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How to Properly Clean a Car before Selling it

How to Properly Clean a Car before Selling it

We always recommend people to clean a car before selling it or bringing it in for valuation. It shows the car of at its best and makes our job of appraising the car much more palatable. While it may not get you more money, it makes it much more likely you’ll get a sale!


Whether you sell your car to a dealership or sell it privately, clean cars sell. There’s no need to pay for it to be details as you can do it at home.


You can do these in whatever order you like, depending on time and weather.


Clean the inside


Here are the key steps to follow when you clean a car before selling it.


Clean out the trash – Clear out the ashtray if you have one, trash in door pockets, the glovebox, trunk, under the seats and anywhere else it has collected.


Vacuum – Get a vacuum and go over the carpets, floor mats, seats and all those little nooks and crannies in a car. Use the thin tube for hard to reach areas and be as thorough as you can.


Wipe down hard surfaces – Wipe down the dashboard, doors, centre console and other areas first with a warm damp cloth and then with furniture polish or car interior cleaner.


Clean the windows – The inside of your windows will be dirty, grimy and greasy from all those years of use. Wipe them down as much as possible and buff with a clean cloth until they are completely clear.


Leave the car to air – Wind all the windows down or leave the doors open and let fresh air circulate in the car for a while.


Clean the outside


Here’s a few tips for cleaning the exterior of your car.


Rinse the car with clean water – Use a bucket of clean water or a power washer to give the car an initial rinse down and remove loose debris.


Wash with car shampoo – Another bucket of clean warm water and some car shampoo. Use a soft sponge or cloth and wipe the car down from top to bottom. Be as thorough as you can and make sure to wipe everywhere.


Rinse down – Use clean water or power washer to rinse all the soapy water off. Direct the water at any stubborn areas for a little extra clean.


Use a new bucket of soapy water or wheel cleaner – Clean the wheels a little more. They should have seen some soap from cleaning the car, follow that up with a specific clean.


Look the car over and attack any stubborn areas – Take a step back and look over the car, trim, wheels, windows and all over. Address any areas of stubborn dirt until clean.


Rinse down once more – This is the final rinse so use clean water or the power washer again to rinse off any remnants of car shampoo.


Depending on the weather and where you live, you can optionally dry your car using dry cloths. Squeegee water away if you have one, then wipe down with that dry cloth.


This helps prevent drying streaky and gives a much better finish.


Once done, you can use some wax to make it look amazing or leave it there, it’s up to you.


If you’re selling your car to a dealership, you can leave it there as we’ll detail it before sale anyway.


For any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us here!


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Categories: sell your car