Bring Back the New – Easy Detailing, Steps 5 and 6

Over time, grease, grime and debris will collect on your car in areas you don’t pay particular attention to – until you see how they should look.
Volkswagens are resilient cars that retain a fresh finish for many years. All you need to do is break through a layer of road grease and car wash film to return your vehicle’s finish to that sought-after “new” look.
Following are steps 5 & 6 of our 6-step Easy Detailing series. Each mini-series will finish with recommendation of an exterior car wash to tie it all together.
Good luck!
5: Dash and Trim wipe
  • Required tools: Mild all-purpose cleaner/degreaser (options here), lint-free cloth (such as a microfiber)
  • Time budget: 10-12 minutes
  • Note: Other than interior glass, there is nothing you look at more inside your vehicle than the dashboard and door trim.  Despite their potentially “clean” appearance, these plastics and metal collect a thin layer of grime over time.
  • Steps:
    • Park vehicle in an area with good ventilation.  Degreasers can have a strong odour at times.
    • Open all doors to allow good interior lighting and ventilation.
    • Spray your all-purpose cleaner on the wiping cloth and allow to soak in slightly.  2-3 sprays on a cloth folded in half (or quarter) should be enough to get you started.
    • Wipe dash and door surfaces.  Start at the edges and, once you feel the cloth moving freely, begin wiping the open areas.
    • As grease and dirt collects on the cloth, turn cloth to reveal and clean edge and spray with fresh cleaner.
    • It’s best not to allow any residual degreaser to self-dry on the dash plastics.  Wipe surface to a clean, dry-like finish before moving to the next panel.
    • Repeat this process on the vehicle’s dash panels and lower dash trim, paying special attention to edges and creases.

6: Vent and crevice dust

  • Required tools: Small, clean dusting brush and a lint-free cloth.  These brushes can be found at hardware stores and even art supply stores.  It is recommended that you try gently pulling on the bristles to ensure they don’t come free, and are somewhat rigid.  This will ensure there are no remains of the brush left while cleaning, and that the bristles are strong enough to push stubborn dust away.  Use discretion, though, to ensure the bristles aren’t so thick they risk causing scratches.
  • Time budget: 12-15 minutes
  • Note: Dust seems to collect anywhere you can’t reach.  Dash vents and crevices are examples of this.  Spend a few minutes detailing each of these areas with a dusting brush to restore that new-car finish.
  • Steps:
    • Park vehicle in an area with good lighting.  This exercise is best performed outdoors as natural lighting works best.
    • Assess the situation.  How many vents need work?  And, would it be a good idea to touch up your vehicle’s radio dials and heater controls?
    • Work “top down”.  As you dust with your brush some will likely spill on to the surrounding plastics.  Wipe this with your lint-free cloth.
    • Work “left-right” or “right-left” so you don’t miss anything.
    • Move through the interior until you’re pleased with the results.

Final step
  •  To finish off your car cleanup, give it an exterior wash. Take it through an automated car wash or wash it yourself at home.
  • Car wash:
    • Go somewhere you know the brushes are soft and soaked in water to reduce/remove chances of scratching.
    • Pack a chamois or towel so you can dry the car completely, and “chase” the water run marks when returning home.
  • Driveway:
    • It’s a good idea to wash your car in the shade, preferably in the early morning or evening.
    • Use a good amount of car wash soap (not dishwashing detergent) to create lather and pull dirt from the car.
    • Rinse thoroughly. Remaining soap will attract dirt and dust.
    • Dry throughly.


You’re done! Stand back and admire the finished product.

This concludes our Easy Detailing series.  Over the course of the past 3-months we have restored the overall look of your vehicle by cleaning the interior glass, degreasing your car’s wheels, wiped your car’s door jams down, thoroughly vacuumed the interior, and now, wiped down the dash and addressed the dust collection in air vents and crevices.

Are you happy with the finished product?

We will be planning more mini-series in the future.  Click here if you have an idea in mind that you would like to see featured.  Otherwise, stay tuned to Das Papier for more updates!

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