easy, necessary part of owning a vehicle. Keep that paint shiny-new and in great condition for the longevity of your car's value.

Carwash Bubbles
Photo by NATHAN MULLET on Unsplash

If you choose to wash the outside of your car at home, make sure you're using the right tools - the wrong solutions and brushes or cloths can damage your vehicle's paint. If you invest in the right car care products, your vehicle will retain more value.

Auto parts stores carry cleaners formulated just for vehicles. Make sure to use microfiber wash mitts or appropriate, paint-friendly materials. Also, get a good microfiber cloth that won't scratch or damage your car's paint.

Carpet Care

At TXG Automotive, our professional carpet extractor will do the trick - but if you spill or want to upkeep in the wintertime, make sure to get appropriate floor mats.

Especially in South Dakota winters, all the snow, mud, and salt can really do a number on the carpet of your vehicle. Protective floor mats will not only prevent carpet damage, they'll make cleaning easier - all-weather mats are easy to soap down and spray off rather than scrubbing the carpets with no results.

You'll breathe a sigh of relief when your potluck dish slides on the passenger floor on the way to the cookout, your kid's apple juice lid comes undone, or you're trudging through the mud before getting in your car.

Even with preventative measures like floor mats, cleaning carpet - even the nooks and crannies - will keep the floors of your car in good condition and prevent further problems and stains. For a deep clean, bring your car down to TXG Automotive.

Car Tire Care
Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

Tame Your Tires

Often overlooked are your tires - while at TXG you'll get full tire dressing, there's upkeep you can do, especially during the winters.

You can give your tires a nice rinse, scrub the tire with hot water and appropriate soap, and let them sit for a few minutes to soften any grime built up.

Then, rinse the soap, and repeat if necessary. Make sure to rinse your brush - you don't want to transfer any grime next time you clean your tires.

Dry your tires with a microfiber cloth or mitt to reduce any spots. You can also buy tire protectant or wax to help retain the tire's shine and cleanliness. Wax will seal your tires and prevent any brake dust adhesion.

Outside of cleaning, make sure you're gentle with your tires - damage from curb scrapes, driving over debris, or improper tire pressure can result in further cosmetic or safety issues.

Make sure to check the tread of your tires and take the proper steps to upkeep and maintenance.

Interior Grime Prevention

Even if you're meticulously clean, dirt and grime will find its way to the interior of your car. Some ideas to prevent this are simple. For drink spills and condensation, place silicone cupcake liners in your cupholders. This protects the cupholder. If that's not your thing, you can buy cupholder liners, and many vehicles have removable rubber liners you can easily rinse in warm water and soap and replace.

You can also buy a mini trash can for your car, like this behind-the-seat buckle trashcan. Keeping trash clear from your vehicle and door sills prevents a lot of cleanup and mess in the future. These are also convenient for kiddos snacking in the backseat - they can put their trash right in the bin.

You can also buy inserts for in-between your seat and your center console (also known as the Bermuda Triangle, because everything seemingly disappears down there). This prevents dropping small items or crumbs in-between seats. That's right, no more missing cell phone under your seat! These also double as storage for things like wallets, pens, and more.

Andraz Lazic on Unsplash

Storage Ease

Is your glovebox a plethora of mixed papers? Is your center console full of coins, straws, and napkins? Take some time to tidy - it's worth it. Get a file folder for your glove box to organize any papers, and make sure to keep your registration handy in a laminated sleeve.

For your center console, you can work with what you've got, or purchase an organizer that'll fit your car. This can help arrange coins, sunglasses, napkins, and more. If everything is easily accessible, you'll thank yourself later. Make sure to declutter your trunk, too.

Keep the necessities on hand - jumper cables, flashlight, or a blanket - whatever you choose to keep in your trunk, organize it in a small box or container for storage ease and use.

Paint Problems

While it's obvious you should take preventative measures, paint damage can happen over time. With regular, proper cleaning and detailing, you can keep your car's paint in the best shape possible. If you've got a sports car or just want extra protection when not currently driving your vehicle for a period of time, you can purchase a car cover. This will prevent dust and surface contaminants from damaging your car's paint.

The paint surface is protected by a coating - this can take damage over time. Bring your car in to TXG and ask about buffing your paint if it's taken some damage.

Clean Ride

With these tips, it'll be easier to keep your vehicle not only clean but in great condition over time. If you take care of your car, it'll take care of you. Make sure to stay up to date on maintenance and refer to your owner's manual. For a cleaning beyond at-home touchups, contact TXG for a full vehicle detail - we'd love to get your car looking shiny and new.