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What is Car Detailing?

Hand in a rubber glove using a yellow sponge to clean leather seats in a vehicle

You may know that detailing is a thorough cleaning that restores your car’s like-new appearance — but what is car detailing compared to a car wash or body repairs? Car detailing involves a lot more than a surface-level exterior cleaning, but doesn’t involve paintwork or body work. It’s a top-to-bottom, inside-and-out cleaning that helps keep your car in great condition for years to come.

Read the guide below for car detailing prices, and for step-by-step instructions on exterior and interior car detailing. Questions? Contact the Ryan Honda of Minot service center for auto maintenance tips from the experts.

Car Detailing Prices: Professional Service vs. Do-It-Yourself

When you check car detailing prices at your Bismarck-area service center, you’ll see detailing work priced by package levels, each with a set cost. A basic car detailing package typically includes a wash, wax, interior vacuuming, interior polish, window wash, mirror and trim cleaning, and tire cleaning. If you choose to have your car professionally serviced, expect to pay around $65 to $200, depending on your vehicle size and detailing package. For example, trucks and SUVs will always cost more than cars and other compact vehicles.

You can also give your car a basic DIY detailing at home, which will cost you the price of materials. Because many detailing supplies are common household items, you can save quite a lot on car detailing prices by doing the work yourself!

Supplies for Exterior and Interior Car Detailing

Ready to learn how to detail a car at home? The first step is making sure you have all the necessary supplies on hand before you get started:

  • Canned air
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Washing mitts
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Car-safe cleaner
  • Window cleaner
  • Upholstery cleaner
  • Carpet stain cleaner
  • Variety of small paint brushes
  • Vinyl and leather surface protector

How to Detail a Car Exterior

Exterior detailing involves the following cleaning procedures:

  1. Rigorous Exterior Wash — Use water, a car-safe washing solution, and microfiber cloths to vigorously clean the body of your vehicle. Household detergents are best avoided, because they can strip wax from your car’s surface. Also, make sure you have a large supply of cleaning clothes, and frequently swap them out. Dirt or sand on cleaning cloths may scratch your vehicle’s paint. After cleaning, dry the vehicle with clean towels.
  2. Clean the Wheels — Using either the same solution or a social tire-cleaning solution, clean your vehicle’s wheels. Use a small brush to reach dirt in the grooves and other hard-to-reach places.
  3. Optional Exterior Wax — After the exterior is clean, you can choose to wax your car. After waxing, be sure to wipe off excess wax with a small brush.

How to Detail a Car Interior

While many Devils Lake Honda drivers are familiar exterior detailing, what is car detailing for your car’s interior? Follow these steps for proper interior car detailing:

  1. Clean the Carpeting — Vacuum the carpeting, using a narrow attachment to reach between seats and in cracks. Have carpet stain remover and a brush ready to remove any stains.
  2. Door Interior Cleaning —  Make a solution of soap and water to clean the non-carpeted part of your doors, and then dry them with a cloth. After drying the door interiors, open the car doors and clean the metal and plastic parts of the door jambs.
  3. Wash the Windows — Wash the windows and the inside of your car mirrors with a window-cleaning solution, and quickly wipe dry to avoid streaks.
  4. Upholstery Cleaning —  After vacuuming the seats, remove stains with a stain remover and brush. If your car has leather upholstery, be sure to use a leather-safe cleaner. When the seats are clean, allow them to air-dry with your car doors open to avoid mildew.
  5. Clean the Steering Wheel Column — Remove dust and stains from the steering wheel column with a cleaning solution. Then dry and apply a surface protectant.
  6. Clean the Dashboard and Center Console — Use your small brushes to clean in cracks and tight crevices, and then dry completely with a microfiber cloth.

Contact Ryan Honda of Minot for More DIY Maintenance Tips

We’re committed to helping you keep your car in top condition — just contact us for more info on auto services you can perform at home like how often to change your cabin air filter or how to reset your check engine light! If your car requires professional attention, be sure to check out our service specials for Devils Lake and Dickinson drivers.

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