Understanding The Difference Between Houston Detailing And Car Washing

What Is Auto Detailing?

Being confused between professional detailing and washing is not that uncommon. After all, most people assume that it is just cleaning the car. The truth is not that simple and you need to look into both processes in more detail.

When talking about a car wash, it will be the traditional setup of a tunnel where the vehicle is driven or automatically pulled along a track. The tunnel will have brushes, soap, and water which is applied to the car. The drying process in these cases will generally be an automatic blow dryer or employees using towels. The end result is that your car is mostly clean for a relatively low price.

What Is Wrong With The Automatic Car Wash

The primary issue with an automatic car wash is that is can leave swirls in your paint as well as scratches. There are a lot of vehicles that have damaged paint from the brushes at the car wash. The brushes in these car washes are often not cleaned which means the sand or dirt from the last vehicle will be on the bristles. These particles will scratch your paint.

The towel that is used to dry your car is probably the one that was used to clean the car before yours. This means that there is a chance for cross-contamination and residue transfers. Automatic car washes have focused on efficiency over the quality of the clean. This means they are looking at how fast your car can get out and the next one can come in.

How Does Detailing Differ To The Automatic Car Wash?

The primary difference is the fact that auto detailing will not use an automated system and opts for hand washing. Detailers are often trained to ensure they offer the best clean for the vehicle they work on. They will also have procedures in place to provide the best treatment for your car.

During detailing, the car will be meticulously cleaned by hand to ensure the quality. Detailing will also go beyond washing the vehicle. Detailing includes additional interior cleaning and exterior restoration.


  • ¬†Exterior washing
  • Waxing
  • Application of degreasersTar and bug removal
  • Wax sealant application
  • Buffing
  • Cleaning of the engine
  • Cleaning and dressing tires
  • Repairing dents
  • Restoring the headlights
  • Dressing exterior rubber and plastic
  • Paint touch-ups
  • Decontamination of ventilation
  • Clay bar surface or Nano mitt
  • Fixing marring and scratches on the paint or wheels
  • Application of paint protection film


  • Vacuuming the interior of the car and trunk
  • Cleaning the door jambs
  • Steam cleaning the interior
  • Cleaning the mirrors and windows
  • Cleaning and dressing the leather, rubber, and vinyl
  • Spot cleaning the roof
  • Shampooing mats, carpets, door panels and seats
  • Cleaning the dashboard, vents, and components

If you are looking for the best cleaning of your vehicle, you should look at the detailing. Of course, you should look for a company that offers trained detailers and will outline all of the processes included in their detailing like SOAP Hand Car Wash.