How Long Does It Take To Detail A Car?

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So you’ve finally decided to detail your car so you can revitalize its appearance — and I want to congratulate you for that. You see, driving an old car with damaged paints can be embarrassing and gives people the impression that you’re both dirty and careless.

The good thing is that car detailing doesn’t require much, especially if you want to do-it-yourself. It’ll only take you a few bucks to buy the necessary materials and your time. But exactly how long does it take to detail a car?

The simple truth is car detailing can last for long hours – about 6 to 8 hours or even more. You need to ready all the necessary items if you want the process to be smooth and faster.

On a quick note, detailing is different from washing a car to remove water spots or other impurities on the finish to make it look good again. It is more of polishing your car’s paint after a clean, thorough wash.

How Long Does It Take To Detail A Car?

Why Does Car Detailing Take Much Time

The exact amount of time you’ll spend on detailing a car depends heavily on the gears you’ll be using to do the job and the current state of the car. Apparently, if your car’s paint is badly affected by several possible factors, detailing may take a longer time.

On average, it takes around 6 hours to detail the outside of a car. However, lots of sources on the internet claim that a comprehensive car detailing can take up to 24 hours (an entire day) or more, but that’s not so true. It only, slightly applies if you’re going to detail both the inside and outside.

If your car is in good condition and you’ve got all the necessary detailing requirements, 6 – 8 hours is enough time to detail the outside, which is basically the center of attraction. But, if you’re going to detail the inside, too, you should schedule 14 hours or more for the job.

Detailing the inside of a car is onerous than detailing the outside – you need to be more careful to attend to every part, from the dashboard to the pigeonholes beside the seats, everywhere needs to be touched. It is best to schedule detailing on weekends when you will have more time from work.

Why Does Car Detailing Take Much Time?

Someone may ask, can’t I detail my car in just a few hours? Well, when you check on some fora, you’ll find people that claim to have achieved good car detailing within a few hours (1 – 3 hours).

But, this isn’t comprehensive detail – a comprehensive detailing would definitely cost you lots of hours, especially, if you do not want to miss a spot.

There are different steps you must complete to give your car the perfect look you desire, and that’s the reason for the lots of time.

Firstly, before you start detailing a car, you need to wash the car thoroughly. If you’re also going to detail the inside, then you’d have to wash the inside too.

Going to an automatic car wash center for this purpose won’t be ideal, and this is because the car may encounter dirt while driving back home for the detailing.

The washing has to be thoroughly done, ensuring that even the tight corners are attended to, and cleaned. Use a vacuum cleaner to blow off debris and dirt while cleaning the inside. This is one of the tedious steps in detailing a car – a wholesome wash to avoid mistakes.

The subsequent steps to detailing may vary based on what you want to achieve. However, the next steps are for applying car detail formulas such as cleaners, waxes, polishes, etc.

Every step in detailing takes a lot of time because it requires much carefulness – that’s the reason why car detailing takes much time.


So, how long does it take to detail a car? We’d advise that you mark out a weekend if you’ll be detailing both the inside and outside.

Also, car detailing should not be done in open space, park the car in a garage or under a shade if you want the best results.

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