Auto Spa Day | Non Toxic Car Detailing

Years ago I was an auto detailer

The products we used were extremely harsh, some would burn your skin eyes and nose.
I totally gave up detailing even my own vehicle when I became chemically sensitive.

Quite honestly, I never really had a nice vehicle which I felt the need to detail in quite a few years. Recently I purchased a Hummer H3 and am very happy with this vehicle. The fuel efficiency of the 5 cylinder engine is surprisingly good even though the “hummer” name gets a bad rap. Despite what all of the charts and figures say, I calculated my usage and am getting 13L/100km which isn’t too bad for a full size SUV, not a whole lot different than my old Suzuki.

Anyway the big red beauty was sitting in my driveway calling out to be detailed so I started doing a little research and gave myself and the hummer a beautiful organic spa day. I concocted cleaners, waxes and remedies which are all good for my skin and the vehicle as well.

If you want to make your own organic spa kit for your vehicle here is a list of things I used:

* A nice big bucket
* A good sponge, a sea sponge is fine if you don’t want to use synthetic.
* Cotton rags, shop cloths or old t-shirts cut into squares
* Spray bottle with water/vinegar 50/50
* Long handle ice scraper
* Clean new paint brush
* Wet/Dry Shop Vac with crevice attachment and small floor attachment
* Baking soda
* Toothpaste
* Hard Wax (recipe below)
* Coconut oil (put some in a little jar)

Place everything in a nice big bucket and set it aside for detailing your vehicle.

For the wax recipe I caution you not to substitute oils. Different oils have different properties. For example Soy bean oil and sunflower seed oil are lubricant and are good for hinges however olive oil dries extremely tacky and traps dust and dirt and is good for undercoating/protection in areas not visible, however it is a nightmare on body paint or plastic parts…I tried it, I know.

All The ingredients I used for the hard wax are available On Amazon.

Use a small wide mouth jar (size of a tuna can, you can buy tins at Mountain Rose as well) and make it in small batches. This batch I made will wax the H3 at least 4 times so you can even try cutting the recipe in half.

Hard auto wax recipe: (organic & safe for skin)

* Shred 1/2 tsp carnauba wax
* Shred 3 tsp unrefined bees wax (if you have a white or very light vehicle you may want refined as the unrefined can add a faint amber glow)
* Melt the waxes together with 3 tablespoons of macadamia nut oil and 3 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil.
* When melted together add 15 drops of pure orange oil.
* Place the bottom of the hot pot with melted contents in a bath of cold water. Beat the contents with a butter knife while it is cooling to get a softer “whipped consistency” (this wax is quite hard).
* Scoop it out into a jar which will be safe to heat up, such as a small Mason jar or tin. If the wax gets a little too hard for you to spread then simply warm the jar under hot water.

Ok, now you have a full detailing kit which should last you for years. Be sure to always clean your tools and cloths between cleanings and hang them or lay them out in the sun to dry before placing them back in the bucket.

From the inside out:

For a complete detailing start with the inside.
Remove everything from the vehicle and place it in a bag.

* Sort the garbage from the items which need to be returned to the vehicle.
* Remove all floor mats and lay them outside on a hard surface in a sunny area.
* Using the jet setting on your garden hose, spray your mats completely.
* Squirt 1 tsp of dr. bronners soap on each mat and scrub it in a circular motion with the scrub brush covering the entire mat.
* If you have rubber mats simply hose them off at this point and lay them to dry in the sun.
* If your mats are carpeted then use your long handle ice scraper and scrape the soapy mats from bottom to top in long firm motions and you will see the dirt just lift out.
* Hose them again until there is no more soap residue then using the scraper again, scrap out all excess water.
* Lay them in the sun to dry.
* Next, to clean the interior carpets vacuum them using the shop vac to remove all sand, stone, dirt and debris, use your crevice tool to get around seats, cup holders and small areas.
* While you are at it, vacuum out door consoles, center consoles, glove boxes and seat crevices.
* To shampoo be sure to have your shop vac handy and make sure the dry filter is removed.
* Fill your bucket with 2 tsps of Dr. Bronners and water.
* Pour about 1 cup of soapy water on the front drivers side floor and scrub it in a circular motion until the whole area is covered.
* Use the ice scraper to open the fibers and remove stuck on particles. If you have rusty spots on the carpet, scrub some extra soap mixed with baking soda into these areas. Rinse them with a little water.
* Get as far under the driver seat as you can.
* Using the small floor tool on your shop vac suck up all excess soapy water. Continue this process for all sections of the vehicles floor.
* If you have leather seats simply wipe them off with vinegar water. You can also shampoo fabric seats using the long handle scrub brush and soapy water. Don’t use the scraper on delicate seat fabric. Simply shop vac the soapy water off using the small floor tool.
* Keep all doors open to let and excess moisture dry off.
* Using a rag and vinegar water, spray down all plastic and the dash.
* Use the paint brush to sweep out all crevices in the dash, vents and consoles.
* After all plastic parts have been cleaned, put a small amount of coconut oil on a clean dry rag and polish all plastics and leather in the vehicle. You can add a little essential oil of your choice to the coconut oil if you like.
* Use your Norwex glass cloth lightly dampened to clean all interior windows. (This cloth may be a little expensive but is amazing on glass, metals and chrome, it’s reusable and washable)

