The Complete Guide to a Full Valet: From Start to Finish


The Complete Guide to a Full Valet: From Start to Finish

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the complete process of a full valet, covering everything from car detailing techniques to interior and exterior cleaning. Whether you're a newbie or an experienced car cleaner, this guide will provide valuable insights to help you deliver a top-notch service. So, let's dive in and discover the secrets to a successful full valet.

Understanding Car Valeting and Detailing

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of a full valet, let's clarify the distinction between car valeting and car detailing. In the UK, car valeting and car detailing are two different services. Car valeting focuses on deep cleaning and tackling challenging tasks like steam cleaning and hand polishing. On the other hand, car detailing in the UK typically involves paintwork correction and ceramic coatings. In the USA, however, detailing is considered a broader term encompassing both deep cleaning and paint correction. Now that we've cleared that up, let's proceed.


The Engine Bay: Tidying Up for a Polished Look

While some valeting websites may not include an engine bay clean as part of a full valet, neglecting this area could be a missed opportunity. Although customers may not initially request an engine bay clean, providing a basic tidy-up can enhance the overall appearance of the vehicle. By cleaning around the gutters, seals, and giving it a quick wipe, you can make a noticeable difference. However, exercise caution with electrical components and offer engine bay deep cleans as an upsell for clients.

Wheel Cleaning: Going the Extra Mile

When it comes to wheel cleaning, it's important to provide a deep clean, not just focusing on the alloys but also the tires, arches, and door shuts. The pre-wash process is crucial for removing pollen, dirt, and grime from hard-to-reach areas. Consider using fallout remover and heavy-duty wheel cleaners for thorough cleaning. Don't forget to address the entire wheel, as overlooking certain sections can lead to unsatisfied customers. Attention to detail is key to a successful full valet.

The Pre-Wash and Contact Wash: Setting the Foundation

To prepare the vehicle for the contact wash, start with a pre-wash stage. This involves rinsing the car and applying a snow foam or pre-wash solution to loosen dirt and grime. Let it dwell for a few minutes before rinsing it off. After the pre-wash, move on to the contact wash. Start from the top and work your way down, ensuring thorough cleaning of all surfaces. Consider using a clay bar and iron fallout remover for an additional level of decontamination. These extra steps can be upsold to customers who seek a meticulous service.

Drying: Leaving No Spots Behind

After the wash, it's time to dry the vehicle. Start with the bodywork, ensuring it's completely dry before moving on to the door shuts. While using a unit or working indoors can offer better filming conditions, it's not necessary unless the weather is extreme. Focus on a methodical drying process to prevent water spots and achieve a pristine finish.

Rotar Removal: Enhancing the Paintwork

The rotar removal process can be a topic of debate among car cleaners. Some suggest doing it during the wash, while others prefer doing it afterward. For rotar removal, products like liquify by Infinity Wax can be effective. Spray it on two panels at a time, allow it to dwell, and gently wipe it away. You can also use cotton pads for extended dwell time. Remember to give the car a quick panel wipe afterward to provide a clean surface for further work.

Choosing the Right Polish or Glaze

Machine polishing is often recommended by detailers, but for mobile car valeters or those with time constraints, it may not be feasible. In such cases, all-in-one polishes or glazes can be an alternative. AutoGlym Super Resin Polish is one example of an all-in-one product with filling capabilities and minor abrasive properties. However, manage customer expectations as it may not be able to address all imperfections. Consider the time frame, customer expectations, and desired durability when choosing the right product.

Waxing: Adding a Protective Layer

After the paintwork has been corrected or enhanced, it's time to apply a protective layer. Meguiar's Ultimate Liquid Wax is a popular choice due to its ease of use. However, other waxes and ceramic sealants can also provide long-lasting protection. Consider customer preferences and educate them about the benefits of different options to make an informed decision together.

Interior Valet: Deep Cleaning and Freshening Up

The interior valet is an essential part of a full valet. It involves intensive cleaning to remove as much dirt as possible. This includes carpet extraction, scrubbing plastic trim, and dressing it appropriately. Be mindful of potential liabilities when using dressings on rubber mats. Ensure all mats are cleaned and extracted, paying attention to the top edges for a better finish. For a more in-depth understanding of interior detailing, refer to our dedicated video guide (link provided).

Glass Cleaning: Achieving Crystal Clear Results

Don't overlook the glass when completing a full valet. Clean the exterior glass thoroughly, ensuring the top edges are attended to with the windows down. For a pristine finish, don't forget the interior glass as well.

Tire Conditioning and Wheel Detailing: The Finishing Touches

Complete the full valet by treating the tires to a luxurious touch with a tire conditioner like Epic Automotive Tire Conditioner. It provides a luscious finish without becoming excessively greasy. Additionally, apply a ceramic detailer to the wheels for added shine and protection. These final touches will leave a lasting impression on the customer.



We've reached the end of our complete guide to a full valet. By following the steps and techniques outlined in this guide, you'll be able to offer a professional and thorough service to your clients. Remember to prioritize customer satisfaction, manage their expectations, and continuously improve your skills and product knowledge. With dedication and attention to detail, you'll excel in the world of car valeting and detailing.

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