What is Car Valeting?

Don’t you wish there was a way to get your car back into the same condition it was the day it left the showroom? Actually, there is – car valeting gives you the means to clean and restore your car to its perfect condition. In fact, valeting can actually make your car look better than it did the day it was driven off the dealer’s lot. What should you know about car valeting?

What Does Car Valeting Include?

To properly valet your car, you will need to wash the exterior, polish and wax it, clean and shine your wheels and tyres, and more. You will also need to consider the engine, clean the carpets and mats, clean the glass, plastic and vinyl in the interior, remove odours and stains, and properly care for your leather upholstery, as well.


The first step is to clean the exterior of your car. Here, you will need a quality wash mitt to help apply water and shampoo to your car. When choosing a wash mitt, opt for one made of real wool. They are the softest option available (so you do not scratch the finish), and they can also hold quite a bit of water and shampoo. One important note here is to wash your car using a two-bucket system. One bucket should hold your water and shampoo, while the other should hold clean water for rinsing. Bucket guards should also be used. These are placed at the bottom of a bucket, preventing your wash mitt from carrying dirt and debris back onto your car.

It’s also important that you use a quality car shampoo. While you can save a bit of money with “bargain brands”, they lack the performance and protection afforded by high end products. Also, make sure that you have a good drying towel – a microfibre towel is the best solution, though PVA chamois can also be good options. You should finish your wash by rinsing your car with a good jet nozzle.


Polishing uses a special product designed to remove minute imperfections from the surface of your paint. It does not harm the finish of your paint. Ideally, you want to use a fine polish, as it will offer a sleek, wet finish when you’re done. You can polish by hand, or you can use a buffer to do the task. If you choose to use an electric buffer, make sure that you use the correct method – overlapping motions at a slow speed.


Waxing is used to seal your finish, and is applied over the surface of the polish. It will help keep the “freshly polished” look to your car’s paint. A good wax should be made of natural ingredients, such as carnauba wax, or a high quality synthetic. As a note, do not wax your headlight and taillight lenses – use a special plastic cleaner to remove discolouration.

Your Wheels and Tyres

Preparing your wheels and tyres is another important part of car valeting. Make sure you clean them well with shampoo and water, but you will want it twice the strength. You will also need a brush. Tyre dressing will be used to finish the process.

The Interior

To clean the interior of your car, you’ll need quite a few things. A powerful wet/dry vacuum is vital, as well as vacuum attachments to allow you to clean in tight spaces. You’ll also need carpet shampoo to clean the dirt from your carpets and mats.

The interior of your car requires several steps. For instance, you will need to clean the windows with a quality glass cleaner, as well as a buffing cloth or towel. The vinyl and plastic in your interior should be cleaned with a special vinyl and plastic cleaner.

If there are stains in your interior, you will need to use a neutral detergent and water to remove them. You’ll also need a detailing tool or two, such as a scrub brush, putty knife, clean terrycloth towels and a vacuum. Finally, if you have leather upholstery, you will need to clean it properly. Use a high-quality leather cleaner and a leather.