Car Detailing Tips, Tricks, and Secrets from Professionals.

Last updated on February 26th, 2024

Car Detailing Tips, Tricks, and Secrets from Professionals.

Like many others, I began my business based on my hobbies and passions. For example, I started an automobile detail business in the summer of 2022 because it has always been something I enjoyed. As I thought of other ideas to grow and expand my business, one idea flourished into another: my online business for writing a website about car detailing tips, tricks, and secrets from professionals.

The intent of my website has been and will always be to help others answer common questions about car detailing tips and tricks from professionals. 

How to Save Money by Detailing Your Cars Yourself.

Many professionals who perform automotive detailing have found tools that work well. Like many other professions, technology has rapidly changed auto detailing. The changes occur based on the needs of vehicle manufacturers, detail business owners, product & chemical cleaner manufacturers, and owners.

All of the changes can be attributed to time, expense, and efficiencies around how a person takes care of one of their most expensive purchases.

For years, when I detailed my vehicles, I would pull out a bucket, hose, quality car wash soap, brushes, sponges, and interior cleaning products. I would take it to a car wash to vacuum the inside or bring out the household vacuum to finish the job. To do the job myself would cost me approximately $25.00 to $35.00 and several hours of my day.

Saving Valuable Commodities…Time & Money.

You can detail your vehicles and save hundreds of dollars annually doing it. My process is much more advanced and streamlined to clean cars now. There are many steps to detailing a vehicle, but it does take far less time. Your initial wash will take the most time to complete, after which regular maintenance washes will be more manageable and less time-consuming.

You do not need to accumulate everything simultaneously when purchasing equipment and chemical products. I did not buy everything at once. I purchase many products from the Chemical Guys because their prices are very reasonable and they always have sales. Also, their products are top-shelf products in the automobile detailing industry. In my book, they rank with companies like TurtleWax, Mothers, Armor All, Meguiar’s, and Adam’s Polishes.

Affiliate Marketing Disclaimer: I am an affiliate marketer with links to online retailers on my website. When people read what I have written about a particular product, click on those links, and buy something from those links, I earn a small commission from the retailer at no extra cost to the buyer.

Steps, tips, and tricks to make detailing a car’s exterior easier.

Precautionary Disclaimer: Always wear protective gear, such as gloves, eye & ear protection, and masks, if working in an area that is not well-ventilated. Never work with car detailing chemicals in direct sunlight, on hot surfaces, or in extreme temperatures. Read the directions, warnings, and disclaimers for your products. Refrain from letting the excitement of a new product distract you from the detailing tasks.

Step 1: Washing the Tires & Wheels.

Car Detailing Tips, Tricks, and Secrets from Professionals.

Start a car detailing job by first washing the tires and wheels. Use two buckets, specific scrub brushes for the tires & wheel cavities, and a microfiber wash mitt or sponge. You will want a special cleaner and dressing designed to clean & protect the tires and wheels from the elements and harsh UV rays. These tools and products are used exclusively on the tires and wheels in future washes to avoid cross-contamination.

Rust will probably form on the brake rotors after you complete the tire & wheel-washing process. It is normal and will not hurt anything. Move the car back and forth slowly in the driveway; as you apply the brakes, the rust will disappear.

Use a degreaser or an all-purpose cleaner when cleaning the tires to get them clean so the dressing adheres more efficiently to the tire’s surface. To make the wheels and tires easier to clean when it’s time to perform maintenance washes, spray on a product (usually silicone-based) and rinse it off immediately with your pressure washer or high-pressure water hose. If you need a refresher on Revamping Your Tires & Wheels: A Guide to Lasting Shine, read more on my website.

Step 2: Washing the Vehicle’s Exterior Surface.

In this and the next steps, we want to protect the clear coat – the protective layer on the painted surfaces. I go with a snow foam canon, high-pressure, and touch-free wash, which will remove the bulk of the loose dirt from the surface and help to avoid scratching my vehicle.

Afterward, I will get my two car wash buckets, wash mitt, and specialized ph-neutral carwash soap and perform a high-touch wash. Do not use dishwashing liquid or non-car wash detergent. Use only products made specifically for washing your vehicle.

Car Detailing Tips, Tricks, and Secrets from Professionals.

Use straight lines when washing your car, and move in the direction the wind flows over your vehicle. Avoid circular motions. One reason is that correcting straight-line scratches is easier than circular ones. Clean the car from the top down to the bottom. Try avoiding the use of automatic car washes.

Further Reading

You can read more from my post, Say Goodbye to Automatic Car Wash Damage with These Tips! Automatic car washes use high levels of chemicals and powerful brushes that will ruin the protective layers of the paint on your vehicle. Those automatic car washes could damage components on your car as well. Here is a post discussing Top Car Wash Tips for a Flawless Finish! 

Next, dry the vehicle with a large microfiber drying towel. Then move on to cleaning the windows, which should be cleaner than when you started this process. When cleaning the glass, use the two-towel method. I prefer to clean only the exterior glass at this time. I would clean the interior glass after I had dusted and vacuumed the car’s interior. Always use ammonia-free glass cleaner and at least one microfiber waffle weave towel for drying. Roll the window down after cleaning the inside and out so you can clean the top quarter inch of glass.

