How to Detail & Clean a Stretch Limo/limousine

Clients of Limo hire Melbourne now choose us because we offer one of the most professional, if not the most professional Limousine Services in the Melbourne Area.

We have great cars, friendly drivers, a reputation for safety and a prestigious customer service team. But none of those much matters if we show up to host a wedding party, a girl’s night out, or a corporate event and we show up with a dirty car.

Bam. All that hard work is gone in an instant if the bride gets her bridal dress destroyed by a careless piece of grime left by another customer. Not only will they complain, but they’ll tell their friend, “never hire this company again!”. Or even worse. Deliver a bad google review.

Interior car detailing black leather.

A Passion for Detailing

We want our customers to know the extreme length that
Limohiremelbournenow takes to maintain our limos to our customer’s impeccable taste.

It Starts With Regular Cleaning and Inspection

First of all, one of our limos is never hired out before being detailed. That’s a given, but even if a particular vehicle lies dormant for a week or two, they are cleaned at least weekly.

And we don’t just take the driver’s word for it. We have a supervisor look at every single vehicle in our fleet to insure a vehicle is never more than a detail away from being detailed and ready to go.

If a supervisor notices a paint scratch, a blemished bumper, faded tires or wheels, or a broken ashtray or vent, the vehicle is immediately flagged, then brought into the appropriate auto body or repair shop, and the item corrected.

A Detail is Scheduled

Next, 48 hours before the vehicle is scheduled to go out with a driver to pick up passengers, the vehicle is detailed.

Why 48 Hours?

Once for detailing the vehicle in advance. And then the night before the pick-up, the vehicle is spot cleaned by our cleaning staff, and then approved by a supervisor to go out.

This additional time gives our staff enough time to guarantee that their limo will be spotlessly cleaned, inside and out, before it reaches you, the customer.

So What Exactly Goes Into Detailing Our Limos?

We start with a light two bucket wash and an air-dry using a blower, in order to inspect the vehicle. From the front bumper to the rear, everything is inspected to make sure there is no new damage to the vehicle.

Polishing a grey cars surface.

Start With the Paint

Next, we start with the paint. Using a clay bar, as well as clay bar lubricant, we make sure the paint is as smooth as glass.

Generally, after clay barring a vehicle, we put a plastic glove on the one hand, and then run our hands over the surface. This allows us to ensure there are no indentations or imperfections in the paint which are not visible to the naked eye.

Generally, with just a few bugs, the paint will remain clean when sprayed with a bug and tar remover, but for maximum effect, a clay bar is optimal.

Clay bars have other uses besides paint. We like to use small pieces of clay bar to lightly go over bumpers, windows, and steel or aluminium wheels. You’ll simply be amazed at how much dirt and grime come off the windows.

Next, your limo is hand washed a second time, using a two bucket system and a microfiber towel.

Once it’s washed, the limo is then hand dried, using several microfiber towels.

When the limo is dry, all four wheels are covered, and we’re ready for waxing.


We use a paint sealant twice a year on our limos, but for a show-class finish, nothing in the world beats old fashioned carnauba wax. It gives a shine like no other product.

Unfortunately, for the average car owner, carnauba wax doesn’t last that long, but since we detail our cars so often anyway, it’s no problem for us.

When applying carnauba way, our cleaning technicians advise less is more. We put a thin layer of wax on using an applicator, although some of our technicians prefer to do it by hand.

Each section of the limo needs it’s own thin layer, and then it needs to cure for about 15 minutes.

Once every surface is cleaned, we use a professional, dual-action buffer to carefully buff out everything to a show-class sheen.

The Windows

For our windows, we use a 70 per cent combination of water, 15 per cent window cleaner, and 15 per cent alcohol.

We know everyone advises you to use microfiber towels, and they do work but here’s a tip for you if you want absolutely streak-free windows. That homeless guy offering to clean your windows may have one great suggestion — use newspaper.

Nothing we have found works better than newspaper to get your windows squeaky clean.

Do the inside windows first, which may mean you have to do the interior windows a second time, but that way there’s no question of whether a spot or a streak is on the inside or the outside.


Cleaning plastic bumpers is a simple matter of using a soft bristle brush, followed by a solution of undiluted white vinegar.


Gone are the days when the glass was used for headlights. Like or not, we’re into the age of plastics. Even a quarter of a million-dollar limo has plastic headlights, which have one terrible quality, they fade, crack and yellow.

Twice a year we use a plastic headlight spray, which can be obtained at practically any auto store, give each headlight two quick coats of spray, and we’re good to go.

Our headlights look just as clear as they did coming from the factory. Do yours?

Exterior Trim

The rubber sealants on your exterior trim such as around your windows need care as well although it’s not a frequent job. We just put a little rubber restoration cream on a clean rag about once a month, or if we’re dealing with plastic, plastic restorer.

This keeps the trim from becoming brittle, and also to be faded by the UV rays from the sun.

Metal Trim

Any place there is metal, such as the front design of the limo, or the metal door entry handles, we use metal polish. You put just a few drops of it on an applicator and apply it in a circular fashion. Then you wipe off the residue with a cloth towel.

We keep our metal constantly cleaned, so no steel wool is necessary. But if you have a rust stain, you can gently use steel wool, being careful not to scratch the surface.

Cleaning the wheel on a car.

The Wheels

The Wheels are part of the limo experience, and people expect the tires to look black, shiny and new, and distinguishing looking wheels.

First, we use a pressure washer and a small rounded plastic hood to spray the wheels down after every limo outing, so they never get too grimy.

