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Regular Car Wash?
Exterior Detailing?

What is the difference?

Before we can answer this question, you must first understand that in this day in time there are 3 different types of wash systems:

1. Automatic Carwash – POOR
Created for the masses
Focuses on surface dirt with high-speed spinners, brushes and strong chemicals.
Only washes off about 65% to 75% of surface dirt from paint and wheels.
Removes protections from paintwork
Very destructive to paintwork – Responsible for almost all scratches, spiderwebbing, and swirls in paintwork
2. Touchless Carwash – OKAY
Only washes off about 55-60% of surface dirt from paint and wheels
Focuses on surface dirt with use of high-pressure water and strong chemicals
Removes protections from paintwork
Safer than an Automatic Carwash
3. Hand Carwash – BEST
Completed correctly will remove 99-100% of surface dirt from paint and wheels.
Focuses on surface dirt with use of high soap lubrication, soft safe brushes/wash mitts, and light to medium water pressure.
This method done correctly, will remove grease and grime without removing built in protections from your paint work.
This method is also the safest method and will protect your paint finish for many years to come.

Now that you have an understanding of what a normal carwash is let us now focus on the difference

Regular Carwash Vs Exterior Detailing


While a regular car wash is done to merely remove surface dirt from a car’s exterior, Regular Carwash (automatic systems) do not clean the paint.
they focus on removing only 55-75% of surface dirt from your paint.

Exterior Detailing is a car treatment that takes it to the furthest and highest step.
Exterior Detailing focuses on actually cleaning the paint, and restoring the paint back to full health.

By removing:
1. All Surface Dirt
2. Above Surface Contaminants – Bonded contaminates
3. Below Surface Defects – Embedded contaminants, Paint Stains, Holograms, Swirls/Spiderwebbing, Hard Water Spots

This includes stains, hard water spots, bug splatter, environmental fallout all bonded and embedded contaminates from the paint. When paintwork is dirty due to contamination, and filled with below surface defects and scratches, it is darker, cloudier and has no brilliance. This process of restoring the paint brings the depth of color and brilliance back to the paintwork, and bring the paint back to life again along with high gloss, high shine, and high reflection.

There are two main types of problem areas that you need to know about regarding your car paint.
It is important to look at both areas to understand whole the problem.



Surface – Above Surface Bonded Contaminates
If it’s on the surface we refer to these as – Above Surface Contaminates.
Above surface contaminates are bonded contaminants that become bonded or affixed to your car paint.
Road tar, bug splatter, tree sap are all examples of above surface contaminates
It is important to understand that above surface contains that are left on the paint, can turn into below surface defects.
Below Surface – Below Surface Defects

If it is below the surface, we refer to these as – Below Surface Defects.
We refer to them as defects because once it has gotten below the surface it is no longer a contaminant, but actual damage to your paintwork.
Below Surface Defects are microscopic layers of clearcoat/paint that have been damaged.
Bug Splatter acid stains, paint stains, swirls, tree sap acid stains, spider webbing, and holograms are examples of below surface defects.

Damage is generally the result of 3 types of causes:

Above Surface Bonded Contaminates – whether it’s a paint stain, bug acid stain or tree sap, if allowed to stay on the paint for too long can cause damage to the layers of paint underneath.
Scratches – Something foreign that was hard enough to cut into the paint causing swirls, spider webbing or deep scratches.
Oxidation – A drying out of the paintwork causing fading and cracking as a result of the paint not being cared for or sealed.


We have detailed over 1000 of vehicles.
Vehicles that have gone through a swarm of flying insects, tree sap everywhere, concreate splatter, and many other major problem vehicles.
These types of problems take a great deal of time to remove safety.
Once the contamination has been removed the other problem that we see, is what the problem leaves behind.
INSPECTS – have acid in their systems. When they splatter on your vehicle, they will turn into a type of rock-solid cement.
The acid they leave behind will etch into the car’s paint work. – Will need 1 stage paint correction to fix
TREE SAP – Is supper acidic and will etch into your paint work if left to sit on paintwork for too long – Will need 1 stage paint correct to fix
CONCRETE – is no different and will also damage the finish on your paint.
If your paint work is in normal wear and tear or in a neglected condition, we will recommend a 1 stage paint correction.
If your paint work has been damaged by above surface contaminants or the color of the paint is of a darker color we ill recommend a two stage paint correction.
There are two types of unique colors that are very beautiful and yet very difficult to keep clean.
These two colors are white cars, and black cars.

WHITE CARS – Shows all of the above surface bonded contaminates and dirt on the paint very clearly.

BLACK CARS – Shows all of the below surface defects in the paint very clearly.

When these two colors are clean and defect free, they are amazing colors to look at.