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If I Had 10 Minutes To Talk Interior Detailing



If I had 10 minutes to counsel anyone on interior detailing, the following is likely what I would discuss.

For the professional detailer/owner, for the do-it-yourself person, and for CUSTOMERS get over the ‘it’s just cleaning a car’ mindset.  I emphasize this for customers, especially due to the reality that at one point you will likely be the do-it-yourself person cleaning your car and a customer of the professional detailer/owner.  Speaking to the customer, many of the professional/owners will not and may never take this advice to heart.

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For those that are familiar with or have been briefed on the careful meticulous process of a ceramic coating detail, if that same respect were paid to the interior detailing process, I would not be motivated to write this article.  For those that would mock that sentiment, I would present to you many stories from experienced and reputable (including myself) professionals who have been told about the damage done by the other detailer.  Be wary of what you see on social media and frankly advise from non-established professionals who operate from this mentality.

When in doubt choose dedicated interior products for the surface you are working on.  The damaged interior from the picture above came from a household glass cleaner.  I hear about damaged interiors from the improper use of all-purpose cleaners from detailing business, nearly on a monthly basis.  There is nothing inherently wrong with automotive detailing all purpose cleaner products.  I use these products for interior detailing OCCASSIONALLY.  The issue is motivation and lack of education.  I want to make this clear, there is no product that I am familiar with for detailing called ‘APC’ or ‘All-Purpose Cleaner’.  There are various brands that supply all purpose cleaners of unique formulations and of different grades of quality.  The problem is often the person that is most likely motivated to grab a bottle of all-purpose cleaner is making that decision almost solely on cost effectiveness.  That same person is willfully ignorant of areas to avoid, proper dilution ratio, issues with shelf life, when to spray onto the surface or towel, how to PH neutralize the surface afterwards for the product used, what stains to avoid (permanently setting).  That is in addition to the person often not reading the directions on a product (diluted for variety of use) with consequences that come with versatility.  Again, there is nothing wrong with these products.  But if what I mentioned is overwhelming you should stick to a dedicated cleaner!

Often the obvious seemingly trivial things overlooked carry consequences.  Read the instructions.  When In doubt, spray on microfiber towel and not the surface.  People often forget it is not just the surface you are cleaning, but the neighboring areas that can be damaged by the product used.   Give more consideration to the effect product used has on the neighboring area.

These 3 products (maintenance/mild cleaner) in addition to a vacuum cleaner used with some effort can provide more acceptable results versus searching for a quality detailing service on a low budget.  Gtechniq TriClean is safe to use on most surfaces.  The Scrub Ninjas do an excellent job agitating dirt on various interior surfaces.

Rodney Tatum
Mirror Reflections Auto Spa
Gainesville, Florida
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2 comments on If I Had 10 Minutes To Talk Interior Detailing

  1. Ron Ayotte says:

    Excellent points. I am a moderator on two detailing Facebook pages (DetailWise and DIY Detail) and I am also a member of many others. One of them is called “Beginner Detailing”, geared to people who are new to detailing. I see so much “disinformation” about products that can be used as well as the “panic posts” where someone used the wrong chemicals on an interior detail.

  2. Cole says:

    Thanks. There are so many products out there that it can be confusing. But having specific products for the different uses and application is definitely something a DIY car detailer should do

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