Detailing vs. Car Wash: What’s the Difference?

Most car owners take great pride in keeping their vehicles looking pristine and polished. But while both car detailing and washing keep your car in tip-top condition, these two services widely differ.

While a commercial car wash is meant to clean everyday dirt and crud from your vehicle, detailing goes a step beyond to preserve the look of your ride and boost its resale value.

So which service is best for you? Thankfully, the experienced technicians at American Wrap Company are here to help.

Here’s everything you need to know about car detailing vs. car washing.

What is Car Detailing?

Unlike a commercial car wash which is an automated system that cleans a vehicle’s exterior with machines as it passes through, car detailing is a labor-intensive process that’s entirely done by hand.

Automotive detailing is a comprehensive service that thoroughly clean and restores your car to produce a lustrous shine. It also preserves your paint and protects it from damaging contaminants and UV rays.

In addition to thoroughly washing your car, detailing utilizes innovative techniques and high-quality products to:

• Correct damage to the paint
• Polish your car to completely remove swirls and scratches, resulting in a glossy glow
• Wax or seal your car to give it an additional layer of protection
• Thoroughly clean your interior, including vacuuming, steam and glass cleaning, brushing and scrubbing, leather trimming, and perfuming

There are also plenty of optional add-ons included in a professional detailing service, such as paint correction, ceramic coating, and paint protection film (PPF).

At American Wrap Company, we have different detailing packages tailored to fit your exact needs. Whether you want a quick maintenance wash or the works with paint correction, we’ve got you covered.

Benefits of Auto Detailing

Car detailing will keep your vehicle looking its best for years to come. Some of the perks of getting your car professionally detailed include:

• Removes dirt and debris: A full detailing service effectively removes all dirt and debris from your vehicle, including bird bombs, tree sap, salt, and more.

• Boosts resale value: Properly maintaining your car will boost its resale value when you decide to sell. Vehicles that are in pristine condition are more valuable than cars with dents and dings.

• Attention to details: When you take your car to an automatic car wash, only the large exterior portions will get cleaned. A professional car detailer will carefully clean every inch of your vehicle, including the wheels, rims, door hinges, exterior mirrors, carpets, seats, and trim work.

• Kills bacteria and germs: Germs can thrive in the hidden nooks and crannies of your car, including in the cup holders, air vents, and under the seats. Detailing will effectively kill all of the airborne germs in your vehicle to keep you healthy.

If you want every surface of your car deeply cleaned, a professional car detailing service is the way to go.

What is a Car Wash?

As we previously stated, a traditional automatic drive-through car wash removes dirt, tar, salt, and other debris from your car’s exterior. Some car washes offer interior cleanings which include wiping down hard surfaces and vacuuming the floors and seats.

A basic drive-through car wash will:

• Wash the exterior
• Clean the tires and wheels
• Apply tire dressing
• Polish the wheels
• Polish and wax the paint
• Vacuum and clean the interior, if requested

While car washes are a cost-effective way to clean your vehicle, they are not as thorough as detailing.

Let’s Make Your Vehicle Shine

If you want to keep your car in mint condition and have it shine as brightly as it did on the showroom floor, book a detailing service appointment at American Wrap Company today. Our technicians use cutting-edge techniques and quality products to ensure your vehicle looks fantastic.

To learn more, contact our team today. We can’t wait to make your car shine!

Tyler O'Hara

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