Car Detailing Basic

Table of Contents

What is car detailing?

Many people don’t understand that car detailing and car washing are two separate terms. Car washing means cleaning the exterior debris, tar, dirt, etc. From the car. Generally, car washing is done frequently to clean the exterior and visible dirt from the car. Car washing should be done once in every week. On the other hand, the term car detailing means cleaning the car from inside and out with every single detail. It is done by the experts with specialized tools. It makes your car look new. It also increases the resale value of your car. Where the car washing means regular cleaning of the car, car detailing means deep cleaning of the car both from the interior and exterior parts.

What should car detailing services include?

car detailing is done to groom a car. It usually requires a lot of time and a professional hand to do this. People usually think that it means cleaning, polishing, and painting the car but actually, it is the lot more than that. The service varies car to car depending on the condition of the car. So, there is no universal procedure for the detailing. However, the process also varies person to person who provides the service. The basic service can be classified into two categories. One is the exterior detailing and the other one is the interior detailing.


Exterior detailing

exterior detailing is the most important part as people notice the outside of the car at first. On the whole process, the car detailer spend their most of the time in detailing the exterior parts of a car. A car due to more use and coming to the close contact of the sun may lose its shine and glossiness. For that reason, to restore the new and fresh look of the car, exterior detailing is done. The common exterior process includes wash, dry, clay, polish, paint, seal, e

Interior detailing

interior detailing is equally important to exterior detailing. Interior detailing is important for maintaining the indoor environment of a car in a good condition. More often car gets dirtier inside than the outside area. The filthy and dirty interior can cause a lot of harm to the internal function of the car also. So, one needs to give more priority to the interior detailing than the exterior one. The common interior process includes vacuuming, brushing, scrubbing, wiping, deodorizing, et

What are the tools used in car detailing?

Different types of tools and equipment are used in car detailing. With the technological advancement, tools and equipment of car is also developing. It is now done with the modern tools and equipment. You can distinguish the detailing work of an expert and a novice seeing the use of the all detailing tools. An expert car detailer uses advanced tools which give the car a new and polished look. However, before selecting specific types of tools and equipment, you need to fix that what specific works you have to be done with it. Traditional tools and equipment are rarely used in the auto detailing industry nowadays.  Some popular and most effective tools used in auto detailing work by the professionals are discussed below-

Pressure washers

The pressure washer is used in professional auto detailing work. Nowadays every auto detailer uses the pressure washer to clean the surface of the car more efficiently. Pressure washer comes in two different forms. One is the portable unit and the other one is the remote mounted unit. Depending on the needs, specification and comfort, an auto detailer choose different types of pressure washers.

Chemical dispensers

Chemicals are needed to apply on the engine, wheel, vinyl, jambs, and the other parts of the car to improve the efficiency of the overall system of the car. It is important to apply the chemical properly on different parts of the car. Apply chemical with the spray bottle is not suggested anyway as it is an inefficient way to apply chemicals to your car. However, the auto detailer uses chemical dispenser for applying chemical on different parts of a car. The chemical dispenser can easily be connected to any pressure tank and hose which make the application of the chemical easy.

Air compressor

The most useful equipment used in every car detailing shop is the air compressor. The car detailer must need the air compressor to dry out the water from different parts of a vehicle. After washing if water remains on the engine or other parts of a car, it is harmful to the overall function of the car. So, air compressor plays a vital role in it.

Vacuum cleaners

Like air compressor, the vacuum is also the essential tools in this service. Though traditional portable vacuum is still used in different detailing shop, if anyone wants to perform professional and extensive auto detailing, he/she needs to sue central vacuum system. A central vacuum system is a powerful way of auto detailing.

Soil extractors

soil extractor is an integral part of every car repair shop. For shampooing carpet, fabrics of the car, mats of floor and trunk, you need to use the soil extractor. Soil extractor should be bought carefully according to your needs and types of service you offer to your clients.

