Exterior detailing involves cleaning and restoring or exceeding the original condition of the surface of the car's finish (usually a paint with a glossy finish), chrome trim, windows, wheels, and tires, as well as other visible components on the exterior of a vehicle. A wide array of products and techniques are used to do this based on the surface type, surface condition, or the detailer's preference. Products include, but are not limited to: detergents and acid free degreasers (to break down dirt and soil), detail clay (to remove embedded contaminates), waxes and polishes (to resurface and then improve reflectivity), as well as a variety of applicators, brushes, and drying towels.
Interior detailing involves a deep cleaning of the whole interior cabin. Automobile interiors of the last 50 years have a variety of materials used inside the cabin such as synthetic carpet upholstery, vinyl, leather, various natural fibers, carbon fiber composites, plastics, and others. Different technique