Car Detailing

How Long Does Car Detailing Take?

Is your vehicle not in good shape? Are you seeing the spots on your vehicle and seeking a polished look? It indicates your car needs detailing now that too by the professionals.

Car detailing is all about the enhancement of your car's life span. It gives a perfect updated look to your vehicle. However, most car owners wonder how long does car detailing takes?

You need to plan the day accordingly if you leave the car. What you can do is give the vehicle during the weekend or holidays. 

It isn't easy to give you an accurate time of the detailing session. It all depends on how dirty your car is. It depends on which car you own, whether a pickup truck, SUV, or a normal medium-sized car.

Dive in to have a look at how long does car detailing takes.

What is the difference - Car Detailing Vs. Car Washing

With people loving the detailing of their cars in recent years, most of us have forgotten the difference. Most people don't know the difference between car detailing and car washing. A fine line makes a difference between a car wash and car detailing. 

Car detailing, for instance, is all about cleaning and protecting the paint of the car by a professional detailer.

There are different types of car detailing, which includes the following:

  • Waterless wash or quick detail.
  • Standard maintenance wash.
  • Maintenance wash, including interior cleaning.
  • Polish preparation or decontamination wash.
  • Polishing or compounding with ceramic coating included.

Car detailing makes use of auto-care stuff, which is pH balanced. It helps in getting rid of contaminants leading to a perfectly polished look.

You can get the results with sealant and wax to preserve the finalized look. In addition, the car detailing process helps eliminate all the scratches attained by automatic car washes.

On the other hand, car washing is a type of process which involves interior and exterior cleaning. In the automatic drive-through car washing process, interior cleaning does not include.

Interior cleaning includes vacuuming and wiping the hard and seat surfaces. The primary goal of car washing is to get rid of dirt, tar, salt, and environmental debris from the vehicles.

Car washing includes exterior washing with the cleaning of the tires and wheels. Tire dressing comes with polishing over the wheel surface and cleaning the exterior trim.

Interior detailing

car Interior detailing

Interior car detailing includes cleaning of the interior as well as the trunk. Next, you clean the mirrors and the windows within the interior car detailing process.

In this process, the dressing and cleaning of the interior leather rubber are performed.

It also includes the dashboard cleaning, console, vents, and components. Apart from it, the professionals clean the roof with perfect spot cleaning.

Products for the interior car detailing process include polishes. This process uses detergents, stain removers, glass cleaners, and air fresheners.

This process also involves leather conditioners and carpet extractors. Full interior cleaning takes around 5-8 hours. It depends on the number of stains, vehicle size, and other factors.

Exterior detailing

car Exterior detailing.

The exterior detailing process includes:

  • Waxing
  • Washing
  • Tar
  • Bug removal
  • The surface is buffed with a clay bar

The dressing is also applied over the rubber and plastics with buffing. It also includes ultimate cleaning of the tires and engine and repairing the dents. The exterior detailing process also involves:

  • Ventilation
  • Decontamination
  • Headlight restoration
  • Paint touch-ups

A professional car detailer fixes the exterior and paints the protective sealant/ coating over the surface.

Types of Detailing

With different car detailing processes available, you need to understand the different types. You also need to understand the thorough cleaning process and how much time each takes.

1. Quick Detailing:

Quick detailing, for instance, is a type of process which takes around 25 to 30 minutes. It is a simple car detailing process that does not require regular washing. Instead, it maintains the paint of your car when it's got dust or has light water spots.

Quick detailing is perfect if you have weekly washes like the normal washing with a bucket and water at home. You can also do it yourself by purchasing a microfiber buffing cloth with detailing spray for quick detailing.

Apart from the cloth, you can also purchase a car Duster that helps get rid of dust. During the quick detailing process, you get an immaculate look of glasses. You can use the best interior cleaner for interior cleaning while applying it over the microfiber cloths.

2. Maintenance Wash:

Maintenance wash will take around 45 to 90 minutes. Car washing comes in different types, which include water and buckets.

The car washing process includes pre-washing with snow foam. Next, cleaning of the wheels with nonacidic cleaners is performed.

Washing of vehicle with PH neutral shampoo is done with a sealant applied over the car paint.

Next, you can dry the vehicle using a microfiber towel. You can also dress up the tires using high-quality dressing. Lastly, clean the exterior windows with the help of a Glass cleaner.

3. Maintenance Wash with Interior Cleaning:

Maintenance wash with interior cleaning takes around 60 to 120 minutes. It includes complete interior cleaning of the car. The time for this process depends on the interior condition of your car.

If you have a severe compilation of dirt in your car's interior, it will take extra time. However, it will take minimum time if the interior is less dirty. This process starts with vacuuming the interior of the car being cleaned.

Cleaning includes the headliners, seats, trunk, shelf, and rear cargo part. Brushes are used for cleaning the car mats to get rid of all the dirt.

Dirt is removed from all the surfaces, and interior trim areas are cleaned. Interior cleaning helps in getting rid of bacteria. Lastly, for cleaning the glass, a glass cleaner is used.

