10 Tips for Cleaning and Detailing Your Ford Mustang

Keeping your Mustang in clean and shiny condition—free of dirt, watermarks, and other debris—should be a top priority. Maintaining your Mustang’s finish is an easy task. By washing your car regularly and immediately addressing any issues such as bird droppings, you can keep your Mustang gleaming for many years to come. The following are a few tips from the pros:​

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Clean the Interior First

Car wash.
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Since dirt and other debris will waft out from the inside of your car and land on your freshly cleaned exterior in a heartbeat, always clean the inside of your Mustang before you clean the outside. Vacuum it thoroughly, clean all surfaces with the correct product, and wash all inside windows.

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Use Newspaper to Clean the Windows

Crumpled newsprint, paper
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You can use any ammonia-based car window cleaner, although many car owners use three parts vinegar to one part water as a substitute. Also, forget standard paper towels or shop rags. For streak-free windows, crumple up a piece of newspaper and use it to clean and dry your windows.  

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Wear the Right Clothes

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Be careful what you wear when you clean your Mustang. All it takes is one sharp edge, such as a zipper or belt buckle, to damage a perfectly good paint job. You also don't want to dirty good clothes. So a soft cotton T-shirt and sweat pants or shorts reserved specifically for housecleaning and other homeowner-type projects are a good choice.

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Dry it Off Immediately to Avoid Water Marks

Cropped Hand Of Mechanic Cleaning Car In Garage
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Don't let your Mustang sit around after you've rinsed it off. The sooner you dry the car, the less likely you are to have water spots. Once they accumulate, though, they are hard to get off. If your car already has marks, there are some specialty products on the market that will help get rid of them—or try buffing them out with a soft cloth soaked in white vinegar.

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Never Wash or Wax When the Surface is Hot

Senior man wiping convertible
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Always try to wash and wax on a cool and preferably overcast day. The hot sun will cause your soap to dry too quickly, which in turn will cause water spotting. Car wax that dries too quickly will be too difficult to buff off. Worse yet, it can damage the car's paint job, which is exactly the opposite of what you're hoping to achieve.

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Be Careful Where you Put Your Protectant

2004 Ford Mustang GT Interior
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Never put a slippery protectant like ArmorAll on your Mustang's steering wheel, pedals, or other components you need to use when driving. You might find yourself unable to grip the wheel or hit the brakes when out on the road, which could be dangerous to you and other drivers.

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Use a Wet Paintbrush or Toothbrush to Clean Tight Spaces

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When cleaning tight spaces on your Mustang, such as around the grille or in small crevices, try using a soft paintbrush or a wet toothbrush. These are especially useful when cleaning dead bugs from the grille after a road trip. If you use a wet paintbrush, make sure to cover the metal band on the brush with some tape so you don't scratch your paint!

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Clean Your Windshield Wiper Blades

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Don't forget to clean your windshield wiper blades at least once a month with soapy water—or make this a regular practice when you wash your Mustang. This can prevent them from smearing your clean windshield and can increase their longevity. Some people recommend wiping down each blade, once or twice, with a rag soaked with a little white vinegar.

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Remove Bird Droppings with Seltzer Water

Uhaoh - Bird poop on my car!
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Nothing is more irritating than bird droppings on the windows or on a beautifully clean finish. To remove them in between washings—or prior to doing your regular wash—use seltzer water. Poor or dab a good amount on the dropping, wait for the "sizzle," then wipe off. Whatever you do, don’t use club soda or tonic. Seltzer water only! 

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Make a Schedule

retired man washing the car
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How often you wash and detail your Mustang depends on the time of year, the weather, how often you drive, and under what conditions. Some owners schedule a wash and detail once a week, while others find that once a month suffices. Whatever works for you. Just make sure you put it on the calendar and make it a regular part of your routine.