Step 3: Chemical, Mechanical Decontamination, & Polishing.

Perform a chemical decontamination every three to four months if necessary—only clay bar a car if it needs it. Clay bars are abrasive. After clay barring your vehicle, move on to the polishing stage. This is how to increase the gloss and shine of your paint. Polish the paint with a good dual-action machine polisher.

When polishing the paint, apply tape to any trim to prevent it from getting stained by the polishing compound. Apply a quality wax, sealant, or ceramic coating. For more information on chemical and mechanical decontamination, read the following post: What is Automotive Clay Bar Detailing? Why is it Important?

Step 4: Cleaning the Car’s Interior.

The steps I use to clean the interior of my cars are as follows:

I dust the interior with a microfiber dusting wand and vacuum the carpets and seats. When vacuuming the carpet inside your car, use a sturdy brush to lift the embedded debris and dirt while cleaning the carpet.

After vacuuming, I clean the seats, door panels, dashboard, instrument cluster, radio cluster, center console, cup holders, and A/C vents. This cleaning step will depend significantly on what type of interior you have in your car. Each will be cleaned differently if you have vinyl, leather, or upholstery. Typically, my clients and I have leather interiors. If this is your case, you can read a post called Care for Your Car’s Leather: Keep It Looking New! If you would like to request other articles for me to post, please ask your questions below in the comments section.

Affiliate Marketing Disclaimer: I am an affiliate marketer with links to online retailers on my website. When people read what I have written about a particular product, click on those links, and buy something from those links, I earn a small commission from the retailer at no extra cost to the buyer.

Tools & Chemicals used for Professional Detailing:

Exterior Detailing ProductsInterior Detailing Products
Chemical Guys Wash Bucket Kit includes a Clear Bucket, Red Lid, and Black Dirt TrapUltra Fine Microfiber Window Detail Towels (3 PC)
Chemical Guys – an Ultra Clear Bucket Bundle, Green Dirt Trap, and Black LidWaffle Weave Window Drying Microfiber Towel
Chenille (Green) Microfiber Car Wash MittStreak Free Window Clean Car Glass Cleaner
Chenille (Blue) Microfiber Wheel Wash MittThe Total Fabric & Leather Ceramic Protection Kit
Tire and Wheel Cleaning KitCar Interior Detailing Brush Set
Rimpaca Ultimate Wheel Brush SetLuxury Microfiber – Sucker Jr. (24 * 16)
Big Mouth Foam Cannon Snow FoamerProfessional Rubber Pet Hair Removal Brush
Honeydew Snow Foam Extreme Car Wash SoapPremium Select Horse Hair Car Interior Brush
Jetseal Durable Sealant And Paint ProtectantProfessional Grade Microfiber Towels (12 pack)
Ultra Fine Microfiber Window Detail Towels (3 PC)New Car Smell Air Freshener
Waffle Weave Window Drying Microfiber TowelNice & Stiff Heavy Duty Car Carpet & Interior Brush
Luxury Microfiber (Sucker Drying Towel 34 * 28)Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner & Protectant
Speed Mammoth Drying Towel (25″ x 30″)ANALAN Mini Pet Hair Remover
Pressure Washer at least 2000 PSI and 1.5 – 2.0 GPMRigid 5.0 – 6.5 Peak Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum
Car Detailing Tips, Tricks, and Secrets from Professionals. The list above provides many tools I use in my detailing business to get professional results.

Taking all this into account,

Above, you have car detailing tips, tricks, and secrets from professionals. Use these steps I have investigated and outlined to cut the time and expense of detailing your car. Clean your vehicle after each use, especially after transporting kids to activities, taking your pet in your vehicle, or carrying out food & groceries.

Buy your tools and products over time. Try to avoid getting everything your first time out. Wait for sales and shop at the big six detailing companies. Again, they are Chemical Guys, TurtleWax, Mothers, Armor All, Meguiar’s, and Adam’s Polishes.

When you detail your vehicle, always start with the tires and wheels. Remember the two-bucket method. Either clean the buckets well when you have completed the tires & wheels or use two different buckets to clean the exterior of your car. Wash the exterior surfaces thoroughly.

Use a snow foam canon for a touchless wash experience for the initial wash, and then move on to a high-touch wash. After you have completed all the exterior vehicle surfaces, you are ready to detail the interior.

Interior detailing is personal to many people, so I explained the basic steps above, and I am confident you will be happy with the final results.

I hope you have enjoyed my post. Please visit my website often and in the future for more car detailing tips, tricks, and secrets from professionals. Share the information with your family and friends if you found it helpful. Add your comments, suggestions, or questions in the comment section below.

2 thoughts on “Car Detailing Tips, Tricks, and Secrets from Professionals.”

    • Thank you for your comments. I am appreciative and glad to hear that the information I provide is helping people.
      I browsed your website, Kovalent Coatings. I enjoyed your main video about your marine and automobile coating products. I look forward to trying them out after I understand more about becoming an approved ceramic coating installer for Kovalent Coatings.

      Please have an excellent rest of the week, and thank you again.

      Best regards, Matt


Leave a Comment