To most, a car is nothing more than a method of transportation: to get you from point A to point B. However, I want to make it clear to you that a car is more than simply a method of getting from point A to B, it should complete the man’s image. A car is a statement of oneself, one that draws people towards you and enhances your first impression.
When you step out to meet someone for the first time or to conduct a business meeting, you ensure to break out your best suit to guarantee that immaculate condition, first impression. So why is it that your car is neglected in the same standings? I want to put forward the notion that your car is just as important as the suit you are wearing and should be treated in the same manner. This ensures that the person’s first impression of you, which by the way you worked so hard to establish, is a good one.
Picture this scenario: you meet someone for the first time and he is well groomed and dressed accordingly. You have a pleasant meeting and you request your guest if you could bother him for a ride back to the office. You approach the car, only to notice it has bird droppings, dings, scratches and rust all over…and this is even before you get into the car. What is even worse, you get into the car and find empty fast food beverage containers, water bottles, receipts and various other trash littered all over inside. Now, I am sure that your impression of the person has changed drastically compared to the clean presentable individual you just had previously met before getting into his car.
See, that is the power the condition of your car has over what people think of you outside of the first meeting. Often people are labeled by the state of their cars in conversations, something of a stigma if you would. Now, I know what most of you are thinking, how do you expect to keep a car in good, clean order when the weather in this country is next to impossible with the snow, slush, rain and construction? To put things in perspective, let me ask you this: would you step out wearing a salt stained pair of shoes and a shirt that’s been stained by red wine on a night out? You would automatically say, no! The same environmental factors apply, so why make the extra effort to ensure your clothes are spotless and not your car? Granted, you can’t keep the exterior of your car clean all the time during the winter months, but I know you have seen people line up at the car wash to get a quick cleaning, when the weather gets better.
Now depending on the season, I would say that either the entire car (in and out) should be clean, or only the inside, yes the inside, has to be clean all year round. This is because, if your car looks horrendous during a snow storm and the inside is clean, trust me, no one will care what your car looks like on the outside. So, here are some simple, quick and easy tips to ensure that your car keeps up with the impression that you are working ever so hard to maintain.
Before you even mention how expensive it is and only lasts until the first rainy day, this preferably should be done in the summer months. However, if you are so inclined to do it in the winter, I do recommend one treatment. Professional detailers spend hours going over the exterior and interior of your car, and make sure that its over-all health is maintained for years to come. A good detailer will spare no expense in the choice of products they use to treat and protect your car, much like how you would probably go to any lengths to take your suit to a reputable dry cleaner, rather than the dingy one down the road. During winter, I would probably opt to have the inside cleaned professionally to avoid any snow or salt build up, and of course once you have done that, the up keep is considerably low.
This option clearly requires that you have the space, supplies and most importantly, time to complete. But trust me, it’s the most gratifying. What you will need is a decent pressure washer, a microfiber mitt, car soap (no, not dishwasher soap!), microfiber clothes, interior detailer, window cleaner, leather treatment (if you have leather) and of course, a pale. Now, there are several additional tools you can purchase, but I want to keep this simple. I will probably talk more about those add-ons in a later post.
Car Wash (Touch less)
This is probably the quickest and cheapest option you have available in keeping your car clean. Ensure the car wash you use is touch less, because the last thing you need to deal with is a massive scratch, courtesy of Mr. Shamy Cloth. The only obstacle is: it’s not a one stop shop, you still have to find a place to clean the inside of your car.
No one is saying you have to be rolling in a Bentley or a Porsche for this to work, the brand or status of your car is completely secondary. It’s the same as if you went out and bought good fabric, handed the fabric to a professional tailor, and gotten a bespoke suit made for you, one that is custom fitted with attention-to-detailing. Regardless of what brand it has stitched on the inside, when you walk in to a meeting or meet someone for the first time: if the suit looks good, it’s going to leave a lasting impression. The same applies to your car: if it’s clean and cared for, it can only enhance your sharply dressed persona.
First impressions are everything, so put your best foot forward!