How to Detail Your Car

When you detail your car, you give it a thorough cleaning that hones in on hard-to-clean spots and scrubs even the hardest-to-reach locations on the vehicle. To avoid scuffing up the freshly-cleaned exterior of your vehicle, detail the inside of your car first. Once you’ve finished detailing your car, the result will be a smart, clean car in showroom condition. The whole process should take between 4-8 hours to complete, so plan to set aside a full morning or afternoon to detail your car.

EditDetailing the Inside of Your Car
Remove trash and personal items from the car’s interior. Go through your car and pull out any fast food wrappers, soda cans, old magazines or papers, and any other junk that’s piled up since the last cleaning. Look under the seats and between seat cushions for trash that may have slipped out of sight. Deposit all of these items in a trash can.[1]
Also pull out any items in the car that, while not junk, will get in the way of the cleaning. These may include water bottles, first-aid kits, car seats, bags and clothing, and other assorted personal items.

Vacuum the interior of the car with a wet/dry vacuum. Pull up the floor carpets and vacuum dirt and grime off of them with the vacuum cleaner. Then, use the vacuum’s broad heads to clean the floor beneath the carpet. Finally, use narrow heads to vacuum up debris stuck between the seats.[2]
A wet/dry vacuum is the best tool for the job since it exerts plenty of suction power and comes with a variety of heads that will allow you to vacuum the carpets, doors, door handles, cup holders, and other surfaces within your car. Rent or buy a wet/dry vac at a local hardware store.

Clean the interior windows with a window-cleaner spray. Open the doors to your car and spray each of the interior windows with 5-6 generous sprays of a commercial window-cleaning solution. Also, spray the interior of the rear window and windshield with the cleaner. Use a clean cotton rag to wipe the solution across the window surfaces to clean them.[3]
Then, use a second clean, dry rag to dry the interior windows. Be sure to thoroughly dry the windows to prevent streaks from forming.

Wipe inner door sections and the trunk with a rag. Spray an all-purpose cleaning solution onto a clean rag and clean off the interior plastic and metal surfaces of your vehicle. This includes the dashboard, steering wheel and column, and center console.[4] Avoid spraying the cleaning solution directly onto the car. Instead, whenever the cloth starts to dry out, spray 4–5 more squirts of cleaning solution directly onto the cloth.
Once you’ve scrubbed the interior surfaces of the car’s cabin, pop the trunk and scrub out its interior surfaces with a clean rag or sponge.

Clean dust out of interior corners with cotton swabs. Many areas within your car’s interior will be too small for your vacuum cleaner and rags to reach. Rather than leaving them dirty, grab a handful of cotton swabs and start cleaning out the nooks and crannies. Dry cotton swabs should easily pick up most of the dust and dirt that’s worked its way into small crevasses in the vehicle’s dashboard and seats.[5]
Try using wooden skewers or chopsticks to pry out objects that have become wedged in extremely hard-to-reach places.

Clean the vehicle’s seats with a leather cleaner or shampoo. If your vehicle has leather seats, purchase a leather cleaning spray at an auto supply store. Follow the directions on the package and apply the leather cleaner to the seats. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe the leather seats clean with a clean, dry cotton rag.[6]
If you have cloth seats, spray them with a foaming aerosol cleaner. Let the spray sit for about 30 minutes and vacuum the fabric seats clean to remove dust and dirt.

You can also purchase leather cleaning wipes or spray at a large supermarket. Auto supply stores should also sell foaming aerosol cleaners for cloth seats.

Never use a cleaning product not intended for leather on leather seats.

EditDetailing the Outside of Your Car
Choose a cloudy or partly cloudy day to detail your car. Washing and waxing your car on a hot, sunny day isn’t ideal, since the sun’s heat may dry the soap and wax on the vehicle before you’ve rinsed or polished it sufficiently.[7] So, if you’ll be working outside, check the forecast to make sure you’ll detail your car on a partly or fully overcast day.
If the weather forecast shows that the day will be rainy, clean the car in your garage.

