The three main components of car detailing are cleaning, polishing, and protecting.
Cleaning refers to removing all foreign surface particles from exterior surfaces through the use of washing and claying. Clearcoat contamination can come from industrial fallout, air particles, dirt particles, tar, and animal droppings.
Polishing refers to using mechanical polishes with a machine and specific polishing pads that remove a fine layer of clearcoat from a vehicle to remove fine scratches and swirls from a paint surface produced from improper washing or drying technique.
Protecting involves the application of a protective material that prevents foreign matter from adhering to the surface of the vehicle, Waxes and sealants provide this barrier against the elements.