Trucks & SUVs

Watch This Jeep Cherokee XJ Get Washed for the First Time in a Decade

There’s nothing quite like finding the vehicle that all your dreams are made of. For this particular automotive writer, that meant finally finding a two-door Jeep Cherokee XJ. Unfortunately for said automotive writer, the Jeep Cherokee XJ of his dreams was pretty grimy.

Jeep Cherokee XJ
Jeep Cherokee XJ | Getty Images

Finding the perfect Jeep Cherokee XJ

There’s nothing quite like finding your perfect car. And for Car and Driver writer Bob Sorokanich, finding his took some pretty serious effort. But with a lifelong love for the XJ-generation Jeep Cherokee, all that effort paid off when Sorokanich stumbled upon a two-door XJ with a 4.0-liter straight-six engine under the hood and a five-speed manual transmission for sale in rural Texas. Sorokanich bought the XJ, sight unseen, and had it shipped to his humble abode in Brooklyn.

It was then, Sorokanich learned, that the Jeep Cherokee XJ of his dreams was pretty filthy. “The Jeep had sat neglected in a field for years, getting baked in the Texas sun and gathering all kinds of crud and debris in every crack and crevice,” said Sorokanich. Its paint had taken on a hazy sheen, the interior was pretty grimy, and a family of mice had taken residence under the rear seat. But Sorokanich knew that under all of that dirt and grime was a gem of a Jeep.

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Meet Larry Kosilla, an expert automotive detailer

Sorokanich wasn’t the only one to recognize that his XJ was a diamond in the rough. Larry Kosilla, an expert automotive detailer and founder of the car care product company AMMO NYC, agreed with Sorokanich’s assessment. In fact, according to Sorokanich, Kosilla pretty psyched about the “sorry state” of Sorokanich’s Jeep Cherokee XJ. “It’s disgusting,” he told him. Adding, “It’s perfect.” With that, Sorokanich dropped his Jeep Cherokee XJ off at Kosilla’s Connecticut-based shop and let him get to work.

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Giving this Jeep Cherokee XJ a much-deserved wash

Kosilla really put the elbow grease into cleaning Sorokanich’s Jeep Cherokee XJ too. He spent hours upon hours scrubbing, polishing, vacuuming, and soaking it. He even used some of his most powerful cleaning products to return Sorokanich’s XJ to its original form. After all, this Cherokee had been sitting undisturbed for quite some time.

According to Sorokanich, Kosilla unearthed some pretty interesting artifacts when cleaning his XJ too. Among the items Kosilla found was a love letter addressed to Krystal and initialed by “PD. N. FUL.” But when all was said and done? Kosilla was able to get Sorokanich’s Jeep Cherokee XJ pretty cleaned up.

“When Larry opened the garage door to show me the final result, I was shocked. My chalky, hazy, dull old Jeep was shining like it was brand-new. The interior was sparkling and smelled great. I asked Larry to leave some of the patina undisturbed—I like the look of the faded bumpers, which highlight the fact that this Jeep has been through a full and unforgiving life—but every piece of the car that Larry touched was gleaming,” Sorokanich after picking up his Jeep Cherokee from Kosilla’s shop.

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The key to keeping your car clean

Keeping your car clean shouldn’t be that difficult. Especially if your vehicle hasn’t been left untouched for the better part of a decade. Try keeping a small trash receptacle on hand, along with things like car cleaner, wipes, and even a small vacuum cleaner. Using interior organizers can also be helpful. Of course, taking your vehicle to an auto detailer is another great way to keep your car in clean condition.