You can start car detailing as a hobby by working on your own car or your friends’. But if you like doing it and you think you can make a profit, why not turn it into a business? Practice professional detailing with these tips:
Start with the interior
Dust, food particles, and other debris may be in the car’s interior. Start here so the dirt doesn’t end up on the newly washed car exterior. Remove the floor mats and clean them with a recommended rubber mat/carpet product. Vacuum the floor and seats. Use the right cleaning product for leather, fabric, vinyl, plastic, rubber, and glass. If the glass has aftermarket tint, a soft cloth and a mix of water and distilled vinegar (or plain soapy water) should remove oils and stains. Air out the interior to dry. Leave a can of activated charcoal or used coffee grounds to absorb smells and moisture.
Removing the wheels for a deeper clean
Removing the wheels give you more room to clean the wheel wells and the back of the rims. Use jack stands or a ramp, not just a jack. To spray-clean the underside, JMC Equipment recommends investing in a Titan auto lift. You can remove all four wheels at the same time and work more safely and comfortably.
Use a wheel cleaner on the wheels and tires, and then wipe the wheels with wax or wheel protectant. After washing the wheel wells, spray and wipe them with protectant. Wipe the brake calipers with the same protectant if painted. Do not use anything on the brake discs. You can simply wipe them dry with a clean, soft cloth.
Washing and waxing
If you aren’t going to remove the wheels for cleaning, clean it along with the tires and wheel wells before washing the rest of the car. You can use the same car shampoo or a recommended wheel cleaner. Some cleaners only require wiping off, but it’s better to hose down your wheels to make sure no residue is left behind.
Spray the entire car with clean water, then use a foam gun containing high-quality car shampoo. Let the shampoo sit for about two minutes, then hose it off. This will remove a lot of the dirt without even touching the car. Now use the foam gun for the second time. Dunk a chenille or microfiber wash mitt in a bucket of shampoo and water and start working on the car.
Rinse the car and dry it with a microfiber towel. Using clean water and car shampoo as a lubricant, run a cake of car clay all over the paint and glass to remove oxidation and marks that the shampoo didn’t get. Work on a small area at a time and make sure to rinse and wipe it until it dries. Once you’re done putting the clay, rinse the entire car exterior. Wipe it and apply a coat of high-quality wax.
These are the basics of detailing a car. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it, and the more prepared you will be to start your own detailing company.