What Does a Car Detailer Do?

Car detailing is an extreme, professional cleaning job for your vehicle. Here’s what details typically include.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Reviewed by Jessa Claeys
Cleaning your car inside and out is an essential chore for keeping your set of wheels in tip-top shape. However, if you absolutely hate the task—or if your upholstery could use a serious scrubbing—then it may be time to seek out a professional car detailer. 
Car detail shops can be standalone businesses, while others are a service offered by larger car washes. Some are even mobile companies that will bring special cleaning tools to your home or office! Either way, you can expect a car detailer to thoroughly clean your vehicle’s interior and exterior.  Here to walk you through everything car detailing includes is
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What is a car detailer and what do they do?

A car detailer is a professional who specializes in deep cleaning your vehicle’s interior and exterior. Auto detailing goes beyond your basic car wash—it is much more detail-oriented. 
Many vehicle owners seek out professional car detailing services when their vehicles are particularly messy, such as after the winter season or after a messy spill. Car dealerships also hire detailers to enhance the appearance of vehicles in their showrooms, so that buyers can test drive clean cars. However, just like getting regular car washes, investing in regular automotive detailing is a great way to keep your car free of grime and maintain its resale value.

What does car detailing include?

Car detailing typically includes both exterior and interior cleaning, with the total job taking about four to five hours depending on the size and state of your vehicle. Every surface of your car should get attention, and specialized tools and cleaning products are used to improve your vehicle’s condition. 
If you have specific concerns, you can also request that your detailers perform specialized services, such as touching up chipped paint, steam cleaning your engine, and more.

Interior detailing vs. exterior detailing 

When booking a professional car cleaning service, you’ll likely get to choose between an interior detail, an exterior detail, or a package that includes both services. Typical interior details include:
  • Vacuuming
  • Steam cleaning of all surfaces
  • Deodorizing 
  • Carpet/cloth/fabric shampoo
  • Spot treatment of stains 
  • Window cleaning 
Typical exterior details include:

How much does a car detail cost?

For a standard interior and exterior detail, you can expect to pay $50 to $125 for an average-sized sedan and $75 to $150 for a larger SUV, truck, or van. Keep in mind that you’ll pay more for more luxury services, as well as for mobile detailers that bring tanks of water, hoses, and other supplies to your home or office. You’ll also pay extra for specialized products, such as sealants, or for extra services, like ridding your vehicle of particularly stubborn contaminants.

How to score a car detailer job

Do you have dreams of
becoming a car detailer
? Check out online job hunting services, or visit the websites of local car dealerships and car washes. Read any car detailer job descriptions you find and make sure you meet the minimum requirements. For example, some companies may require employees to have a driver’s license and/or high school diploma. Then, tailor your resume to speak to exactly what the employer is looking for in a detailer. Even if you don’t have professional detailing experience, you can likely show off your detail-oriented handiwork and excellent customer service skills on your application or during your interview! MORE:
How to protect cloth car seats

How to find cheap car insurance to protect your ride

Regular car washes and professional details are a great way to protect your vehicle’s surfaces from contaminants that can seriously damage your paint job, upholstery, and more. 
But a fresh coat of wax shouldn’t be the only layer of protection you invest in for your vehicle. A quality
car insurance
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Keeping your car’s interior and exterior as clean as possible is essential if you want to maintain its overall appearance and resale value. Investing in a professional detail is a convenient way to ensure your car is well taken care of—and you won’t have to lift a finger.
Not all detailers are created equal, so don’t just trust the first car wash you find to care for your car. Look for a detailer that offers comprehensive services at a fair price, as well as a company that is willing and able to accommodate special client requests. Check out online reviews, too, to see what past customers have to say!
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