Once the vehicle and mats are dry, place your mats back inside and return any wanted items to your vehicle.

Hang a bag of zeolite in the vehicle, you can even place small bags under the seats and in the glove compartment to help remove odors and chemicals from the vehicle.

On the surface:

The outside of your vehicle is not only the part everyone sees but it needs the most protection. After a tiring few hours cleaning the inside you may want to wait for another day to tackle the exterior.

* Start by using the jet setting on your garden hose and clean out the wheel wells and under the bumper with water only.
* Soften the spray and wet down the vehicle.
* Fill the clean mop bucket with 3 tsp of Dr. Bronners and water, use your sponge.
* Working with ¼ sections at a time, lather up the top half of the vehicle excluding the hood. Clean all the windows too. Hose this off. Clean the hood. Then work around cleaning the bottom half. *The reason for working from the top down is that you do not want road debris in your sponge. The bottom half of the vehicle is always dirtier than the top half.*
* Use your long handle scrub brush and clean the plastic liners in your wheel wells.
* If there are any rust stains or heavy debris on the exterior mix baking soda and tooth paste 50/50 and lightly buff them with a clean rag then re-wash the area and rinse well.
* Use this mixture on the long handle scrub brush to clean your rims and tires.
* Be sure the entire vehicle is rinsed completely.
* Then use the absorbent cloth/mitt to dry all water from the surface so not to leave water marks.
* Once the vehicle is completely dry get your wax, a rag and your lint free cloth.
* Wax the vehicle in a clockwise wide circular motion leaving a haze of wax on the entire vehicle with a soft rag. Do this in a cooler shaded area.
* Leave your wax to sit on the vehicle for at least 15 minutes.
* With your soft lint-free cloth, in a counter clockwise circular motion buff the wax. This takes quite a bit of effort so you may want to try an electric buffer or do sections at a time taking breaks in between.
* Once the vehicle is buffed to a high-gloss shine, use a clean rag and polish all of the black plastic with a little sunflower oil.
* Use your cleaned Norwex cloth to then clean all exterior windows and polish all chrome.


Here are my results: OOOOH – AHHHH look at the reflection!

And believe it or not this 2006 vehicle had many minor scratches, swirl marks, water marks and road debris on it before my treatment.



Most everything you need can be purchased on Amazon.

Comments

  1. thanks for that recipe.
    is the orange oil just to make it smell nice or is it present as a solvent?
    I ask because I'm wondering if it's possible to make this without any essential oil at all (for MCS people). thanks!

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  2. I added it as a preservative... However I doubt it would be necessary if you make just enough for one application. I like to play with recipes so I'll be trying another this spring without the beeswax or orange oil, more organic carnauba wax and purified organic linseed oil (Allback)instead of the other oils. As long as you are careful in the oils you use as some are very sticky (Never ever use olive oil on your vehicles paint). I say leave the orange oil out all together and just do a test patch of anything you try (under the hood is a good spot for testing) :)

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  3. thank you!
    and good tip about testing under hood

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  4. Wow, thank you for giving us organic alternatives to the harsh chemicals we use on our auto spa!
    David
    glendale auto repair

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  5. I just spotted your detailing tips and recipes....Jim and I each have a motorcycle and I will be trying these detailing ideas as soon as spring is here!

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  6. Thanks Caroline & Jim! Let me know what you think. :) Have a great New Year.

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  7. This is amazing! I was googling "organic car detailing" to try to find someone in my area, but you gave all the information so I think I will just do it myself! Thank you for the effort you put into this post.

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  8. Hi, I have made a batch of the car wax and turned out to be a n=smooth balm texture instead of hard wax!

    Is it possible that the recipe should read 1/2 cup of Carnauba Wax instead of 1/2 tsp?

    Thank you so much for your help in that matter.

    ReplyDelete

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