Americans have always valued their cars, but the ability to keep and protect an existing car is more important than ever due to problems in the market. For an entrepreneur who enjoys working on cars and trucks, this means now is a great time to get into or expand auto detailing services.
What do you need to begin offering your own services as a detailer? Here are a few tools that can help you provide great customer service.
1. Common Cleaning Supplies
The easiest place to begin is to compile an inventory of common cleaning supplies to have at hand. These usually include such things as water buckets, hoses, washing mitts, towels and rags, good lighting, sponges, brushes, and mats or pads to protect client property around and in the vehicle.
Each person has their own style, so start with the basics and tailor your supplies as you develop experience with a range of vehicles. You may also go through these supplies quickly, so develop a business relationship with a quality supplier who can scale up with you as your business grows.
2. Air Compressor
Air compressors give you an added advantage to make sure every crevice, nook, and cranny is clean as a whistle. While larger tools work on the main surfaces, like carpeting and the exterior, powerful jets of air get into smaller places.
An air compressor will come in handy to reach places you can’t reach on your own, and it does so without soaking everything as you would with jets of water. Many detailers also use compressed air jets to dry off excess water in places where it shouldn’t be after the work is done.
3. Wet and Dry Vacuums
Some of the most important detailing tools are those to clean upholstery and carpeting. A vehicle’s fabric and materials take the brunt of most interior usage, so they need special attention. These areas are highly-visible, so customers will notice when you do a great job on them. Look for vacuums that allow you to access the smallest spots and crevices without sacrificing power. You’ll also want plenty of attachments.
4. Steam Cleaner
The hot temperature of a steam cleaner complements your wet and dry vacuuming step. It’s a gentler way to remove grime, grease, and dirt when you deal with more delicate areas of the vehicle.
In contrast with a power (or pressure) washer that works using the force of water jets, steam cleaners use small amounts of water but combine them with heat to do the work. You’ll often steam clean carpets, flooring, seats, and trunks after initial passes with vacuum and spot cleaners.
5. Power Washer
Power washing equipment comes in a number of shapes and sizes depending on what you plan to pressure wash and how much volume you need. Power washers designed specifically for vehicles have significantly less chance of causing any damage to the vehicle while still providing the additional power you need to clear off dirt and debris.
You’ll use pressure washing equipment from the pre-rinsing stage all the way to the final stages, so invest well.
Everyone loves a shiny, buffed exterior that makes their paint job look the best it can. Orbital buffers do this work with as little burden on the detailer as possible. These also come in a range of sizes and quality levels for anyone from a beginner detailer who works in driveways to a professional shop that works on high-end equipment or difficult jobs such as marine vehicles.
Detailers today have many choices when it comes to finding the right products to do various elements of the job. You can find industrial-strength, long-lasting, environmentally friendly, or targeted specialty compounds and liquids that all work to varying degrees. Your personal preferences, the types of vehicles you work on, and your clients’ ethics all inform which of these are right for your business.
Finding the right products may be relatively simple if you have experience doing detail work personally or professionally. However, the advice of cleaning and auto industry professionals is invaluable, allowing you to hone in on the right product lines in much less time.
Where to Start
Although starting work as an auto detailer is relatively simple compared to many other types of businesses, it can still seem overwhelming. Even if you’ve worked in detailing before, business owners must spend their own money to invest in the right tools and equipment.
However, don’t forget that you can get help. The best place to begin is by talking with the cleaning equipment and supply pros at Ben’s Cleaner Sales. For more than 75 years, we’ve helped businesses to find the best cleaning tools for their needs and keep them in great working condition. Call today to speak with our team or visit to check out for yourself what we can offer you.