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An Auto Student’s Guide to Detailing a Car

Published on July 9, 2015 by in Blog, CATI

Automotive detailing courses

Auto industry experts know that there is a substantial difference between cleaning a car and detailing a car. While cleaning a car involves simply washing, buffing and sometimes waxing the exterior, as well as vacuuming the interior, detailing a car goes far beyond this. In fact, detailing a car is the process of paying very close attention to the tiniest of details. It takes much more time and effort, but every auto-lover knows that the end results of a freshly detailed car are well worth the efforts.

If you are planning to pursue an auto detailing career, you will soon learn all of the steps to mastering and completing a full vehicle detailing service. Read on for a quick guide.

Auto Detailing Pros Begin with the Car’s Interior

Professionals with auto detailing training know that starting with a car’s interior is always the best way to go. This is because when any dust or dirt is removed from the inside it might get onto the exterior, and if that exterior has just been cleaned, the dust will settle and stick.

Auto experts generally begin detailing a vehicle’s interior by removing all of the carpets and floor mats in order to vacuum. Of course, it’s important to remember to move the car seats fully forward and backward to make sure that the vacuum is passed thoroughly underneath them. The carpets should be cleaned as well, and any stains should be removed using a stain removing cleaning product. Compressed air and detailing brushes can be used to remove any accumulated dust from the buttons on the dashboard and all surfaces can be wiped clean using a damp paper towel or an all-purpose cleaner.

Shampooed Seats are Essential for Great Detailing

Graduates of automotive detailing school know that the process of shampooing a vehicle’s interior varies depending on the type of upholstery. While cloth interiors can be shampooed with an extraction machine, leather and vinyl interiors should always be cleaned with a leather (or vinyl) cleaner and a leather brush.

How Auto Detailers Shine up the Exterior

Since most of the dirt and grease on the exterior generally accumulates inside and around the wheels and rims, this is the first exterior area that any auto detailer will clean. Professionals will let a wheel-cleaning product sit and penetrate the rims for approximately 1 to 2 minutes before brushing the wheels thoroughly. Professionals know that once the rims are brushed clean, the actual tires should be washed using a whitewall tire cleaner. Depending on what the owner of the vehicle prefers, let the cleaning product soak into the tires for a glossy look, or wipe it off for a matte finish.

Use Soap Instead of Detergent to Wash the Car‘s Exterior

Certified auto detailers will typically use two large buckets or pails when hand washing a vehicle. One pail will be filled with water and the other will contain a mixture of water and soap. The bucket of water is used to rinse off the cloth after cleaning each portion of the car. This way, the soap and water mixture will stay clean, keeping the car clean as well.

Once the car has had time to air-dry (or it has been towel dried), it will be time to apply the final touch—wax. Wax is used to protect the car’s paint, as well as make it appear shiny and clean for longer. Apply the wax coat using a circular motion and let it dry. Last but not least, professionals will usually buff the vehicle using a buffing machine.

Are you interested in learning more by enrolling in automotive detailing courses? Check out our training program for more information or to speak with an advisor.

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