what is a car detail

Car Detailing vs Car Washing

What is a car detail? “A few hundred bucks for car wash? You gotta be kidding me!” We get this reaction often. We don’t blame them for thinking that, not many people know that a car detail is not the same as a car wash. If you’re reading this, you’re the few who knows. This little knowledge is going to make you and your vehicle standout from the crowd.

Yes, a car wash and a car detail both essentially aim to bring your car up to looking clean and new. But beyond that, the price, procedure and results varies significantly.

what is a car detail

What Is a Car Wash

Car washing is a cleaning process that washes away dirt and grime from your car. It’s a general solution to cleaning your car without a time-consuming or invasive process. Typically, car washes don’t go too deep into cleaning a vehicle, sometimes even leaving dirt in hard-to-reach areas while also leaving cleaning residue on the car’s surface. This is because a car wash can be completed in just a matter of minutes and it is significantly less expensive.

What Is a Car Detail

Car detailing is taking care of a vehicle through cleaning, maintenance and protection to maintain as close to original condition as possible or even improving it to better than new.

Car detailing is done by a professional, who is experienced and knowledgeable about cleaning both the inside and outside of your vehicle. It is far more in depth and a whole lot more time consuming compared to a car wash.

The type of towels to use; the type of chemical to use for what type of material; the effect of different chemicals on different areas of the car; correctly removing break dust from body of the vehicle; etc. Car detailing involves specialised car care services.

Washing your car the wrong way can cause damages your car.

swirl marks are bad

Other extra services, such as leather clean and conditioning, engine bay clean, waxing, paint correction buffing, ceramic coating and so on. All of which would require professional knowledge and hours to perform.

There are many contaminants that a regular car wash cannot remove that a detail can cleanse. When it comes to requiring a deep clean and some paint correction to enhance your car’s colour, a detail is the solution. Ultimately, what you are essentially paying for in an auto detail is time, expertise, high grade products/equipment and precise attention to detail.


Car washing it is a mere washing using soap and shampoo. Whereas car detailing can take much longer than a five-minute car wash and can be more expensive, because of the level of involvement on the part of the detailer and the cleaning solutions they use. But the quality of the cleaning is often more than justifiable for the price of service. It protects the car and ensures that your vehicle will remain easier to maintain.

Which option is best will depend on your circumstances; know what makes car detailing and car washing different to get the results you need.

You Get What You Pay For

The cost of professional car detailing will be a lot higher than a car wash. Car detailers take a methodical approach to clean every part of your vehicle from top to bottom, inside and out.

Many people spend a lot of time in their vehicles, so keeping them as clean as possible on the inside makes a lot of sense for you and your family.

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