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While washing your car can be both rewarding and beneficial, there are several situations that may require a pro. Knowing your own limitations and your vehicle can help determine when to call a professional detailer. And while only you know what you’re capable of, here are a few scenarios where professional help may be the best option.

Calling a professional detailer will make your car cleaner than ever.
Call a professional detailer for the best tools and tricks | Getty Images

Heavy scratching and swirling

Sure, some swirling can be masked by waxes or taken out with a basic polisher. However, there are some scenarios that go beyond amateur capabilities. If your car has heavy swirling or spider webs, it may be time to call in a professional detailer.

Top-level professional detailers can apply a process called wet sanding to remove the heaviest scratches and swirls. In this process, water and an ultra-fine sanding disc work together to cut down the affected clear coat. In what can be best described as an it-gets-worse-before-it-gets-better process, this levels the surface, just like sanding wood. From there, a process of compounding and polishing restore the shine – without the scratches.

However, this isn’t a task you’ll want to take on by yourself. It requires a trained hand to know exactly how much sanding the paint can safely take. A professional detailer will not only have a depth gauge telling them much paint is there, but they’ll also know how much of the clear coat remains.

A professional detailer

Call a professional detailer to handle mold and mildew

Whether it’s on an older vehicle or a humid area, it is surprisingly easy to end up with mold inside your car. Worse yet, once mold gets in it’s nearly impossible to get rid of it with household tools and products.

Not all providers will accept jobs like these. You may have to call around to find a willing professional detailer. But anyone taking on this job will have high-level chemicals that go deep into the fibers of your upholstery to kill mold at the source.

A combination of these chemicals and a steam vac will work wonders above any household solutions you might find. Many detailers may also utilize an ozone machine to kill any remaining mold spores left behind.

Between the dangers of working with Ozone and the expense of the steam vacs and professional chemicals, this is a job for pros like Ammo NYC.

A McLaren after calling a professional detailer
The results of a professional detailer | Getty Images

Wheel cleaning

This may seem like a weird one, but properly cleaning wheels can be a tricky business. It’s not about tools, but knowing which chemicals are safe for your wheels is vital.

Use the wrong chemical, and you’ve got white staining on your painted wheels that won’t go away. The wrong cleaners can also etch and oxidize aluminum wheels, and that scenario is even harder to remedy. And even if you use the proper, pH-balanced wheel cleaner, applying it for too long in sunny or hot conditions can lead to permanent wheel damage as well.

Getting those wheels clean is a key to making your car look its best, but doing it the wrong way can lead to disastrous results. Call a professional detailer and let your ride shine.

Related Watch: Larry Kosilla of AMMO NYC Detailing this Disaster of a Fiat is a Reminder to Drive Your Cars

Watch: Larry Kosilla of AMMO NYC Detailing this Disaster of a Fiat is a Reminder to Drive Your Cars