Interesting Facts About Car Detailing — Clean My Car - Vancouver BC (2023)

(what you should absolutely expect when paying for car detailing services, the number 1 reason to get your car detailed, how to find out if you’re being scammed by your car detailer, and more…)

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For any discerning car owner, car detailing should be an important part in the vehicle’s maintenance schedule.

Doing a quick Google search for “car detailing” will fetch millions upon millions of answers. Such a wealth of knowledge, one might say… All you have to do is read through the answers and… in about forty lifetimes from now… get a solid idea of what car detailing can do for you.

Except you don’t have forty lifetimes to spend on this topic. Really, might not even want to spend forty minutes digging through the piles of information, just in hopes of finding the right answer.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of answers to the most important questions you might have about car detailing, that you can read and understand in only a few minutes. And, once you’ve finished reading the list, you’ll be better informed about car detailing than 99% of the car owners out there, and understand what the benefits of a car detailing service are for you.

Here are the questions we’ll be answering in this article below:

  • What is car detailing?

  • What does car detailing include?

  • How long does car detailing take?

  • How much does car detailing cost?

  • Why should you get your car detailed?

  • Where can you get your car detailed?

Last but not least, we’ll conclude with a bunch of tips on how to select the right car detailer for you. Let’s begin.

What is car detailing?

Here’s what Wikipedia says about car detailing:

Auto detailing is an activity that keeps the vehicle in its best possible condition, especially cosmetic, as opposed to mechanical. This is achieved by removing both visible and invisible contaminants from the vehicle's interior, and polishing the exterior to its original blemish-free finish. The most basic detail options include an exterior wash and wax, interior vacuuming, window cleaning and surface polishing.

Still a bit confused? Let me break this down for you.

Car detailing works a bit like traveling back in time.

The goal of car detailing is (by using a variety of specific tools, products and techniques) to reverse the effects of age and wear-and-tear on your car, bringing it as close as possible (cosmetically and appearance-wise) to a like-new condition.

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If you’ve ever bought a new car, you might remember that uplifting feeling. Walking onto the lot and seeing there, the shine and glow of new car paint, the fresh smell of the interior, the souple touch of the leather car seats… You felt special, as if everyone was looking at you with envy.

Car detailing is simply trying to give you back that wonderful feeling, so you can re-live the moment without actually having to buy a new car every single time.

What does car detailing include?

Because there is no set standard of service across the car detailing industry, you will find that the answer to this question varies depending on who you ask.

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At the very minimum, a car detailing service should include the following:

  • Thorough vacuuming of the interior, including the trunk space

  • Meticulous wipe-down of the dashboard, center console, and door panels

  • Thorough hand-wash of the exterior, including the rims and tires

  • Cleaning and degreasing of all windows and mirrors, inside and out

All this should be non-negotiable. It is also the main difference between “car detailing” and a “car wash”.

Aside from the basic steps listed above, a proper car detailing service may also include some or all of the following, based on the car’s condition and owner’s budget:

  • Shampooing the interior carpet

  • Cleaning, conditioning and hydrating the leather car seats

  • Polishing the exterior car paint to remove scratches and oxidation

  • Application of a wax, paint sealant or Ceramic Coating to the exterior car paint for protection

How long does car detailing take?

The duration of a car detailing service varies based on the package selected, the car’s condition, and the car’s size.

In general terms, a car detailing service can take from a couple of hours to several days, depending on the extent of the procedure.

At the lower end of the time scale will be a quick unpretentious in-n-out detail, better suited as a frequent maintenance package. And at the upper end of the time scale will be a full blown meticulous entire vehicle detail, including multiple steps of paint polishing, with the intention of restoring the car’s condition to the highest possible level.

How much does car detailing cost?

The price for having your car detailed depends on several factors:

  • Size of your car

  • Condition of your car

  • Your expectations

Let’s talk about each of these factors one at a time.

