How Exterior Car Detailing Works

Learn how our professional car detailing company takes care of your vehicles exterior

Paint Polishing

Exterior Paint Polish

Paint polishing is a vital step in the detailing process for detailers, aiming to restore and enhance the finish of a vehicle’s paintwork. It involves using specialized products and equipment to eliminate imperfections like swirl marks, light scratches, oxidation, and surface defects. Detailers utilize polishing compounds with abrasive particles to level out the surface and remove imperfections. Machine polishers with foam pads are commonly used to ensure even distribution of the polishing compound and improve efficiency. The primary goal of paint polishing is to achieve a smooth, defect-free surface with enhanced gloss and clarity. It prepares the paint for the application of protective products and revitalizes the vehicle’s appearance.

Paint Waxing

Paint waxing is an essential step in the detailing process that involves applying a protective layer of wax to a vehicle’s paintwork. There are different types of waxes available, including spray waxes and regular waxes.


Spray waxes are convenient and easy to use. They come in a spray bottle and can be applied directly onto the paint surface. They provide a layer of hydrophobicity and gloss to the paint, temporarily improving its appearance and providing some level of protection.


Regular waxes, also known as paste waxes, typically come in jars or bottles. They require manual application using an applicator pad or microfiber cloth. Regular waxes provide a more durable and long-lasting protective layer. They often contain natural carnauba wax, which enhances the depth of the paint’s shine.


Detailers apply wax to a vehicle’s paint for several reasons. Wax acts as a protective barrier against environmental elements such as UV rays, oxidation, bird droppings, and road grime. It helps prevent the paint from fading, deteriorating, and getting damaged over time. It can bring out the depth and clarity of the paint color, making it look vibrant and well-maintained.Waxing makes the paint surface smoother, reducing the likelihood of contaminants sticking to it. This makes regular washing and maintenance easier, as dirt and debris are less likely to bond with the waxed surface.


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Hand Washing

In the car detailing world hand washes can be done with a range of applicators, including microfiber towels, wash mitts, and foam applicators. Using the wrong media could cause scratches and swirl marks on your vehicle’s paintwork. Microfiber towels are known for their soft and absorbent nature and using fresh towels reduces the potential for cross-contamination during the washing process. Wash mitts and foam applicators, on the other hand, provide a larger surface area effectively trap dirt particles without causing scratches. Additionally, rinseless wash formulas, which incorporate polymer technologies, have gained popularity in the detailing world. These formulas lift dirt and grime from the paint surface, all while minimizing the need for excessive water usage. By incorporating these specific media and employing rinseless wash formulas with polymer technologies, car enthusiasts and detailers can achieve a thorough and safe cleaning process, ensuring the preservation of the vehicle’s appearance and value with a flawless finish.

Engine Bay Cleaning
Engine Bay Cleaning

Engine bay cleaning is a crucial aspect of detailing that involves thoroughly cleaning and rejuvenating the engine compartment of a vehicle. Detailers use degreasers, pressure washers, and brushes to remove dirt, grease, and grime from various engine bay surfaces. They pay attention to areas prone to dirt buildup, such as the engine cover and hoses, to ensure a thorough clean. Engine bay cleaning is important for several reasons. It enhances the overall appearance of the engine compartment, making it look well-maintained and visually appealing. It also allows for easier identification of potential leaks or maintenance issues. Detailers take precautions to protect sensitive components, such as covering electrical parts, and may apply a protectant or dressing to plastic or rubber components to prevent cracking or fading. By performing engine bay cleaning, detailers contribute to the proper functioning and longevity of the engine.

Clay Bar Treatment
Exterior Clay Bar
Exterior Clay Mit

Clay barring is a widely practiced technique in the detailing world that involves using specialized clay media to remove contaminants from a vehicle’s paint surface. There are different types of clay media available, including traditional clay bars, synthetic clay bars, and clay mitts. Traditional clay bars, made from natural clay, effectively eliminate bonded contaminants like embedded dirt, tar, industrial fallout, and overspray. Synthetic clay bars offer similar performance but with the advantage of being reusable and less prone to drying out. Clay mitts provide ease of use and are suitable for larger surface areas, but aren’t as effective as traditional clay bars.


The primary purpose of clay barring is to achieve a smooth and clean surface by eliminating bonded contaminants that regular washing cannot remove. These contaminants can cause roughness and affect the overall appearance of the paint. Clay barring restores a smooth texture and prepares the paint for detailing processes such as polishing or waxing. By using clay media, detailers effectively remove stubborn contaminants, enhance paint clarity, and create a foundation for a more refined and glossy finish. It is a crucial step in the detailing process to achieve optimal results and maintain the long-term health and beauty of a vehicle’s paintwork.


Headlight Restoration
Headlight Restoration

Headlight restoration is a vital aspect of detailing that aims to address issues such as yellowing, oxidation, and fading that commonly occur over time. Detailers employ specific techniques and products to rejuvenate the appearance of headlights. The restoration process typically involves sanding the headlights using different grits of sandpaper to remove the damaged outer layer. Starting with a coarse grit, detailers gradually progress to finer grits to refine the surface and eliminate scratches. The texture of sandpaper depends on how damaged the headlights are. After sanding, the headlights are polished using a wool polishing pad to restore clarity and remove imperfections. This process not only improves aesthetics but also enhances visibility and safety on the road. 

Paint Sealant

Paint sealant is a vital component of the detailing process, providing a protective layer that safeguards a vehicle’s paintwork from various environmental hazards. It is a synthetic product designed to bond with the paint surface, creating a durable shield against UV rays, pollen, surface dirt, and other contaminants.


Detailers apply paint sealant after the paint polishing stage to ensure maximum protection and longevity. The sealant forms a clear, glossy barrier that enhances the paint’s shine and depth while providing a hydrophobic effect, causing water to bead and roll off easily. This hydrophobic property makes the vehicle easier to clean and maintain, as dirt and debris have a harder time adhering to the treated surface.


While sealants are somewhat similar to polishes they provide a much thicker layer of protection than polishes. Paint sealants typically consist of polymer-based formulations that offer exceptional durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions. They create a semi-permanent bond with the paint, providing long-lasting protection that can withstand months of exposure to the elements.