Car detailing: Super cleaning or waste of money?

When it comes to taking care of your vehicle, the first thing that comes to mind is overall mechanical health, tires, brakes, oil changes, etc. But protecting the aesthetics, super cleaning, and paint protection of the vehicle is important as well. Living in Chicago, with all of its charms and unpredictable weather, a car wash feels almost like a weekly routine. But is a regular car wash really enough to protect your car for years to come? Or do you need an advanced, thorough car detailing every once in a while? We are breaking it down for you to clarify the difference between the two to explain why it is not a waste of money and you should invest in its maintenance. 

Car wash:
A good car wash definitely makes your car look refreshed, both in and out. Exterior gets power washed followed by a good hand wash with soap and then drying. Interior (including trunk) receives a good vacuuming, both mats and carpets, dusting off all of the panels and doors, cleansing all the windows. Simple, good, and clean! 

On the surface it might look like it just adds a little extra shine, takes more time and costs more money. But the fact is it is so much more than that! First, there’s exterior and interior detailing. While every shop does things a little differently, there are some common steps being taken to make sure every single inch of your car is being cleaned. Let’s take a look. 

Exterior detailing
What is the first thing you notice when approaching a vehicle? Correct – it’s exterior. When it shines brightly, it’s pleasing to the eye and attention grabber for sure. At Carrectly, we make sure that your car is brought to its “like new” condition and that it shines bright like a diamond. And we take these steps to achieve it:

  • Presoak with foam to remove debris and oil from the surface
  • Clay bar service to remove contaminants and pollutants from the surface of the car’s paint
  • Thoroughly BUFF the outside, POLISH, and apply few layers of WAX and a protective sealant to remove all minor surface scratches and swirl marks
  • Restore the shine and protect the paint
  • Degrease wheels, dress exterior moldings, bumpers and tires
  • Cleanse all glass
  • Undercarriage wash


Interior detailing
While a detailed exterior protects your paint and pleases the eye, interior detailing makes you feel good when you’re inside the car. And it’s what on the inside that matters, right? You’ll get this like-new feeling and would definitely appreciate how tidy, fresh and clean your car would be. To achieve this we go through a few simple steps with every single car, regardless of how clean or dirty it is:

  • Steam cleaning of all fabric surfaces (carpets, mats, seats, headliner and door panels) with hot water extractor
  • Deep cleaning of leather and plastic surfaces; dash, console, vents, trim, all cracks and crevices to lift out dirt
  • Shampoo and dry all floor mats
  • Glass and mirrors cleaned
  • Treat and apply leather conditioner
  • Final steps of quality control, re-vacuum, and dry interior with high-velocity fans

As you can see, the difference between a regular car wash and detailing is drastic. We highly recommend detailing your vehicle at least once or twice a year to make sure it is properly protected. So keep it clean and remember: the better you take care of your car – the better it will serve you!