Size of your car

The size of your car falls into one of these categories:

  • Small / Medium – Porsche 911, Tesla Model 3, Mercedes C-Class

  • Large – BMW X5, Mercedes GLE, Porsche Cayenne

  • X-Large – Audi Q7, Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes G-Class

How does the size of your car affect the price for detailing?

A smaller size car (such as a Tesla Model 3) will take less time and effort to detail than a large size SUV (such as BMW X5).

Condition of your car

The condition of your car could generally fall into one of these categories:

  • Regularly maintained – detailed every few months

  • Rarely cleaned – detailed about once a year

  • Never detailed since it was bought

How does the condition of your car affect the price for detailing?

A car in good condition (which has been regularly detailed and is only used by one person) will take significantly less time to detail than a similar size car in bad condition (which hauls around a family of five, and hasn’t been detailed in years).

Your expectations

Expectations can be classified into two categories:

  • Reasonable – “I want my car to look better than it does right now. I understand the limitations... Please do what you possibly can.

  • Unreasonable – “I want my car looking perfect. I won’t accept anything less than that.

Your expectations play a crucial role on how much you will ultimately pay for having your car detailed.

Here’s why:

If you expect a car that has never been detailed to come out looking perfect – every stain taken out, every strain of dog hair gone, clear shiny exterior paint, etc. – you should expect to pay a much higher price than if you were looking for just a significant improvement.

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Furthermore, because of your unreasonable expectations, it is likely that you will be disappointed by the results, regardless of how much effort and skill the car detailer will put into detailing your car.

Why should you get your car detailed?

FACT #1: Each day you don’t do anything about it, dirt degrades and devalues your car.

Dirt left sitting on your car degrades and scratches the finish, making it look dull and unattractive. Glass gets covered with an oil-sticky film, making it difficult for you to see, especially at night. Dirty leather seats fade and crack, leading to costly repairs. Every moment you wait, your car wears out faster!

FACT #2: While you are in there, how do the surfaces feel?

Oily residues from the air, clothes, and hands, are drying onto the materials. Slightly sticky, they grab dirt and lock it on. Through a process called “oxidation” soils bond with the surfaces, causing color change, and becoming permanently attached. If you wait too long, you are throwing away the key to unlocking dirt and oil from interior and exterior surfaces of your car. Clean before discoloration sets in! The longer you wait between cleanings, the more soil becomes permanent.

FACT #3: Is the air inside starting to smell stale? Great News!

Pollutants in the air filter through your carpet and fabrics. The carpet traps them so you don’t breathe them in over and over. But what happens when that trap gets full? Your family starts breathing dust mite debris, pollens, pollutants, fungus, spores, bacteria and a long list of other really gross stuff. Once your carpet’s and fabrics’ natural filtering ability get full, it is time for a thorough cleaning for your health’s sake.

And as if all this was not enough...

Your car could also be full of health-destroying dust mites!

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Did you know that the average person sheds about thirty to forty thousand dead skin cells every hour? In one year, that adds up to approximately 3.6 Kg (or 8 Lbs) of dead skin flakes. About the size of a healthy new-born baby.

But here’s the good part: that is how your skin regenerates. Through this complex process, you have completely new skin on your body every three to four weeks.

And how is that important, you ask? I’ll tell you in a moment...

What happens is your skin flakes are the main food source of this tiny little creature called dust mite. In fact, skin flakes from only one person can feed over a million dust mites.

The dust mites are microscopic relatives of the spiders and scorpions, and live on carpet and fabric. They are too small to be seen with the human eye.

So small that...

A square meter of carpet can shelter over 100,000 dust mites!

You see, these creatures are not harmless. The insect itself does not bite, draw blood or carry diseases, like some of her relatives.

In fact, only the feces (and body parts) from the dust mites are the recognized allergens. And because a single dust mite can lay over twenty droppings a day, things can get out of control quickly if you don’t do anything about it.

Just a single gram of dust (about half of teaspoon) contains approximately a thousand (1,000) dust mites and over two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) allergenic dust mite fecal pellets.

