Taking care of your car sometimes means that you have to treat it to a deep and thorough detailing service. Car detailers give expert solutions to your car’s needs, from dealing with scratches to implementing waxing treatments for extra protection. 

Unfortunately, not all detailing services give their best in giving your vehicle the pampering that it deserves. Some detailers bait you with cheap rates while delivering a subpar and sometimes damaging detailing service.

Spotting the red flags of poor car detailing practices

While absurdly low detailing rates are a reason to be doubtful, you can do your due diligence by keeping an eye out for the red flags that indicate questionable detailing services.

In this article, we will share with you three warning signs that you should watch out for when looking for poor detailing services.

1. Dirty sponges and water buckets

Sponges and wash mitts need to remain clean and devoid of any particles that can potentially damage a car’s paint. If your detailing service makes use of the same sponge over and over again, then there’s a high chance that it will absorb a build-up of dirt, dust, and other particles on the sponge and in the water.

Make sure that your detailers make use of the Two Bucket method and that they have grit guards that collect the washed off grime at the bottom of the bucket. This keeps the newly-dipped sponge from absorbing the removed dirt again.

2. Ineffective and old materials

During the washing stage of your car, the right kind of soap is a must. Car detailing services that want to save on their material expenses often make use of dishwashing detergent as their cleaning agent. This is a major red flag that you should stop right away since the detergent is powerful enough to wash off the oils from your car’s paint, dulling its colours in the process. 

Industry-grade car wash soap offers just the right balance of strength and delicacy. It will wash dust and debris off of your car without doing significant damage to its coat. 

Besides using the wrong materials, you should also be wary about worn-out equipment. Most drive-through car washes don’t replace their equipment until they’re worn out from overuse. The danger in exposing your car with old equipment such as old body towels is that it can scratch your paint job due to its roughed-up texture.

3. Skipping or wrong order detailing steps

Detailing needs to follow the right sequencing of stages from washing, claying, polishing, and waxing. Having one sequence out of order can lead to less than optimal results in your car’s detailing. Your car may end up having a rough texture to touch or an uneven coat due to residue left behind from the previous stages. You should ask about the different stages of the detailing process to your detailer to make sure that they’re familiar with the steps and in applying them properly to your car.


Taking your car to a professional detailing service shouldn’t be a stressful experience. You should be able to relax, knowing your car is in expert hands. To do that, though, you need to choose a detailing company that you can trust. Being familiar with the red flags to spot in a poorly handled detailing service will save you the regret and costly renovations that your car could’ve avoided.

If you want to give your vehicle a professional detailing treatment, choose a service that’s tried and tested in their experience and results. We offer car detailing in Calgary that’s managed by a team of veterans that you can put your trust in. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our offers and services!