Auto Detailing : A Beginner’s Car Detailing Guide Like A Pro

Car cleaning is an often task, and it seems like a daily chore. For the ones who are car enthusiasts, their detailing is just like washing their car on steroids. They seek perfect cleaning that should be more up than professional showroom caliber.

There are various levels of car detailing; there are more than a hundred multiple techniques and strategies along with an unlimited amount of auto detailing products. Usually, the direction and technology for this contradict each other. You can experience this by asking three professional auto detailers what is required to do, and you will get three completely different answers.

Car detailing guide

Car detailing

Along with any other thing, getting an idea about how and where to begin from it is quite toughest thing you can experience. This is the reason today we will let you know right step with the most straightforward DIY guide for detailing your car proficiently.

What Is Car/Auto Detailing?

Automotive or car detailing simply means cleaning and restoration of the vehicle to give it better performance and shine. Getting your car a top to bottom cleaning by using some of the specialized tools and products, is also car detailing. Detailing your vehicle also helps to protect its paint and other parts in opposition to the exposure from UV rays and other contaminants.

The detailing of the car includes the cleaning and reconditioning the interior and exterior of the vehicle. Notably, it aims to get the paintwork by lessening the scratches or swirl marks to renew the look of the vehicle as its brand new.

Car detailing vs car wash

Car Detailing VS Car Wash

Difference Between Car Wash And Car Detailing:

Usually, people are unable to understand the difference between car washing and car detailing. Yes, there is a significant difference between these two aspects. Car detailing costs much more than car washing, but still, you can think that why you have to pay more as detailing also involves the cleaning of the vehicle. Before making up your mind, understand the difference between these two processes completely.

In the detailing of the car, the interiors will get vacuumed in a much careful manner. The interior detailer will get applied to all the plastic parts and get wiped with a soft towel. After this, a conditioner will get involved. It will protect all the plastic parts from being damaged by sun rays. A glass cleaner will be used for the cleaning of the interiors of the windows.

The engine of your car will get inspected, they will spray on it for degreasing and cleaning, and after this, and it will get dried by compressed air. A conditioner will get applied and painted parts will be waxed.

The exterior of your car will be inspected, cleaned, and washed with car washing soap. Detailers will use a soft towel after rinsing for wiping, and a clay bar will get used for the removal of additional contaminants. You can also choose to buff your car as it will take several hours. At the final stage of detailing, the polish will get applied to the panels, and a dressing gets used to the tires of the car. The car gets inspected in bright sunlight for assuring that nothing gets missed. After all this, your car will be in new condition.

While, washing of car can quickly get done by hand or you can also take help from a machine (a drive-thru car wash) that will run bristles, soap, and water for cleaning the exterior of your car. The process of car washing is not much lengthy; most of the car washes involve ten to twenty minutes for washing and getting dried. For washing your car, it is not necessary to take it to the garage. You can do it by yourself in your spare time.

Benefits Of Car Detailing:

For complete driving enjoyment, the physical condition of the car plays a very critical and vital role. For keeping your car in full perfect shape, you have to get mobile car detailing. The auto detailing of a car will wholly recondition the interior and exterior of your car as it’s a brand new one. Car detailing is quite beneficial; some of its benefits are mentioned below;

Benefits Of Car Detailing

Benefits Of Car Detailing

Paint Preservation:

The exterior of the car usually gets affected by dirt, dust, and debris from the road. In this regard, auto detailing will clean all those impurities from the paint of your car. In car detailing, the detailer will apply an elegant coat of wax to the paint of the car. This wax will restore the shine of the new car; it will work as a protective barrier for car paint.

Interior Comfort:

After getting the detailing of the car when you get behind the wheel of your car surely you will have an improved driving experience because the interior of your vehicle with be fresh and clean. Auto detailing will create a clean interior. It will improve the condition of your seats, and dirt and buildup from the dashboard will also get removed.

Preserve Value Of Vehicle

If you have a thought to sale your vehicle that auto detailing will preserve its value. The car has great cosmetic condition will be much appealing for the buyers.

