The Difference Between Auto Detailing and Auto Reconditioning: Part II

Yesterday we told everything you need to know about the basics of auto reconditioning. Today, we’re going to tell the same about its first cousin, auto detailing.

When it comes to auto detailing, the professionals use special equipment — such as a Tornador Interior Cleaning Tool — to penetrate and clean all nooks and crannies of the vehicle’s interior components. And by nooks and crannies, we’re talking about air-conditioning vents, pockets, pedals, consoles, ashtrays, buttons, handles and levers — the whole ball of wax.

That’s why it’s called auto detailing. The task also requires complete cleaning of all interior components, including the headliner, door panels, dashboard, gauges, windows, mirrors, door jambs, steering column, carpets, mats, weather stripping and all cloth, vinyl and leather seating surfaces.

As an aside (okay, it’s really more of a plug for one of our products), you’ll find our Mytee Carpet Extractors offer you time-saving assistance in deep cleaning auto carpets and velour seats as well as removing stale odors, stains and ground-in dirt and debris.

Once all the vinyl, leather and plastic trim has been cleaned to perfection, we suggest an application of a non-greasy vinyl dressing or leather conditioner. These products should be applied evenly to all the trim, including dashboards, door panels, vinyl components and leather seating surfaces.

Windows and glass surfaces should be the last thing you clean before a final inspection of the interior. And it should come as no surprise that we’re going to recommend our Detail King RTU Glass Cleaner for this task, applying it to all windows, mirrors, gauges, chrome trim and plastic-coated wood-grain components.

As for the detailing of the exterior of the vehicle, the wash and prep are just as important as the detail work itself. A haphazard wash always results in a mediocre detail. No argument there. It’s just a fact of life.

All exterior components should cleaned, buffed, polished, pampered and protected, either with Cherry Wet Wax or a premium polymer sealant like our STS 3000. All chrome — including chrome wheels, exhaust tips, door handles, mirrors and chrome bumpers — must be hand polished. And a great choice is Detail King’s Medallion Chrome Polish.

Special attention should be given to all vinyl and rubber trim, and our Detail King Revival does a great job bringing dull and dry body moldings back to life. Convertible tops — either fabric or vinyl — can be cleaned and preserved with Detail King’s RaggTopp Convertible Top product. These products are the top choice of many detailers and are even approved by the Haartz Corp., which has been manufacturing automobile top and seat cover materials since 1907.

Finally, an expert auto-detailing task isn’t complete without a thorough cleaning, detailing and dressing of the engine compartment, finishing the job off with a non-silicone rubber dressing. The benefit of a clean engine is that it runs cooler, makes it easier for a mechanic to detect leaks, and it attracts top dollar when it’s time to sell the vehicle.

If you have questions about starting an auto detailing business, call the experts here at Detail King at (888) 314-0847 or (888) 827-2757, and be sure to visit online at

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