How Long Does It Take to Detail A Car


The general public typically has a gross misunderstanding of how long it takes to detail a car.

It is either underestimated or completely overestimated. So how long does it take to detail a car?

In fact, there is no cut and dry answer to this question, it can depend on many different factors.

The time it takes to detail a car can vary wildly and can be influenced by several different things, which includes the following.

What steps are need to be completed on the car .

Current Condition Of the Cars Interior / Exterior.

The materials to be used

With the rise in popularity of detailing and the “gamification” of the practice over recent years, the lines have been blurred, between a simple car wash and an actual detail.

So, what does detailing actually mean in 2021?. 

This term is now used to cover all aspects of car cleaning and paint protection, no matter how small a job is at hand.

It turns out “the whole world ” are now a “detailer” these days.  

The true answer to this question.

Can be simply answered as follows, this can be broken down to the following categories

What Steps Need to be completed on the car

Current Condition of the Cars Interior / Exterior

How Efficient/Knowledgeable the person carrying out the detail,

What application is being undertaken,

What materials are been used (eg, is Ceramic Coating being applied).

The finial answer to this question can be broken down into these categories.

How Long Does A Decontamination Wash & Polishing Prep Take?

A decontamination, wash and polishing preparation will usually take between 2-4 hours.

We are now getting into the serious steps of detailing, whereby a large amount of time will need to be put in, which will lead to exceptional results.

A good decontamination wash performed on a car at least once a quarter, or about 4 times a year will help to maintain the paintwork of your car.

This is also necessary, before undertaking a machine polish of a car, or an application of a ceramic coating.

Decontamination/Polish preparation includes all the step outlined above in the maintenance wash steps with the addition of the following.

Use a wax and polish stripping product.

Iron Remover to remove any iron deposits/fallout.

Bug Remover (if necessary).

A Clay Bar Step, This is usually something that can built into a maintenance wash.

How Long Does Polishing a Car & Ceramic Coating Take?

This is usually measured in Days Rather than Hours.

The time to complete can vary depending on a number of factors such as

How many polishing steps? (1, 2, or 3 step polish application)

Type of Coating Applied? (Some coatings are more difficult to apply and need a longer curing time)


The average paint correction and protection detail can take from 1-3 Days – On average.

But can take longer if heavy paint correction is required.

This may seem excessive to some people, but don’t forget that before any of this can take place, a full decontamination wash should really be carried out.

Paint correction on a car can take many hours, and some badly damaged paint will take days to restore to a perfect finish.



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