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  • Writer's pictureYork Swan

What exactly is Car Detailing?

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Car Detailing is a comprehensive car care and automotive service that is a must if you would like to properly maintain your car. Car Detailing services can range from interior to exterior and can include light restorative work as well. However, one thing is true with all high quality car details; a meticulous cleaning process, restorative and protective process for your automobile.


What is the difference between Car Detailing and a Car Wash?


Car Detailing is often mistaken for Car Washing, however they are different services. Car Washing is a basic car maintenance service which is designed to make your car look clean. It is often done by a machine which is designed to clean the exterior of the car. Unlike Car Washing, Car Detailing focuses on the intricate details of your vehicle and makes sure the car doesn’t just look clean but is actually clean. It is done by hand and requires skill and experience to be done safely. Professional Car Detailers also use specialised tools, products and techniques to achieve their desired results.


A detailer’s objective is not speed or efficiency, it is results. A Car Detail is also meant to clean and maintain areas of your car that aren’t always visible but can affect your car in the long term. These include boot jambs, door jambs, engine bay and nooks and crannies. As a result, cleaning these areas of a car not only enhances the vehicle's aesthetics but also preserves the car's value in the long term.

Super clean Volvo Car Detailed in garage
Volvo Detail

What are the types of things included in a car detail?

There are many services and inclusions that can be a part of a detail, and depending on the car detailer, car detailing services can be packaged or individual.


However, in general these are the common car detailing services:


1. Exterior Basic/Maintenance detail - Premium Wash

This type of detail will normally include:

  • 2 step exterior wash including pre-wash and hi-foam hand wash

  • Wheel and tyre clean to remove brake dust, dirt and grime

  • Door jamb detail to make sure the car is completely clean

  • Microfibre towel dry to ensure no water spots occur on paint

  • Exterior glass cleaning for a streak free glass finish

  • Tyre dressing for enhanced shine and protection


2. Interior Basic/Maintenance detail - Mini-Interior Detail

This type of detail will normally include:

  • Thorough interior vacuum of carpets, seats, dashboard, console and boot for dirt, pet hair, sand, food and other debris

  • Boot jamb clean to ensure car longevity

  • A wipe-down of all interior surfaces with a powerful cleaning agent

  • Thorough detailing of console and dashboard

  • Interior glass cleaning for a streak free glass finish


3. Thorough exterior detail with protection - Wash & Wax

This type of detail will normally include:

  • 3 step exterior wash including pre wash, snow foam preparation and hi-foam hand wash

  • Bug, tar and bird poo removal to improve car appearance and remove acidic contaminants

  • Detailing of tyre, wheel face and inner barrel to remove brake dust, dirt and grime

  • Door jamb detail to make sure the car is completely clean

  • Iron decontamination stage to remove embedded iron particles from clear coat of paint

  • Clay bar decontamination of vehicle to ensure thoroughly embedded particles removed from paint surface

  • Microfibre towel dry and blow-dry to ensure a throughout dry with no water spots

  • Exterior glass cleaning for a streak-free glass finish

  • Hydrophobic sealant application for added shine, protection and hydrophobicity

  • Tyre dressing for enhanced shine and protection


4. Thorough interior detail with shampoo carpet extraction - Full Interior Detail:

This type of detail will normally include:

  • Thorough interior vacuum of carpets, seats, dashboard, console and boot for dirt, pet hair, sand, food and other debris

  • Boot jamb clean to ensure car longevity

  • Shampoo carpet extraction cleaning of all seats and carpets

  • Deep clean, detail and agitation of all interior surfaces with a powerful cleaning agent

  • Thorough detailing of console and dashboard

  • All Interior glass cleaning for a streak free glass finish (windows, mirrors, sun roof)


5. Specialty detail services

These types of details go above and beyond your traditional detailing services and include:

  1. Paint Correction - removing paint scratches and imperfections to improve gloss and shine

  2. Engine Bay Detail - to remove dirt, dust and debris from engine bay to look better but also to keep engine performance and function well

  3. Headlight restoration - improve visibility, shine and protection of headlight exterior


About the Author


Foam Car Washing is a professional car detailing and car wash service based in the Sydney metropolitan area. If you are considering a car detail or car wash within Sydney - please feel free to contact our team of trusted, dedicated car detailers to provide you with exceptional results and customer service.


If you'd like to learn more about car detailing or FCW become a part of our online detailing community here for newsletters and quick tips!


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