Then in the final steps of the exterior, after we’ve pressure washed the undercarriage, we spray the wheels down again, being sure every bit of bug residue, dirt and grease are removed from the tires.

We coat the wheels about every two months with a clear coat, so the job is not too difficult. We find an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cures.

Once the wheels are spotless, we then apply a simple tire dressing almost every outing out, and the exterior of the limo is ready.

Wondering Why We Do the Exterior of the Limo First?

It’s because dirt from the roof and the side panels can travel and get into the interior, so we want the exterior to be spic and span first.

The interior of a wedding limo with a bride and groom.

The Interior Back Seating

For the interior, we begin with the interior back seating where our passengers will sit. And here, we start a ruthless inspection.

  • Is Every Seat Belt Clean, Including the Entire Length of the Belt?

    Since local laws often dictate that all passengers use seat belts we want to make sure that the entire seat belt area for each passenger is spotless, has no stains, and is in complete working order.

    Seat belts can normally be cleaned with soapy water and a clean cloth, but if for any reason there is a stain on the seat belt, or it doesn’t work properly, we have them promptly replaced.

  • Next, We Inspect and Then Clean the Entire Seating Area

    Most limos have leather seats which are easy to maintain with a good leather cleaner which we use before each outing.

    Besides cleanliness, we are looking for stains, particularly food and drink stains.

    We can generally get stains out ourselves, but we do have experts on-call, for a deep and stubborn stain.

  • The Carpets Need to Be Steam Shampooed, Which We Do Every Time

    This not only gets out stubborn stains but eliminates odours. The only worse thing to a dirty limo is one that smells.

    We use our own custom carpet cleaners to completely clean the carpets. They also have attachments allowing us to clean the seats, although they do take some time to dry.

  • Cleaning Off the Electronics

    Most limousines now have sophisticated electronics like CD/DVD players and Apple Car Players. You need to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning screens, but generally, a moist towel will do. Never use strong chemicals on TV Screens.

  • Clean the Inside of the Windows Again

    You’ve cleaned the windows earlier, but you need to clean every window a second time. They should be spotless and streak-free.

  • Clean the Headliner of Your Limo

    We don’t know how it happens, maybe tall passenger still using Brycleam or a 6-year-old climbing on the top of the headliner to get into the moonroof but we invariably find stains on the headliner.

    To address this, we use around a stiff brush which we spray with a cleaning solution. We then take the brush, and gently dab it into the headliner, wait two minutes, then use a clean towel to dab it off.

    Usually, we have to do this three to five times before the stain comes out, but the stain generally will come out. After three or four times, if there is still some residue, we use a hand steam cleaner to finish the job.

  • Doorjam Dirt

    Every car owner knows that door jams fill with dirt. It seems to be a law of the universe. But we’ve got a simple solution. Before starting to clean the rest of the interior, start here and use a leaf blower.

    Just blow every bit of dirt in those jam out. Anything that remains will be easily cleaned by good old fashioned soap and water.

  • AC and Heating Events

    You use small, painters foam rubber brushes and cleaning solutions to clean the air condition and heating vents. Be sure they are spotless because your passengers will certainly be adjusting them.

    If they see dirt on their fingers after adjusting the ac vent, that’s the last time you’ll ever likely see that customer again.

  • Wood

    Many limos have wood trim, which usually comes with a polyurethane treatment. So typically, a simple buffing with a microfiber towel will get rid of all fingerprints.

    But we occasionally clean then the wood trim with a mixture of water and just a tiny bit of dish detergent. Then we clean it off with a towel and add a small spray of plastic polish.

  • Deodorant

    People love that new car smell, but anything else is a real gamble. Some people love pine, for example, while others hate it.

    What we do is when the car is detailed, hang about four charcoal-infused deodorant bags in the passenger section, and one in the driver’s compartment. These charcoal bag deodorizers remove every possible odour in your limo.

    Then the morning of your limo appointment, we remove all the charcoal bags and then spray just a hint of new car smell from a reputable manufacturer.
    We’ve never had a single complaint about odours in our cars, so the procedure we use must be working.

    The Limo Needs to Look as Good as New

By now, you get the idea. Everything should look like it came straight out of the factory. There shouldn’t be a spot or a stain everwhere. But what about the driver’s compartment?

You wouldn’t expect to be seated in a pristine limo and look through the window to see the driver’s compartment covered in rubbish and dirty marks.

The driver’s compartment is every bit as important for cleanliness and your companies reputation as the back seat. Make sure everything from the steering wheel to the glovebox looks neat and orderly.

The Night Before Recap

Once your limo is inspected and approved to go by one of our supervisors, we park it under a covered area or in storage in case it rains, and then cover the entire car with a synthetic canvas car cover, synthetic because they don’t scratch the car.

  • Your limo is totally cleansed in and outWe pay attention to virtually everything on your limo, from the front chrome, the headlights, to a scrupulously clean interior, and a limo that is 100 per cent odour-free.
  • We have supervisors that double and triple check everything.With attention to detail by our supervisors, you are guaranteed to get the best possible, professional experience.

We Hope This Article Helps

This article is not only to give you an idea of what length our company goes through to make sure you have not only the freshest, most professional experience when using our service but clues you in on what to expect from every professional limo company.

Whether you are driving 1960’s classic Cadillac charter vehicles or modern-day luxurious stretch limousines; immaculate detailing is a must if you want to last in the industry.

We can assure you that few limo companies are as obsessive about maintaining our cars as we are.

But that’s part of the reason we are so successful.

You want only the best on your special wedding, girl’s night out or corporate event and we always aim at surpassing that expectation.


Categories: Limo Hire 101