How to Do Amazing Car Detail Work

Although a car looks great after a good wash and wax, to achieve that amazing car-show shine you’ve got to go with a detail job.

What’s the trick to car detailing? It’s in the details. Let’s get started.

Start with the interior

The order you do things is crucial when it comes to detailing. If you leave cleaning your car’s interior for last, then you’ll just wind up blowing dirt and dust on your clean paint.

Start by removing all floor mats, and then go to town with a vacuum on all carpet and upholstery. An air compressor can help you blow out dirt and dust from hard-to-reach places (even heating and air conditioning ducts), and a hard-bristled brush can dislodge a lot of dirt from the mats and carpets.

Really taking the time to clean the dash can take your detail job over the top. Get in all the crevices with a Q-tip, and you can remove knobs to clean underneath.

Household cleaners won’t cut it—use a cleaner that is specifically formulated for cleaning car interiors.

Tires before paint

Warm or hot rubber can easily be worn away, so always wash your tires when they’re cool. Avoid acid-based cleaners on your wheels—they can damage the rubber. A degreaser will work fine, but don’t use a detergent.

Give it a good hand wash

Finally, we’re on to the paint. Nothing familiarizes you with the surface and shape of your car better than a hand wash, so roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Don’t use dishwashing detergent to wash your car. It will strip away the protective layer from the paint. Instead, use a carwash product designed for use on cars.


Next in line we’ve got to give the paint a good polish. The idea is to smooth out the surface of the paint, lending it an attractive shine. An oscillating polishing machine will do the trick, and it’s much easier to use than the rotating ones the pros use.


Wax protects your paint from contaminants and other elements that can damage your paint job. Think of it as the first line of defense, absorbing scratches and stains before they reach the paint underneath.

For wax to do its job protecting your paint, you should re-wax your car every 3 months.

Glass Last

You’re almost done—now it’s time to clean the windows and windshield. Don’t use a cleaner that contains ammonia, because it can damage vinyl upholstery.

A micro-fiber cloth is your best bet for cleaning glass. A rubber squeegee can wind up scratching the glass if dirt gets caught on it. In fact, to avoid scratching, use an air compressor to dry your car’s exterior.

Don’t forget the tiny details in detailing

The more time you’re willing to put in paying close attention to all the little details, the better your detail job is going to be.

And for those dents and scrapes that no amount of detailing can take care of, contact Herb’s auto body repair in Dallas.