Tips and Tricks for Cleaning and Waxing Your Chevrolet Vehicles

April 27th, 2022 by


Cleaning your car isn’t rocket science. Still, have you ever wondered how the professional detailer gets your car sparkling like brand new? To clean your car successfully, it comes down to the technique, equipment, and cleaning agents. If you are tired of spending an entire weekend trying to rejuvenate your vehicle and are ready to clean like the pros, we’ve assembled some tips and tricks to help.

Take an Inside-Out Approach

2022 Chevy Tahoe

We recommend you begin with your car’s interior. First, remove everything from the inside, including the floor mats and any gear or tools from the trunk. This gives you access to the entire surface area of the car’s interior, allowing you to address any nooks and crevices you’d otherwise miss.


Once the car is empty, start by vacuuming the entire car. It helps if you have separate attachments for your vacuum. A soft brush means you can avoid scratching delicate surfaces such as wood trim or metal appliques.

Use a long, thin attachment that reaches into the smaller areas between seats and consoles to get dirt and debris. Many vacuums have an extension designed for cloth material such as a couch or your car seats. This type of extension has firm but gentle ridges to help release dirt particles stuck between the fabric’s weave.

Floor Mats

If you have carpeted floor mats, you can use a vacuum designed for cloth on these. If you have rubber car mats, any attachment will do. After vacuuming cloth mats, we recommend using a stain remover to clean those ground-in dirt stains left by your work shoes or the kids’ soccer cleats. You should wash and scrub rubber mats with a gentle brush and cleaning agent that won’t harm the material. Check the label to make sure you won’t damage the rubber.


If you have cloth-covered seats, use the stain remover you used on your cloth floor mats to clean any coffee or food spills. Leather upholstery requires a leather cleaner and a leather conditioner. Your car might have one of several types of leather. Each type requires specific cleaners and conditioners, so find the proper types. Also, follow the instructions carefully, as the technique varies by material and cleaner.

Dashboard, Consoles, and Trim

Your dashboard, consoles, and trim have various materials in them. You could have open-pore wood trim, aluminum appliques, vinyl, suede, leather, or hard plastics in different areas of your car. Unfortunately, no one cleaner can do the job. Once again, we strongly recommend you read the label of any cleaner before you buy it or use it. Using harsh chemicals on some of these materials will dull and degrade them, turning all your efforts into a fruitless and costly endeavor.

It’s also a good idea to use soft towels while you clean. Paper towels work fine on most surfaces, but a dust-free cloth will produce the best results. Do yourself a favor and use Q-tips to get into those tiny corners and edges the towel doesn’t reach. The pros also recommend using canned air that computer repair people use to clean keyboards and circuitry where you can’t apply chemicals.

Move On to the Exterior

Once you’ve finished the interior, it’s time to tackle the exterior. Again, you’ll need several buckets, a pressure washer or hose, several different sponges and cloths, a firm but gentle scrub brush, and several different cleaning agents.


Your windows should be the easiest to clean. However, most people make the mistake of using Windex. While Windex is suitable for many surfaces in the home, it contains harsh chemicals that can damage your window tint. Instead, use a glass cleaner designed for automobile glass. Your local auto parts store will have this and all the other cleaners you’ll need to complete the job.

Another good hack is to use newspapers to wipe and dry the windows. The paper used in newsprint has a highly absorbent quality, making it perfect for cleaning windows. Instead of pushing the liquid around, it absorbs it and the dirt to leave a streak-free window.

Painted Surfaces

Cleaning your paint requires a special detergent that will strip away the dirt without harming the protective coating covering your paint. Begin by filling two buckets with water, adding the detergent to one, and leaving the other for rinsing your sponges and cloths. A pressure washer works best, but a hose will do. Start with rinsing your entire vehicle, from bumper to bumper, roof to the undercarriage, and don’t forget the wheels.

Then, begin washing your car’s painted surfaces with water mixed with detergent. Use a sponge designed for vehicles, not the scrub sponge you use on your dishes. Any abrasive material will scratch the finish of your paint. Instead, use a separate sponge and clean water from the second bucket to rinse. Once finished, hose your car off again.


Your wheels might be made of steel, aluminum, or chrome. These materials require different cleaners, so be sure you read the label before using one. Follow the instructions and use soft brushes and cloths to avoid damaging the finish. After scrubbing them clean, rinse them with the hose.


Adding a coat of wax will protect your car’s paint from the harmful rays of the sun and the dirt and debris from the road. The resin comes off with each wash, so it’s essential to put a new coat on after. Again, follow the instructions when applying wax.

Typically, you must first apply the wax, wait, and buff it out. You don’t need a power buffer to do this, but it helps you save time. Gentle fabric works best, be it a soft terry towel or puffy buffer pads. Take the time and do it right, and you’ll have a high shine you can see yourself in.

At Stan McNabb Chevrolet of Columbia, we know how important it is to keep your car looking new. Our customers take pride in taking care of their vehicles, and we hope this blog helps those do-it-yourself people get the job done. Whether you need advice on cleaning agents or help ordering parts, our service center stands ready to serve. Feel free to contact us with questions at any time. One of our professional staff will give you the answers you need to keep your car in tip-top condition.