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What You Need to Know About Car Detailing

Getting into Car Detailing Gastonia NC business requires a lot of specialized tools, materials, and supplies. It also takes a hyper-focused work ethic, patience, and a whole lot of practice.

Car Detailing

The first step is a thorough clean that goes way beyond your average car wash. This includes decontamination processes to remove bound surface contaminants like tar and iron fallout.

Paint correction is a process of multiple polishing steps that produce a near-perfect paint reflection or mirror finish. It is more time-consuming than simple detailing and can take up to eight hours or more to complete. It is a service offered for car enthusiasts, show car owners or anyone who wants their vehicle to look as close to new as possible.

The first thing that needs to happen with a vehicle undergoing paint correction is it must be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated. A detailer will typically use a decontamination product such as a decontamination spray or iron fallout remover to strip off any dirt, sap, or bugs that may be stuck in the clear coat and obstruct the paint correction process.

Once the car is properly prepared and clean, the detailer will work to re-level out the surface of the paint and remove defects such as spider swirls, holograms, oxidation, and etchings. This is done by using a variety of different types of pads and polishes to achieve the desired result. This is a more advanced and time-consuming process that requires the help of an experienced professional.

Once the paint has been corrected and refined, it is often topped with a protective coating such as a wax or nano ceramic coating. These products can be applied by hand or machine and protect the finish for up to 3-5 years.

Paint Polishing

Polishing is a very intense process that removes deeper scratches and defects from the paint surface. Once the paint is blemish free, it will produce stunning reflections that will make your car pop. It’s best to polish a vehicle in the shade or indoors, as direct sunlight will increase the temperature of the body panel and can cause long term damage if it stays too high for too long.

A professional detailer will use a decontamination spray or iron/fallout remover to ensure the panel is clean, before starting the polishing stage. This will prevent any dirt, sap or insects from clogging up the machine and increasing the likelihood of damaging the paint.

The type of polishing pad will also have a huge impact on how the paint responds. Closed-cell foam pads will retain heat much longer than open-celled or wool pads, and the technique used can also affect how much heat is generated – using too much pressure, tilting the pad and moving the machine too slowly will all generate more heat in an isolated area of the car and increase the risk of paint damage.

Once the car is prepped, the detailing professional will begin by applying a small amount of product to the buffing wheel and work one panel at a time. The pad will be soaked in water, and it’s important to use just enough to keep the pad damp. The product is spread over the panel with moderate pressure, working the paint in circular motions. It’s important to keep the pad flat against the panel and overlap each stroke.

Once the polish is complete, the panel is wiped down with isopropyl alcohol to remove any oils left behind and reveal the polished paint underneath. The pristine finish will then be protected with a high quality wax or sealant.

Interior Cleaning

The interior of a vehicle can get just as dirty as the exterior. Food, drinks, crumbs, and other things can damage surfaces and leave behind terrible odors. Detailers use specialized cleaning and conditioning products to remove unsightly stains and prevent future ones from forming.

Fabric protection services can also be part of car detailing. These protect the condition of fabric parts such as seats and carpets, extending their lifespan and reducing the amount of time needed for them to be cleaned.

Another part of detailing is sprucing up plastics and rubbers. This is done by using a product that restores the original color of these materials, as well as getting rid of any scratches or creases. This is a great way to make the vehicle look like new again.

Depending on the level of detailing a customer wants, there are other services that can be added to the package. These include tar removal, washing the windshield and wiper blades, detailing the engine, and more. These extras can help the customer feel confident that their car is in good hands and will come out looking like it did on the showroom floor.

When starting a car detailing business, it is important to set packages and prices for the services that you want to offer. Many professional detailers use a business management app to set up their packages, pricing, branded invoices, and payment processing. It helps to keep everything organized and ensures that customers receive the services they need at a price they can afford.

Tires & Wheels

There’s a reason why tires and wheels are at the center of car detailing. They help to give the vehicle a smooth, comfortable ride and offer the best grip on the road. That’s why it’s important to regularly clean your tires and wheels to remove harmful substances like brake dust, dirt and other debris that can cause corrosion over time.

Tires are rubber ovals that help to grip the road so you can have control over your car. They’re made from different combinations of rubber with varied hardness and temperature-resistant properties. Each model of car tire has its own unique set of characteristics that helps it to perform differently from others on the road.

Wheels are round metal components that connect to the hub of a vehicle through an axle and hold a tire in place. The wheel comprises a rim and a disc that keep the tire attached to it. It also includes spokes and lug holes for the wheel’s screws and a valve stem, as well as a hubcap to protect the wheel’s inner parts.

A raised bar in a tire’s tread channels that show its wear level and is often required to be removed by law. Also known as tread indicator bars.

An alphanumeric code found on a tire that denotes its size, performance capabilities and other information, including the tire manufacturer and the date of manufacture. This is typically molded into the sidewall of the tire between the bead and tread area.

A type of tire that combines a high-performance tread pattern with a touring-oriented sidewall for a balanced ride. The tread pattern offers confident handling and traction on dry roads, while the sidewall provides good fuel efficiency.


Car detailing is not complete without caring for the glass. Properly detailed auto glass not only provides a beautiful finish to your freshly waxed paint and polished wheels but it also enhances the safety of both the driver and passengers by providing a clear view of obstacles on the road.

Unlike paint or rims, glass is prone to many different contaminants. These contaminants can include bug splatter, brake dust, environmental contamination, and other hard water spots. These contaminants can be difficult to remove with regular glass cleaner alone and often require the use of a chemical product like a clay bar or Cobra Clay Mitt to break down the bonded contamination and allow the glass and paint to be properly cleaned.

Professional detailers usually save the glass cleaning for last and will use a non-ammonia glass cleaner with microfiber towels. We recommend using a waffle weave towel that offers a bit more abrasive surface for removing hard water spots and bugsplats. Make sure your glass cleaner of choice is formulated for auto glass.

It’s important to work quickly when you care for glass to avoid drying on the surface and leaving a film or spot. It’s also best to work in a shaded area as direct sunlight will increase your chances of leaving behind water marks or streaks. Having a few clean microfiber towels on hand for this process is a good idea.