If you don’t know where you can get auto detailing, search once on web car detailing near me, and you will get complete info.

What Are The Steps Of Car Detailing?

The comprehensive car detailing process comprises of two different and core phases, interior detailing and exterior detailing. These phases acquire different steps of detailing, which will give you a completely reconditioned car. We will further elaborate on both stages and dig into all the aspects of each phase.

Steps Of Car Detailing

Steps Of Car Detailing

Exterior Car Detailing:

The exterior part of the car is what everyone sees. It is the face of your driving experience. Everyone wants their vehicle to be perfect looking. For perfect looking, you have to get your car through exterior car detailing and vehicle exterior cleaning. The complete detail process of exterior detailing involves significant steps. Take a look below; we have described every step-in detail for your comprehensive guidance;

Exterior Car Detailing

Exterior Car Detailing

Gather Supplies:

The gathering of car detailing supplies is the initial step you have to follow. The caliber of such products usually elaborates on the safety and effectiveness of your auto detailing work. Never just get those detailing products that are available on sale.

Get the best caliber supplies by paying a bit much more bucks. By this, you will get noticeable results. We are not forcing you to just go for a professional level stuff but get something worth cheap brands.

For making it more accessible, we have mentioned the list of some important supplies for exterior car detailing.
What you will need;

  • Two buckets,
  • Car washing soaps,
  • Car washing mitt,
  • Car Sander
  • Wheel cleaner,
  • Wheel brush or mitt or sponge,
  • Clay bar,
  • Car buffer,
  • Auto polish,
  • Car wax,
  • Microfiber towels,
  • Applicator pads
Tackling Of Wheels And Tires

Tackling Of Wheels And Tires

Tackling Of Wheels And Tires:

Some of the experts suggest tackling of wheel and tires should be at first, it is because the most grime and dirt comes, when you drive your car via mud, and other dirty condition of roads, and definitely you never want that dirt and grime to get spread to the other parts of the vehicle.

But still, there is not that much big issue to wash the car first and tackling the wheels after it. You are required to keep in mind that the car exterior should be wet either you can get spots of water even before you just end up cleaning of the tires and wheels. Further important steps are mentioned below;

Begin by spraying the whole car with a nozzle hose for the removal of dirt in surface. That nozzle will let you be gentle with the paint of the car. For much messier wheel and tires, you can exchange with stronger spray.

You should utilize a wheel cleaning solution, which is manufactured for such dirty parts of car. Prefer to use a non-acid solution; it will not harm the color and coat of your car’s wheels. You can find lots of such car detailing products which cleans your car along with protection.

You can just work on a single wheel at one time. After the spray on wheel cleaner, you have to allow it to rest just for some seconds before doing the scrubbing. Most often, a wheel brush is required to use which acquires soft bristles, it will not scratch. Either you can use a wash mitt or sponge. Never use the one similar wash mitt for all the paints and wheel.

Now, after scrubbing, rinse off the wheel and tire thoroughly by the strong stream of water.

Repeat this same process for all the wheels of the car.

Washing Of Car:

There is only one project which can always make your car’s exterior look perfectly great. It is that you need washing of your car in a regular pattern. And the other additional steps of detailing will enhance its shine more. But washing is essential for the removal of basic pollutants from the exterior of your car and it will also make further washing and detailing much easier.

Contaminants, bugs, dirt material of road, and other pollutants cramped to the exterior of your car, such contaminants are able to affect the finish of your car. Most of the auto experts suggest washing the car one time in seven days. But another good solution is that wash any dirt instantly when you see it. In this way, you can get prevented from damage and costly repairs.

car washing

Car washing

How To Wash The Car:

Never wash your car immediately after it gets driven on a hot day. In place of this, wait for the surface to cool down first. Further essential steps are mentioned below:

  1. Set two buckets, one with soapy water and another bucket for plain water.
  2. For removal of dirt, smut, and bird waste rinse the vehicle surface thoroughly with water.
  3. Dip the washed mitt into soapy water, begin from the top end of car; apply it finely to the exterior of the car in small washing areas.
  4. When one section gets completed, first soap should be rinse off and after this start the next one. Again in a similar manner work from top end to bottom end, as the bottom area is the filthiest part.
  5. Two buckets will take extra time, but rinsing the grim before returning to the sponge keeps the bucket of soap clean. It will also not let you rub the dirt back to the exterior of the car.
  6. After the completion of washing and rinsing all the parts of your car, now for drying the wet areas take clean microfiber towel. Again, begin drying from the top end of your vehicle and get down while working.

