What products are you using to clean your CX-50 Turbo?

Digbicks1234

16.5 CX-5 Touring/2023 CX-50 Turbo Premium
Hey guys,

I don't see many threads specific to the CX-50 Turbo Premium and I do know that there's a ton of videos on YouTube for auto detailing but what specifically are you using to maintain the interior/exterior your vehicle? After going through various forums for interior/exterior maintenance on product recommendations, there doesn't really appear to be general consensus on the best products to use as long as it gets the job done.

The below are some of the items that I've purchased for the exterior and I am curious to hear what others are using as well. I haven't purchased any products for the interior yet as it seems much more prone to damage as opposed to the exterior of the vehicle if the incorrect product is used. Any items listed in the interior section that I listed are some popular items that I've found when doing my research.


A. Exterior: These are the products that I am currently using right now.

a. Applicators/Brushes/Microfiber Towels/Sponge

b. Cleaning Products
  1. Windex Ammonia-Free Glass Cleaner: It has a nice smell and seems to do the job. I chose this product since it seemed to have least harmful amount of ingredients.
  2. https://www.amazon.com/dp/ (commissions earned): Fairly straight forward product to use and has a nice smell to it. It does clean the car pretty well assuming your vehicle isn't caked in dirt.
  3. https://www.amazon.com/dp/ (commissions earned): It seems to do a great job in giving the car a smooth finish but I've noticed that it seems to also attract a lot of insects, especially mosquitos that seem to be landing on my vehicle.
  4. https://www.amazon.com/dp/ (commissions earned) I haven't used this product yet as I still need to do more research on the best way to clean the rims, whether to take them off of the vehicle or spray the product onto the rims while mounted as I do not want to damage the brake pads/calipers.
  5. https://www.amazon.com/dp/ (commissions earned) Haven't used it yet to provide any real feedback due to #3.

c. Wash Buckets/grit guard/spray bottles
d. Questions
  • How often do you clean your vehicle?
  • How do you clean your vehicle in the winter time? For example, do you bring it to a touchless car wash?
  • Do you wash the undercarriage of your vehicle using a pressure washer during the winter or do you not care? Just curious for people that live in the east coast as the road salt is very corrosive.
  • Did you pay for the dealer to apply XPEL or any other types of coatings out there or did you DIY using aftermarket products?

B. Interior - I haven't ordered any products for the interior yet but does anyone have any recommendations/feedback on any of the below items?

a. Items to clean
  1. Ceiling upholstery: Doesn't seem like an item that can be easily cleaned once it gets dirty.
  2. Center console
  3. Dash
  4. Door trim fabric/leather portion
  5. Windshield/anything glass: Do you just use Windex?
  6. Head unit/screen
  7. Seats
  8. Shifter knob
  9. Steering Wheel: I installed Wheel Skins on mine so it shouldn't be an issue but what about the center portion of the steering wheel where the air bag is?
b. Cleaning Products
  • Meguiar's G13600 Quick Interior Detailer Wipes
  • Optimum No-Rinse Wash and Shine
  • Lexol Leather Care Kit Conditioner and Cleaner
  • Leatherique Leather Rejuvenator/Prestine
  • Leather Honey Leather Conditioner
  • Aerospace 303 Automotive Protectant: Only for protecting the leather and not for cleaning.
c. Applicators/Brushes
  • Horse hair
  • Boars hair
  • Makeup brush
d. Questions
  1. What is your cleaning process? For example, do you (1) vacuum the seats>(2) agitate seats with leather cleaner using a brush>(3) wipe off with a micro fiber towel>(4) apply leather conditioner as the final step before (5) buffing it out with a microfiber towel?
  2. How often do you clean the leather trim of your vehicle?
  3. How do you get the crease out of the leather seats?
  4. Do you notice a strange smell with any of the products that you use? Weird question I know but I've read some of the products leave a pungent smell and it doesn't go away even after airing it out especially Leatherique even though it's a highly recommended product.
  5. If you punctured the leather/damaged it, do you plan to DIY to fix it or do you plan on bringing it to a professional?
 
Last edited:

sm1ke

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Did you want this thread to be specific to the interior care and maintenance of the CX-50? Or did you want to expand it to include the exterior (paint, windows, trim) care as well? Just asking because the current title sounds like the thread would include both.
 

