Car cleaning/valeting

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martin.pearson

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Anyone on the forum valet their own car? Looking for recommendations on cleaning products, I meant to get my car done by a Company but I have left it a bit late now lol, got the MOT coming up & as it's a Mobility Car the dealership will take photos while it's in so I need to do a pretty good job. I got the contract extended for 6 months because I really don't know if I want another one from them so it doesn't really need to be absolutely perfect just now but does need to be fairly good.
 

Jameshow

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Ollie78

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Bilt Hamber is the business. No fancy smells like tropical fruits nonsense.
The stuff just works and their clay bar works with just water unlike many which need special sprays etc.

Ollie
 

Inspector

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I take it to valet a car is the same as detailing it here. My wife watched a bunch of Youtube videos until she found a guy talking that she felt knew his stuff and wasn't pushing a particular line of products. She bought some of the cleaners, polishes and waxes he was using along with the different cloths. She gets way more serious about cleaning her new car than I ever did on any I ever owned. When did dish soap and a towel become the wrong way to clean a car?

Pete
 

Steve_Scott

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Spend £20 at your local drive in hand car wash and they should clean, wax and vacuum the inside. Not a perfect job by true valet standards but it’s not like you’re showing the car or anything!
 

TomGW

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It sounds like your car is similar to a lease deal. No need to worry about anything other than a wash and vacuum unless there’s serious stains on upholstery or carpet. On a lease deal, when the car is being returned after the contract period it gets checked for dings, scrapes, kerbed alloys etc and charges levied accordingly. It’s worth checking what those charges are before undertaking to put them right yourself. I know that the VW Finance charge for a kerbed alloy is way lower than paying to have it properly refurbed yourself.
 

Terry - Somerset

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A £10 car wash should get the outside and wheels looking entirely acceptable unless there is basic damage - trolley dents, kerbed wheels etc which need something more invasive.

Similarly interior vacuum, possible carpet clean if stained or seriously dirty, clean inside of windows, wipe down interior plastics is all that is required. Local car wash may do a valet like this in about an hour while you wait (or get some coffee)

The end result will not get past first base in a concours contest - but will leave the car looking as (say) a 3 year old reasonably looked after car should.
 

MARK.B.

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I doubt they will take photo's or really care if the inside resembles a teenagers bedroom . The mechanics that do the MOT are only interested in being able to get at the bits they need to inspect so give it a wash on the outside and remove the half eaten pizza from the passenger foot well and you should be good to go .
 

martin.pearson

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Thanks for the replies, I may be over thinking this as I am not actually handing it back yet but yes they will take photos to send to Motability & then Motability decide what is fair wear & tear for a 3 year old car & what I have to pay for. I had a Motability car in 1996, at the end of 3 years when the contract finished the charges I had to pay for wear & tear & excess mileage were that high I ended up buying it from them which was almost as cheap lol. I swore then I would never have another one & didn't until 3 years ago when I didn't really have any other option.
Someone told me they are not as harsh on users as they were back when I had one before but it is still on my mind lol

What will having a dirty car result in if i may ask? I don't really know but they expect you to look after them & I am like some of the others that have commented in that a car is something that goes from a to b & if it gets dirty the dirt helps protect it lol Or in the case of some of the cars that I have owned the dirt was holding them together !!!
 

manicminer

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Spend some time cleaning the wheels and tyres, it really adds the overall appearance of the car. Use a stiff brush on the wheels and try and get between the spokes.Get some 'wheel cleaner' from Halfords. Use some 'tyre shine' to bring the tyres back to a new appearance.
Once the body has been washed, dry the water with a large towel and then use a quick detailer spray and a couple of microfiber towels to bring a shine to the body.
Use house window cleaner on the windows.
Dont wash the car in direct sunshine. An overcast day is best. If the body gets too hot the products will flash off too quick and loose their impact and the water will evaporate, leaving streak that you will than have to polish off.
I wouldnt spend a fortune on car shampoo, unless your car is cleaned regularly, you wont see the benefit. If its really dirty, for the first wash , get some washing up liquid in bucket. Yes, its bad, because it contains salt - but it gets the job done and rinse with plenty of water and wash again with a suitable car shampoo.
 

hairy

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The best thing, having thrown plenty of money in the likes of Autoglym etcs direction in the past, for windows is newspaper.
Maybe half a free newspaper will do a car. One or two sheets wet first having sluiced any grit off, then one of two more to polish dry.
I did a ceramic coating myself in Nov 20 which is still going strong, Gyeon Cancoat. Some prep required, any shampoo when you wash despite what they say, then rinsed with their Bathe+. Clean and sheds dirt luvely jubbly.
 

ian33a

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I will never take any car that I own car to a car wash - ever. Equally, I don't spend hours and hours cleaning them on my driveway. I agree totally with what manicminer has said. Owning a black car with an almost totally black interior, I have to pick my moments to clean it and a sunny day is not the best time and a fluffy microfibre towel is my best friend.

If my car was leased or if I had no intention of buying it at some stage I wouldn't care half as much. It would probably frequent the car wash and see a cheap hoover every now and again. While some companies may be over picky about returning lease or rental cars, most accept that people run them as transport tools rather than seeing them as an extended family member and accept a degree of wear and tear as part of the depreciation calculation.
 
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