Car wash detailing, dailycarblog
DIY Car Wash Tips To Keep Your Car Continuously Showroom-Worthy

Detailing without the cost of detailing. So detailing is expensive; you’re looking at a minimum of $100. You’ll want to detail your vehicle at least once a year if you want to retain its value. Beyond that, you want to wash your car at least twice a month, top to bottom, vacuuming the inside and assuring the trunk is clean. At $10 a car wash, minimum, you’re at $240 a year, or $340 a year total with detailing.

In ten years, that’s $3,400. Now you’re probably going to drive around 15,000 miles in a year, or 150,000 over ten years. On average, cars depreciate at about $.08 cents a mile, or $8 per hundred. That’s a total of $12k in depreciation over ten years—no small sum! So for a vehicle that was worth $30k when you bought it, if you keep it in perfect condition for a decade, it will be worth $22k after 150,000 miles.

Only…it’s not going to go for that, is it? It will probably be closer to $15k in value or less, because you’ll have to do oil changes, replace components, replace tires, replace windshields, fix paint issues like scratches, repair your own fender-benders, and more. What this all boils down to is a cost-benefit analysis.

Exploring The Data

If your $30k (new) vehicle can be sold for $15k after you’ve put 150k miles on it, and you spend $3,400 in cleaning over that ten year time, then if someone pays you $15k in cash, you really only get $11.6k in true value recapture. To really get that $15k, you would be wise to do the cleaning yourself.

This will also help you maximize vehicular value through reduced depreciation, or at the very least offset depreciation. For example, if you put a better engine in your vehicle after it was purchased, that would add some level of value. It won’t stop the march of depreciation, but it will offset it to some degree.

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So by washing at home, for only a few hundred dollars you’ll be able to preserve a few thousand dollars in associated costs. Additionally, this will help you more carefully drive your vehicle, and care for it, because you’ll have direct sweat equity. You’ll also reduce your impact on the environment overall through consolidated resource utility.

Retaining Quality In Your At-Home Washing

Furthermore, you don’t have to sacrifice quality in terms of maintenance by going with in-depth at-home cleaning options. As a matter of fact, you can get better quality through an at-home option owing to more affordable water, cleaning substances like soap designed for vehicles, waxes, ceramics, and associated washing machinery.

You can actually get the same level of cleaning efficiency at home through steam washing tools that are handheld, like those available through You can apply ceramic coats in your driveway or garage, let it set up, wash the vehicle again, and have a cheap added layer of protection to preserve value and reduce future damage.

The Bottom Line

You can’t stop everything, but you can deflect some things. So the question pertaining to detailing and washing in a DIY way becomes, not can you afford to do so or learn how to do so, but can you afford not to go this route? You’ll spend well under $1,000 on cleaning materials, machinery, and supplies if you clean your vehicle at home.

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This will offset $2,400 to $3,000, depending on how savvy you are in materials acquisition. Furthermore, it could work toward depreciation reduction, establishing more effective vehicular functionality.

Essentially, by spending a few hundred up front instead of several thousand dollars over ten years, you can save several thousand dollars in the long run, and maybe much more in expanded vehicular value for that make and model. So look at at-home DIY car wash with available tools as an investment in your vehicle, and your bank account.

Car wash detailing, dailycarblog
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