5 Reasons To Detail Your Car Yourself

Black Alfa Romeo Emblem

When it comes to your car, there’s no one more invested than you. But when it comes to taking care of it, the majority of car owners will pass it off so the professionals can take care of it. Oil changes, battery problems, headlight replacements, detailing… just to name a few. Some of you know this already, but these things aren’t that tough once you’ve got them figured out. Sure, detailing may take time and a little elbow grease – that’s a given – but the reward you get from working by hand far outweighs passing it off. With that said, here are 5 reasons why detailing your car by hand is worth considering.

1. Cost

First and foremost, the most noticeable difference between caring for your car by hand and getting it done professionally are the savings. Not only are you not paying for labor, but the car care products you buy online will last you a number of details, waxes, and car washes. Say you pay somewhere between $50 and $80 for a hand wax from your local detailer. For that same price you can buy a premium grade carnauba wax and do it yourself in the comfort of your garage. Try it for yourself.

2. Quality

While yes, professionals tend to do the best work with the high speed machines and wheel cleaning acids, your average car care product is made for the consumer and the professional. And when you consider that most detailers are doing corrective work, if you kept good care of your car consistently, you’d really only need to wax, spot clean, and wash on a regular basis. Because these are mostly simple procedures and can be learned almost anywhere online, it’s going to be hard to find someone who’s going to give the car a closer eye than you, the owner.

Along with attention to detail, quality is also impacted because you’re the one in control of the products. You control the shine, you control the quality of the formula coming in contact with your wheels, etc. That’s something a professional just can’t do – they’re out to make a profit and buy (for the most part) in bulk from chemical companies. They tend to use whatever works good at the most effective cost. Once you learn the tricks of the trade, find the right products for your situation, and get to work… you’ll be detailing like a pro in no time.

3. Relaxation

I’ve heard this a number of times and a lot of people swear by it; you can actually use detailing as a form of meditation. When you’re applying a glaze or a glaze, it can be a little while. A good amount of enthusiasts use that time to unwind and slow down after a long day or before a car show, and it totally makes sense. It’s almost an intimate connection between you and your car (if you think of cars that way) that you can’t get behind the wheel, an appreciation for its delicacies and intricacies, or simply an admiration of its beauty. No matter the situation, if you’re caring for your car by hand you can really reflect on every bit of shine you’ve put into it. Believe me, there’s something special about detailing a Lamborghini… a machine so daunting it’s actually calming (and you’d think the $250,000 price tag would cause anxiety). Anyway, if you buy into this idea of relaxation, then try it out. It might work on you.

4. Self Reliance

If you’ve never detailed your car by hand, it just might put some hair on your chest. Like changing your oil or a spare on the highway, it’s kind of cool to detail your own car. Being able to polish out a scratch when you need to or protect the finish from an upcoming winter is no small feat, and by doing it yourself your car will undoubtedly be on the road (looking great) a lot longer than those who don’t know how.

5. Nostalgia

Father’s day was just last week, and as your inbox can probably tell you, car companies love the idea of detailing your car with Pops. So there’s that, but also relating to #4, there’s something cool about detailing that brings you back. Whether it be to when your car was new or to the old beater you had in high school, it’s pretty interesting that a lot of the techniques involved in detailing have been around for many, many years. There’s a lot of tradition in detailing, and while product innovation is happening all around us, there’s definitely an overarching principle of this “perfect looking finish” that has been around for as long as the car has.

At the end of the day we detail our cars for our own reasons. These five benefits are just a few of the many that can come from detailing your own car… so if you’ve got something to add, be sure to let us know in the comments and on facebook!

  • Mathew Rux @ custom car cover

    I agree with this. Detailing the car on your own makes sense! Thanks for the information.

  • Joe

    Even as the owner of a Auto Detailing in San Diego I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m just glad that most people don’t and won’t detail their own vehicles. As you stated in another post. “Most people don’t care”