What is detailing?
In the world of car care, the term 'Detailing' is often thrown around quite frequently often with a multitude of different meanings to different people. It's a term that floated over from America, in the US it refers to most types of car cleaning, whereas in the UK that would be mostly known as 'car valeting', the term 'Detailing' often carries the description of a more thorough clean.
Generally the correct definition of detailing is to meticulously clean, polish (or restore) and protect all parts of a vehicle, both interior and exterior using specialist tools and products that would not normally be used by your typical car cleaner (or valeter).
The main area and aim of car detailing is to fully enhance and restore the vehicles paintwork by eliminating light scratches and swirl marks that have been inflicted, we do this by firstly getting the vehicle ready to be corrected, by means of a wash & decontamination. Once completed the car will be dried with microfiber towels and compressed air and all delicate areas masked with masking tape to prevent damage or staining from the polishing stage.
Once ready the paintwork is back to a 'naked' state, its ready to be corrected. This can be achieved by hand or machine polisher.
Majority of which is completed with a machine polisher with various firmness of polishing pad and grades of polishing compound.
The more course (rough) the compound the more correction can be achieved, this is followed by multiple refining stages. The amount of polishing stages determines correction potential, and also the timescale, hours can easily become days.
Once the paintwork is corrected it requires protection. Selecting the correct protection is important for the results you are aiming to achieve. Wax is ideal if you're after deep, wet look shine however will only last on average around 6 months, whereas synthetic paint sealants offer more durability at the compromise of less gloss levels.
Ceramic coatings offer the next generation of paint protection by increasing both the hardness and self cleaning ability of paint. Ceramic has a much longer lifespan and makes future cleaning easier however is an optional upgrade.
With the paintwork now complete, attention is turned to the remaining areas. Trims are dressed either with a trim dressing or a ceramic equivalent (depending on client requirements).
Wheels are protected with a wheel wax or a dedicated ceramic wheel coating (again, depending on client requirements).
Glass is cleaned inside and out and can have protection applied to the exterior to repel bug splats and rain (also depending on clients requirements).
Tyres are dressed and any chrome or metal areas polished including exhaust tips.
Photos & Video produced by TH Detailing.