Park your car on a flat outdoor surface. While it’s possible to detail your car while it’s parked in a garage, you’ll find that there’s more room to move around the vehicle if it’s parked outside. Situate the car on a level area so you’ll have easy access to all sides of the vehicle. To avoid full sun, park under a tree or in another shady location.[8]
For example, park the car in your driveway or in an infrequently used cul-de-sac.

Fill a plastic bucket with water and automotive soap. It’s important that you use a soap specifically designed for vehicles and not, for example, dishwashing detergent.[9] Pour automotive soap into a large plastic bucket as directed on the label. Then, using an outdoor hose, add water to the bucket until it’s roughly 3/4 full.
Carefully carry the bucket to your vehicle’s location, taking care not to spill any of the soap solution.

Purchase automotive shampoo at any car-supply shop. Some large supermarkets may also carry the product.

Scrub your car thoroughly with a soft, clean sponge. Take a large vehicle sponge and submerge it in the soapy water. Scrub it across surfaces of your car in long, lengthwise strokes, making sure to remove all of the caked-on dirt and grime.[10]
If you’re working outdoors on a hot day, spray your car down with a hose before applying soap. This will keep the paint wet and prevent the suds from drying in the sun’s heat.

Work section by section from the top of your car downward, so that you don’t end up cleaning any of the same sections twice. Wash the windows, doors, roof, hood, fenders, and rear of the vehicle.

Rinse the car with a hose once you’ve finished washing it. As soon as all of the sections of the car are clean, use your hose to spray a generous amount of water over the car’s body. Be sure not to let the soap dry on the car before you rinse it off, or it will leave unsightly residue marks across the vehicle.[11]
If you’re working on a warm day and are worried that the soap may dry on washed sections before you’ve had a chance to finish washing the whole car, rinse the car section by section.

Scrub the mirrors and door handles clean with a stiff-bristle brush. Dip the brush into the bucket of soapy water and then set to work cleaning out hard-to-reach nooks in the exterior of your car. Scrub inside of the insets around your headlights and taillights, under door handles, and inside the side mirrors. Rinse off the brush as necessary to keep it from getting filled up with grime.[12]
While a toothbrush would suffice in a pinch, its bristles won’t be tough enough to scrub out caked-on grime.

Wash the wheels and wheel arches with a wheel cleaning spray. Purchase a wheel and tire cleaning spray from your local auto supply store. As directed on the packaging, apply the shine spray to the wheel surfaces and let it sit and soak in as directed on the spray container. While the spray is soaking on 1 wheel, walk around your car and spray wheel cleaner on the other 3 wheels.[13]
Then, use a clean sponge to scrub the wheels until all traces of dirt, mud, and grime are gone. Rinse the sponge out with water as needed between wheels.

If there are hard-to-reach spots in the wheel arches that you can’t quite clean out with a sponge, use an old toothbrush instead.

Once the wheels and arches are clean, dry off the wheels and wheel arches with a damp sponge and buff with a dry cloth.

Dry off the car with a clean chamois cloth. Once you’ve finished washing the entire surface of your car, dry it by hand before the water evaporates on its own. Use a microfiber cloth to dry off the windows, doors, hood, trunk, and all other surfaces of the vehicle. An efficient hand-drying will leave the car free of smears.[14]
If any of the car’s surfaces have dried on their own, give them a quick blast with the hose, then hand dry the area. This will prevent the dried car from having any unsightly patches.

Clean the car’s windows with auto window cleaner. Start by spraying a generous coating of the window-cleaner spray onto all of the vehicle’s external glass surfaces. Then, take a new sponge and wash the exterior of the car’s windows until all traces of dirt are gone. Be sure to also wash the windshield and rear window.[15]
Then, roll down the door windows about and use the sponge to wash the tops of the glass.

Apply a generous coating of car cleaner wax to the outside surfaces. Cleaner waxes will both wax and polish your vehicle. Once your car has been washed, a cleaner wax product will both polish and wax the outer surfaces. Follow the instructions on the bottle and apply the product with a clean rag.[16]
Car polish keeps a good sheen on the car, even in dry, dusty and wet weather. The wax component of the product will guard the car’s paint from UV rays and small stones.

Using a cleaner wax product saves you from having to polish and wax your car separately. Purchase a cleaner wax product at any automotive supply store.

