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Myths & Facts of Car Detailing

Car Detailing Uncertainties

A lot of the uncertainty surrounding car detailing and whether or not it actually benefits your vehicle comes from false information. Regardless of whether or not you have stuck to these ideas your whole life, or your neighbor keeps giving you these car washing tips, we thought we’d debunk some of the most common myths for you.


MYTH: I can wait until my car is absolutely filthy to get it washed.

FACT: There is ALWAYS something that can be cleaned on a vehicle. Even something as minor as bugs on the front bumper can strip away at the paint protection the longer it sits there. A basic car wash is recommended at least every couple of weeks.


MYTH: If my car is shiny, it must be super clean.

FACT: Just because your vehicle has a shine to it does not mean that it is clean. A car can still look glossy, but to the touch, it will feel grimy and rough. Gloss does NOT equal clean.


MYTH: Why would I go to a car detailer when I can go to any gas station car wash for only $7 ?

FACT: A car wash from us is the best way to avoid scratches or scuffs in the paint. The machines used in the gas station car washes often can damage the protection to your paint, though you might not see it at first. If necessary, a touch-free car wash is the way to go if you are going to go with a gas station option.


MYTH: Isn’t washing my car and detailing my car the same thing?

FACT: Washing is not the same as car detailing. Car detailing takes much more time, care, and effort into making sure your vehicle is actually clean, and not just the paint surface. Between polishing, waxing, and even full interior cleaning, detailing has many more added bonuses than washing and is definitely worth the extra cost. It is recommended that you get your car detailed at least a few times a year depending on use.


MYTH: Okay, so aren’t polishing and waxing the same thing?

FACT: The industry terms like “polishing,” “waxing,” and “buffing” can all mean different things to different people. However, as a professional, the word “polishing,” in most cases, means using an orbiting tool to remove minor defects and/or amplify the gloss in the paint. Waxing is either hand-applied or machine-applied, again with an orbiting tool, and its main purpose is to protect the paint from the sun and help the cleaning process. Both of these methods can be used individually or together, depending on the vehicle’s needs or goals.


MYTH: Don’t polishing tools damage the paint?

FACT: Totally possible! However, in most cases, when polishing tools damage paint it is primarily from human error. Our team is trained to use polishers, both high-speed and dual action polishers and as a result, we repair damage from automatic car washes and/or wear-and-tear that comes from aggressive maintenance like towel-drying your vehicle after a wash…and that leads me to the next myth.


MYTH: Any soft material, like my old t-shirt, bath towels, or a bed sheet, are good to dry a car with.

FACT: T-shirts, bed sheets, or any common household towel are not appropriate to wash and dry a vehicle with. The use of common household towels, sometimes shirts and/or bed sheets, often are rough and have dirt trapped in them from prior use. They leave “love marks,” sometimes referred to as wash marring, on the paint surface (pictured below). The most common recommended towels are large microfiber towels, which are made to be super soft and ultra absorbent. Check out The Rag Company online for a great selection of safe and affordable detailing/cleaning towels. The last bit of vital information about towels is that even microfiber towels can damage paint if not maintained properly. If you have another 20 minutes, and you want a real education on microfiber towels and maintenance, watch this video by Larry from AMMO NYC.

BeFunky Collage

MYTH: Why would I get more protection than a wax? Doesn’t it last for years?

FACT: Wax is a great temporary solution for protecting your vehicle. At most, wax will protect your vehicle for about 6 months under ideal, perfect conditions. Wax only works as a sunblock for your vehicle and is likely to only last for about 2-3 months for a car that is driven everyday. To tell if your car has wax or not, check next time your car gets wet. If the water beads up on the surface of the vehicle, there is still wax present. If the water stays in random clumps, there is  little to no wax. A better solution to protection would be a ceramic coating, which lasts for a minimum of a year, depending on the brand. With proper maintenance, a ceramic layer could last up to 5 years.



MYTH: Once my seats get a stain, I’ll have to replace the entire seat.

FACT: Not at all. Most stains are simple to remove when using professional tools and chemicals, we have removed a countless number of stains in vehicles that customers were ready to ditch their entire vehicle or replace the seats because the stains were so bad. Check out our blog post on interior purification and stain removal, spoiler alert: next myth also has to do with interior car detailing!


MYTH: My car smells so bad. I need a new air freshener.

FACT: Air fresheners just mask the odor. You need to get to the source of the odor and eliminate it. We use an ozone machine to dissolve odor-causing particles and bacteria, generally after a full interior detail to remove dirt, debris, and sometimes the source of the problem (old food and/or pet dander). Check out another video for an in-depth visual of our interior car detailing process.


MYTH: What about waterspots, don’t they just wash off?

FACT: Waterspots are generally deemed as “impossible” or hard to remove. Even though they can be difficult, with the right product and technique your windows or paint can look waterspot-free. For glass, we use a glass polish. For paint, we start by clay barring the paint to remove light or fresh water spots and then polish or compound and polish the paint depending on the severity of the spotting. It depends on how long the waterspots have been dried on the vehicle, so it is important to get your vehicle washed on a regular basis and when you notice stubborn spots, call a professional, like these guys, they do a great  job.





If you have any other myths you’d like us to debunk, or if you have general questions about car detailing, car washing, or ceramic coatings, feel free to give us a call and we can get you on the schedule!


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