Digbicks1234

16.5 CX-5 Touring/2023 CX-50 Turbo Premium
Did you want this thread to be specific to the interior care and maintenance of the CX-50? Or did you want to expand it to include the exterior (paint, windows, trim) care as well? Just asking because the current title sounds like the thread would include both.
Now that I think about it, it might be better off to include the exterior as well. I just revised the thread to include both to make the thread more interesting, thanks for bringing that up :)
 

sm1ke

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Wow, nice update! Great job with the formatting, makes everything super easy to read. (y)
 

sm1ke

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I'll comment first on the exterior since there's pretty much no difference between paint and trim care between the CX-50 and the CX-9.

I usually wash my car once or twice every 2 weeks, depending on the weather. Sometimes I can skip a wash by doing a waterless wash, but this is only when the car is slightly dusty in the summer. In the winter, I take the car to a touchless wash. I try to wash the car at least once a month, but generally only when it's cold enough that the roads aren't wet. If it's really dirty, I'll take it to a coin operated wand wash first and spend $2 to knock off the snow/ice build up and rinse the undercarriage before taking the car to the touchless wash. The dealer installed 3M PPF when I bought the car new, but I didn't pay for it. The PPF has held up very well, aside from the few spots where it took rocks that damaged the PPF. I'm pretty confident that when I remove the PPF, the paint underneath will be nicely preserved.

For the interior, typically I vacuum the seats, then remove the floor mats/liners. I wash and rinse the liners, then set them aside. While waiting for the liners to dry, I vacuum the carpet, then clean the front windshield and all windows first. After that I dust/wipe down the dash and steering wheel, followed by center console and door panels. Then I throw the liners back in, and give the seats a wipe down with a mild detergent and water solution, or just water, with a microfiber towel. I like to finish with an application of 303 Aerospace on the dash and seats. I spray into a clean microfiber, then wipe onto the surface. After wiping a coat on, I turn the microfiber to a clean but damp side, then do a second pass to get rid of any excess 303.

Typically I do a full clean once a year in the middle of summer. 303 application 2 or 3 times a year (spring, midsummer, fall).

The crease.. ah yes, the crease. Lol.. I've read that a lot of people have had success in reducing/minimizing the crease by wiping the seat surfaces down with water frequently, maybe 3-5 times a week. This is done to "rehydrate" the leather, though since most of the leather used in our cars is sealed or coated, so a lot of it doesn't actually permeate into the leather. Instead, it evaporates and creates a slightly more humid interior. I have read that some people also leave the damp microfibers under their seats for a few hours, in an effort to get moisture to the other side of the uncoated seat leather, where it should absorb moisture better. I've tried to do this but I haven't been consistent with it at all. For the week or two that I was consistent, it did seem to slightly improve the appearance. Here's how my front seats look now.

20220926_115104.jpg

20220926_115210.jpg

20220926_115153.jpg

20220926_115054.jpg


If I did happen to damage the leather, I would probably research and attempt a DIY fix first, now that my car is out of warranty.
 
Last edited:

Digbicks1234

16.5 CX-5 Touring/2023 CX-50 Turbo Premium
I'll comment first on the exterior since there's pretty much no difference between paint and trim care between the CX-50 and the CX-9.

I usually wash my car once or twice every 2 weeks, depending on the weather. Sometimes I can skip a wash by doing a waterless wash, but this is only when the car is slightly dusty in the summer. In the winter, I take the car to a touchless wash. I try to wash the car at least once a month, but generally only when it's cold enough that the roads aren't wet. If it's really dirty, I'll take it to a coin operated wand wash first and spend $2 to knock off the snow/ice build up and rinse the undercarriage before taking the car to the touchless wash. The dealer installed 3M PPF when I bought the car new, but I didn't pay for it. The PPF has held up very well, aside from the few spots where it took rocks that damaged the PPF. I'm pretty confident that when I remove the PPF, the paint underneath will be nicely preserved.

For the interior, typically I vacuum the seats, then remove the floor mats/liners. I wash and rinse the liners, then set them aside. While waiting for the liners to dry, I vacuum the carpet, then clean the front windshield and all windows first. After that I dust/wipe down the dash and steering wheel, followed by center console and door panels. Then I throw the liners back in, and give the seats a wipe down with a mild detergent and water solution, or just water, with a microfiber towel. I like to finish with an application of 303 Aerospace on the dash and seats. I spray into a clean microfiber, then wipe onto the surface. After wiping a coat on, I turn the microfiber to a clean but damp side, then do a second pass to get rid of any excess 303.