Buff the entire car with a clean, dry cloth or chamois. Don’t buff the car while it’s dry, as you might end up scratching the paint. So, make sure there’s still some wet polish on the car before you begin buffing. Rub the metal surfaces with small, circular strokes to smear the cleaner wax across the vehicle. Work over the entire car’s body with a dry, clean cloth.[17]
This should buff out any smears and leave the bodywork looking shiny and fresh. At this point, your car should appear as if it’s ready for a showroom floor.

For a professional level-buff you can rent or purchase a rotary buffing tool from a hardware store and use it to buff the car and smooth out its paint.

EditThings You’ll Need
Plastic bucket

Car shampoo wash


Stiff-bristle brush

2 sponges

5 micro fiber cloths

Several rags

Cotton swabs

Vacuum cleaner

Tire shine spray

Bumper shine spray

Car cleaner wax spray

Interior spray cleaner

Interior shine spray

Car polish

Leather cleaner (optional)

Plan to detail your car every 1–2 months. Although this may seem like a lot, it’ll keep your car looking sharp all the time.[18]
If you’d like to truly polish your vehicle, you’d need to purchase an oscillating dual-action car polisher at a hardware store or an auto supply store.[19]
EditSources and Citations
EditQuick Summary
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Today in History for 3rd February 2019

Historical Events

1377 – Mass execution of population (between 2,500 and 5,000) of Cesena, Italy, by Breton troops of Giovanni Acuto under the command of Robert, Cardinal of Geneva, acting as the legate of Pope Gregory XI
1900 – Gubernatorial candidate William Goebel is assassinated in Frankfort, Kentucky
1916 – Tristan Tzara publishes the Dada manifesto in Zurich, Switzerland
1933 – Marinus van der Lubbe departs to Berlin
1933 – German Minister Hermann Goering bans social-democratic newspaper Vorwarts
2018 – Moscow has its heaviest snowfall in a day on record, killing one and bringing down 2,000 trees

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1338 – Jeanne de Bourbon, wife of Charles V of France (d. 1378)
1811 – Horace Greeley, editor (“Go west, young man”)
1891 – Peter H “Paul” Huf, actor and director (Great Neth Stage)
1904 – Roger Makins, diplomat
1960 – B J Jefferson, American actress (Ronnie Laurance-Another World), born in Dallas Texas
1978 – Adrian R’Mante, American actor (The Suite Life of Zack and Cody), born in Tampa, Florida

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1116 – King Coloman of Hungary (b. 1070)
1961 – Viscount Dunrossil, Gov-Gen of Australia (1959-61), dies at 67
1969 – C. N. Annadurai, Indian politician and 1st Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, dies of cancer at 59
2005 – Ernst Mayr, German-American biologist (evolutionary theory), dies at 100
2008 – Douglas Fraser, Scottish pilot (b. 1916)
2012 – Christopher Samuel Youd, British sci-fi writer, dies at 89

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Care for Cattle

It’s important to know how to care for your cattle well before you purchase your first herd. Raising cattle requires that you take care of cows, steers, calves, and bulls. Before the animals arrive on your land, create a series of paddocks and shelters suitable for your herd size. Then, start caring for the cattle directly by providing for their food, water, and health needs. For additional guidance and help, it’s always a good idea to work with an experienced livestock veterinarian.

EditCreating Shelters and Paddocks
Provide at least 2 acres per animal for year-round pasture grazing. This is a general estimate of the minimum amount of space needed if you plan to let your cattle rely primarily on field roughage (grass) for food all year round. This estimate takes into account the fact that grass production slows in the winter months.[1]
More space is even better since it gives you a safety net in the event of any grass problems or drought.

Give your cattle feed if you have less than 2 acres of land per animal. If you are working with a small farm space, it simply means that you’ll need to provide food supplementation in the form of cattle feed. Talk with your livestock vet about exactly how much grain your herd will require throughout the year, as it will vary by season.[2]
You can buy cattle feed at your local feed store or even online via bulk suppliers.

Cattle feed is usually a blend of grains, such as barley or wheat.

