‘To Wash or Detail, That is the Question’

Is your car looking dull and dreary? Are you sure about what’s better, a car wash or detailing? Then worry not, answering to the plight of my fellow car owners, I’ve prepared this guide to help you understand the differences between a simple car wash and an auto detailing car wash in Little Rock, AR.

The Pre-Soak

It doesn’t take long to see how the two differ from each other – just look at pre-soaking, an essential part of auto detailing that is completely absent from regular car washes.


  • Pre-soaking is done to loosen and dissolve most of the dirt and debris, making the wash much easier and more efficient.
  • Contrary to the popular belief, pre-soaking is an active process, not a passive one.
  • The pre-soak solution is a mixture of a variety of solvents, developed to the specifics of your vehicle’s needs and the detailer’s preferences.


Both regular washes and detailing have a lot of common components, mainly scrubbing. But while regular washes stop after scrubbing, auto detailing car washes in Little Rock, AR, continue towards claying.


  • Designed to remove residual debris, claying is the final step of the cleaning process.
  • Claying involves the use of a soft but hard clay bar that traps and pulls the particle embedded into the paint without damaging it.
  • Unlike the previous two processes: pre-soak and scrubbing, claying requires a lot less time and effort.


Constantly bombarded by dirt and debris, your vehicle is bound to become dull and droopy. Now, regular car washes are incapable of handling dulling paint; detailing car washes, on the other hand, are specifically designed to revitalize your vehicle using sophisticated polishing techniques.


  • Polishing is a lot like scrubbing, where the entire vehicle is rubbed from top to bottom.
  • Instead of using a lathery solution like scrubbing, polishing employs the use of abrasive compounds that wash and remove the dulled outer layers of the paint.
  • Although polishing does wonders for visual aesthetics, it can prove damaging if done without proper training and care.

Coating: Wax and Epoxy

While a regular wash will shine your car, it won’t do much to preserve that lustrous shine. Auto detailing car wash in Little Rock, AR, not only revitalizes your vehicle but has a whole step, called coating, dedicated to protecting it from environmental damage.


  • Coating, as the name implies, is the process of covering the vehicle with a protective layer.
  • Common materials used as coatings are:

Wax, which is inexpensive but lasts no more than two weeks.

Epoxy is a moderately priced, durable substance that gives a clear coat and lasts for months.

Ceramic, durable enough to last for a whole year but expensive and gives a dulled look.


So which is better, a regular wash or detailing? Having read about the differences between the two, you might have concluded that detailing is much better than a wash. But that’s an unfounded conclusion, as the two are meant to support, not contrast, each other. Detailing is supposed to revitalize your vehicle’s visuals, while simple washes are meant to preserve it.

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