Sometimes, we are too busy to notice that our car is in dire need of cleaning. As we maximize the utility of our vehicle, dirt and other elements can decrease their value in both aesthetics and usefulness.
Of course, the quick solution to this problem is to get a car wash. However, there is a better service that will make any vehicle seem brand-new again: professional auto detailing. Auto detailing services are not new. As early as the 1800s, there were already records of car detailing and maintenance. However, it was in the 1900s that the industry started to bloom.
Polishing cars was first credited to Frank Meguiar, Jr. in 1901 when he developed his furniture polish business. He used the same type of polish to coat the car exterior and protect the paint. Fast-forward to decades later and professional auto detailing, as we know it, is a fully developed industry with a specific set of tools that can help people achieve maximum cleanliness for their vehicles.
At present, professional auto detailing services constitute a market size worth $13 billion in the United States alone. This industry gives employment to approximately 198,668 people. Professional auto detailing is in demand now, especially for utility vehicles that belong to large families.
What Is Auto Detailing Service?
Simply put, full-service auto detailing is the cleaning and the restoration of a vehicle to its near-mint condition. That being said, auto detailing services are more demanding in terms of labor and more precise in terms of getting rid of all the debris and dirt. Professional auto detailing is made up of two steps: interior and exterior cleaning.
1. Car Wash
During the exterior cleaning in a professional auto detailing setup, the first thing that a detailer does is wash and dry the car by hand. Usually, the detailer uses a pressure washer to get rid of caked mud or snow, followed by a soap-based solution. A detailer ensures that every nook and cranny of the vehicle’s exterior is brushed, soaped up, and rinsed thoroughly.
2. Paint Claying
The next process involved is paint claying. This is usually done to eradicate iron substances and other contaminants that can destroy a car’s paint job. A specialized serum or a block of automotive clay is used for this job. Paint claying is usually done once the exterior is fully dry and before adding the wax and polish.
By the time a detailer is done removing iron particles and other contaminants, it is time for polishing. The main purpose of polishing is to remove some layers of the clear coating and enable the cleaner to remove minute scratches and fix swirl marks.
Lastly, to achieve a glossy shine and give the car a brand-new finish, professional auto detailing services often finish the exterior cleaning by applying wax. Putting wax not only improves the car’s appearance but also adds an extra protective layer to minimize scratches. The exterior cleaning of cars usually takes 1 to 2 hours, depending on the number of cleaners working and the intensity of the dirt outside the car. Snow and mud often bring additional challenges in detailing, and professionals should be careful in removing them to avoid causing scratches.
Interior cleaning is relatively more labor-intensive, depending on the state the car is in. Sometimes family cars can contain leftover food, spills, and other hard-to-remove materials stuck in the carpet.
Vacuuming the interior is the initial step in this process. A cleaner should be meticulous in making sure that no solid debris or dirt is left behind. Every square inch of the car’s interior should be vacuumed: seats (both above and underneath), carpets, the car floor, the dashboard, cup holders, and the trunk should all undergo vacuuming.
2. Scrubbing and Brushing
Once the meticulous process of vacuuming is done, the cleaner proceeds to remove the dirt via scrubbing and brushing. Most of the time, a soap-based solution is used for cleaning, but most professional auto detailing services nowadays use a carpet solution to ease the stain without destroying the carpet.
3. Steam Cleaning
To rinse the carpets and the rest of the car’s interior, detailers use a carpet cleaner that is similar to a vacuum to remove the liquid dirt and soap. Steam cleaning is also necessary for dried-up liquid stains, especially in the cup holder area.
4. Window Cleaning
Once the interior is done, window cleaning soon follows. Similar to the carpet and the exterior, a lot of detailers nowadays use a specific solution for cleaning the windows. Depending on the extremity of the dirt in the car or the number of detailers working, a professional auto detailing service usually takes up to 5 hours or even half a day.
5. Paint Correction
The detailing work is not limited to merely cleaning. Paint correction is among the most in-demand additional services that clients require from an auto detailing company. In this process, detailers remove a top coat of the car’s paint to remove unwanted oxidation and balance the paint job correctly.
Sometimes, clients also want to add a protective layer to their paint jobs, and detail companies can provide just that. Professional auto services can apply ceramic coating to the paint job to achieve this.
Northwest Collision Center Can Provide an Outstanding Auto Detailing Service
If you are looking for an auto body repair shop in St. Petersburg, FL, that can help you with your car detailing needs, Northwest Collision Center is your best bet. Northwest Collision Center houses a state-of-the-art facility that can help your car maximize its potential and keep it in tip-top shape.
Getting auto detailing services is important to maintain a vehicle’s health and to extend its lifespan. Clients can be confident that their car is receiving the best form of T-L-C through the capable hands of professionals with Northwest Collision Center.