Claying Of Your Car:

An engineered resin, car detailing clay is for helping in the removal of contaminants on the surface. The best thing of car’s exterior is claying of the surface one or two times in a year.

car claying

Car claying

The essential aspect of using clay bar, the surface should be accurately greased. Generally, clay bars are being sold in kits along with lubricant spray. Other important steps are;

  1. For claying your car should be away from sun rays.
  2. An easier way to work is taking small amount of clay and making it flat between hands.
  3. Lubricant should be sprayed on the exterior of the car. Rub the clay to the surface in straight motion, first back than forth. This action will let the clay pick up all the dirt and contaminants immersed in the paint of the car.
  4. If it seems like the clay is catching than add more lubricant. When you feel that gliding of clay bar is not getting hindered than the surface is clear.
  5. Don’t forget claying the windows, yes it sounds a bit silly but it works quite well.

Polishing Of Car:

Washing, claying and waxing will not fix the marks of swirls, light scratches, stains of bird droppings, or if the paint gets dull or oxidized in looking.

car polishing

Car polishing

For such issues, you have to become aggressive with your car. Professional uses car buffer or polisher for fixing this, but it is not healthy. It can damage and burn paint coatings. Polishing through hand is a much tough task but you can do this in a much faster and accurate way by using an auto buffer. Steps of polishing the car are mentioned below;

  • In the same way, as claying you have to work in a small foot section of 2 × 2.
  • For polishing take an applicator pad. Apply almost a quarter amount of polish in the center area of the pad.
  • Apply the polish on the exterior surface of the car in straight motion with a firm level of pressure, in a way you can easily change the position of movement in halfway.
  • At a time when part of the surface gets dried to brume, it will just take two to three minutes. After this, buff the polish on the remaining part of surface by a clean microfiber towel.
  • If you observe any scratch but unable to feel it, so do the polishing of that area again if you want.

Waxing To The Car:

Finally, after you have done the cleaning of dirt from car surface, removing of pollutants that were immersed into the paint, and smoothed the paint by polishing, now the final step is the protection of the car’s surface. This can be simply done with car wax.

Car Waxing

Car Waxing

Wax layer is actually a suffering coating on the top of the clear coat. With this wax coating, you can easily remove all the dirt and stains on the surface of the car. It will not allow your car to get damaged enough. You should at least get your car waxed in three to four years.

Here is the way you can do it;

  • Get a clean applicator pad and apply just a little wax in the center part of the pad.
  • You have to work in small sections of 2 × 4 feet. With the implementation of quite light pressure apply the wax in back and forth movement and try to alter the position at about halfway.
  • After the application of wax, it is required to get dried like a brume. After this begin to do buffing for the removal of residues.
  • At a time you have completed the waxing to a certain section and it has brume too, now buff the surface for residue wax by using a new microfiber towel, until you get a smooth and glossy finish.
  • Continue waxing to the other areas of your car. Waxing will make washing of car easier for later. Wax is natural water repellent.

Making The Surface Of Car Shine:

The first impression is always the last impression. A clean car never gives you a pleasant driving experience. For making your car shine every time, you have to polish your car in an adequate manner. Forgiving your car perfect shine and gloss, we have mentioned some car detailing tips regarding polishing.

Car Shampoo:

Use a car shampoo for cleaning your car. Car shampoo is able to stop paint from getting peeled off easily. You can decide for yourself which is the best car shampoo, as there are lots available in the market. Car shampoo is guaranteed to protect the paint and will make your vehicle look glossy.

