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It’s All in the Detail: The Good and Bad in Car Detailing

car detailing shiny exterior

Getting your car dirty is frustrating and unavoidable. Not to mention, grime and dust can make certain parts of your car deteriorate faster. This is especially true when it comes to the paintwork – bird poop contains acids that will corrode your shiny topcoat and paint! Therefore, maintaining a gleaming, polished car is not only important for the sake of appearances, but also for the sake of longevity.

Now, it’s unreasonable to think that everyone can get their car a wash as soon as it gets a bit dusty – oh if only we all had the time! That’s why at Novus, we’re always on team ‘get your car cleaned professionally’. Car detailing takes it a step further, getting your car to a shine that is unreachable at home (without the right tools and products anyway). Getting your car professionally detailed also prolongs its clean and shiny appearance so that you have fewer washes in between detailing, especially if you’ve got some of the fantastic car cleaning products we’ve mentioned in this article!

Today, we’re going to dive a little further into what’s involved in auto detailing. So, if you’d like to learn a little more about this professional service, keep on reading!

What’s Involved in Professional Car Detailing?

Getting your car detailed is like going to a restaurant run specifically for cars; there’s a menu of options to choose from, ranging from a standard wash to full detail. Depending on which areas of your car require attention, you can choose for the experts to service the exterior or interior (or both), and you can choose the level of work required. Getting a full detail job is exactly what it sounds like, a complete revitalisation of your car, inside and out.

A Full Detail Entails…

A Deep Clean of the Exterior

Being the most prominent feature of your car, the paintwork and exterior gets the closest attention during a full detail. It’s what everyone sees when they look at your car, so it needs to shine with vitality, right?

Your detailer will start off by pressure cleaning all the gunk off your car. Then, a hand-dry will ensure every inch is clean. Any stubborn spots of extra dried down dirt will be removed with a clay bar, and finally, the car will be polished (either by hand or machine) to remove fine scratches and produce a perfect glossy shine.

Hitting Those Exterior Accents

The paintwork isn’t the only thing that needs to be cared for on the outside. Those less obvious plastic or metal accents also need some TLC. Over time, with incorrect care or neglect, these accent features can deteriorate and become dull. To bring them back to life, your detailer will clean these features and treat them with a sealant or polish to protect them from the elements and give them some shine.

Wheel and Tyre Revitalisation

Tyres are by far the most neglected feature of any car. For some, giving the tyres a clean feels pretty fruitless – they’re going to get dirty the quickest after all. However! We are here to tell you to get those tyres clean! All that grime and dirt does build up around your rims, hubcap, and tyres much more than on any other part, but letting it sit makes it so much harder to clean in the long run. Regular cleaning makes this dirt easier to remove.

To give your tyres the love they deserve, your detailer will remove any tough stains with a pressure wash and a polish of the chrome, steel, or aluminium. Then, to help your tyres shine with new life, a rubber sealer is applied.

car detailing novus exterior

Interior Car Detailing

Not a nook or cranny will be overlooked in professional detailing. Not even in those hard to reach areas inside your car – the entertainment unit, the dash, under the seats, your doors’ interiors – everything will be cleaned. The appropriate sealants will also be applied to give surfaces the perfect shine.

Your seats will also get a refresher. Upholstery will get a clean to lift any stains or smells, and leather surfaces will be conditioned to bring back that original lustre and protect them from stains and water damage.

Then, there’s the carpet. Car carpet is just about the most difficult carpet to clean as we’re constantly trampling in that dust, mud, and dirt. Thankfully, your detailer can take care of that. During your full detail service, your car’s carpet will be deep vacuumed, shampooed, and deodorized.

Say goodbye to a stale and dusty interior, your car will smell as fresh as the outside breeze after your service. We’ll warn you now, you may get addicted to the feeling of hopping into your newly clean car – it honestly feels like you’re stepping into a new car.

How Long Should it Take?

Unsurprisingly, all of the tasks we’ve described above take some time – after all, they need to be performed with precision, close attention, and love. If you’re rushing to get somewhere after, we wouldn’t recommend booking a full detail as they can take approximately 4–5 hours. On top of this, if your car needs scratch removal or more extensive work, this could take 8+ hours of work. Your detailer can give you an estimate of how long it should take along with updates while working on your car to keep you informed.