4. Decontamination Wash and Polishing Process:

The detailing time is around 2-4 hours in the decontamination wash and polishing process. You will get exceptional results in this detailing process because you invest much time.

You should get your car to undergo the detailing process around four to five times a year. The decontamination polishing prep detailing process includes a similar procedure with additional steps.

A wax with polish stripping material is used to remove all the dirt. An iron remover is used for getting rid of the fallout iron deposits. A bug remover eliminates all the bug accumulation within the car. Last but not least clay bar is to buff the entire car.

5. Polishing Of a Car with Ceramic Coating:

The last detailing process is the polishing of a car with ceramic coating. It might take days than the standardized detailing process. It also depends on how many polishing steps are required for cleaning and completely coating the cars.

The detailing process also depends on the sealant and coating used over the car. On average, this type of detailing process takes around 1-3 days for the complete correction of your car.

Before undergoing this detailing process, your car needs a decontamination process. This process is for paint correction.

This step utilized in this detailing process might take several hours or days. More time is required to get the perfect look if the paint is badly damaged.

The ceramic coating is also an intricate process. It requires an extensive curing time of around 24 to 48 hours. This process depends on the car's condition.

The car detailing process is the KEY

The car detailing process is the key to getting a perfect finish, like out of the showroom. The key to getting the perfect detailing is to work in a structured pattern.

It helps remove the dirt dust with complete debris removal reducing the potential to bring in more stuff.

The car detailing process is initiated with routine cleaning of the exterior and interior car surface. First, make sure you get an appointment with the professionals.

Car detailing is the key to getting that perfect shiny and smooth car surface. It is the key to getting that brand new look on your old car. Professionals recommend getting the car detailing done every 6 months for a perfect finish.

How long does it take to wash a car by hand?

Hand washing the car can take around 2-3 hours. However, it might take longer if you go for the detailing services. However, it rests on your vehicle size and the sealant/ protection/ wax or coating. It also depends on the amount of dirt accumulated on your car.

How much does detailing a car cost on average?

The car detailing cost varies for different vehicles. It depends on the size of the vehicle; if you own a small to mid-size car, you need to pay around dollar $50-125.

However, if you own a larger car, you might need to pay around $75 to 150. For instance, if you are going for a car detailing process which includes extra services. Car detailing with extra services such as paint repair, engine cleaning, and interior cleaning costs more.

It's around $150 for a small car and $175 for a big car. Before going for the car detailing process, check online offers and discounts. Next, make an appointment with professional car detailers.

What Factors affect the car detailing timeline?

Car detailing - Man holds a polisher in the hand and polishes the car

The car detailing timeline is affected by different factors, which include the following:

1. Dirt on the Car

If the car is extremely dirty, it will take around 12 hours to clean. However, if the car is slightly dirty, it won't make a big deal.

Some people don't take care of the car and accumulate all the garbage in the car. If your car seems like a garbage box, it might take extra time for the detailing process.

2. Size of the Car

The size of the car makes a huge difference in the car detailing process. For example, if you own an SUV or a big truck, it might take 6 to 7 hours. However, for those who have a regular medium car, then it will take 3 to 5 hours.

3. Age of the Car

Age is another important factor. It affects how much time the car detailing process will take. If your car is ancient might require higher time than the new car detailing process.

4. Materials of the Car

Materials are also an important factor affecting the detailing process. For example, if you have a car with leather seats and a polished surface, it will take more time for the detailing process. On the other hand, the car having cloth requires lesser time.

5. Done by Yourself or The Professionals

It is also one of the most important aspects that you need to consider. When planning the car detailing process, you should consider timing. Professionals are a pro at performing the car detailing process compared to us. Even if you know how to do it, you might consume more time than the professionals.

How long does polishing a car take?

Car polishing

Polishing the car takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour. If professionals clean the car, it might take approximately 1 hour to polish it. Polishing is all about cleaning the inside and outside of the car. It helps in making your car look perfectly fresh with the use of polishing materials.

How long does waterless detailing take?

Waterless detailing is a perfect way to save water and time. It needs less energy and is a perfect way to clean your car without water.

The professionals do waterless detailing because they will spray using a dry detailer over the car. Next, wipe off the entire grime and dirt from the car.

After that, the waterless detailing spray washes the car. Plus, it also helps enhance the layers of ceramic coating or wax over the vehicle.

You will love the water-less detailing process because it takes less than 30 minutes. Use the waterless detailing process to make your cars look shiny.


Car detailing is a multistep process that helps make a car feel better and look better. When the car undergoes the car detailing process, it allows you to enjoy a perfect driving experience.

Car detailing is the perfect way to make your car feel out of the world. Car detailing is a way to protect the car's coating and come up with remarkable shine.

It allows your car to spark well both outside and inside. In addition, it helps you get rid of any smudge of dirt and fingerprints. So get your car's appointment now to undergo extensive cleaning and detailing process.