Car Wash Vs Car Detailing in 2023, Which one is better?

The truth behind getting a car wash vs detailing your car. Which one is better? Find out in this article below.

You Need To Clean Your Car

Your car will get dirty at one point or another. The way you decide to clean your car can dictate a lot of things. Like how often you will need to clean it again and how much it may cost. We are going to lay out what goes into a car wash and a car detailing. We hope this article can help you make a decision about which option is better for you at the moment.

What Do You Get With a Car Wash

Here is what to expect if you decide to visit an automatic car wash. A car wash typically only includes an exterior wash of your car. Although, there are some shops who offer commercial car washes with interior cleaning as well. The interior services may include a steam cleaning and vacuuming the car floors and seats.

The main objective for an automated car wash is to remove stuck on tar, salt, or road grime from your car’s exterior. The automatic car wash is a tunnel that the vehicle goes into. The tunnel will apply soap and water when it pulls the car, brushes will then spin and wipe along the car. Finally an employee or a big set of fans will dry the car. Ultimately, a regular car wash will leave your car clean and free of most stuck-on exterior dirt and debris. With some car wash packages, they also offer extras like undercarriage wash, wheel and tire dressing, touchless car wash, etc…

What a Car Detailing Will Include

If you determined that you would prefer going to a car detailer over an automatic car wash, here is what to expect. Auto detailing not only refers to a detailed cleaning of your car, but also restoration and maintenance of your car’s paint and other surfaces. The car detailing process involves both the interior and exterior of a vehicle.

Interior Detailing

hen it comes to the interior detailing, this process starts with vacuuming the entire interior of the vehicle. Followed by steam cleaning the seats or just scrubbing with a brush to remove any dirt or stains. After that your detailer will begin cleaning your windows with a microfiber cloth. Then they will clean the dashboard, vents and all the components. The last part of the interior cleaning process is checking under the hood of your car. Making sure the engine and all its parts are clean and working properly.

Exterior Detailing

When it comes to exterior detailing there are many things you can consider. We’re going to cover the common practices in regards to exterior detailing. An exterior car detail first involves washing your car. After we remove the initial debris, we apply a clay bar to the paintwork to remove any watermarks or swirl marks. This is also when we would buff out or fix a scratch. When the surface dries it receives a car wax to give the car’s finish a beautiful shine. Finally we will apply a ceramic coating or paint protection film to the exterior. This creates a clear coat that protects your car from further damage from the sun and scratches. This helps protect your vehicle’s exterior for a few months until the clear coat wears down.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of car detailing, check out our post – Why Car Detailing Is More Than Just For Appearance.

Which One Is Better?

There are many differences between both car detailing and car washing. Each one serves a purpose for different needs and so depending on your situation, either one may work better for you. There are also pros and cons with each as well.

Advantages of An Automatic Car Wash

You might consider an automatic car wash if you need a quick car wash. The automatic car wash only lasts 5-7 minutes and the best part is you get to stay in your car the whole time. The automatic car wash is also much cheaper. If you only care about cleaning your car one time then a cheap quick car wash might be a better choice for you.

Disadvantages of An Automatic Car Wash

The downside to an automatic wash is that it can cause scratches and swirls on your vehicle’s surface. The brushes that are used by the car wash aren’t always cleaned properly. As a result, debris stuck to the brushes can scratch your car when it is wiping along. Cleaning attendants might also be reusing towels that have dirt and other remnants on it. This can result in scratches on your car as well. Aside from these disadvantages, an automatic car wash is incredibly efficient and cheaper than detailing so it is a good option for many people.

Advantages of Car Detailing

When it comes to car detailing the advantages are pretty clear. Aside from the obvious cleanliness of your car there are a few other benefits. The overall health of you and your car will increase. With your car clean it helps prevent bacteria and germs from growing and making you and your loved ones sick. Your car will also gain professionalism, not just on the outside but on the inside as well. If others see your car and get inside they will immediately gain more respect for you if your car is clean and detailed. The last advantage is the value increase in your car if you get it detailed. If you are planning on selling your car, getting it detailed can help you sell your car. People will appreciate that the interior, exterior and engine are all clean.

Disadvantages of An Automatic Car Wash

There are some cons to car detailing as well. For instance, it can be much more expensive than an automatic car wash. This is pretty obvious given the effort that goes into an automatic car wash vs detailing a car. It also takes a lot longer to complete all the necessary steps for car detailing. From the interior then the exterior and under the hood. A car detailer has a lot of areas they need to clean up and so that’s why it can take a while. This is the extent of the problems of car detailing, if you have the money and the time to spare for your car then these aren’t really big problems.

Our Recommendation

As a car owner, only you know what is best for your car. If you can afford to get a car detailing, we highly recommend you do. It will make your car look amazing inside and out. Not only that, your car’s surface will continue to be protected from UV rays, dirt and debris over the next few months. If you’re on a budget or just need a quick clean then a car wash is the obvious choice. Just be aware that scratches can potentially occur even with an automatic car wash. We hope this article was helpful for you to make a decision towards how to clean your car. At PAD we offer top of the line car detailing service. If you’re interested in getting your car detailed you can view our services HERE. Check out our other blog articles to get updates and learn more about car detailing.