What is Car Detailing?

Technician detailing car exterior

What is car detailing compared to auto services like body work and paint restoration? If you want to get your car looking like new again, you need exterior and interior car detailing. Rather than restoration or repairs, car detailing is a thorough cleaning of your car inside and out — from mats, floors, and upholstery to body, bumpers, and wheel wells. If you have a lot of time to set aside, you can even detail your car at home, but the majority of car owners prefer professional service at an Olathe-area dealership like Olathe Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.

In the guide below, we’ll discuss how doing your own car detailing saves you money in the long run, as well as show you step-by-step how to detail a car at home. Don’t hesitate to contact the service team at Olathe Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram if you have DIY maintenance questions!

How Much Does Car Detailing Cost?

What is an average car detailing going to cost you? Detailing services at an Overland Park-area service center are usually available across a range of package levels that may cost anywhere from about $60 up to $200. Car detailing prices can vary depending on several factors:

  • Detailing your car at home will cost less, but you may need to invest more money upfront for supplies.
  • Basic detailing packages involve a wash, wax, tire cleaning, window washing, plus interior car detailing services like vacuuming, mirror and trim cleaning, and interior polish.
  • Larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs will always cost more than sedans and other compact vehicles.

Car Detailing Supplies

Ready to learn how to detail a car at home? First, gather the necessary supplies and set aside an afternoon. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Canned air
  • Small brush
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Washing mitts
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Car-safe cleaner
  • Window cleaner
  • Upholstery cleaner
  • Carpet stain cleaner
  • Variety of small paint brushes
  • Vinyl and leather surface protector

How to Detail a Car Exterior at Home

Follow these steps for a thorough exterior car detailing:

  1. Rigorous Exterior Wash — Using a car-safe washing solution and microfiber cloths, vigorously clean the body of your vehicle. It’s best to avoid household detergents that may strip wax from your car’s paint. Also, frequently switch out your cloth for a clean one, as dirt or sand on cleaning cloths may scratch your car’s paint.
  2. Dry By Hand — After cleaning, dry the vehicle with clean towels. Air-drying can leave unsightly swirl marks.
  3. Clean the Wheels — Using a special tire-cleaner or other car-safe solution, clean your vehicle’s wheels. Use a small brush to reach dirt in the grooves and other hard-to-reach places.
  4. Optional Exterior Wax — When the exterior is clean, you can opt to wax your car. After waxing, wipe off excess wax with a small brush.

How to Detail a Car Interior at Home

Follow these steps for a proper interior car detailing:

  1. Carpeting Cleaning — Vacuum the carpeting, and employ a narrow attachment to reach between seats. Use carpet stain remover and a brush to remove stains.
  2. Door Interior Cleaning — To clean the non-carpeted part of your doors, use a solution of soap and water. Dry the surface with a cloth, and then open the doors and clean the metal and plastic parts of the door jambs.
  3. Wash the Windows — Wash interior mirrors and windows with a window-cleaning solution and quickly wipe dry to avoid streaks.
  4. Upholstery Cleaning —  Vacuum the seats, and use a stain remover and brush on any stains. For leather upholstery, be sure to use a leather-safe cleaner — available to order from our parts center! When the seats are clean, allow them to air-dry with your car doors open to avoid mildew.
  5. Clean the Steering Wheel Column — Remove dust and stains from the steering wheel column with a cleaning solution, dry, and apply a surface protectant.
  6. Clean the Dashboard and Center Console — Use small brushes to clean inside cracks and tight crevices. Then dry completely with a microfiber cloth.

Get Professional Car Detailing at Olathe Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram

Want to know more about car detailing prices, processes, and supplies? Or, would you rather leave this up to the professionals? Either way, give us a call! We’re happy to provide Olathe drivers with our best DIY tips about brake maintenance, alignment, and more.

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