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Recon Hack #1901 – Detailing Stages

Rapid Recon Detailing Tips Detail Photo


Detailers all attack a car with different methods and processes. Sometimes the same type of car can take different times based on who and when they get assigned. Different amounts of materials are used, and different quality issues come up. It’s also hard to decide how to pay.


Figure out different stages of detailing and cleaning.  3 stages are usually best practice for the inside and outside of the car.

Outside Stages Example:

  • 1. Wash and Wax
  • 2. Wash, Buff, Minor Wet Sanding, Wax
  • 3. Wash, Buff, Wet Sanding, Headlight Restoration, Wax

Inside Stages Example:

  • 1. Vacuum and Wipe Down
  • 2. Vacuum, Wipe Down, Light Stain Removal, Carpet Shampoo
  • 3. Vacuum, Stain Removal, Pet Hair, Sand, Carpet Shampoo, Wipe Down

However you decide to set the stages, have them defined and published to all employees on what materials to use and how to use them. That way, when a detailer gets their work, they now know exactly what they have to do, what materials to use, and what quality is expected.

Advanced Hack:

Have your detailers paid flat rate. Assign each “stage” as a labor hour, paying them as you would a technician. Next thing you know your dirtier work will be chased after and detailers will be more productive.

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