Car Detailing 101

Car Detailing 101: How-to Detail a Car

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

Detailing shouldn’t be difficult. In fact, many people find it to be 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, more efficiently and with excellent results.

  • Car Detailing Introduction – Many people mistake car washing with car detailing. This section provides an overview of car detailing and how it’s different that a simple car wash or wax job.
  • Car Detailing Supplies and Chemicals – To do any job well you must have the right tools. With car detailing, the right tool often means the right chemical. Here you will learn 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. Here you’ll 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. Here 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 the different tasks as they apply to car detailing. I break it all down to give you a better understanding of polishing and when it is necessary. I’ll also cover the tools, products and techniques needed to do the job right. See Paint Repair Clinic for excellent 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. Here you’ll learn how to do it the right way.
  • Car Interior Cleaning –  Here you’ll learn to keep your car’s interior looking great without lots of work. It is 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 – Poorly maintained car trim will eventually become dirty, dull and worn, making your whole car look bad. Here 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. Here you will learn how to properly care for your car’s soft top. You’ll get years of beauty and top down driving.

Even More 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.