After graduating from high school in Orlando, Florida, I began detailing vehicles and yachts. The father of my ex-girlfriend had a mobile repair company for almost anything. In addition to owning a mechanic business for larger repairs, he repaired boats in the Orlando region, maintained the slides at Universal, and built the boats in front of the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. I was employed by him, and he gave me the go-ahead to begin handling the detailing for our clientele. Every three months, we waxed the boats and scheduled monthly maintenance washing.
Let’s go back to when I was 24 years old. My longtime buddy hired me to assist with the clients they had previously developed after working under a mentor detailer for a while. After his mentor gave him the go-ahead to operate and manage the business, I joined the team.
I began at the bottom of the hierarchy, earning minimum pay, and worked my way up to become a Regional Director for the firm, managing client accounts in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, and Fort Myers. I currently run my own detailing business with a rapidly expanding clientele, serving all of Eastern Massachusetts. Which takes me back to the point that I’m not your average Joe. Now let’s get started with the material!
Watch Out for the Car Wash
Recognizing the difference between a vehicle wash and a detail is the first step towards comprehending detailing.
When you pull up to an average “come and go” drive-through external car wash, you’ll see a large, spinning, hair-like device being used. This device is extremely abrasive, leaving unbelievable amounts of scratching and marring on your car, and you’ll be paying for the damage it does. Your car’s paint is being slapped by that large brush as if it just mentioned something about its mother.
If you pay extra, the folks who work for very little money an hour reuse the same wash mitt and brush that was used on the car before you without properly decontaminating them. It’s an honest job, but you get what you pay for. The workers at the car wash are essentially sanding your car further with their soiled brushes, buckets, and gloves after the large, hairy, rotating object has repeatedly smacked it with sandpaper.
It’s time for an extra-greasy tire shine that will make your “just washed” vehicle look even better. After coming from the vehicle wash, your wheel barrels still contain the same dirt from 2016. However, because enough paint preparation was not done, they sprayed on an extra one-month paint sealant for the day’s special, which won’t even attach to your still-heavily polluted vehicle. Your funds are more generously allocated.
The cherry on top is that even if you simply paid to have your outside pummeled, I mean washed, you still have to pay and risk breaking your back to vacuum your own car.
Well, I realize that I can’t criticize vehicle washes entirely because some of them do provide excellent, professional services. Their professional staff is amazing, and their services are of the highest caliber. I am talking exclusively about your standard “come and go” vehicle wash.
Car washes without a touch? It’s Better for You to Do It Yourself
You now realize that using a vehicle wash should only be done very carefully. The only situation in which I advise (though I do not advise) a customer to utilize a car wash is when the car wash is “contactless.”
Not as horrible as the standard come-and-go are contactless vehicle washes. To get rid of filth, they employ a range of high-pressure pressure washers. After applying foamy soap as a surfactant that collects dirt, the high-pressure pressure washers rinse everything off.
These still carry some risk, but they are safer than conventional car washes. If your paint has any chips in it, you can be the victim of a high-pressure water spray that hits the defect precisely, tearing off a large chunk of paint.
In addition to the dangers involved, this kind of vehicle wash offers insufficient cleanliness. There are still bugs on the surface, sap is still eroding the clear coat finish, the inside and rims are still unclean, and you are paying for all of this. Although you get a bit more for your money with these washes compared to a standard “big spinning hairy brush” vehicle wash, you still don’t get what you desire.
You could just wash the car yourself if you truly don’t want to pay the extra money to have it detailed! You won’t have to worry about ruining the paint if you wash the automobile yourself the proper way. You will perform a better job than any quick-service car wash if you understand the fundamentals of vehicle washing. Most people’s issues are that they are either getting older, don’t have the time, or just don’t want to do it.
When Should I Receive a Detail?
As a general guideline, drivers should detail their vehicle’s outside and inside every three months. I think the reason behind this generalization is because conventional carnauba waxes, when properly maintained with regular washings, last around three months.
There is a myth that longer-lasting paint coatings imply you may spend three, six, or even a lifetime without cleaning or maintaining the coating. While newer paint coatings (wax form, liquid form, ceramic-based, quartz-based, and graphene-based) may have various lifespans, these coatings may not.
Maintaining the protectant on the paint of your automobile or any other protected surface should be done more often than once every three months. Washing your car should be done at least once a month. A once-a-month wash is plenty for the ordinary car owner, but some auto aficionados prefer washes every two weeks, every week, or after every usage.