Auto detailing is the performance of an extremely thorough cleaning, polishing and waxing of an automobile, both inside and out, to produce a show-quality level of detail. It can be detailed for personal satisfaction, and it is also performed to prepare a car for car shows that feature the appearance of cars. Besides improving the appearance of cars, detailing helps to preserve the car, and thus, increases resale value.

Components of detailing

Exterior detailing involves cleaning and bringing a shine to the car’s paint, chrome trim, windows, wheels, and even tires. Different methods and techniques, products,¬† detail clay, waxes, dressings, and polishes, as well as a variety of applicators and special cloths.

It is important to note the three main components of exterior car detailing which are cleaning, correcting, and protecting. Cleaning refers to removing all foreign surface particles from exterior surfaces through the use of washing and quick detailing. A clay bar helps to clean contamination/dirt from within the clearcoat that cannot be removed through weekly washing. Clearcoat contamination can come from industrial fallout, air particles, dirt particles, tar, and animal droppings. Correcting refers to using mechanical polishes by hand or with a machine and specific polishing pads that remove a fine layer of clearcoat from a vehicle to remove fine scratches and swirls from a paint surface produced from improper washing or drying technique. Protecting involves the application of a protective material (in liquid or paste form) that prevents foreign matter from adhering to the surface of the vehicle, including water, bugs splatter, tar, and dirt. Waxes and sealants provide this barrier against the elements.

Interior detailing involves cleaning the passenger compartment of the car. Vacuuming is standard, and steam cleaning, liquid cleaners, and brushes may be used to remove stains on upholstery. Some nonporous surfaces may also be polished.