And every time you step on the carpet, or sit on the seat, the dust in your car is stirred up. From there, it finds its way into your mouth and nose, and ends up in your lungs.

It could take between 20 minutes and 2 full hours for dust to settle back down

Studies show that, in North America, over twenty million people are allergic to dust mites. Symptoms are similar to the ones from pollen allergies (and just as annoying): red-itchy eyes, sneezing and runny-stuffy nose.

Reality is you cannot get rid of dust mites completely, but you can control and reduce their numbers.

And if you have young children or anyone in your family has asthma, COPD or a respiratory issue, you’ll want to take every step to control them.

Where can you get your car detailed?

The best way to find a reliable car detailer is through a referral. Ask your family and friends if they know a local car detailing company which they’ve used in the past. If they do, ask them if they would recommend that car detailing company to you, and why.

You may be surprised of the answers. In a recent study, over 50% of the customers said they would not use the same service company again. Top reasons are inconsistent quality, slow response to requests, and overall difficulty of doing business with the company.

So, just because someone has used a car detailing company before, that doesn’t mean they are eager to recommend it further. If that’s your finding, keep looking.

At this point, you might want to do a Google search for car detailing near you.

Likely, you will get more search results than you can reasonably handle, but this is a worthy endeavour. Finding a good and reliable car detailing company, that you can use over and over again for years to come, is not easy.

Look for car detailing companies with a high rating on Google reviews. Read those reviews and see what past customers liked and didn’t like about doing business with that particular company. (Be careful, as some of the high praise reviews may be fake. It is a bit suspicious when it’s all sunshine and rainbows, isn’t it?)

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Once you’ve put together a short list of car detailing companies near you, which seem to fit the bill for quality and good service, it’s time to contact them directly.

Since you don’t know much about these companies yet, ask for more information before committing to an appointment. (See if any of these car detailing companies has an Information Kit that they can send you.) It may be a bit early in the process for a price quote, but you can try getting one as well.

Pay close attention to how prompt they respond to your request for a car detailing quote, and what their quoting steps are. This is where the difference between value and price comes into play.

Generally, getting a firm car detailing price over the phone, before the car detailing company had a chance to look at your car, is not a good sign. And the lower the price, the worse it is.

You may be the target of a bait-and-switch tactic, where you are lured in by the promise of a low price, but once you go in for your car detailing appointment, the company switches instantly to pressuring you into paying a different higher price than agreed.

Best case scenario, the car detailing company honours the low-price deal, but you get very little detailing for your money.

Once you’ve found a couple of promising car detailing companies, make sure you interview them thoroughly before you commit to giving them your car and your money.

The way you learn about a company is to ask specific questions and listen carefully to the answers. Here are nine questions to ask a car cleaning company to help you feel more confident about the one that you choose:

  1. What do you recommend for my specific needs, and what are your cleaning steps?

  2. What type of chemicals do you use to clean the car?

  3. How often should I get my car cleaned?

  4. Who is going to perform the job, employee or contractor?

  5. How much will it cost me?

  6. How long does the job take?

  7. Do you guarantee your work?

  8. Are you insured?

  9. Do you have any references of clients whom I can call regarding your work?

Conclusion

Congratulations on making it this far! You can now consider yourself more informed about car detailing than 99% of the car owners out there.

You are in fact ready to take it one step further and arm yourself with the Car Owner’s Information Kit, which contains everything you need to know about selecting the RIGHT car detailer.

Here are just a few of the “goodies” included:

  • Special Report - 7 Ways Your Own Car is Destroying Your Health (and 6 Steps to Protect Yourself)

  • Special Report - All Car Cleaning Sources Are NOT Equal (Your “Insider’s Defense” against the Money-Grabbing Car Cleaning Industry)

  • BONUS: A copy of my book “The Ultimate Car Cleaning Guide” (where you’ll discover How to Have Your Car Cleaned Properly, At the Lowest Possible Price)

Go here to check it out.

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