How Often You Should Detail Your Car: A Complete Guide

How Often You Should Detail Your Car

Your car is one of your most valuable assets. How well you take care of it will determine its performance and longevity. Poor maintenance will result in expensive repairs and a sharp decline in its resale value.

One of the surest ways of enhancing the performance and appearance of your car is by seeking professional car detailing services. Thanks to technological advancements, there are advanced systems and tools for detailing cars that are more efficient and reliable than previous-generation tools.

What Does Car Detailing Entail?

Car detailing involves a series of activities that are done on a car to restore its past glory. The main goal is to achieve a like-new condition by polishing the exterior and interior surfaces and spaces. It also entails removing visible and invisible contaminants that accumulate in confined places and carpets.

Here is a detailed overview of what a professional car detailing service entails.

Exterior Paint Polish and Care

By looking at the exterior surfaces, you can tell how well a car is maintained. Over time, the paint fades due to harsh outdoor conditions, such as prolonged exposure to UV rays. Also, the accumulation of grease, dirt, dust and other forms of grime on the surface leads to corrosion and chipping.

A professional car detailer will polish the exterior paint to remove the debris and make it shine. The exterior is also pressure-washed to eliminate dirt particles and stains. After that, the surface is hand-dried and polished to remove any remaining scratches and dents.

Cleaning and Polishing of Exterior Accents

Like the paint, the rubber, chrome, and plastics on the car’s exterior surface are susceptible to cracking and fading. Regular cleaning and detailing will keep them looking great and less prone to damage. 

Concisely, the chrome accents are expertly polished, and a plastic sealant is applied to vinyl and rubber parts.

Tyre and Wheel Detailing

Contaminants, dirt, and brake dust buildup on the wheels. If not cleaned regularly, they become hard blemishes that are difficult to clean. Advanced wheel detailing products can remove even the toughest stains in minutes.

The car detailer will restore the appearance of the wheels by cleaning them to remove debris and stains. The chrome, aluminum, or steel will also be polished. The tires get a special rubber sealant treatment to achieve a glossy finish.

Cleaning and Sealing of Interior Surfaces

Like the exterior surfaces, the interior surfaces also accumulate grime and dust. The car detailer will use special equipment and reagents to clean the interior surfaces until they are sparkling clean. They focus on the entertainment console, dashboard, seats, and other interior surfaces and spaces. Once the surfaces are clean, a sealant is applied to achieve a high-gloss shine.

Care and Restoration of Leather Seats

Leather seats create a unique allure and increase the resale value of cars. However, the seats need to be in excellent condition to influence the resale price. Modern car conditioning products are gentle on leather material. The car detailers uses them to clean and polish the leather seats to achieve a natural luster. The polish also protects the leather material from water damage and stains.

Deep Cleaning of Carpet

One of the sources of foul odor in cars is dirty carpets. The best car detailers have the equipment and skills to clean, deodorize and shampoo carpets. The carpets are deeply vacuumed to get rid of stains and dislodge dirt particles trapped in the carpet’s deep layers.

How Often Should I Do Exterior Detailing?

The frequency depends on the current condition of your car and how often the exterior surfaces are washed and waxed. Experts recommend detailing the car once every 4 to 6 months. You can increase the frequency based on its condition and your budget.

How Often Should You Do Interior Detailing?

Like the exterior surfaces, the number of times or how often you should have the car interior detailed depends on the degree of wear and tear. If the car is regularly vacuumed and polished, you only need to spend money on a full interior car detail once every four to six months. 

Proper care reduces how often interior detailing is required and increases the longevity of the interior components, such as the entertainment console.

How Long Does Car Detailing Last?

The quality of the car detailing service will determine how long your car will be in a good condition. If done well, you only need to spend money on this service 2-3 times per year. That said, the duration that the car detailing last is dependent on the following;

  • How often the car is used
  • The driving conditions in your location
  • The general condition of the car
  • Your budget and personality/personal preferences

Concisely, the more often the car is detailed, the better condition it will be and the higher the resale value. Also less detailing will be required if you regularly wash, wax, and clean your car.

What is the Best Time of the Year for Detailing?

The best weather conditions for car detailing are 68 degrees and a humidity range of between 40% and 50%. According to experts, the best time to detail your car is during fall and summer. However, you can also seek a car detailing service during winter and summer if the car is too wreaked or you intend to sell it soon.

Why is Constant Detailing Important?

Car detailing is one of the maintenance practices that you cannot afford to ignore or sideline. Give your car the care and attention it deserves to get maximum utility from it.

Here are four primary reasons you should budget for regular car detailing services.

Increases Resale Value

Comprehensive car detailing will increase your car’s resale value, restoring the surfaces and parts to near-new condition. Consider having your car detailed before presenting it to potential clients to attract the highest price possible in the market.

Enhances and Preserves the Car Interior

Accumulating dirt and other grime inside the car lowers the air quality and increases the risk of allergic reactions. Having the interior in good condition will improve the air quality and enhance the driving experience. It will also make the car more human and pet friendly.

Protects the Car’s Paintwork

Proper detailing will protect your car from conditions that cause the paint to fade and lead to the development of hard-to-clean stains. The cleaning and polishing processes will preserve the car’s aesthetic value. The wax coating will protect the paint from contaminants and UV rays thus prevent fading and cracking.

Save You Money on Repairs

Regular car detailing will save you thousands of dollars on repairs by increasing the lifespan and performance of the interior parts. It’s also a cost-effective way to maintain your car. Having the car detailed twice or thrice yearly will significantly extend its lifespan. 

Car Detailing FAQs

We get hundreds of questions about car detailing but here are the top 5.

Does Detailing Remove Scratches?

Yes, professional car detailing is effective in removing scratches through polishing, waxing, and sealing. However, deep scratches require more attention and cannot be removed through a basic car detail service.

How Do Detailers Clean Cars?

One of the main differences between a car washing and a car detailing is that most of the tasks are done by hand. The process is also more thorough and starts with spraying of specialized, high-powered spray on the exterior surface. Other components, such as the rims, glass, door jambs, interior, and exterior parts, are thoroughly hand-washed and patted dry.

Why is it Called Car Detailing?

This service is referred to as car detailing as its more thorough than the regular car wash. The main goal of the detailer is to not only clean the car but also recondition and restore the car’s components and surfaces.

How Much Does a Full Car Detail Cost?

The prices vary from one car detailer to another but expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $500 for a standard-sized car. The cost may be higher if the exterior surfaces and interior components have been extensively degraded. Be sure to ask for a comprehensive quote beforehand to budget accordingly.

Do Detailers Remove Dents?

Dent removal is done as part of the scratch repair service. 


Professional car detailing service will ensure your car is always in excellent condition. If you plan to sell your car soon, have it detailed by a professional before inspection and valuation is done to get the best price.