How Easy Is DIY Car Detailing?

Compare how using car detailing professionals can save you time and bring fantastic results!

Should you do Car Detailing yourself? Here's an infographic comparing DIY with using a professional service.

Car detailing brings that 'new' look and feel back to your car!

Whether you DIY or use a professional service will depend on the time you have to spend, and the results you want achieved. If you choose to use a service like Scrubs car detailing Brisbane, you will find we provide highly qualified technicians, with professional equipment and years of experience when we come to detail your car.

Knowing all the ins and outs of how to car for a vehicle means we leave it is pristine condition, for a fraction of the time you would spend if you were to do it yourself. Having your car professionally detailed is an investment in your vehicle’s paintwork and protection, ensuring it looks good for longer.

In our infographic you will find information of what is involved when detailing your vehicle, and how much work getting that professional finish can be. To make the infographic bigger, simply click anywhere on the image.

Car looking new

What do you need for a great car detail?

To get the best results that deliver a WOW factor when doing a car detail, you will want to go through the following steps, we have further information on each one below.

  • Set Up Your Equipment and Products.
  • Thorough Preparation, Initial Wash and Clay Bar.
  • Machine Polish or Hand Wax.
  • Paint Protection and Sealers.

Should you do Car Detailing yourself? Here's an infographic comparing DIY with using a professional service.

1 - Set Up Your Equipment and Products.

Scrubs Professional Car Detailing

A thorough detail can be completed in a matter of hours while you are at work or relaxing at home. No downtime makes the whole process easier than ever.

We carry water on board and have the range of professional products to make sure the job is done 100% with no downtime.

A detailed inside and out car clean can be done in approx. 2 hours, depending on polishing options, to save you time.

Doing It Yourself

Acquiring all the equipment and suitable products will easily cost more than a professional detail and you still have to spend a day doing it.

Having the right products for the job is one thing, but knowing which ones are the best for your individual car and situation is another, so do your research.

If this is your first time detailing your car, expect it to take up the majority of your day if you want decent results.


2- Thorough Preparation, Initial Wash and Clay Bar.

Scrubs Professional Car Detailing

We start with a thorough hand wash using specific detergent to cleanse the surface of waxes or any sealant. Depending on the situation we can use a foam lance that enables longer surface contact and strips the contaminants without contact, that can cause swirl marks.

Once the initial chemical decontamination is complete, we clay bar the paintwork removing any remaining contaminants that have not been removed from the chemical wash.

Many contaminant such as environmental pollutants need to removed before the polish stage as to ensure a perfect and consistent finish.

Doing It Yourself

Unless you have your foam lance or sprayer, make certain you lather all surfaces with a strong detergent multiple times to get the same contact time.

Clay barring is an essential process to remove pollutants form the paint surface to firstly ensure consistent polishing, The clean smooth surface will ensure a strong bonding surface for any waxes or sealants where you will get the desired durability.

High-quality clay bars and lubricants are expensive but are worth it to ensure you don't induce any marring or scratching while removing contaminants. Cheap imitation clay bars are frustrating and will cause damage. DO NOT USE a cheap clay bar. If you are going to make the effort to do a full detail, use high quality products.

It can take multiple rub downs with the clay bar, so don’t rush the process.

Patience is required here as rushing this step will cause delays later when you will need to re-do missed spots.

3- Machine Polish or Hand Wax

Scrubs Professional Car Detailing

Our detailers are professionals with vast experience in machine polishing aka Paint correction or hand waxing your car.

If the paintwork on your car is in good condition, we hand wash using a product that is gentle on your paint. We then apply an abrasive free synthetic sealant to add a layer of protection. We use high quality imported sealant from the UK that leaves a luxurious feel and gloss to your paint that is otherwise is not available in car your typical car wash.

Machine polishing is available for those who require the best possible finish or permanent results, and we have industry leading equipment to get the job done the first time.

Doing It Yourself

Hand waxing your car can be a timely activity that requires good old fashion ‘elbow grease’.

If your car has swirl marks or deeper scratches, you will require the appropriate machinery for paint correction. Starter level paint correction tools and products cost $400-500.

It takes much experience to properly machine polish a car as the process involves the removing a fine layer of paint. Without care, damage can be done costing you $1000’s, so take your time and move slowly and evenly.


4- Paint Protection and Sealants

Scrubs Professional Car Detailing

The final step in the process is to apply the protection.

We use cleaning alcohol to remove any last traces of polish compound before applying a synthetic sealant, this gives the best possible bond making your sealant last longer.

As an approved detailer of Nanolex, we use their high-quality range of professional grade sealants to guarantee a perfect finish that protects against environmental pollutants such as bird droppings, tree sap and industrial fallout.

Doing It Yourself

Semi-Permanent protective coating should be applied by professionals, unfortunately these coating require skills and methods too complex for even a car enthusiast.

We recommend using synthetic waxes as they provide suitable protection when regularly applied. These sealants are easy to apply and are ready available.

Be careful when selecting a ‘DIY kit,’ ensure it is reputable and remember the most difficult part of the protection stage is the preparation. If you cannot guarantee a smooth flawless surface DO NOT apply a protection coating, you will only seal in the defects.

Give yourself plenty of time and space –performing a basic protective coating with an experienced detailer takes half to a full day. Without the muscle memory of the application process and important knowledge of problem areas, I recommend taking a few days to prepare and protect your car.