Determine how many paddocks you will need. There is no exact formula to figure out how to size paddocks or how to divide cattle into them. Take inventory of the animals that you own and think about natural divisions, such as keeping cows/calves separate from bulls. You’ll also want to balance out your herd, so that it will be easier to rotate between paddocks.[3]
As a general rule, the smaller your paddocks are, the more often you’ll need to rotate your cattle to keep them from depleting the area’s resources.

Design the paddocks according to the contours and resources of your land. Once you know the rough size and number of your paddocks, look at an overhead map of your land. Separate your land into square-shaped paddocks with alleys in between them. When mapping everything out, try to divide up natural water features.[4]
Also, consider the location of any watering holes or stations. Ideally, you want your animals to avoid trekking up and down rough or uneven terrain to get to water.

Segmenting shaded spaces into separate paddocks can also help minimize grass damage. As cows gather in shaded areas they tend to ruin the surrounding grass, so it’s best to isolate this activity to keep your grass healthy.

Make the paddocks out of temporary fencing initially. Because there is always a bit of guesswork involved in paddock design, installing temporary polywire or polytape fencing lets you make adjustments as necessary without a major hassle. Use fiberglass or industrial plastic posts and attach the poly fencing in between at the height of a cow’s head. Electrifying the fence can provide an added level of security, too.[5]
Your alleys should be somewhere between wide. This makes it easier to mow or move machinery in between paddocks. Placing a fine layer of gravel on your alleys will keep them from getting too muddy.

Place your gates in the corners and design them with the rotation of animals between paddocks in mind. Make the transition to permanent fencing by using a rail and board or steel post design.

If you plan to plant fresh grass in your paddock, do so at least 6 weeks before introducing your cattle. Kentucky bluegrass, alfalfa, orchard grass, and white clover are all good sources of nutrients for cattle.

Rotate your cattle between the paddocks daily. If you place your entire herd into a single paddock, they will eat away at the grasses and ruin the space. Instead, move your herd once or twice a day to different paddock spaces. Round up your cattle, open the connecting gates between paddocks, and drive your cattle into the new paddock space.[6]
For example, you’ll need to protect paddocks with less productive grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass. You may need to rotate your cattle out of this space more frequently.

Adjust how frequently you rotate your cattle according to the specific season. In the spring and summer, you’ll need to move them more frequently to keep up with the grass growth.

Ensure that your cattle have access to either high ground or shelter. If extreme weather hits, you need to be able to move your cattle to a paddock with high ground, so that they can ride out the rain or flooding without injuries. Alternatively, you can build a barn or fenced in area with roof coverage for your cattle, but this is a luxury that many cattle owners do not create.
If you choose to keep your cattle in a contained area, muck out the manure regularly to avoid the spread of diseases.

Check that the flooring of any housing is slip-resistant. This will reduce the possibility of injury to the animals, especially in wet conditions.

EditProviding Basic Necessities
Supply fresh water for your cattle. If a stream or river runs through a paddock space, it can provide a source of water for your cattle. You can construct an access ramp, so that cows can access the water easier without polluting it. Or, you can use a siphon system to fill up water tanks from this source.[7]
Another alternative is to install an animal-operated pasture pump. This is a water pump that is triggered by a cow’s nose pressing against the lever in the water tank. Then, the water is automatically siphoned up from the river to fill the tank.

If you are using a freshwater spring or river as a water source, it’s important to clean it out periodically to ensure that it doesn’t become contaminated and spread disease.

As a general rule, cattle need daily access to between 1-2 gallons of fresh water per 100 pounds of body weight. This means that you’ll want at least 1 tank per paddock that can hold the minimal amount of daily water for the animals in that space.

Supplement their diet with feed. Pastured cattle can survive by primarily eating grass. However, if your cattle are primarily in a dry-lot or if the weather is poor, then supplementing with grain or hay is a good idea. Talk with your vet about which grain or hay to use and how much to feed your cattle.[8]
Use a hay rack or clean feed container in a paddock or barn to give your cattle hay or grain. Wet, moldy food can actually sicken your animals. If the hay or grain gets wet, discard it immediately.

Feeding your cattle grain helps you to form a positive relationship with them, too. They’ll associate you with food and are more likely to come to your calls.

