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What Exactly is a Full Detail Anyway

Car Detailing

If you are looking for car detailing or auto detailing, you have probably noticed that there is a massive variation in prices and services. That is because there is absolutely no standard for what a full detail is. This article is going to try and help illustrate what a full detail is — and what it is not.

What is a Full Detail

The 360 Full Detail

Our trademark service is our 360 full detail. We selected this name on purpose because we believe it accurately describes our intent when it comes to cleaning your car. We believe a true full detail should take 3-6 hours. We also believe auto detailing needs to be done in a shop, not mobile, with the right equipment. First, the right equipment is needed to get your car as clean as possible. Second, the right equipment is needed to make sure dirty water does not pollute our rivers or get into our groundwater.


The Car Wash

The Wet bay

The first thing we do is pull your car or truck into our wet bay. This bay is located in the first building. Your vehicle will be pulled forward over the multi-stage drain filtration system. Depending on the dirt level, we may or may not pre-rinse the vehicle.

Insect Remover & Wheel Cleaner

Next, we take a high-end insect remover. It is applied to the front end and mirrors as well as the windshield — as well as any other location we see nasty bugs dried on your vehicle.

While the insect remover is working we apply a German-engineered wheel cleaner. Our wheel cleaners are nonacidic but are very effective in removing brake dust and other contaminants.

The wheel cleaner takes some time to work. As this is happening a specialized insect sponge is used to remove the dried insects. Then we agitate the wheel cleaner, clean the tires and rinse the insects, wheels, and tires off.

Engine Cleaning

At this point in detail, we confirm that your engine is cooled off. The engine compartment is rinsed and a specialized engine cleaner is applied to all surfaces. The cleaner is then agitated and rinsed off. A specialized detailer is applied to the surfaces to make them shine.

Chemical Decontamination

Next, we do a chemical decontamination to remove any fallout. During this process, your vehicle literally looks like it is bleeding as the solution turns dark red as it removes iron, metals, and other contaminants that would not simply wash away

The Foam Bath

A proprietary mixture of American Global all purposes cleaner, degreaser, and foaming shampoo are mixed together and applied with a pressure washer. They are allowed to sit for a moment or two and do their work.

The Two Bucket Wash

After the foam is on your vehicle is washed using a traditional, but often overlooked two-bucket wash method. Two buckets are filled with water and a grit guard is installed in the bottom. The soap mixture from above is added to one of the buckets.

A microfiber sponge is dipped in soapy water and used to clean your vehicle. The sponge is only used in one direction — the direction wind travels along your vehicle. This will eliminate the possibility of adding any swirls to the paint.

High-Pressure Rinse

Once the vehicle is washed a high-pressure, high-flow pressure washer is carefully used to remove all dirt, soap, and residue. Careful attention to paint protection films is used to make sure it is not lifted.

Spot Free Rinse

As an added precaution a second, spot-free rinse is done with water that has been mechanically and chemically filtered. This step prevents the appearance of unsightly water spots in the off-chance water was to start drying before we wiped it away.

The Drying Process

A special vinyl blade, similar to a squeegee, is used to remove a large percentage of the water. Next, a highly absorbent microfiber towel is used to hand dry the vehicle — and make sure nothing was missed in the wash process. Next, a high-powered blower is used to remove any remaining water.

The Exterior Detail

Now that your vehicle is clean and dry, the process of actually detailing your vehicle begins. The vehicle is moved to our clean, dry bay. Our dry bay has an assortment of chemicals and equipment.

In most cases, we will start with a Rupes Bigfoot Polisher. The polisher will be selected to match the size and complexity of your vehicle. In some cases, multiple polishers will be needed.

At this point, we will typically apply Rupes Advanced Protectant using a yellow wool pad. A moderate arms speed is used. While this will remove or hide some scratches and swirls, it is not considered a paint correction. The polish is allowed to sit for 20-30 minutes and wiped off.

Trim & Tires

While the polish is sitting, the trim and tires are treated to add some gloss. For heavily faded trim we do have a trim restore process available for a slight upcharge.


Glass is not cleaned until all other interior, and exterior surfaces have been cleaned. Once everything else is done, the glass is cleaned inside and out. We utilize microfibers and special sponges that remove streaks.

Interior Detailing


Every interior detail starts and ends with the vacuum. Floor mats are removed and cleaned separately. Seats are pushed all the way forward and all the way backward and specialized hoses and attachments are used to make sure all dirt and most pet hair are removed.


Dirty hard surfaces are given an initial clean using a Tornador. It is a specialized tool that is attached to our high-pressure compressed air line. It mixes air and cleaners into a vortex that helps with the initial cleaning.


Headliners are cleaned with extreme caution and minimal chemicals as the glue can come loose. Stains are removed and general cleaning is done.

Plastic & Vinyl Surfaces

Plastic & Vinyl Surfaces are now wiped with a cleaner and UV protectant. Then they are wiped again with dry microfiber. Difficult areas will be treated with harsher chemicals and then reprotected. A steamer may be used as necessary.

Fabric & Carpet

Fabric and carpet areas such as seats and floors are treated utilizing chemicals designed specifically for those areas. A high-pressure, hot water extractor is used to dry the areas and remove the dirt. A steamer may be used as necessary.


Leather areas were initially vacuumed. Now they are cleaned utilizing a leather brush, microfiber, and specialized leather cleaner. A conditioner is also applied to add hydrophobic properties to the leather and restore its moisture content.

Door Jambs

The door jambs are hand cleaned inside and out. They are the first thing most people notice when they open the door.

If you would like to book our detailing services, please give us a call at 970-999-0474 or book online

How to Protect Your Vehicle

Once your vehicle has been fully detailed, you can take steps to protect your vehicle. In many cases, the cost of the protection includes an exterior detail. You could consider ceramic coatings to protect your vehicle against the elements. A clear bra or paint protection film will do an outstanding job of protecting against rock chips and scratches.

Choose Auto Detailing 360 for automotive excellence in Mesa County. As the Ceramic Pro Elite Dealer, we serve Grand Junction, Fruita, and Palisade. Our exclusive Elite Dealer status covers Rifle, CO to Moab Utah, including Montrose and Delta. Explore our array of services, including window tinting, residential window tint, paint protection film, Ceramic Coatings, and Detailing.

Auto Detailing 360
Ceramic Pro Elite Grand Junction
632 W Gunnison Avenue
Grand Junction, CO 81501

Popular Cars, Trucks and SUVs

At Auto Detailing 360 we work on all cars and trucks all the time. From Porsche to Kia and from Corvette to Toyota. We just love cars. Starting in early 2023 we are creating project profiles of the vehicles we work on.