Vapor steamer

Stains are very common in the car when you use it frequently. Often we eat and drink on the car and spill different things on the car. The result is not so pleasant. Even if you clean the spillage immediately, a mark is left there. While car detailing, the car detailer remove the tiniest marks with the help of vapor steamers.

Ozone generators

Having an ozone generator in your detailing unit is very helpful. The ozone gas kills bacteria, mold spores, etc. Inside your car. So, using the ozone generators in your car, you can keep away all type of unpleasant odor away from your car.

Where to purchase car care products

Different people may have the different preference for buying the tools and equipment. Some people prefer to buy them from physical shops where some prefer to buy from online. It is possible not to get all type of auto detailing products in any specific shop. So, it is better to shop at online. You will get a wide range of products online. Moreover, you will be able to compare the price of the products and also see the feedback and reviews of products which will help you to decide which particular brand you should buy for car detailing.

The dirty car basics

If you have interest in the car detailing field, you have to understand the types of the dirt. It is all about cleaning dirt from the car and make a car look like new. In detailing world, soil can be classified in many ways. These are organic soil, non-organic soil, petroleum soil, etc.

organic soil includes bacteria, mold spores, animal fats, protein, body oil, yeast, etc. So many things. Organic soil must contain carbon. On the other hand, the non-organic soil doesn’t contain carbon. Dust which is found on the exterior part of the car is the generally non-organic type of soil.

Petroleum soil is the completely different type of soil than the organic and non-organic soil. Petroleum soil doesn’t mix up with the water. Oil, grease, tar, etc. Are the example of petroleum soil.

Cleaning up different soil from the cars require different techniques and mechanism. While cleaning the car, you have to identify at first which specific type of soil you are dealing with. However, cleaning would be difficult if you find three types of soil mixed up all together. Depending on the density of the dirt, the car detailer select the tools and techniques to clean up the car.

After understanding the basic of dirt type, you can decide what tools, equipment, and chemical you will require for cleaning the car. Choosing the right equipment and tools, you will be able to detail the car properly.

Different types of cleaners and detailing equipment for car

There are different types of cleaner, polisher, and detailing equipment available in the market. You have to choose your material wisely for cleaning and detailing a car. The efficiency of car detailing is depended on the types of tools you are using on a particular car. More than your hand skill, the efficiency of the tools and equipment are required in the work. But before applying each of the cleaners and tools on your car, you have to know the basic function and application procedure of each of them.

Video Credit:- Pan TheOrganizer

Here i am discussing few detailing products available in the market –

Ø  Car cleaners, polishes & protectant

Cleaners, polishes and protectant are three basic category of the process. Most of the time these categories are confusing too as some products are used both for car cleaning and polishing. As there are many products in the market for cleaning and polishing, you have to understand the basic function and rules of applying these products on different part of your car. Though every products offer some specific function, some products also offer dual function. However, while working with these dual function products, you have to make sure you understand the basic and primary function of the products.

Ø  Car washing soaps & wash mitts

A car washing soap is different than the soap we usually use every day for washing clothes and bathing. Car washing soap is a mild soap which doesn’t contain any detergent. It is a special kind of shampoo which clean the car gently restoring its natural gloss. You will find different types of car washing soap which will provide superb performance for washing your car. Car washing soap should be chosen based on its performance. Many non-brand car washing soap provides excellent performance to the car. After washing your car with the car washing soap, your car should be looked like new, polished, and waxed.

A quality car wash soap is not the only thing you need for washing a car but you should also need a good washing mitts which compliments the soap of washing car. Car wash mitts is also known as car wash sponge. A quality car wash mitts can clean the car gently without leaving any scratch marks. Different types of car wash mitts are available in the market. For the better performance, you can choose wool wash mitt. Microfiber wash mitts are also very popular for washing car.

Ø  Wheel cleaners & tire cleaners

Cleaning tire is one of the most difficult task of washing a car. If you don’t have the right equipment and cleaner for washing tire, you will face a lot of trouble while washing them. For tire cleaning you can use the tire cleaning detergent which contains detergent for removing extra tough germ particles from the tire. Though you should use a tire cleaner with extra cleaning feature but using a tire cleaner which contains petrochemical, bleach and other type of abrasive is not recommended to use on the tire as they can cause crack and damages to the tire.

