Understanding Car Detailing In Houston

How different are car washing and car detailing? This is one of the common questions our customers at Soap Hand Car Wash ask every day. While some people don’t really care how their car looks, some will be disturbed by the slightest scratch or faint paint. Whether you are a car enthusiast or not, it is important to have your car detailed every once in a while. Car detailing helps ensure the car remains in the best shape (aesthetically) possible.

To help you understand the difference between car detailing and car washing, we will discuss the two in detail. It is by understanding each of these in details that you can discern its importance for your care.

Definition Of Car Detailing

Car detailing entails cleaning every part of the vehicle and the underside using specialized products and tools. In most instances, a detailer might be forced to apply some slight cosmetic touch-ups to restore its color and radiance. This, however, doesn’t mean body repairs and paintwork are a must in car detailing. In other words, car detailing is all about reconditioning and cleaning the car’s interior and exterior. The idea here is to eliminate swirl marks, scratches, and restore the paintwork into its previous glory. Proper car detailing helps restore the car’s look, the same look and feel it had when you drove it from the auto shop.

Taking the car to a car wash, or washing it yourself only means you only get rid of visible dirt on the inside and outside. You might even vacuum the car to get rid of dirt and grime that might be trapped in the fibers. Car detailing, on the other hand, takes the extra step to ensure the car is polished, buffed, and vacuumed out leaving it spotlessly clean and shiny. Detailing results are incomparable to merely washing the car.

Different detailers follow various approaches when working on your car. We at Soap Hand Car Wash have different detailing packages where we use high-end wax, clay treatment, and advanced interior cleaning tools and leather treatment, as well as stain removal to ensure a clean and exceptional look.

The Difference Between Auto Detailing & Car Wash

With a little knowledge of how car detailing works, as well as a car wash, we are going to delve deeper into the differences between the two, and more importantly, why auto detailing is a good idea.

A car wash only covers a fraction of the work done in detailing. This is to say, a lot more is put into consideration, and in detail to ensure every part of the car is clean and as it is supposed to. The average cost of washing a car is about $25.

The process of washing a car generally takes between 10 minutes and 20 minutes from start to finish. You can either use a drive-thru car wash for machine wash or have it done by hand. In other words, car wash is more of a superficial cleanse while auto detailing is restorative and thorough.

Steps Taken In Auto Detailing

There are two phases in car detailing; exterior detailing and interior detailing. We will break these down to help you understand what is entailed in each stage, and what to expect from the same. You can also ask your detailer what and why he is doing certain things for closure. Most professional detailers do it as the art they enjoy, while others will do it as a job.

1. Exterior Car Detailing

The first step in exterior car detailing involves an exhaustive exterior wash. The process involves using water and soap to allow dirt, mud, and other debris to soften before washing it off. The soap is allowed to foam to enable easy removal of the same.

The next step here involves the use of wheel cleaning products and special brushes to get rid of any filth and dirt from the brake calipers, wheels, and lug nuts. The wheels are considerably the dirtiest part of the car.

With the wheels clean, the detailer can then take to the paintwork for a clean wash and drying. Special washing materials, such as soft microfiber towels and washing mitts are used to provide a perfect clean. Once the car is dry, an automotive clay is applied to help remove any dirt that might be bonded to the surface of the vehicle, also known as a clear coat.

Paint may be polished to remove oxidation, light scratches, and swirl marks, but only if required. Depending on the intensity of the job, the paintwork can be done by hand or machine. This is the most time-consuming part of car detailing.

Paste wax is then applied to the paint to provide an additional protective layer to the paint. Waxing restores a noticeable shine to the paint, something you don’t get from just a regular wash.

With the paint job and waxing done, the detailer can then focus on remaining exterior parts including rubber parts and windows. These are methodically cleaned and polished to restore their initial look and feel. This gives the car an extra sparkle too.

2. Interior Car Detailing

All the upholstery in the car is shampooed and vacuumed thoroughly to remove dirt and stains. If your car, however, has leatherwork, this is scrubbed to remove dirt, after which it is conditioned to give it that authentic look. Any vinyl and plastics are then cleaned and dressed too.

The last part to work on is the interior glass which is cleaned and polished.

Advantages Of Car Detailing

1. Maintain & Restore The Value Of The Car

Car detailing is particularly essential for classic and older cars. Detailing restores the car’s look, shine, and radiance, one of the reasons some of them have a shiner look as compared to newer models as well. An experienced detailer should be able to restore the car’s original beauty, thus maintaining or even restoring its value.

2. Protection Against Harsh Elements

The wax polish or coat applied on the painted surface protects the car’s paint from oxidation and contamination.

3. Attention To Detailing

A professional detailer will fist assess every part and crevice of the car before getting to work. This allows him/her to create a plan to approach the detail process for a customized solution. Such attention to detail is nothing you can get at a regular car wash.

If looking for a spot to get your car washed, you can then come to SOAP Hand Car Wash. We offer eco-friendly car washing and detailing services in the greater Houston area.