Car Detailing 101: How-to Detail a Car

You’re in the right place if you want to learn how to properly detail a car. This page is a good starting point on car cleaning and automotive finish care.

Detailing your own car shouldn’t be difficult. In fact, many people find it rewarding. To do the job right, you simply need to use the correct car detailing supplies and car wax supplies. By understanding the tools, products and methods, you can detail your car faster, efficiently and with excellent results.

  • Car Detailing Introduction – Many people mistake car washing with car detailing. This Car Detailing Introduction provides an overview of car detailing and how it’s different that a simple car wash or wax job.
  • Car Detailing Supplies & Chemicals – To do any job well you must have the right tools. With car detailing, the right tool often means the right chemical. In Car Detailing Supplies & Chemicals you will discover the basics of the cleaners, polishes and protectants needed to properly detail your car.
  • Car Washing and Drying – If there’s a single maintenance activity that offers the biggest benefit to your car’s appearance, it’s keeping it clean. In Car Washing and Drying you will learn the correct way to wash and dry a vehicle and discover how selecting the wrong products can do more harm than good.
  • Clay Bar Detailing – When dirt, crud, over-spray and pollution get a solid grip on your car’s paint, washing alone won’t be enough to get it clean. In Clay Bar Detailing you will discover how safe and easy it is to clean, shine and make your car’s paint slick again.
  • The term car polishing describes many different tasks as they apply to car detailing. I break it all down to give you a better understanding of when polishing is necessary. I’ll also cover the tools, products and techniques needed to do the job right. See Paint Repair Clinic for our various car polishing articles.
  • How-To Wax a Car – Waxing your car protects the paint finish from hostile environments. Waxing also makes your car, new or old, look better. In How-To Wax a Car, you will learn how to do it the right way.
  • Car Interior Cleaning –  After reading Car Interior Cleaning you’ll learn to keep your car’s interior looking great without lots of work. It’s not necessary to fully detail the inside of your car each time you wash it.
  • Cleaning Car Windows – Cleaning your windows is one of the most tedious tasks you’ll face, but it’s definitely worth doing. Discover how to do it the fast and easy way right here.
  • Detailing and Treating Trim – Over time, car trim that’s not properly maintained will become dirty, dull and worn, making your whole car look bad. In Detailing and Treating Trim you’ll learn how to keep your car’s trim looking great, or restore trim that’s a little under the weather.
  • Maintaining Your Convertible Top – Unlike coupes or sedans, soft top convertibles have special requirements. Where the convertible’s fully enclosed brethren sport steel and glass, the soft top convertible has canvas and vinyl. In Maintaining Your Convertible Top you will learn how to properly care for your car’s soft top. You’ll get years of beauty and top down driving.

Other Car Detailing Topics

Show Car Detailing – Are you a car fanatic? Are you obsessed with how your car looks? That makes you our kind of car guy!

Finish Repair – This section on finish and damage repair topics is very popular.

Detailing Guides – Our detailing guides offer in-depth information to help you make the best decisions.