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How To: Prepare Your Car for Photos

To prepare your vehicle for photographs, you must not only clean the exterior, but also the interior.  Since you will take pictures of your entire vehicle, you must ensure that it has been detailed.  There are vehicle detailing services available but you can easily do it yourself.  To successfully detail your vehicle, you will need to have several items.  These include a toothbrush, Q-tips, fabric cleaner, car window cleaner, polish, wax, soft/white rag and UV protector.
It is always best to begin detailing your vehicle from the inside-out.  If there are pieces of debris and trash under your car’s seats, you may have to remove them to fully clean your car.  Begin by vacuuming large pieces of trash and debris off of the carpet.  Take carpet-cleaner and begin to remove any stains that are on the floor.  To clean your seats, you will need to use gentle fabric cleaner.

Never soak your carpet with any type of cleaner, but only slightly dampen the surface.  For tough stains, you may need to use a powerful stain remover, which is available at any home and car care retailer.  Take a toothbrush to stains and in a circular motion kneed the stain remove deep into the carpet.  Allow the solution to settle into the stain for the recommended amount of time and gently rinse the carpet with a moist sponge.

For your dashboard and other control panels, you will want to begin by wiping off all dust.  Apply a UV protector to your dashboard, steering wheel and gear shift to prevent any type of cracking.  This should be done at least once a month for superior protection.  Take a Q-Tip and dip it into a cleaning product.  To clean hard-to-reach areas use the Q-tip to clean corners and remove dust from crevices.

On the exterior of your vehicle begin cleaning your car one section at a time.  Take non-detergent soap and thoroughly wash each part of the car, following it with a rinse.  For added shine you will want to polish your vehicle.  After the polish has dried, apply a thin layer of wax to your car.  Do not apply too much wax as it could actually dull the vibrancy of the paint.  Apply the wax in circular motions, as watch the wax dry for two minutes to ensure proper coverage and shine.

Cleaning car windows is very similar to cleaning house windows, but you will need to use a different solution.  Never use a household window cleaner for your vehicle.  This will cause streaks that can be dangerous when driving in direct sunlight.  Purchase a window cleaner that is specifically used for vehicles.  To apply, use a white rag that is extremely soft.  Apply the window cleaner in a circular motion to each window.  Before moving on, ensure the window does not have any streaks.

Detailing your vehicle will allow you to achieve professional-looking photographs.  If you have any doubts about personally detailing your vehicle, visit a professional car detailing service.  This service will cost you an average of $50 for decent detailing.

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