Informational Guide

What Exactly Is Car Detailing?

What is car detailing and what does it include? Our comprehensive guide covers what is included in a full car detail and how much you can expect to pay.

You want your vehicle to look its best, which is why you have learned how to detail a car. But, what is car detailing and what is included in car detailing?

Our comprehensive guide covers what is included in a full car detail and how much you can expect to pay.  

What does detailing a car mean? Simply put, it is the top-to-bottom cleaning of your vehicle with special equipment and products. It involves not only cleaning but also some reconditioning of the vehicle. 

Exterior Vs Interior Car Detailing 

The regular car wash removes dirt from your vehicle, but it doesn’t deal with the detail work. When you clean the interior and exterior more thoroughly, you are performing a detail. What is car detailing with interior space?

Typically, you take a vacuum to clean up some grime, and you wipe down every interior surface. What is exterior car detailing? With these steps, you will buff, polish, and wipe down the surface for a better appearance.  

What Is Car Detailing

What Does Interior Car Detailing Involve? 

What is included in interior car detailing? As we look at car detailing, what is included, you see these actions are normally part of the process.  


With a powerful vacuum, you can clean the seats, rear cargo hold, shelf, and headliners. For the best results, the floor mats are removed and vacuumed separately. An air compressor can also be used 

Brushing And Steam Cleaning 

To completely clean the mats and carpeted areas, a deep scrubbing must be done. This removes blemishes and stains after years of use. The carpets will also need to dry completely.  

Glass Cleaning 

With a special glass cleaner, visibility is increased while streaks are diminished. When done correctly, the driver’s view becomes better as obstructions are removed.  

Leather Trimming 

Leather requires a special cleaner for maximum protection. If there are stains, more effort might need to be used. A leather conditioner can also be used to keep it looking its best even after years of use.  

Re-Vacuuming And Wiping 

Often, detailing a car includes more than simply vacuuming the interior once. After cleaning is performed, dust and debris can infiltrate the cabin again, which is why it is wise to give it a final vacuuming when everything else is done. Pet hairs can also be difficult to remove so a second vacuum is often required.


After the cleaning of the interior is complete, you want to ensure it smells as good as possible. You can do this with some special car fragrances, such as a New Car Smell 

What Does Interior Car Detailing Involve

What Does Exterior Car Detailing Include? 

What is the meaning of car detailing with the exterior of a car? Here are some things that will typically be done.  

Washing and Drying 

Unlike when you take the car through an automatic car wash, the cleaning will be done by hand. Specialized detergents are used to ensure the exterior is as clean as possible.  


With a clay bar, all impurities can be removed from the car’s surface. Clay bars are able to remove contaminants that regular car wash detergent cannot, creating a glass-like surface.  


With special car polishers, the original shine of the car is restored. The beautiful appearance can be brought back to life, even after many years and plenty of abuse.  

Sealing / Waxing 

Learning how to wax a car or apply sealant ensures that the finished product remains looking its best. This is typically the final step to an exterior detailing job.  

Benefits Of Car Detailing: Why Do It? 

Is detailing a car worth it? We think when you look at these benefits, you will understand not only what is a full car detail, but also how it benefits your vehicle.  

Extends the car’s lifespan and retains its value 

When you protect the paint and interior materials of the car, the value is retained. This is important if you plan to sell your vehicle down the road.  

Preserve paints condition and improves its physical appearance 

With the right blend of products used, you can ensure that the paint remains in good condition. Not only will this provide a factory-like finish, but it helps your vehicle look its best.  

Restore interior comfort 

Whether you are removing dirt from the dashboard or getting rid of grime on the leather seats, you are ensured a more comfortable cabin, giving you somewhere to relax.  

Removes stains 

Getting rid of water stains and food debris on the interior materials isn’t always easy. However, with the right products, you have the interior looking new again.  

Disinfects your car’s surfaces & keeps allergies at bay 

To protect the occupants from getting sick, it’s necessary to keep the car disinfected. All hard surfaces and frequently touched surfaces should get disinfected, not only for a healthier environment but also to reduce allergens 

Protects upholstery from environmental damage 

Over time, UV rays can take a toll on the vehicle’s upholstery. However, with the right products, your upholstery is protected from fading, cracking and wear. These products also work well on carpets, dashboards, and other interior materials.  

What Is The Average Cost Of Car Detailing? 

What is the average cost of detailing a car, and what is a good price for car detailing? Our chart of average car detailing costs for 2021 will help you get the best deal.  

Vehicle Type 

Interior Detailing Prices 

Exterior Detailing Prices 




Passenger Car 












Cost Of Car Detailing

Choose The Right Professional Car Detailing Service 

As you learn what are car detailing services, you need to know who you can trust. Here are a few considerations to think about when choosing a professional.  

  • Services Offered  
    Ask the provider, “What is involved in detailing a car?” Some providers are going to offer more services than others. As you examine, what is a car detailer job, you must think about what is being provided for the cost.  
  • Mobility  
    You might pay more for a provider that comes to your location for the detailing. You can also choose to drop the vehicle off at a location that’s convenient to you. However, you might have to be without your vehicle for some time.  
  • Reviews  
    It’s important to look at the reputation of the car detailer online. If the provider isn’t getting good reviews, there is a reason. You should avoid giving your vehicle to anyone with bad online reviews, or you might end up with a damaged car.  
  • Pricing  
    You can use our estimates if you are asking, "what is a good price for car detailing?" However, don’t base your selection simply on price. You might find someone that isn’t charging a lot, but are they providing the same level of service as the other groups? 

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What is APC in car detailing? 

This is the most common cleaner used by auto detailers. But, what is a car detailer spray? The all-purpose cleaner (APC) is a spray-on cleaner that can be used on multiple surfaces for a sparkling finish.  

What is the best car detailing vacuum? 

We recommend the Metrovac Vac N' Blo. Not only does it have exceptional reviews, but it also includes all of the attachments needed to clean the interior completely. It’s also versatile enough to clean out the home and garage.  

Do car detailers fix scratches? 

Removing scratches from a car gets done with buffing out the paint and polishing it. If the scratches are deep, you will need to visit an auto body shop for a new paint job.  

How long does it take to get your car detailed? 

The average time needed to detail a car is about 2.5 hours. However, some professional detailers require the vehicle for a full day to ensure the time needed for drying.  

How often should you get your car professionally cleaned? 

Unlike getting a regular car wash, you should consider having a professional detail every three to six months, depending upon how heavily you use your vehicle. You can do it yourself in between visits for maintenance.  


What is a detail on a car? The professional detail will ensure the interior and exterior are completely cleaned and protected from wear. You can get in-depth auto detailing to make the vehicle look like new again.