A Beginner's Guide To Car Detailing

Your car sees a lot of activity: dirty shoes, spills from the littlest members of the family, and dog hair, along with the tough stains as your vehicle ages. Unlike going through a car wash that manages surface dirt, choosing to engage in auto detailing gives your car the deep clean it needs, inside and out, to ensure it always looks and feels great while driving.

For some, finding the time to give your ride the care and attention it deserves can be tricky, even though there’s a funky smell and carpet stains you’ve been meaning to manage. Ensuring your vehicle is well looked after inside and out is just as important as keeping your home clean and tidy, so we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to what you can expect from Eightyeight Detailing – your professional car detailing service.

What is Car Detailing?

It’s not uncommon for people to have no idea of what is involved in this process, and how choosing a car wash is an entirely different, less thorough method. Professional techniques involve using special tools and products to do extensive cleaning and reconditioning of cars. The aim is to get the vehicle’s interior and exterior to their best possible condition. This can include anything from removing funky smells and stubborn stains, and saves you money in the long term by protecting your car’s exterior and interior.

While there aren’t any set rules for car detailing, specific services are provided across different workshops. The understanding is that your ride will receive a thorough cleaning from bumper to bonnet and top to bottom. In simple terms, it’s an in-depth way to get your vehicle looking new.

What Do Car Detailing Services Involve?

When your vehicle undergoes professional auto detailing, you can expect nothing less than the removal of invisible and visible dirt and contaminants from your vehicle. This entails deep cleaning of your ride to rid it of as much grime as possible. While you may think you keep your vehicle clean, hidden contaminants and dirt will be discovered through a car detail service. 

You can expect the exterior paint, seats, mats, wheels, tyres, door jambs, and consoles to all be worked on. The usual guidelines followed fall under the two following categories:


Interior car detailing is the process of giving your car a deep clean on the inside. It requires more application than a simple wipe over, pet hair removal, and vacuuming. The processes require additional interior surface cleaning over several different materials, using specialised techniques and products for each aspect. Interior car detailing services you should expect to be included:

  • Brushing and dusting: Scrub dirt and dust from all surfaces.
  • Vacuuming: All areas, including the rear cargo area, seats, and floors.
  • Glass cleaning: All glass windows are thoroughly cleaned.
  • Steam cleaning: Removes stains and other impurities.
  • Polishing: Complete the process with a shiny polish.
  • Leather trimming: Uses a specialised leather cleaner for seats and other areas.

Before undertaking interior detailing, it’s recommended to remove all child safety seats and clean up any papers, wrappers, bottles, fast food bags, and anything else you keep in the vehicle. Ensuring all of your surfaces are clear of all of your things makes it easy to get to all areas for a deep clean.


Exterior car detailing involves restoring and cleaning the outside of a vehicle. The aim is to get the surface as close to its original condition as possible using various techniques and specific products. Areas that are usually focused on include:

  • Clay bar: This is used for paint claying to remove residue and micro-contaminants from your car’s paint. It’s a necessary step for the wax coat to work effectively.
  • Engine pressure cleaning: A car’s engine is washed at a low pressure to ensure the engine receives a deep clean.
  • Car washing: One of the first steps is handwashing the car and then drying it by hand. 
  • Graphene coating: It only needs to be added once to last up to ten years to protect the exterior paint from light scratches, dents, and swirls.
  • Headlight polishing: A process that leaves your headlights clear and clean.


How Long Does Car Detailing Take?

When your vehicle undergoes an entire exterior and interior detailing, it is more than just ending up with a shiny car and a clean surface from a car wash. It is an extensive process that takes time. The duration your car detailer takes will vary depending on the size and type of vehicle you drive. Generally, you can expect anywhere between:

  • Complete auto detailing: 5-12 hours.
  • Exterior detailing: 2-5 hours.
  • Interior detailing: 5-8 hours.

What are Car Detailing Prices in Sydney?

Detailing prices vary from state to state and across workshops. You will find that a vehicle’s condition and size primarily influence the average price. A family-sized car will cost more than a hatchback, for example. Also, the quality of the Sydney car detailing services will affect how much you will be required to pay. 

At Eightyeight Detailing, you can expect to pay anywhere between $150 to $300. However, regardless of where you get your professional car detailing done, it is recommended that you discuss with the team the costs specific to your model and make of vehicle. Lower costs don’t necessarily mean customer satisfaction. 

Additional Services

When accessing car detailing services, it’s not uncommon to be offered other services that can make all the difference in maintaining a well looked after car and saving money in the long term. Some of these may include:

  • Window tinting 
  • Paintless dent removal
  • Refurbishing car seats
  • Engine detailing
  • and more.

Why Is Regular Car Detailing Important?

Car owners may wonder why it’s so crucial for vehicles to undergo professional auto detailing by car detailing companies. Experts in the trade will explain that while running through a car wash may wash off surface dirt, it is nothing like getting your car detailed. 

If you’re looking for more from the available interior and exterior services to give a glossy shine to dull paint or cleanliness to dirty floor mats, undergoing a regular detailing process will ensure all areas are preserved for:

  • Better resale value.
  • It saves you money long-term. 
  • It extends the lifespan.
  • Less need for trim repainting.


If you’re new to interior and exterior detailing or a car owner seeking professional advice on keeping your ride in the best condition, we recommend following this guide. By calling Eightyeight Detailing technicians for an appointment or more information, we can give you a quote and transform your vehicle to be the best on your street.

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