Provide a source of salt. Cattle can’t store salt in their system, which means that they need to ingest it daily for health. Fill up a feeder with a fortified trace mineral salt mixture and place it near where your cattle sleep at night whether in a paddock or barn. In addition, place at least 1 rock salt and mineral-blend block in each paddock.[9]
You can purchase these salt products at your local feed store or even online through an agricultural supply company.

As a general rule, a 1,300-1,400 pound cow will need between 35-45 grams of salt per day. If you have 100 cows, then you’ll need about a 55 pound bag of mineral salt mixture each week.

If your cows balk at the taste of the salt mixture, try stirring in some dried molasses to improve the flavor.

Work with a livestock vet to monitor your herd’s health. Your vet will be able to tell you which vaccinations are suggested for your cattle. Some shots you may be able to give on your own, but others will require a vet visit. It’s also important to monitor your dry-lot cattle especially closely, as they are more prone to illnesses, such as pneumonia.[10]
A dry-lot is a fenced area that is free from grass. Most cattle owners rotate their animals between dry-lots, grassed areas, and enclosures. Dry-lot cattle often suffer from respiratory illnesses caused by the dust in the air.

Cattle vaccinations can help to protect your animals from diseases, such as blackleg or Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD).

Monitor the health of your bulls closely during breeding season, as they can injure one another in the process of competition for breeding rights.

EditHandling Your Cattle Effectively
Train your cattle to respond to particular sounds. When you first see your cattle, honk your car horn in a certain pattern, ring a cow bell, or yell out a phrase or noise. You can also make these sounds when you feed your cattle, so that they’ll associate responding to you with food. Keep working at training until your cattle recognize your noise and respond to it.[11]
In some cases, your cattle will learn to respond to your call in around a week. However, it might take longer, depending on the animals and your training methods.

The most effective training approach combines consistency with an immediate reward, such as hay. For example, if you arrive at the paddock at the same time every day, ring a bell, and then give your cows hay when they respond, they’ll associate listening to your bell with food.

Treat your cattle gently and without violence. Using electric cattle prods can actually make your cattle behave recklessly. Similarly, whips can also scare your cattle and make them not trust you. Instead, to encourage your cattle to move, apply gentle pressure with a plastic paddle or the sides of a broom.[12]
A paddle is often a good idea because it is a wider tool and cattle can more easily track it. If you move slowly and carefully, then this can minimize their fear.

Also, if you grab your cattle’ tails, do so carefully to avoid injuring them. Pulling or twisting their tails can actually cause breakage.

Keep your animals calm by pairing them up. Since cattle are herd animals, it can frighten them to be touched or moved around alone. When you need to treat or inspect an animal, separate it out with at least 2 others in tow. Similarly, if you notice a cow or bull becoming aggressive it could be because they are not comfortable in too small of a herd.
If you are working with younger animals or calves, bring in a few mature cows to keep them calm.

Hire only experienced cattle handlers. If you have a number of cattle or just need extra help, then reach out to others in the agricultural community for possible job candidates. Look for people who have worked with cattle before and who are familiar with how to care for them properly. Once you hired someone, spend some time observing them in the field.
Request that your employees continue their cattle-related education by taking agricultural classes at the local college or even by watching instructional videos online.

If you are new to cattle-raising, try starting small with just 1-2 animals.

Find a mentor if you are new to cattle raising. Reach out to your local livestock veterinarians, dairymen, cattle breeders, or agricultural industry professionals.[13]
Owning a cow or steer is a long commitment, as some animals live upwards of 18 years. Make sure to carefully consider this before building your herd.[14]
Monitor your fencing on a regular basis to ensure that there are no sharp points or breaks. Pointed areas can harm your animals and damaged fencing can contribute to escapes.

EditRelated wikiHows
Start a Cattle Farm

Breed Cows and Heifers Naturally

Take Care of Cows

Feed Cattle

Cut and Gather String or Net Wrap Off of Round Bales

Give Cattle Injections

Graze Cattle on Pasture

Manage Pastures Using Rotational or Management Intensive Grazing

Determine How Many Acres of Pasture are Required For Your Cattle

Calm Cows

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