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Professional Guide for Car Detailing in Hollywood Florida : Car Detailing vs. Car Wash

Car Detailing vs. Car Wash


If you’re a car owner, there’s no doubt that you’ve had it washed numerous times. At the same time, you’ve probably heard fellow drivers talk about car detailing in Hollywood Florida

+. This raises the question, “are these two processes the same?” Is it okay for people to use these terms interchangeably? 

At the heart of it, a car wash and detailing achieve the same fundamental objective. This is the fact that they both get your automobile looking fresh and clean. However, this is as far as their similarities go. 

Here’s the deal: a car wash gets rid of the day-to-day dirt. Meanwhile, detailing eliminates dirt accumulating over time and restores your car to its new-like state. This article sheds light on the differences between auto detailing and washing. Read on to learn more:

The Difference Between Car Wash and Car Detailing in Hollywood Florida Explained

A car wash is precisely as it sounds- a simple cleaning that removes dirt, dust, and general grit on your car's surface. It’s the cleaning you go for every other weekend. 

In contrast, auto detailing involves a more intricate procedure beyond basic cleaning. The end goal is to make your car look as good as new by restoring worn-out or damaged surfaces. So, unlike the weekly car wash, auto detailing only needs to be done two to three times a year. 

Here are a few more areas where washing and detailing differ:

Interior and Exterior

Pause and think about the last time you took your car for a wash. Was the interior cleaned? If you’re like most car owners, the answer is a resounding No, and understandably so. 

Most car wash services prioritize speed and convenience. To achieve this, the focus is usually on cleaning the exterior. Sure, some service providers go the extra mile to clean your car’s interior. But it’s nothing more than light vacuuming the carpets and wiping down the dashboard with a dry cloth. Simply put, car washes only remove loose surface dirt from the interior. 

Conversely, auto detailing services tackle the interior and exterior. Not only that, but this process also involves a more thorough cleaning of every surface, bringing us to our next point.

Intensity of Cleaning

Another key difference between car detailing and washing is thoroughness. As explained earlier, a car wash is done relatively fast. As a result, it doesn’t get rid of deep-seated dirt from the crevices of your car, especially regarding the interior. 

On the other hand, auto detailing is extensive. It addresses every nook and cranny, leaving your car looking as good as new. 

For instance, instead of vacuuming the floor mats, they’re removed, shampooed, and dried. The same goes for other surfaces like the dashboard. So, instead of merely cleaning it with a microfiber cloth and soap solution, it’s also coated in a UV-protectant for optimal protection. 

The level of attention paid to cleaning the exterior is equally high. Exterior detailing typically involves:

  • Washing and drying an auto’s body, tires, wheels and windows

  • Removing stubborn dirt and grit from the car using clay bars

  • Applying a sealant or UV-protectant to protect the car paint from premature fading and oxidation 

  • Eliminating surface scratches through polishing

A few car detailing shops include extra services like detailing the engine, cleaning windshields and wiper blades, and polishing the headlights. As you can tell, this process is way more intricate than a basic wash.

When Is the Best Time to Have Your Car Detailed or Washed?

By now, you have a solid understanding of the differences between car washing and detailing. But when should you go for either service?

You should choose a car wash when:

  1. You need a quick clean

Whether you use your car to commute or simply run errands, it will eventually accumulate dirt. So, anytime you notice the exterior looking dirty and dull, it’s an excellent time to get a car wash. 

  1. Winter grime accumulates

Do you live in a cold, overly humid, or rainy region? If so, you should be mindful of the extreme weather conditions. If snow, salt, sand, or mud accumulates, it can leave your vehicle looking drab. To prevent this, go for a car wash every two weeks. 

On the other hand, consider car detailing when:

  1. You are between seasons

When temperatures dip and snow falls, you know that your car's performance will start to decelerate From frozen car fluids to low tire pressure, winter is harsh on both the car's performance and appearance. 

So when the weather finally clears, it’s crucial to take your car for detailing. This will help remove any stubborn salt particles, grit, and winter grime that may have built up over time.

For the same reason, you should consider taking your automobile to a detailer in summer. This season brings with it harsh UV rays, which can wreak havoc on your car’s interior and exterior. To avoid this, applying a strong UV protectant is essential. 

Additionally, you’re likely to use your car more in summer, going to the beach, pool, spa and attending outdoor events. As a result, the interior becomes more susceptible to dirt, with food particles left in crevices and drinks spilled on seats and mats. A car detailing service is necessary to keep the interior looking new after the season. 

  1. You are planning to sell

Whether you’re planning to trade in your current car or sell it altogether, an auto detailing is necessary. This process will restore its appearance and performance, thus, boosting its resale value. 


Even though car detailing and car wash are sometimes used interchangeably, they refer to two different services. 

The former refers to cleaning and restoring a vehicle’s interior and exterior to a new-like condition. It’s an intricate procedure done every four to six months. Detailing services are also done after harsh seasons and when you’re looking to sell. 

The latter is the basic cleaning of cars, particularly the exterior. The idea here is to remove any loose surface dirt, using simple products like water and soap. 


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