Valeting a car requires the right tools and accessories, and there are many products on the market to make a car look its best. These include car shampoos, polishes, and waxes, as well as the tools needed to apply them. Begin shopping by learning about the primary accessories needed for a full valeting job, and consider the processes involved to refine available options.
Microfibre towels and wool mitts are useful for rinsing and washing a car, while special sponges can be used to apply waxes. An orbital buffer can be used to polish the vehicle. It is also important to clean the interior of the car. Look for products designed to clean and preserve the dashboard and other materials, as well as a steam cleaner for carpets and fabrics.
Car valeting tools can be purchased from auto part stores, department stores, and online retailers. Marketplaces like eBay have listings for all types of car valeting tools. These sites can be useful for comparing prices between multiple sellers, and it is also possible to purchase used items. Shop between multiple sellers to find the lowest prices on car valeting accessories, and choose the best products to keep a vehicle clean and protected for years to come.
Choosing Car Valeting Accessories
Choosing the best accessories is important for maximising the vehicle's appearance and reducing potential damage as a result of tools or cleaning materials. Begin by choosing products, and learn about some of the processes involved with valeting. The following table lists the basic tools and accessories needed.
Car Valeting Materials
|Power Washer||Used to rinse a vehicle before washing. Portable units can be purchased for home use.|
|Wool Car Wash Mitt||Used to wipe down a wet vehicle after it has been rinsed. Removes dirt and grit without scratching the vehicle's finish, making it a suitable alternative to a sponge or cloth.|
|Microfibre Cloth||A soft cloth used for washing the vehicle body, windows, and tyre rims.|
|Car Shampoo||Made specifically for use on automobiles, it is safer and more effective than common household products. Choose shampoos without a polishing agent.|
|Chamois Leather||A finishing material used to dry a vehicle after washing.|
|Bug and Tar Remover||Used to soften tough spots on a vehicle, especially on tyres. Reduces the amount of scrubbing needed, and therefore reduces chances of scratching the finish.|
|Trim Restorer||Restores rubber and vinyl trim on car doors and windows.|
|Polisher or Orbital||Electric tools used for polishing a car exterior.|
|Wax||Seals the finish on a vehicle to help it preserve its shine.|
|Car Cover||Protects the vehicle from dirt, rain, and UV damage when it is not in use.|
|Portable Steam Cleaner||Can be used to clean the carpet and fabric seats in a car.|
|Glass Cleaner||Professional glass cleaners improve visibility and help a vehicle shine.|
|Dashboard Polish||Maintains the interior of a vehicle and prevents cracks.|
Keep in mind that cloths and other tools used for the body of the vehicle should be kept separate from those used for tyres. The tyres are the dirtiest part of a vehicle, and mixing tools can scratch the car's finish.
Using Valet Accessories on the Exterior
The process of cleaning a vehicle's exterior is performed in steps, and learning about each stage can help buyers understand which products they need. The first step in valeting a car is rinsing it. Consider purchasing a high-pressure washer. Otherwise, a garden hose with a spray nozzle is sufficient. Spray the vehicle from top to bottom, and let the water sit for a few minutes to soften any tough dirt that remains. Avoid using a sponge or cloth at this point, as it can scratch the paint. Spray the vehicle again after a few minutes, then use the wool mitt to rub lightly over the entire surface of the car body. The objective is to remove all loose pieces of dirt that remain, and the soft design of the wool mitt can pick up dirt without dragging it across the surface.
Next, use the micro fibre cloth and the car shampoo. These items are specially designed to clean a car exterior, and are more effective than household cleaners. Mix the shampoo with clean water in the amount recommended on the packaging. At this point, it is also useful to have the bug and tar remover on hand for tough spots. Be sure to use a separate cloth to rub dirt off.
Drying can be done in one of two ways. The first option is to use a slightly dampened chamois leather. This product is designed to dissipate the liquid, instead of absorbing it, which helps eliminate water marks on the vehicle when it is dry. With the chamois leather, work the water from droplets into a gradually finer mist until the water evaporates.
