In Corona times, it is a delicious period to pay (loving) attention to our cars. Your servant has tackled even to repair his BMW, something we would never have endeavored in normal times. Our Z3 is in mint condition, its car cover keeps it clean over the months, although the seats in the interior might also benefit from some care and attention. We will come back on this soon. We have the idea here to ask the opinion of Carrosserie Vercruysse, who helped us so beautifully and expertly putting our Lexus CT200h in mint condition.
The other good reason is that the cloth seats of the Lexus are easily soiled as they are light beige, and we need to put some proper maintenance to be done there too, so we will ask them how to tackle this properly.
Cleaning Mercedes seats…
But the delights and pleasures of car detailing came also back to me when I cleaned the white faux leather front seats of my B Class Mercedes. I used lukewarm soapy water, applied it with a soft brush and soaked up gently the excess moisture with sponge and terry cloth.
They are again like new, and I do this regularly every 8 months or so, so the seats are hardly soiled to begin with. The rest of the interior and dashboard get the same gentle clean with a humid terry or microfibre cloth, gently, never scrubbing as the plastic dial covers can be o so easily scratched, as the rest of the dashboard.
Soft brushes are used for vent openings, again never too vigorous as the polished surfaces can also be damaged easily.
When delving into literature about Car cleaning and detailing, we stumbled on an article by Porsche on car detailing.
Really magnificent, as it is car detailer Richard Tipper who explains to get your car looking again as new.
He has an obsessive approach to cleaning cars, it seems. He has built up a very large clientele of car lovers, from collectors with more than 200 cars to the daily driver who just happens to cherish his mount.
As he also often disassembles interior/exterior elements of a car to make them meticulously clean, he has a keen notion how cars can be designed and built with love and attention to detail. Needless to say that this man is also a Porsche lover, and the proud owner of a Cayman R. He has detailed a Carrera GT more than once, and is impressed with the care Porsche engineers have taken to engineer every little part of this car.
Detailing a car is no small affair. It usually takes Richard a day or two, but when the owner wants also the inner brake linings for example to be cleaned, it involves taking things apart, and then it can take even up to a week. Usually he takes the seats out for example, just to clean everything thoroughly in every nook and cranny of the car floor. But that is a minimum.
You can find him on Instagram under @perfectionvalet, and of course on YouTube.
Wheel cleaning like an expert
We cite here the tips he gave us about cleaning your very nice alloy wheels.
“It’s best to do the wheels before you wash the rest of the car, as they are often the dirtiest part of the whole vehicle. Use a different bucket for this bit.”
-Invest in some soft ‘wheel brushes’, which are usually made out of microfibre, not bristles. Choose a set with plastic handles, rather than metal, to help prevent scratching.
-You’ll also need a deioninising decon gel. I never use acidic wheel cleaners, especially on cars with Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes (PCCB), as the disc hub is anodized and the acid will damage the surface.
-But the gels work really well (other than stinking like rotten eggs) and have a colour change technology in them so you can tell they’re working. Most will ‘bleed’ purple to show they’re reacting with the iron in the brake dust.
-The best way to clean a wheel is to take it off, but if you can’t do that, spray the decon gel on the cold wheel, trying to avoid getting it on the disc or pads as much as possible.
-Give it a bit of ‘dwelling time’, allowing the product to work its way into the nooks and crannies.
-Next, it’s onto the wheel brushes. These come in various sizes, so use whichever one is best for the area you’re working on. Use them to spread the decon gel around, paying particular attention to the valve and wheel nuts.
-Don’t forget the inside of the wheel to make a really thorough job of it. If you’re lucky enough to own a Carrera GT, you’ll find the caliper sits very near to the back of the wheel so it’s tricky to get a wheel brush in behind the alloy. Rotate the wheel by a quarter of a turn and then you’ll be able to clean that section as well.
-Finally, thoroughly rinse everything off. Please don’t blast the alloys close-up with a pressure washer – just a gentle rinse will do.
-Some people use tire shine as a final flourish, but one warning: avoid it if you leave your car under a cover, as it’ll smear itself all over the inside of the cover.
More to come soon, about a very important bit: how to expertly wash your car…
Just enjoy some photos here already…
Hans Knol ten Bensel