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What Is Car Detailing? Auto Detailing And Car Washing Properly!

What Is Car Detailing? Car Washing and Auto Detailing At Home!

What is car detailing and how does it differ from a car wash? When it comes to keeping your car looking its best, there are a lot of options out there. From a simple car wash to a full auto detailing service, it can be overwhelming to figure out what exactly your car needs. In this article, we will explore the world of car detailing and outline what is included in a professional car detailing service, as well as if you should detail your car yourself!

What Is Car Detailing And What’s Included?

what is car detailing power washing

Car detailing is an extensive service that goes beyond a regular car wash. It involves deep cleaning and restoring both the exterior and interior of a vehicle, leaving it looking like new. Professional car detailers use specialized techniques and products to remove dirt, stains, and contaminants from your vehicle.

Detailing involves a deeper and more thorough clean compared to a traditional car wash. Detailing a car is actually one of the best things you can do to your vehicle. Automotive detailing has a ton of benefits like:

  • Renewed paint finish
  • Underbody flushing 
  • Scratches or Micro-Scratches being removed
  • Restored clarity from the clearcoat layer
  • Full color restoration from the basecoat paint
  • Future protection from scratches, mud stains, and rust
  • Stain and spot removal
  • Odor treatment

As you can see, there’s a ton of benefits, so let’s take a closer look at what’s included in a typical car detailing service and the types of car detailing:

Related: How To Detail Your Car At Home

Exterior Detailing

car detailing bay

1. Hand Wash and Drying:

What is car detailing without a car wash? The first step in exterior car detailing is a thorough hand wash using high-quality car cleaners. This helps to remove surface dirt, grime, and brake dust that can accumulate over time.

It’s best to wash with 2 buckets instead of one. Have one for rinsing, and one for soapy water. This prevents cross contamination. Make sure you rinse the vehicle down first (touchless wash) then follow up with a microfiber sponge, or mop to wrap up the cleaning process.

Great smelling, easy to use car wash!

car detailing soap

2. Clay Bar Treatment:

To further remove any contaminants that make your car’s surface rough, detailers use a technique called clay bar treatment. This process involves using a piece of clay with a lubricant to gently remove embedded dirt, road tar, and other debris. Car owners should have this process completed before any detailing occurs.

3. Waxing and Polishing:

To protect your car’s paint and give it a glossy shine, a layer of wax is applied after the surface has been properly cleaned. Detailers use high-quality car wax and polish to enhance the appearance of your car.

To keep your vehicle looking it’s best and to have that high gloss reflection, the detailing process would require you to polish the paint. This restores the reflection where the wax protects it.  Even after a normal car wash, waxing is a must if you want your vehicle to last. This will also help protect from harmful uv rays. 

Great Easy To Use Wax:

car detailing hyper wax

4. Tire and Wheel Cleaning:

Detailing also includes cleaning and dressing your car’s tires and wheels. This process removes brake dust, dirt, and grime that can accumulate over time, leaving them looking clean and shiny.

Make sure you don’t forget wheel wells.

5. Headlight Restoration:

Over time, headlights can become dull and cloudy due to oxidation. Detailers use specialized products and techniques to restore the clarity and brightness of your headlights, improving visibility and the overall appearance of your car.

6. Other Procedures:

Depending on the specific needs of your car, a professional detailing service may include other procedures such as trim restoration, paint correction, and even a ceramic coating for added protection. Paint corrections also usually includes a complete scratch removal package as well.

It’s important to note: if you’re looking for a sealant like ceramic coat. I recommend having your car professionally detailed first. Never bring your car to an automatic car wash. Detailing is a lot of work and it’s important you work with your car detailer so they know exactly what you want. Some have packages that include and exterior wash and interior cleaning for free. 

Interior Car Detailing

car detailing inside

1. Vacuuming:

The first step in interior car detailing is to thoroughly vacuum the entire interior, including the seats, carpets, and floor mats. This removes dust, dirt, and debris that may have accumulated over time.

2. Upholstery Cleaning:

Detailers use specialized cleaners and techniques to clean and restore your car’s upholstery, removing stains and bringing back their original color and texture.