The second method uses an air compressor or leaf blower. Although these methods can be faster than the cloth, there are some potential drawbacks to keep in mind. These include the possibility of getting oil on the vehicle, or scratching it with debris thrown from the machine. Be sure to use oil-less models, and for leaf blowers, clean the interior in order to prevent dirt or debris from being blown onto the vehicle. It may even be worth investing in a leaf blower that is used only to dry the car.
Once the vehicle is clean, there are several products that can add shine and help the car look great until the next valeting. A polishing compound is needed, along with either a dual-action polisher or an orbital buffer. Rotary polishers can also be used. However, these work at high RPMs and can damage the finish on a vehicle in the hands of an inexperienced user.
After polishing, a wax is used to seal the finish. A damp wax sponge can be used to apply the wax by hand, or it can be applied with the orbital used in the polishing process. Be sure to let the wax sit for the amount of time specified on the product’s label, and remove it with a microfibre towel or soft cotton rag. Because the towels build up wax, it is useful to have two or three cloths prepared.
The tyres are the dirtiest part of a car, and require a different set of tools. Tyres should also be cleaned last. Begin with a tyre brush, and scrub off all the dirt. A wheel cleaner can be used for brake dust and other tough spots that do not come clean with the brush. Chrome rims should be treated in the same way as the paint to maintain its gleam.
Trim care products maintain the sheen and dark colour of rubber or vinyl trim on a car, and should be incorporated into the process of valeting a car exterior. Regular application preserves trim and prevents it from drying out over time.
Windows can be cleaned with a professional glass cleaner. Apply the product with a microfibre cloth, and work in circular motions. Wash both the inside and outside of the windows.
When the vehicle is not in use, place a car cover over it. This helps protect it from rain, snow, UV rays, and other elements. It also reduces the amount of time needed between cleanings.
Using Valet Accessories on the Interior
There are four main accessories needed for the interior of a vehicle: a vacuum, steam cleaner, interior cleaner, and a dashboard polish. Begin by removing and vacuuming out all dirt and other materials from the interior. A small, portable steam cleaner can then be used to clean the carpets and any fabric seats in the vehicle. Be sure to leave the doors or windows open to allow the interior to dry.
While the fabric and carpet is drying, clean the dashboard and other hard surfaces with a special interior cleaner. Avoid using common household cleaners, as they dry out the plastic used in dashboards. Once the material is clean, apply an interior shine product.
How to Buy Car Valet Accessories on eBay
Products for valeting the interior and exterior of a car can be purchased on eBay. Conduct searches for these using keywords and category links. Either option can be used to initiate a search or refine listings to the desired level of specificity. For example, type "microfibre cloth" into the search field to see all items tagged with those search terms. From the search results page, you may use category links to find cloths designed for automotive use. Search results can be narrowed on subsequent pages by using a combination of keywords and category links. Alternately, look for category options on the home page to initiate a search for all products related to car cleaning, and find specific items from there.
Be sure to research sellers before committing to a purchase. Look for information about their eBay history by clicking on names in item listings. In seller profiles, you can view comments left by previous buyers , as well as average ratings based on key aspects of the seller's performance. The positive feedback rating and number of completed transactions can also be used to quickly ascertain a seller's reliability. Once you have received your purchase, return to eBay to leave feedback about your transaction.
Car valeting accessories restore and maintain the appearance of a vehicle's interior and exterior. There are dozens of tools and products available to help buyers get the best results, including microfibre towels, wool mitts, car shampoos, bug and tar removers, and professional window cleaners. Learn about the processes involved with valeting a car to choose products.
When cleaning the exterior of a car, be sure to use separate tools and accessories for the tyres and the finish of the body. Mixing the two can result in scratches to a car's finish. Use a car shampoo that does not contain a polish, and use care when applying polish with a rotary buffer. Once the car is clean, consider using a car cover to keep it clean and free from damage by UV rays.
Car valeting accessories can be purchased from auto part stores, department stores, and online retailers. Compare prices between sellers, and shop around to see the full selection of brands and products. With the right accessories, a car's appearance can be restored and maintained for many years to come.