Before using car shampoo, simply rinse the car with plain water. After that, clean your car with a foamy mixture of car shampoo and water. Clean and wash your car in sections while using a soft and gentle cloth or foam. Rinse every part of the car and dry the car by using a clean cloth in a careful manner.

Good Polish:

Polish is the thing for maintaining the appearance of the paint. It enables the color to remain bright and vibrant despite the age of vehicles. Using a buffing machine is the simplest and fastest method for applying polish. A clean buffer pad is a cheap alternative.

Polishing will recover and restore the paint and it assures the constant, dazzling shine.

Tyre Shine:

Getting sleek black tyres will give your car a glossier look. Getting clean tyres is a much hardest thing because all the dirt grit and dust attacked first to the tyres. Clean the tyres separately from the car. After cleaning apply tyre shine for complete flourish.

All these things will make your car look much glossy and shiny.

Benefits Of Ceramic Coating:

You are known to ceramic coating if you want your car to be in completely perfect condition. A ceramic coating is actually a protective layer for the paint of your car. It is similar to car wax and sealant but it is manufactured in a way that it is able to last longer.

best Car ceramic coating review

Car ceramic coating time

Long Lasting Coating:

This ceramic coating will protect the paint of the car. Paint coatings are able to last from one year to five years even. Actually, it depends on the brand of coating you use. High quality ceramic coating will protect your paint for more than five years, and even some brands provide a warranty. Ceramic coating also gives a long lasting shine. It requires lots of time to apply. But it gives top-notch results.

Protective Coating:

Ceramic coating is well for protecting the paint against numerous paint damaging issues. Ceramic coating is hydrophobic. It can easily bear water shedding and not get damage. Some dirt acquires chemicals, which is highly effective for damaging the paint of the car. But ceramic coating bears all the chemical effects and do not allow the paint to get damaged. UV rays are able to fade the paint of the car or it can rust the surface. A ceramic coating will not allow such actions.

Improve The Look Of Painting:

Car acquiring ceramic coating will shine more. It gives a much-improved look to the car just similar to a new car. As it is long-lasting, so the gloss and shine on the car will be long-lasting. But keep in mind that this sparkling appearance will only be achieved when proper prior steps get done before the coating is applied.

Car Wax Vs Paint Sealant Vs Ceramic Coating – Which Is Better For The Protection Of Paint?

So now here your mind will get clear about wax, sealant and coating. These things seem the same for protection paint, but these three products are quite different from each other.


The wax of car usually is in the form of liquid or pastes. Each acquires the main ingredient as natural obtained or synthetic wax with exceptional ratio. The reason for this is to secure the paint and enhance the shine. They are completely easy to apply but still they are unable to last longer.


Paint sealants are way better than above mentioned waxes. They acquire man made polymers, resins, and other synthetic ingredients which are particularly for enhancing the lasting and gloss.


Paint coating is the protection of paint that bound the paint to give a durable, exceptional shiny finish and extremely secured hurdle. This item is quite long lasting and is able to last for almost years even without requirement to get replaced.

By this you can evaluate that coating is best for the protection of paint. As, it last much longer than both of these.

Interior Car Detailing:

Along with making the outer surface of your car impressive and perfect (exterior car detailing), interior car detailing is also necessary for making your own driving experience perfect. In this way you will enjoy driving. Vehicle interior cleaning and detailing includes lots of steps. All those steps are mentioned below with complete details. Take a look;

Interior Car Detailing

Interior Car Detailing

Removal Of Garbage:

Begin to remove all the garbage from the interior of car. You should vacuum the seats, carpets and upholstery. The areas you cannot get with your hands, for those areas use a compressed air can for blowing out the dirt and dust from such areas. You should also vacuum the seams of car seat, handles of door and arm rests and dashboard too. Use a clean and dry paint brush for cleaning the vents.

Cleaning Of Hard Surfaces:

Must assure to clean and recondition the hard surfaces of car with much care. Hard surfaces could be dashboard, area of glove, doors, sideburns, and the points of storage. For cleaning such surfaces, put all surface cleaner on a rag or cloth for wiping off. You can use old brush with soft bristles for cleaning those areas which are hard to reach. If you are using conditioner just use non-glossy sort of it.

