Professional Car Valeting at Home – Things to Consider
You might look at the cost of mobile professional car valeting and think that this service is quite beyond your budget. In some instances, this is true, but there are some other things to consider beyond just the service price.
In today’s blog, we’re thinking about professional car valeting services that you can get in your home, but also how we might recreate that experience ourselves. It might not be as difficult or as expensive as we think to try and create our own professional detailing effect.
Professional Car Valeting at Home – Mobile Service: Things to Consider
If you are going to ask the pros to visit you at home, then you should choose services carefully, thinking about the following things:
- Service Level – Do they just offer one (expensive) package or a wider range of more flexible packages? If it’s the latter, this is a better option. A good valet service will offer everything from basic to comprehensive packages to cater to different vehicles and budgets.
- Customer Reviews – While you shouldn’t read a single bad review and think it is gospel truth, customer feedback is an invaluable resource. You’ll spot either positive or negative common points and themes through the feedback that should guide you to make a good decision on who to hire.
- Timeframe – Don’t get taken in by those who say they’ll detail your car fast. Detailing/valeting is typically a slower process than a simple hand wash. It can take anywhere from 2-5 hours depending on what level of service you choose. Anyone promising professional valeting in under an hour is likely not going to offer you a good experience.
- Price – Shop around for good prices, but always remember that you get what you pay for. A decent car detailing doesn’t just clean your car, but also has a restorative effect that protects and shines the paint, and brings the car close to returning to “showroom” status.
Professional Car Valeting at Home – DIY Service: Things to Consider
What if you’ve decided that you don’t want to pay a professional outfit to do your car valeting? Part of you wants to try, but you might be worried that it will cost an arm and a leg to get all the right equipment, and that as an amateur it will take you an entire day to get the job done.
The truth is that getting started in home valeting for yourself isn’t that hard. Pro detailers may look like they are inundated with specialist gear, but most of it is flourish and dazzle as opposed to a “must-have.” Here’s what to think about if you’re going to try professional car valeting at home:
The key thing to prepare is a set of simple but high-quality gear to use in your home valet job. Instead of cheap sponges, for example, invest in a quality washing mitt. You could also buy some higher-end car washing detergent from a brand like Chemical Guys, who develop their products specifically for top-notch cleaning jobs like detailers do.
Another useful tool would be a pressure washer, and once again you can get a very effective compact unit for a lot less than you imagine. A pressure washer is a great tool for getting the first layer of stubborn dirt off the wheels and lower part of the car’s body.
You should also prepare some kind of paint protection or wax product like a carnauba wax or paint sealant to finish the job to the highest standard. Well-known mainstream brands like Turtle Wax are more-than adequate for even a professional-level job.
Finally, find a spacious, shaded spot in which to do your detailing. Being out of the sun is important because you don’t want the sun to dry the water before you’ve had a chance to dry it with your microfiber cloths.
Give yourself a period of at least 2-3 hours to get the job done. You don’t have to take exactly at long as the pros do, but the first time is bound to take a bit longer while you get used to the processes. Over time, you can get a bit faster and more efficient at doing your own valeting jobs.
3. Realistic Goals – Don’t Try to Be Like the Pros from First Time
Don’t forget that the professionals have spent years getting their skills together and often work in teams. Don’t try to do everything they do from your first attempt. You can learn a lot from online resources (more below), but start with basic techniques and then build up to the more advanced stuff.
4. Split the Car into Sections
One key thing that detailers do is to divide the car into sections and then they tackle each section individually. They’ll normally start with the wheels, then the roof, then the bonnet, the sides, windows, the rear, etc. Split the “map” of the car into different parts and work through each section methodically.
As you wash each section, remember to dry it immediately, too. Leaving water on the surface too long risks leaving water marks.
5. Attachments, Attachments
When tackling the interior of your car, the vacuum cleaner is your central weapon. Where a normal car washer would just go over the seats and floors with the standard attachment, a valeting professional knows how to use every single small attachment that comes with a car vacuum. Each attachment is designed for different uses, and to get into different spaces. Familiarize yourself with what vacuum extensions get into what corners and dark recesses, and you’ll soon find you can vacuum the inside of your car far more effectively. It will remove dust and odours to a level you’ve previously never thought possible.
6. Use Online Resources
Finally, head to YouTube, Facebook and other platforms to learn more from professionals who willingly share their secrets online. These channels are an invaluable resource designed to help you master new techniques, choose the best tools, and get your valeting done more effectively.
It’s Your Car, Valet If You Want To
In the end, whether you use a local mobile professional valeting service or you decide to try the job yourself, the key is research and preparation. Take your time to look through the many resources in your local area and you won’t go far wrong.