Easy To Use Vinyl, Leather, Rubber Cleaner:

VLR Cleaner

3. Glass Cleaning:

Detailing includes cleaning all the windows and mirrors of your car, leaving them streak-free and sparkling clean.

4. Odor Removal:

If your car has any unpleasant odors, detailers use deodorizing products to eliminate them and leave your car smelling fresh and clean.

5. Other Interior Areas:

Detailers also pay attention to other interior areas of your car, such as the dashboard, console, door panels, and vents. They clean and protect these areas, leaving them looking and feeling like new.

Other Readers Liked: Is Car Detailing Worth It?

Additional Car Detailing Services

car detailing engine bay

1. Engine Bay Cleaning:

In addition to exterior and interior detailing, some detailers offer engine bay cleaning. Afterall what is car detailing without the engine bay?This involves cleaning the engine compartment to remove dirt, grease, and grime, making your engine look as good as new.

Engine cleaning is important as well, not only does it look better, but detailers remove all the leaves and whatnot which make it look it’s best possible condition, and unclogs your water drains. 

2. Trim Restoration:

Detailers may also offer trim restoration services, where they clean and restore the exterior trim of your car, bringing back its original color and shine. It’s important to make sure you get your door jambs too.

3. Fabric Protection:

To protect your upholstery and carpets from stains and spills, detailers may offer fabric protection services. They or you can apply a protective coating that repels liquids and prevents stains from setting in.

Why You Should Detail Your Car

Now that we have discussed what car detailing entails, let’s explore why you should consider detailing your car. Regular car washing can help keep your car clean, but detailing goes beyond that. Here are a few reasons why you should detail your car:

1. Enhance Appearance: Car detailing can make your car look like new. It helps remove scratches, restore faded paint, and bring back the shine to your car’s exterior. Detailing the interior can remove stains, eliminate odor, and bring back the freshness to your car’s cabin.

2. Extend Lifespan: By regularly detailing your car, you are protecting it from damage caused by dirt, UV rays, and other environmental factors. Detailing helps prevent paint deterioration, rust formation, and upholstery damage, thus extending the lifespan of your car.

3. Increase Resale Value: A well-detailed car looks more appealing to potential buyers. By keeping your car in top condition, you can potentially increase its resale value when it comes time to sell or trade-in.

4. Maintain Health and Hygiene: A clean and well-maintained car interior is not only aesthetically pleasing but also contributes to your health and hygiene. Detailing helps remove allergens, dust, and other particles that can impact the air quality inside your car.

5. Saves Yourself Money: Professional detailers and packages can get expensive. It doesn’t take years of experience to get good at detailing but it does to complete the whole package. Some process like ceramic coating can be tricky. It’s important to try yourself first and then seek professional help if it’s not your thing. 

In Case You Missed It: Ceramic Coating Costs

Tips to Choose a Car Detailing Service

car detailing services

Choosing the right car detailing service is important to ensure you get the best results. Here are a few tips to help you choose a car detailing service:

1. Experience and Reputation: Look for a detailing service with experienced detailers and a good reputation in the industry. Check reviews and ask for referrals from friends or family.

2. Services Offered: Assess your car’s specific needs and make sure the detailing service offers the services that suit your requirements, whether it’s exterior, interior, or additional services.

3. Quality of Products: Inquire about the products and equipment used by the detailers. High-quality products ensure better results and prevent damage to your car.

4. Convenience and Pricing: Consider the convenience of the service, such as location and availability of appointments. Compare prices and make sure the service offers good value for money.


Car detailing is an essential service for keeping your car looking its best. It involves thorough cleaning, restoration, and protection of both the exterior and interior of your car.

Whether you are looking to enhance the appearance of your car, extend its lifespan, or maintain health and hygiene, car detailing can help you achieve these goals. Remember to choose a professional detailing service that meets your specific needs and enjoy the benefits of a well-detailed car!

Good luck auto enthusiasts and detailers!

1 thought on “What Is Car Detailing? Auto Detailing And Car Washing Properly!”

  1. I really appreciate you talking about good hygiene as something you can get out of car detailing. I feel like how often we go on road trips, could end up being extremely useful for us if we do this cleaning method for our car regularly. I’ll ask for help from a local auto detailing expert so things can be healthy for us.

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