How Long Does It Take To Detail My Car?

Have you been thinking about detailing your car for a while now? Perhaps it’s been a while since you gave the interior, exterior, and engine a thorough cleaning? Well no worries, I’d say 90% of people (completely made up number) who drive on the roads never give their cars a thorough cleaning. 

So the main question is, how long is it going to take for me to detail my car? 

Great question! 

And I shall answer with a question, “What part of the car are you going to detail?” and “What does a detail mean to you?” 

As oppose to what you’ve probably learned about auto detailing, it’s not always just about washing your car and slapping a coat of wax on it. You can go much more in-depth that will yield significant results. 

What Are You Going To Detail?

When I ask this question, many people will respond with, “I haven’t washed my car in over 3 months. It needs a good detailing.” Although I agree that you should wash your car ASAP, this doesn’t make it clear to yourself on what you want to detail. 

For instance, I as a professional detailer can look at it in a few ways. Do you want to detail the paint, the headlights, the wheels and tires, or all of the above? 

Each part of your car will require different tools and skills to complete it properly. Then you have to take into consideration if you want to detail your car properly or not. 

I know must of you will say, “Of course, Oscar, I want to get the job done right.” But once you see all the tools, knowledge, time, and skills it takes to actually complete a detail, you’ll start to second guess yourself 🙂 

How Much Time Do You Have? 

As I just mentioned, if you want to detail your car, you’re going to have to have some time for this. Especially if it’s going to be your very first time doing it. It’s not going to be like what you see at car washes that one or two people complete “detail” a car in less than two hours or so. 

For one, those “detailers” probably did a bad job doing it, and two, if you want to do it right, it’s going to take a lot of learning and practice. Which is why I say, if you’re only ever going to detail your car one time, then go with the most minimal products and accomplish the most you can with that. 

But if you know you’re going to detail your car, your family cars, and then will want to start your own business perhaps, then at that time, you can look into buying a bit more tools and supplies to get the job done. 


So how much time does it take to detail your car? Well it could take an hour if all you want to do is wash the car and clean the wheels. It can also take you 3 hours if you also want to restore your headlights. 

If you want to remove the swirls and scratches from your paint and do everything else I said above, then it can take you 12 to 20 hours. There’s a lot of variables at play here. 

You always have the option of hiring someone to detail your car, too. That can (and a lot of times is) a better, safer, and cheaper route to go. 

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