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What is Detailing?

Auto detailing is the practice of performing an extremely thorough cleaning of an automobile, both inside and out. Paint renovation is the removal of surface scratches and blemishes by 'levelling' the paint with a rotary machine, and the application of a wax or paint sealant to produce a show-quality level of detail. It can be practiced for personal satisfaction, and it is also performed to prepare a car for a Concours d'Elegance (often shortened to just Concours), a car show that features the appearance of cars. Elements of exterior detailing include claying, polishing, and waxing. Interior detailing involves the cleaning of the interior of a vehicle using vacuums, liquid cleaners, and brushes. Engine detailing involves cleaning the engine bay area of dirt and grease by using degreasers and all-purpose cleaners.

A detailer combines chemicals, equipment as well as knowledge of the materials used in automotive manufacturing (vehicle surfaces). ‘Chemicals’, refers to the cleaning and protection products used, ‘equipment,’ refers to the tools used, for example, random orbital polishers, high-speed rotary polishers, extractors and power washers, to name but a few. Vehicle surfaces require a basic understanding of chemistry and how to rejuvenate and protect each of the many and varied material surfaces, regardless of its specific surface composition making objective observations based upon experience, the results obtained, and adjusting the techniques and products used as necessary. Detailing also takes a willingness to experiment, which usually means deviating from the product manufacturers directions, making objectives observations based upon experience and adjusting the techniques used as necessary, always keeping an open mind on manufacturer’s claims for their products.


Is an essential part in the maintaining the appearance of a vehicle. The objective when detailing a vehicle is to make a vehicle look as good as it can. In many cases make it look better than it was when new. Detailing can take a lot of time, but the results are always worth the effort. Proper detailing will also protect a vehicle from environmental hazards that can rob life away from your vehicle. In order to attain and maintain an optically perfect shine, you must protect it from natural deterioration and dullness that occurs over time as well as introducing new defects by techniques like the 2 Bucket Wash Method.

Detailing can be very simple and fun if you use the correct methodologies and products that work. Research other options and products, test them and then make an objective decision based upon factual information not hype or brand loyalty. After all, how can you fully understand and properly use any product unless you have all the facts? It is also recommended that you should also verify any information that anyone shares with you. The only way to do this is a consistent three-step routine; Clean, Polish, Protect

The Detailing Wiki

The purpose of these articles is to show you various ways, utilizing various skills and experience levels, on how to retrieve the original or better appearance / finish to your vehicles bodywork and its interior and how to preserve and maintain it, along with product recommendations and there correct application methods. With constant advances in products and procedures, a standard published book would be out of date very quickly due to the publishing procedures and printing requirements.

To be of real practical use, a subject like automotive detailing requires a great deal of research, and updating as new products become available. The advent of materials like detailing clay, microfiber technologies and finely milled micro diminishing abrasives, suitable for ceramic nano-technology paints are examples of why it’s so important to monitor the industries new products, chemical technologies and ideas that are constantly being introduced, as are the techniques for applying them. Unbiased information written by a detailer with extensive experience allied with a chemical technical background, without the need to meet corporate goals or sales quotas, requires a dynamic learning tool like a website that can be revised and updated as and when needed, these articles are updated and / or revised on an as-needed basis. There is also a facility to seek clarification or ask questions in 'real time'.


The information contained herein is believed to be true and accurate; however we make no guarantees concerning the veracity of any statement. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. The detailing methods set out here have been adapted for special use and may not be the same as those recommended by the product manufacturer, and you may experience different results from those stated. When in doubt always use common sense.

Some methods described may be beyond the capabilities of the average detailer or enthusiast; in this case we strongly encourage the reader to consult a professional detailer or body shop concerning the matters discussed herein. The writer(s) or owners of this site assume no responsibility, expressed or implied, due to misuse or misinterpretation of the information or Methods used, or for any vehicle damage or injury that may occur due to the suggestions and information offered.


Research others opinions and products, test them and then make an objective decision based upon factual information not marketing hype or brand loyalty. Choose carefully whose advice you listen to, and more importantly what advice you act upon.


© All original material in these articles is copyright, unless otherwise stated, and may be copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes only as long as the source of the material is stated. Information posted on this wiki is considered public domain. Once it is posted, it is property of the public wiki and may be edited by anyone. Once posted, content may not be removed unless immediately replaced or edited with the exception with the case of improper, or false information. Please cite sources if you remove content that is improper, or false.

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