car detailing

Many people rely on auto detailing services to keep their vehicles looking like they just rolled out of the factory. Polishing and cleaning every single inch of the car to make it shiny are just some of the things they do to achieve this—to give car owners a vehicle to be proud of. 

However, did you know that auto detailing services have been around for over a hundred years? In fact, it existed even before cars were invented! In this article, we will take you through the history of auto detailing—how it all started and how it evolved through the years.

The 1800s

Auto detailing existed in the 1800s because carriages needed the services. People who owned carriages, just like any car owner today, wanted to keep their carriages looking as great as possible. Back then, vehicle wax was made using animal fat and used on horse carriages. This allowed carriages to stay shiny and new. 

This process was the precursor to auto detailing and arguably birthed the industry. Later in the 1800s, polishing products from Menzerna and pneumatic tires from Michelin also came into existence following the invention of the car. It only made sense then that auto detailing developed alongside these inventions.

The 1900s

While only the rich could afford vehicles back then, the demand for cleaning supplies did not dwindle. The Simoniz company developed Simons Cleaner and Simons Paste Wax (a carnauba wax) for the cleaning and maintenance of automobiles. These products were so successful in the auto detailing industry that the auto detailing process was called “Simonizing” for a while. 

More and more products were introduced into the auto detailing industry, such as Turtle Wax by Ben Hirsch. When 3M invented masking tape, more accurate two-tone paints for cars were possible, which pushed the auto detailing world even further.

The 2000s

Innovations continued well into the 2000s, improving products that were developed in the 1900s. The development of microfiber cloths and CeramiClear—a product developed by PPG Industries to protect car paints against salt, UV rays, and even acid rain—made auto detailing even easier. Clear paint sealants using nanotechnology polymer allowed protection from the elements on a molecular level. There seems to be no limit to the things people will invent to protect and keep their cars like brand new.

The auto-detailing process itself has also improved drastically as auto detailers learned and shared new techniques with each other to improve the quality of their work further.


That is just the brief history of the auto detailing work, and we hope you now know a little more about how auto detailing started and came to be as we know today. Now, you can send your vehicle to an auto detailing service, knowing that such services have passed through hundreds of years of development, inventions, and more to create the high-quality service we know and love today. Of course, this does not mean picking any auto detailer to clean your car if you need it done. Always take the time to look for reliable and trustworthy auto detailers to do their work on your vehicle for the absolute best results!

Drip Detailing is an auto detailing service in Calgary, offering unmatched quality of services to exceed the expectations of their clients. Work with us today to shine your car in a new light!