A basic car wash is merely cleaning and removing the dirt and grime that is attached to your car. The process involves going to a place where your car can drive through, while it is being mechanically brushed with soap and water (automatic car wash). There are brushes used here that will remove dirt in your car’s exterior. The next process would be drying off your car with towels or a blow dryer that is specifically used for car washing. Also note with this method, using a manual drive-through car wash can be quite dangerous and we typically recommend against using one. The reason being, there have been many incidences where the car comes out the other side of the tunnel with more scratches. Yes, more damage than what you had in the first place. The main culprit for this is the reusing of the same brush heads in these car washing units. They are designed to rotate and churn through as many vehicles in one day as possible, that’s how they keep their costs low. But if the car prior to yours was heavily soiled with mud, dirt, and stones, well guess what? Your car is going to be going through this wash with heavily contaminated brush heads, this is known as cross-contamination. If these heads are not washed thoroughly, it is like washing your car with sandpaper.
There is also manual car washing, people will be using buckets of water, brushes, and some soap to wash your car. Both modes of car washing are presumably cheaper and faster.
Car detailing, on the other hand, is a laborious and long process. Cars are not just thoroughly cleaned outside, but inside as well. Or, what you may also say a top to the bottom cleaning process. There are specialized tools used for car detailing, a proper technique, and the right product for the job.
Interior car detailing includes cleaning the inside of the car such as the carpeting, the leather seats, the synthetic parts, and other composites.
There may also be stains that are hard to remove and needs specific attention, requiring special equipment such as shampoo extraction machines, steam cleaners, and so on. Dust particles will, of course, be vacuum cleaned. Dashboard, windows, mirrors, and interior roofs will also be given attention to.
There is chemical cleaning, liquid foams applied, different brushes used and steam cleaning in particular that make car detailing so much more thorough than a regular car wash. The power is in all the details. It is no surprise that detailers are often the ones contacted when something goes wrong at the car dealership car wash or local car wash.
Exterior car detailing is not just cleaning the outside of your car but completely restoring the surface of your car. Minute scratches and small blemishes like marring, swirl marks or spider webbing can be removed or at least minimized to a less severe state. Using a machine buffer can be somewhat complex in that if things go wrong it can be a costly mistake. This is why for these sorts of services; it is best to contact a professional car detailer than doing it as a DIY job. Especially if you have a dark color vehicle, like black, these blemishes can be obvious.
There are tire cleaning and dressing which helps in extending the life of your tires also. Improving exterior rubbers and plastics and waxing not only shines your car but also protects its paint. Buffing, on the other hand, can remove the oxidation that is caused by being exposed to outside elements. Checking and cleaning the engine, headlight restoration, some paint touch up to make your car look almost at its original condition are included in your typical car detailing service.
There are different packages to choose from when it comes to choosing a car detailing service since some offer paint correction to enhance your car before it gets faded or damaged. There is also odor removal where some cars have a somewhat off smell due to the owners’ smoking habits, sweat stench, pets, and so on.
Pros and Cons of Car Washing
In a car washing routine, cleaning is very quick, and the price is much cheaper. It is more or less a maintenance wash that should be conducted on a regular basis ie weekly, fortnightly, and in some cases monthly, if you take care of your car. If you have free time while on lunch or just to get a quick smoke break- you could go to the car wash area instead since there are car wash companies that offer “quick car washing” or express car washing. But remember, you most often get what you pay for and definitely something to consider, since it is your car that we are dealing with. Cleaning fast does not mean better results; it means less attention to detail in all areas of the car.
The thing though about car washing is that there is a common chance of its paint being scratched (usually happens in an automatic car wash). Sometimes, you will notice a slight scratch after the cleaning, this is because sometimes as an economic car wash, they operate similarly to a factory. They generate income based on volume, so quantity over quality. The more rushed a job is, the higher the chance of it being poorly taken care of, something to note in the future.
The reason being that some car wash business do not clean their brushes right after each car wash job, so if there are particles that are left in the brushes – the tendency is it will rub off on to the car next in line. Also, some of the workers who will be drying off your car do not have a clean towel for your car and will just be using previously used towels that may still contain dirt and dust. This is like drying your car with sandpaper!
Pros and Cons of Car detailing
As the saying goes, if you want a better outcome, then you must work for it longer and with vigor. The same concept applies to car detailing. You get what you put in if you think detailing a car will be a simple quick job, then you will most likely not get the result and outcome you are in need of.
It will take a lot of time for your car to be detailed. It takes more manpower and of course, it is more expensive due to more premium products being used and the need for highly specialized and advanced car detailing equipment ie DA machine polisher, Wet & Dry Vacuum and so on.
What is polishing?
Polishing is a term that is applied to previously painted surfaces to remove scratches and dirt by using a dual-action polisher (click here). To fulfill this purpose, it contains abrasive elements that will polish the surface, although they are actually removing a thin layer of the car’s paint. The solid components of the polish settle into scratches and minimize their appearance, reflecting light and causing them to blend into the rest of the surface. Most car polishes contain wax to enhance shine. The polishing liquid can be applied by hand or with the help of an electric polisher with a soft cloth pad. There are many attachments that allow you to turn drills and other power tools into polishers.
The advantage though outweighs the negative. When you have a car detailed you will be comfortable knowing that your car has been cleaned very well, you will see the shiny paint, the beautiful exterior is looking excellent, it is almost perfect when you look at it.
By the time you use your car, you will be happy with the smooth driving experience. This is what you get in your typical car detailing service, like Schmicko, when it is done by professionals. An extra amount of money is worth all that peace of mind.