What is Detailing?

Detailing is the performance of an extremely thorough cleaning, polishing and waxing both inside and out, to produce a show-quality level of detail. Besides improving appearance, detailing helps to preserve resale value of a car and help enhance the visual aspects of a vehicle.

Components of detailing

Exterior detailing

Exterior detailing involves cleaning and bringing a shine to the car’s paint, chrome trim, windows, wheels, and tyres as well as all other visible components on the exterior of a vehicle. Products include degreasers, detail clay, waxes, polishes, and a variety of applicators, brushes and special cloths. The three main components of exterior car detailing are cleaningpolishing, and protecting.

Cleaning refers to the removal of all foreign surface particles from exterior surfaces through the use of chemicals, water and heat while washing and claying. A clay bar helps to clean contamination/dirt from the surface of the clearcoat that cannot be removed through washing such as bugs, tar, sap, paint, overspray, etc.

Paint Correction refers to using Electric or Pneumatic machine polishes, which can be Rotary Polishers which have a constant direct spinning action (Direct Drive) or Dual Action Polisher (which uses a Radom Orbital Action plus Rotary Action) this is called forced rotation. Specific polishing pads (Foam, Wool or Microfiber) remove microns of clear coat from a vehicle in order to remove fine scratches, swirls marks, oxidation and other imperfections from a paint surface produced from improper washing techniques, drying techniques and other possible causes.

Protecting involves the application of a protective wax (in liquid or paste form) that prevents foreign matter (contaminants, pollution) from adhering to the surface of the vehicle, including minerals in water, bugs splatter, tar, and dirt.

Interior detailing

Interior detailing involves cleaning the passenger compartment as well as the boot of the car. All of the dash area, panels, windows, seats and carpet are cleaned extensively. 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. Some detailers remove seats and other interior components to provide the most thorough clean possible.

Engine detailing

Some detailers may offer engine detailing, in which steam, high pressure water, degreasers and all-purpose cleaners are used to clean under the bonnet of the car.

Detailing does not include major bodywork, painting, mechanical or upholstery repair, but can include sanding of body panels to eliminate and/or lessen the visibility of scratches.