How Long Does a Car Detailing Take?, car detailing | MNV Auto Detailing

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A car detailing can be a laborious and time-consuming task that is meant to restore the exterior and interior of a vehicle to look like it’s in mint conditions. Many variables should be factored in when estimating how long a car detailing will take. If you choose to hire a professional, the type of car, and damage that has been previously inflicted on the vehicle, will all depend on the length of the detailing.

Learn all about what goes into a car detailing, the tasks involved, and how long it takes to complete this vehicular project.

The difference between washing and detailing

Man cleaning car with microfiber cloth

Although the two can get confused for one another, washing a car versus detailing one is very different. While washing a car is a fairly simple process that involves soap, water, and other cleaning tools to eradicate the dirt and grime from a car, detailing is a much more thorough and complex restorative process that is meant to make the car look brand new. Washing a car can be done by hand but can also be easily accomplished through an automated process while detailing the interior and exterior of a vehicle is done by hand.

Quick detail

A quick detail is a faster process that involves maintaining the car’s paint job through light dusting and water spots. Quick detailing of a vehicle can be done with tools like microfiber towels, a car duster, and a detailing spray, all to remove the layers of dirt and grime on your car. Quick detailing can also involve using glass cleaner to clean the glass exterior of the car thoroughly. Complete and quick detail can take about 15-45 minutes, depending on your proficiency in vehicle detailing.

Maintenance wash

A simple maintenance wash can help improve the look of your car and make it appear refreshed and newer. A maintenance wash is less time-consuming than a full vehicle detailing. There can be two different types of maintenance washing, one that utilizes simple soap and water to do a quick wash of your car, and the other method using a pressure-washer, pre-wash snow foam soap, and non-acidic cleaner for the wheels of the vehicle, and glass cleaner. Because a maintenance wash is more complex and involved than a quick detail, it can take about 35-90 minutes.

Interior washing

After a maintenance wash of the car’s exterior, an interior washing should follow. This should include vacuuming the floors of the vehicle, brushing the car mats to rid them of visible dirt and garbage, cleaning the glass of the windows and windshield from inside, washing the doors and dashboard, and then thoroughly cleaning the seats. All of this should take around an hour to an hour and a half.

Decontaminating, wash and polish prepping

For a proper detailing that will make your car look brand new, the process of decontamination and polish prepping can go a long way. Although these tasks can be time-consuming, putting in a substantial amount of time for these tasks will give you fantastic results. A decontamination wash is necessary before any machine polishing. This process involves the use of wax and polish stripping remover, bug remover, and iron remover. Decontaminating and the polish prepping procedure should take about 2-4 hours in total.

Polishing and ceramic coat

This next step is very extensive and can be quite lengthy to complete. Applying polishing and ceramic coats can take about 1-3 days and even longer if heavy paint protection is needed. To properly execute paint correction on a car, expect it to take many hours. If the paint on a vehicle is in bad condition, it will take even longer. The paint on the car should already be void of explicit damage before applying a coat of ceramic paint onto the vehicle. Because the application of ceramic paint can be so complex and intricate, it can take as long as 24-48 hours for the paint to cure correctly.

Interior detailing

Interior detailing should address the areas within the vehicle that are most often ignored and will restore the inside of the car to the same condition it was originally. Depending on the fabric and materials of the interior, a thorough cleaning will look different in each car. Leather, plastic, vinyl, and carbon fibre will all require different cleaning solutions. Some of these products that can be used for safe and practical use include glass cleaners, air fresheners, various detergents, and carpet extractors. Interior detailing should take about 5-8 hours to complete and make your interior look good as new.

Conclusion

Before you begin the process of detailing your car, whether you go to professionals or do it yourself, expect your car to be out of commission for a couple of days, if not more. A thorough car detailing can be a complex, prolonged, and arduous project, and it is good know the supplies you need, the time it takes and what you’re getting into before starting.

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