Like tire, wheels of the car needs extra attention while cleaning. Wheels usually have got some extra dirt like road tar, dust, grime, etc. To clean these tough particles, the wheel cleaner should come in special formulas. Generally wheel cleaner is found in two basic types like acid cleaners and acid free wheel cleaners. If you need to use strong cleaner for washing the wheel of a car, you have to use the acid cleaners which can clean wheel fast and quick. Though acid cleaners is the most effective way to clean the wheel of the car, as a car detailer you must take precautions using the acidic cleaners.

Ø  Engine & undercarriage cleaners

Engine and the undercarriage of the car are probably the dirtiest parts of a car. They need special attention while cleaning. You will find grease, oil, and grime on the engine and undercarriage of the car. To clean those you will need to use strong chemicals. To clean these area, you will need to use the cleaner which contain petrochemical, detergents, and limousine.

Ø  Car leather & vinyl cleaners

Car leather and vinyl are also need special treatment and care while auto detailing. You have to choose the leather and vinyl cleaner wisely as these are the sophisticated material of a car. You will find different mild leather and vinyl cleaner which will keep the condition of the leather perfect and long lasting. Don’t use detergent directly on the leather as detergent can cause damages to the leather.

Ø  Car upholstery & carpet cleaners

Car upholstery and carpet also get dirty so easily. The carpet and the mat have to endure all of the spillage, dirt, dust, etc. You can use vacuum cleaner to remove the dirt from the carpet and mat. But vacuum cleaner can’t remove 100% dirt and spillage. You need to use strong carpet cleaner to wash the mats and carpets properly. You will get the carpet cleaners in both foam and liquid forms. Depending on your preference and performance of the material, you can choose any carpet and fabric cleaner for detailing the car.

Ø  Glass cleaners & plastic cleaners

Without clean and sparkling glass, you can’t say the car is properly cleaned and washed. The car detailer has to put more attention to the cleanliness of the glass of the car. A car detailer needs to apply the right products on the glass of the car. While cleaning, you should also look for the quality of the glass cleaner. The glass cleaner should not damage the condition of the glass. The glass cleaner should be ammonia free and be gentle on the glass.

Ø  Microfiber towels

Microfiber towels are great for washing and cleaning the glass and the other external parts of a car. These towels are very effective for glass cleaning. You will not need to have any glass cleaners either to clean with the microfiber towels.

Ø  Plastic parts & polishing

If the glass cleaner doesn’t contain ammonia, alcohol, and detergent, you can use the same glass cleaner to clean the plastic surface and interior of your car. Presence of ammonia and alcohol on the cleaner can make the plastic looks pale and hazy.

Ø  Car polishes

Car polishing is also the most important part of the work. There are different techniques and formulas for car polishing. Depending on the condition of the car and your personal preference, you can choose the type of polishing techniques on your car. Whatever you are choosing for polishing your car, the material should come with low abrasive ratings.

You should choose the polishing techniques very carefully. The techniques vary depending on the condition of the car. If the car is still in new condition, you should use mild polishing like wax cleaner on the car.

Ø  A good detailing clay bar

Clay bar is used for paint cleaning which gives your car a plain and polished look. Clay bar is a soft abrasive material which is usually mixed with the clay base and used to remove marks and contamination from the outer surface of the car.

Ø  Car waxes & glazes

Car wax is another important material for auto detailing. After painting, a thin layer of waxing provide a great protection to the car. Wax can be natural and synthetic. The exterior condition and look of the car largely depended in the waxing. So, waxing should be done properly with professional hand.

Car detailing chemical summary

So, this is all about cat detailing. You can learn the basic of it, reading this article. As there are different products are available in the industry, one can easily get confused choosing the particular products for the work. The aim of this article to provide small details and overall idea about car detailing basic and the products, tools, and equipment a car detailer should choose for detailing a car.

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