Cleaning Of Upholstery:

Now you have to clean the upholstery. The cleaner for upholstery should suit the material of upholstery. If you have cloth material upholstery, so spray the cleaner onto it. For leather material seats, you should use leather upholstery cleaner. If you own vinyl seats, use all purpose cleaners. Silicone conditioning cleaners can leave a mark on your clothes so never use that.

Carpet Cleaning:

Carpets usually acquire the most dirt and germs you cannot watch and feel. In this regard carpet cleaning is compulsory. A steam cleaner would be perfect for this.

Window Cleaning:

Never clean under the rays of direct sunlight, it can result in streaky windows. Begin from spraying window cleaner to the rag or cloth and rub windows from it. You can also use newspaper pages for giving shine to your windows.

Vacuum Again:

The final step is to vacuum the interior of car again, it will remove all traces of dirt and germs you can’t observe. If you do not vacuum again, then there are enough possibilities of dirt and germs in car.

Keeping the interior of your car clean is not only important for the well-being of your family. Of course, periodical maintenance will make your car interior cleaning faster and easier.

Car Detail Cost

Car Detail Cost

How Much Does A Car Detail Cost?

The cost of car detailing usually varies according to many different aspects. The size of the vehicle is the core aspect depending on the type of package you select. The standard package for smaller size vehicles is less costly and for getting upgraded services additional price would get added. You can also find discounts like prior service payment, multi detailing of the car, long term status of a customer. There are lots of services you can add, there are various packages and options you can choose.

Standard service of auto detailing gets washing, waxing, the vacuum of the interior, interior polish, window washing, trim and mirror cleaning, and cleaning of a tire. You are expected to invest $50 to $125 for a normal size of vehicle and $75 to $150 for a bigger one like a van or truck.

A package of upgraded services sometimes comprises of enough detail attention. These details usually get change according to the location. So you should assure to get info about what will be the exact services you will get for your investment. It is general that upgrades cost $150 or more for normal sized vehicles. It will cost 175$ and more for SUV and vans.

The additional provided services could be the usage of high and good caliber cleaning stuff, special items or extreme care for boats, RVs, motorcycles, or vintage cars. Generally, it is $50 or more for a superior quality wax. If you want interior steamed clean of car or shampooing of carpet, so it would cost you $75 or up. The cleaning and washing of leather material upholstery can cost approximately $50.

How To Choose Car Detailing Services:

If you drive more often than your car gets in need of much more cleaning and detailing. In this regard, you have to get deep car cleaning and detailing. For choosing of car detailing service look for various service, get to know which service is offering best price along with good service. You can also search that on the internet. Get in touch with a company that offers mobile auto detailing. In this way, you can save much of your time. Check for reasonable prices. Look for the services which are available 24 hours/7 days. If you acquire a luxurious car select premium detailing services. They will serve you with best.

Car Detailing At Home:

Yes, car detailing is possible at home. You can easily detail and clean your car at home. All you just need to have is a car detailing kit. If you follow all the above mentioned steps and guidelines, so being a beginner you can do detail your car at home even in a much proficient manner. Detailing your car is not that tough task, instead of this it is just lengthy work. You have to implement lots of steps while being careful.

Which Portions I Cannot Do At Home As A Beginner?

Yes, the whole process of car detailing involves some steps you cannot do at home. First of all, during washing or cleaning of a car some uncertain parts of the car are unable to get noticed as they are not exposed to eyes. The top edges of the window of a car acquire a line of grime which gets permanent if not get cleaned in a long span of time. You are completely unable to wipe off the dust through air vents just by using a cloth. By this act dust, particles get immaculate in the narrow spaces of air vents. It can only be done by professionals.

Auto Detailing Mistakes You Must Avoid:

Everyone has their own preferences and techniques for detailing a car, but these mistakes & habits below are some of the most common and easily avoidable. If you do anything, make sure you don’t do these:

Car detailing mistake

Car detailing mistake

Usage Of Same Cloth:

Don’t use a sponge or chamois for cleaning your car. Just get a microfiber mitt. Get some decent Microfiber towels.

