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Misperceptions About Car Detailing

Those working in the world of car detailing will be no strangers to people who apparently haven’t quite cottoned on to what it is that detailers do. Of course, as professionals, it's our job to explain to them what car detailing is, but still there are many misperceptions out there about detailing, and today’s blog is about looking at the most common ones.

So, what is a car detailing service? and what does detailing NOT do?

Here are a few questions some people have asked us:

1. “Please wash my car with compound to remove the scratches, thanks”

OK, compound is an important product for removing scratches, but it’s not that we wash your car with compound and the scratches go away. In fact, if we do wash your car with compound, we’re going to be adding to the scratch count. Compounding is a long and careful process to remove scratches, not something we just rattle off with a rapid car wash. Compounding is done with a polisher and must be followed by with multiple extra stages of polishes, which it does takes days.

2. “The clay bar will remove the scratches, won’t it?”

A clay detailing bar is a very useful tool for any car detailer, but it’s not for scratch removal. The clay bar is designed to be used after washing the car and before applying wax or sealant. The clay pulls out the most deeply embedded dirt particles, allowing the wax and sealant to form a more even and powerful bond with your car’s surface. that's it, think of a clay bar as like exfoliation for your skin. When you exfoliate, you are cleaning your skin, the makeup comes after.

3. “Can you wax my car to remove scratches?”

Waxing is a good way to mask minor scratches by augmenting and restoring the glorious color of your car, but the wax will do nothing to remove the scratches themselves, even minor ones. For scratch removal, you need paint correction - buffing/polishing your paint.

4. “Just give it a quick buff to remove the scratches, then!”

The problem here is with the concept of the “quick buff.” No professional detailer worth their salt would offer something called a “quick buff.” It’s a contradiction in terms, like a “simple comprehensive tax audit.” It just isn’t done! Buffing to remove scratches is a careful process and takes time and work if it's done well..

5. “Hey, go easy on the wax! It’s worse when you over-wax”

Well, it’s hard not to agree with a request not to waste wax, that’s for sure, but the fact is that it’s impossible to “over-wax” a vehicle. Applying more wax means a lot more elbow grease is needed to remove it properly, but it won’t do anything bad to the car itself.

6. “You can’t remove scratches with a dual-action buffer, but only a rotary buffer.”

There may have been some detailers online who claimed that scratch removal should only be done with a rotary buffer, but experience shows that this simply isn’t the case. Dual-action buffers can absolutely remove scratches effectively, but it does take more time. It’s a good way for those starting out in detailing to earn their wings!

7. “I don’t want to spend $120, just give the car a quick going over, $30 tops”

OK, this one is really a failure of people to see the difference between a car washer and a car detailer. If you want to pay your neighbor’s kid $30 to give the car a wash and vacuum so it just looks basically clean and free of major dirt, then fine. If you engage a detailer, however, it’s either a whole other level of service, or it’s nothing.

8. “I don’t want wax on my car. I want to keep it looking as it’s meant to!”

This is a common thing you hear from older customers who think that waxing the car is like giving it cosmetic surgery or something. Kindly remind your customers that waxing brings no risk to your vehicle, and will actually help to preserve the natural color and beauty of the vehicle.

9. “I go with the dealership detailing service, they know this type of car better.”

When it comes to maintenance that never violates the warranty, it’s easy to agree that the dealership knows best. With detailing, however, it’s doubtful. Dealerships maximize their bottom line usually by using generic and bog-standard products that do nothing to really bring out the best in your car. Don’t forget that detailing is not their main game, car sales and maintenance is. You’ll always get a better price and a better service with independent full-time detailers.

For more questions: access our main webpage at:

To book an appointment with our team, go to our LOCATION PAGE.


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