Car Detailing: How Long Does a Full Detail Take?

Your car is your mobile command center, yet it can get cluttered in a hurry. You may be considering a full detail to get it looking good as new.

Spilled drinks, fast food wrappers, mud from shoes, school papers, kids’ toys, and more can end up scattered throughout your vehicle, making it feel chaotic and dirty instead of enjoyable.

Every car owner would love for their cars to remain perfectly clean like a dealership model, but it’s not always realistic. Still, you can get complete car detailing that makes your car feel like brand new—and motivates you to keep it that way. All it takes is some elbow grease or an excellent detailing service. So how long will that take? We’ll break down what you need to know about car detailing.

What is a Full Car Detail?

The definition of a full car detail may vary from person to person and car to car. Many companies will describe a comprehensive detailing as a car wash and interior vacuuming, while others refer to a microscopic cleaning of each nook and cranny of the car, inside and out.

A full car detail is cleaning the inside and outside of a car. The amount, quality, and specificity of products used can take a car detail from a simple to a complex level.

For example, a casual car owner may take their car through an automatic car wash with free vacuums for the interior and call it a full detail after a quick sweep through. A car fanatic may worry about waxing, polishing paint, dusting, defogging lights, and using air pressure to remove dirt from crevices inside the vehicle. Both of these are considered a full car detail, but one will take 20 minutes and the other two hours (or longer).

How Long Does a Full Detail Take?

As explained above, detailing can be as meticulous or streamlined as you’d like. Here are a few options depending on the amount of time you have available:

Under 30 Minutes: Quick Detail

Most car owners fall into this category, which we recommend doing weekly. It might include a car wash, vacuum, quick window cleaning, and dusting inside and out with microfiber cloths. Bonus points if you can use an interior protection spray.

30-60 Minutes: Maintenance Wash

A maintenance wash should be performed at least monthly and is critical for preserving your paint, wheels, and fixtures. It would include a foam pre-wash, pH shampoo/cleanser, sealant or wax applied, and careful drying.

60-120 Minutes: Full Maintenance Detail

At least once a quarter, but hopefully more frequently, you should perform a full maintenance detail. It includes all the previous steps, including a detailed approach to the vehicle’s interior. Car mats should be brushed, beaten, and vacuumed. All surfaces should be dusted and cleaned with a disinfectant spray. Depending on the materials in your car (leather, wood elements, chrome, etc.), you can use specific cleaning agents to help them appear at their best. Don’t forget an air freshener!

Contact Schneider Auto Karosserie Body & Paint

At Schneider Auto, we know how important your car is to you and your lifestyle. We’re here to help you keep your car running just the way you like. Call for a free estimate for repairs, full detail, or special work for your special vehicle. We serve Salt Lake County, Utah, and the surrounding area.

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