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Hand Wash or Full Car Detail – What is the Difference?

Hand washing is the processing of cleaning you in the traditional way with a cloth and some water or maybe even a hose pipe. It possibly could be the most common way of cleaning one’s car. Automobile detailing is a process whereby one’s car is restored from its current state into a showroom – quality condition.

car wash or car detail

From and operational point of view, hand washing and full car detailing have the same goal to clean your car. However, the end result is always the difference here. Full car detailing will always give you a better result (unless the detailers are incompetent) since it is a much more complete process.

This is simply because hand washing is just objectively inferior in the cleaning process when compared to auto detailing. This will be explained below.

Note, however, when it comes to auto detailing that your vehicle’s age is irrelevant. Every car needs restoration, cleaning as well as attention. Also, despite popular belief, automobile detailing is necessary for new vehicles just as much as it is needed for older vehicles.

But perhaps you’re wondering what the process of detailing is and why it is seemingly better than a regular hand car wash. There are two types of mobile detailing: interior detailing as exterior detailing. For the purposes of the appearance (and consequently, the apparent cleanliness) of your vehicle, exterior detailing may be most relevant. Detailing is important because of the exterior structure of your vehicle.

The outer side of your car exists of 4 sub – layers on top of each other. These layers consist of the substrate, the primer, the paint and the clear coat. The primer connects the body of your vehicle with the paint. Typically, the clear coat makes up about 50% of the exterior of your car (in terms of volume). Your eyesight works by perceiving light that reflects off objects; this gives you the ability to see. For the exterior of your vehicle, the reflection of light off your clear coat is what allows you to see the paint.

Over time, your car body may suffer a few scratches due to scrapes and some small dents. Surprisingly, some of these dents and scrapes may come from the poor cloths used when hand – washing the vehicle. Furthermore, you’ll have noticed that your clothes become faded over time especially if you hang them out to dry in the sun. The same goes for your car. UV rays from sunlight actually damages the coat of your vehicle. What this means is that the light entering the cracks of your coat (as well as damaged coats) is diffused and gives your vehicle this appearance that comes off as dirty or dull. Finally, these dents that are sustained are privy to filled with dust, or grime. This means that low quality clothes can’t quite reach these areas and so your car is never clean even after a ‘thorough’ scrubbing. This implies that after these processes, you can never get your vehicle to its original shine.

However, there is a way to get the shine back.

When your car is getting exterior detailing, an adhesive substance simply known as clay is applied over your car’s body. This substance acts in the same manner as wax over your body, when pulled off the clay comes off with all the contaminants over your vehicle. Afterwards, you may clean your car now in the usual manner and it will actually clean this time round.

Auto detailing is an important process of looking after your vehicle. If you are unsure of any of the processes stated above or are curious as to how to begin the process of interior detailing, then it may be best to contact a detailer.

However, if you still feel that you would prefer to hand wash your vehicle, then it may be useful to remember a few things. First things first, you will require a great car wash shampoo. This is because normal detergent may be comprised of small rough particles which, when applied to your car, may leave scratch marks as well as scrapes. Next would be the instruments you use to clean the car. If possible, avoid using some common rug or some old shirt to clean your car. Just as the detergent, these clothes may leave marks on your vehicle. A good idea would be to use a microfiber cloth as well as a soft sponge. The ideal manner to clean the car would be to first, generally rinse the car with water, then proceed to apply the foam (or shampoo), rinse again and optionally wax the car. Be sure to use the two-bucket approach in which you have a soap bucket (with the shampoo) and a rinse bucket (with only water). It follows that the microfiber cloths must be different for the two vehicles.


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