Washing In Straight Sunlight:

Most detailing-, aftercare-, or protective products react poorly when exposed to the sun or a warm car body. Work indoors or in the shade. It also reduces the risk of water spots and unseemly pooling.

Usage Of Dish Soaps:

Just don’t. It’s not intended for that specific use and could potentially damage your surface.

Usage Of Similar Bucket For Rinsing And Cleaning:

You should use one bucket for your car soap, one for just plain water for rinsing.

Cleaning Of Wheels And Tires At Last:

If you will ignore this part, you will again get spots and splashes of dirt and grime from the cruddy areas of car, like wheels and tires of a car.

Clean the soap and rinse buckets and start fresh after washing the tires, too.

Frequently Ask Questions Related to Auto Detailing:

1. What Is Car Detailing?
Car detailing is cleaning the car’s interior and exterior in detail manner for the removal of stains, swirls, dirt contaminates oxidation, scratches, and other such impurities, to renew or recondition the car.

2. Before Detailing Of Car Is It Necessary To Remove The Belongings?
Yes, you should remove all your belongings either they will get wasted. The car detailer will not be responsible for any of your waste.

3. Is Automatic Car Wash Better?
No, automatic car wash is completely rough for the paint of the car. It will remove all the polish from your car and your paint will appear completely dull. Moreover, it is not much adequate method like hand wash.

4. How Long Car Detailing Last?
The time for lasting of car detailing just depends on how much you maintain the vehicle. You should assure to use accurate tools and techniques for further washing. In this way your painting will not get damaged. The protection provided will last much longer. If you do not maintain your car, its detailing will begin to lessen soon.

5. What Are The Benefits Of Car Detailing?
The auto detailing service is the most valuable maintenance program for your car. It will give a new look to your car. The complete impression of your car will get changed. The paint of your car will get polished. It will completely clean the interior and exterior of your car.

6. Steam Is Better Than Soap, Why?
Yes, steam is much better than soap because steam powerfully degrease the car. Steam is able to disinfect without any chemicals. Steam sanitizes better. Steam requires less usage of water. If you will use steam no residual of soap will leave.

7. How Much Time Is Required To Detail A Car?
A complete car detailing usually just takes 5 to 6 hours in a day.

8. What Is Clear Coat?
Clear coat is the name for multi stage paints. A base coat gets applied along with pigment color. After this top layer of the clear coat is applied for more flourish, brilliance and it provides protection to the base coat.

9. What Is The Critical Time For Car Detail?
Due to quick changes in temperature, winter is a critical time for detailing cars. In the winter season dirt gets doubled so detailing of the car is critical along with being less beneficial.

10. What Is The Difference Between Paint Correction And Buffing?
Paint correction is actually a professional term for polishing. It covers lots of aspects like removal of damages like, deep scratches, swirl marks, oxidation, etching, paint over-spray, run lines, orange peel, and all other such damages.

While buffing is getting confused with paint correction. Buffing just means rapid shine by hand or simple machine along with an abrasive wool pad, high grit compound, fill in glaze, silicone or wax.

Wrapping Up:
In the end, it is all about the level of perfection and its cost you get to bear. For an average consumer, these steps are enough for educating that how you can manage your things while using less of your bucks.

By following this guide you will definitely become able to detail your car. Just keep in mind that you have to follow each and every step with full dedication and enthusiasm,

  1. It’s good to know that the occasional auto detailing appointment can help your car stay beautiful for a long time because of the effort that goes into paint preservation and rust prevention. My wife and I are in the process of restoring our first car and we would be so incredibly happy if we restored it to its original paint and shine it had over thirty years ago. We’ll be sure to keep this in mind as we search for a detailing service that can make our dream become a reality!

  2. I found it interesting and important when you mentioned that you should remove your belongings before you get your car detailed. My son was talking about detailing with my husband last night, and I had never heard the term, so I am doing a little research on it and I am very interested! Honestly, I will keep looking online for a service in my area that is reliable and can detail my car perfectly.

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