Typically I do a full clean once a year in the middle of summer. 303 application 2 or 3 times a year (spring, midsummer, fall).

The crease.. ah yes, the crease. Lol.. I've read that a lot of people have had success in reducing/minimizing the crease by wiping the seat surfaces down with water frequently, maybe 3-5 times a week. This is done to "rehydrate" the leather, though since most of the leather used in our cars is sealed or coated, so a lot of it doesn't actually permeate into the leather. Instead, it evaporates and creates a slightly more humid interior. I have read that some people also leave the damp microfibers under their seats for a few hours, in an effort to get moisture to the other side of the uncoated seat leather, where it should absorb moisture better. I've tried to do this but I haven't been consistent with it at all. For the week or two that I was consistent, it did seem to slightly improve the appearance. Here's how my front seats look now.

View attachment 313297
View attachment 313298
View attachment 313299
View attachment 313300

If I did happen to damage the leather, I would probably research and attempt a DIY fix first, now that my car is out of warranty.

Thanks for sharing all this detailed information, you definitely seem to be doing a more detailed job than me for sure when cleaning haha. Would you have done PPF on your car if the dealer did not include it in the package? I was thinking of paying to have it done but wasn't sure if it was worth the extra 1-3k. Also, your seats look great after trying out that method with the microfiber towels and letting the moisture seep inside of the seats. I don't think getting rid of creasing on leather completely is possible; the best that we could do is just to make it look more natural or preserve it to the best of abilities to prevent further deterioration.

Just out of curiosity, do you clean your wheels as well with a wheel cleaner solution? I'm wondering if it's safe to use on any of the brake hoses, calipers, brake pads, rims etc. in the long term. I've skimmed a lot of products/reviews on Amazon and I see that some of the products may strip the clear coat off the rims or eat away the brake pads. Most of the instructions say to rinse off the solutions afterwards but I am risk adverse on this aspect as it seems that most manufacturers don't really post the full ingredients on their products. One thing is for certain though, it's definitely not good for the skin/eyes/respiratory tract even with the non-acidic wheel cleaners.
 

sm1ke

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Thanks for sharing all this detailed information, you definitely seem to be doing a more detailed job than me for sure when cleaning haha. Would you have done PPF on your car if the dealer did not include it in the package? I was thinking of paying to have it done but wasn't sure if it was worth the extra 1-3k. Also, your seats look great after trying out that method with the microfiber towels and letting the moisture seep inside of the seats. I don't think getting rid of creasing on leather completely is possible; the best that we could do is just to make it look more natural or preserve it to the best of abilities to prevent further deterioration.

Just out of curiosity, do you clean your wheels as well with a wheel cleaner solution? I'm wondering if it's safe to use on any of the brake hoses, calipers, brake pads, rims etc. in the long term. I've skimmed a lot of products/reviews on Amazon and I see that some of the products may strip the clear coat off the rims or eat away the brake pads. Most of the instructions say to rinse off the solutions afterwards but I am risk adverse on this aspect as it seems that most manufacturers don't really post the full ingredients on their products. One thing is for certain though, it's definitely not good for the skin/eyes/respiratory tract even with the non-acidic wheel cleaners.

I think that if the dealer didn't include it, I would have paid to have it installed, but I would have gone for a full front end kit instead of the partial kit. Either way, I think PPF is worth it if you care about the paint. It's just so soft that rock chips pop up often without any kind of protection, especially with the bull shark looking front of the CX-9.

I do clean my wheels with a wheel cleaner. The product is made by Sonax, but I can't remember off-hand if what I have at home is Wheel Cleaner or Wheel Cleaner Plus. It is advertised as being pH neutral and acid-free, and it seems to work just fine. I don't use this cleaner often though, maybe only once or twice a year. Most of the time, after washing the rest of the car, I just take an old microfiber (or one of the bulk Costco mfs), get it wet with a quick detailer or spray on wax, then wipe each wheel down. That usually cleans them up nice enough that I rarely have to use the wheel cleaner. All said, I've used the wheel cleaner probably less than 10 times over the last 4 years, and I haven't noticed any impact on the paint of my wheels or the brake components.