What if I Need Multiple Cars Detailed?

You lead a busy life. We get it. (And if you don’t, we still get it) Sometimes hauling your car to a detailer isn’t convenient, or you have multiple cars you need services and driving them out isn’t logistically possible. Well, there’s a solution to that – get the detailer to come to you.

If you are interested in getting multiple cars cleaned, whether it is all of your family or your fleet of business vehicles, getting the detailer to come to you is an option. However, you should be aware that this may cause a bit of mess in your car park. Depending on the extent of the dirt, your driveway or car park may get a bit dirty in the process – and it’ll definitely get wet. This is just something to keep in mind.

Regarding price, as with every service, ensure they are upfront about the costs and the extent of services they are providing you. Make sure they walk through what they will be doing to your car and what it is you will be paying for. It is important to know they won’t be adding on any extras at the end of the day without your knowledge.

Also, identify what you are getting out of the service – specifically, what process is involved? The terms used in the industry are very loosely used: wash and wax, wash and sealant, detail, full detail… What do these mean? They are defined differently everywhere, so make sure you ask them what their packages entail.

mercedes benz shiny car

Do Car Detailers Have Insurance if They Ruin my Car?

In short – No, not all of them. That’s why it’s important to check in with the company you choose to hire to detail your car to understand what they are covered for in regards to their public liability if they are in fact covered for anything. It’s critical that you check this before booking in, should something bad happen.

DIY Detailing: Tips and Tricks!

Caring for Leather
If you have a leather interior, it requires some care and maintenance to keep it in good condition. You should aim to clean and condition it twice a year. To do this, vacuum the area first to ensure there is no leftover dust or dirt, then using a good quality leather cleaner to wipe it down. After this, you can take that one extra step and condition it to ensure the longevity and aesthetic of the seats.

All Other Upholstery
Other fabrics may be a little bit more complicated to clean properly. There are various shampoos and products that can lift the dirt from the fabric. It’s a matter of getting to your nearest auto shop retailer to have a look at their range. Of course, the easiest hack to keeping your seats clean is of course to cover them. Seat covers are easy to install, remove, and clean (most can be thrown into the wash!) Work smarter, not harder.

Washing Tips
For a thorough and scratch-free clean, use a microfibre washing cloth or a washing glove to apply the soap to your car. Brushes are too harsh and sponges hold the dirt inside them, which scratches against your paintwork. Also, use two buckets for the wash. One to rinse and ring off the dirty water and the other to soak up clean soapy water before washing a section of your car. After rinsing the soap off, you may be inclined to just leave it to air dry. This, unfortunately, leaves watermarks. Instead, get some spray on wax and then wipe away the water and wax with another clean and dry microfibre towel. This will prevent any watermarks and stains and floating particles that may stick to the water droplets.

Interior and Car Window Cleaning
Use a small paintbrush to dust the hard to reach places, like air conditioning vents and window slots. Also, always leave the glass as the last step to clean. This ensures the glass doesn’t get any residue or sediment on it when you’re cleaning the other parts of your car. Perhaps we’re being biased, but we believe the glass is one of the most important parts to maintain. After all, it makes or breaks your driving experience as a clean and scratch-free windscreen ensures clear visibility and protects you from particles and rocks while driving. If your windscreen is scratched or cracked, you cannot always clean or buff this out. Speak to a professional about servicing your windscreen; a qualified expert will be able to advise you on whether it will need to be repaired or replaced.

Whether you’re trying to maintain your business vehicle to a professional standard or are wanting to revitalise your personal car (just because it’s getting a bit dusty), getting a professional detailer to service your car is an excellent idea and something everyone should do at least once – especially if you’re looking to sell your car! Otherwise, enjoy our tips on getting the most professional clean possible by yourself at home. Happy cleaning!

Novus Autoglass are the trusted experts in windscreen and window repair and replacement. With 50 years of experience in the industry, Novus has mastered the technique with the latest technology and highest quality products available. Book your next service with Novus Autoglass by completing the online enquiry.