Often, people think that a “car wash” and an “auto detail” are synonymous. Most don’t realize these are two vastly different things, and this affects their attitude towards proper vehicle care.

A car wash is what most people refer to when cleaning the exterior of a vehicle, and sometimes the interior. A commercial car wash may be self-service, fully automated, or a full-service with employees. At most commercial car wash places, a vehicle is routed through a tunnel where mechanized cloths or brushes, detergent, and water jets are used to clean it. Some car wash places have employees that provide a hand wash or dry the vehicle after it has exited a tunnel. If an interior service is offered, it is done before or after the wash process and usually consists of a quick vacuum, wipe down of interior surfaces, and cleaning the glass. The car wash process produces a relatively clean vehicle at an economical price.

An auto detail involves a thorough cleaning and reconditioning of both the interior and exterior of a vehicle to produce a showroom-quality look and feel. It is a meticulous step-by-step process that can take hours during which the auto detailer removes accumulated dirt, grime, grease, dust, soil particles, and anything else that can eventually mar the natural beauty of your vehicle – inside or out. For people who are really enthusiastic about the appearance of their vehicle, a quality auto detail is likely to meet or exceed their expectations. While a car will never again be brand-new once it leaves the showroom, regular detailing will ensure it looks as close to new as possible.