Best Car Cleaning Services

Keep your vehicle clean, inside and out

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a man washing a car

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Best Car Cleaning Services of 2021

Car cleaning services help you maintain a tidy vehicle, whether you’re running the exterior through a basic drive-through wash or paying top dollar for a luxury detail appointment. Specialty supplies and first-class equipment allow these companies to take care of the sap, stains, and smells that DIY cleaning products miss—and in many cases, technicians will even come to your home or workplace to perform the service.

The best car cleaning services offer straightforward pricing, friendly service, convenient appointments, and multiple different packages or upgrades. Ideally, they’re widely available, too, with locations and consistent business practices across multiple states and regions.

Best Overall: Spiffy

Spiffy

Spiffy

Why We Chose It: Offering wash and detail services in addition to oil changes, tire care, glass replacement, and disinfectant, this North Carolina-born company comes to you.

What We Like
  • Convenient mobile service

  • Washes offered at four different levels

  • Eco-conscious practices

What We Don’t Like
  • Service not available in all areas

  • Can be more expensive than other options

Founded in North Carolina and now serving areas in more than 20 states, Spiffy’s greatest perk is its convenience. Book an appointment via Spiffy’s mobile app and technicians come to you—with their own power and water supply. The company operates from sunup to sundown, and all customers need to do on-site is hand over the car keys.

Spiffy’s rates start around $50 for the most basic “Spiffy Car Wash," which includes an exterior wash, wheel and tire shine, interior detailing, high-pressure air blowout, and extensive vacuuming. Cost varies by services received and the size of the car being cleaned. (Cleaning an SUV, for example, will cost more than a sedan.)

Customers can continue to add options, too, with packages running as high as $300 for the “Awesome Detail” package, which takes three to five hours and includes premium offerings such as paint-enhancing gloss and deep upholstery shampoo. Each Spiffy technician undergoes more than 100 hours of training, and when your appointment is complete, you can pay and rate your experience in the app.

Best for Detailing: DetailXperts

DetailXperts

DetailXperts

Why We Chose It: With a specialty in deep-cleaning interiors, this company that started in Detroit uses a steaming method that leaves behind no toxic residue and kills 99 percent of germs and bacteria.

What We Like
  • Unique steam cleaning method

  • Eco-friendly practices

  • Loyalty program

  • Top reviews

What We Don’t Like
  • Not yet available everywhere

  • Appointment scheduling and pricing is not intuitive online

DetailXperts was founded in Detroit in 2002 when Emmanuel Williams’ young son gave him the idea to clean cars using steam instead of water. An engineer by trade, Williams began tinkering with new practices, eventually landing on a winner with the eco-friendly steam cleaning tactic that DetailXperts uses today at more than a dozen locations around the country.

Boasting top-notch reviews both for responsiveness and quality of work, DetailXperts offers wipe-down, vacuuming, glass cleaning, and conditioner application in addition to steam cleaning the dash, console, mats, headliner, seats, carpets, and door panels in every vehicle. The company’s process, which is said to kill 99 percent of germs and bacteria, leaves behind no toxic residue and can also be used to sanitize a car’s air conditioning system.

Prices vary by location and package, with extra charges for especially soiled vehicles. For those looking to keep their cars in top shape, DetailXperts also offers a loyalty program: The more you steam clean your vehicle, the more credits you can earn toward free and discounted services.

Best Value: MobileWash

MobileWash

MobileWash

Why We Chose It: MobileWash partners with local detailing pros in dozens of cities across four states for car cleaning that comes to you, with a low-price guarantee.

What We Like
  • Convenient mobile app

  • Instant quotes

  • ”Lowest Price Guarantee”

What We Don’t Like
  • Limited locations

  • Prices/offerings are not standardized across all locations

More of an app than a car cleaning company itself, MobileWash partners with car detailing professionals in dozens of cities to offer on-demand services across California, Texas, Nevada, and Florida. Boasting thousands of weekly users and top reviews for service and quality, MobileWash’s “Lowest Price Guarantee” ensures that customers are getting the best deal possible for mobile detailing.

To book, download the mobile app and share your location. Then, indicate when you want your wash—ASAP or scheduled in the future—and stay tuned for an instant quote. Since MobileWash partners with local providers (all of which are background-checked and vetted), prices and available services vary by location.

MobileWash finds the best deal in your area, and its in-app promotions and discounts promise additional savings for repeat customers. If the prices aren’t enough to keep car owners coming back, the customer service might seal the deal: With a multi-lingual support staff available via telephone, email, in-app messaging, and text, any potential issue is sure to be resolved quickly.

Best for Wide Availability: Ziebart

Ziebart

Ziebart

Why We Chose It: A giant in car maintenance with hundreds of locations around the world, Ziebart offers an extensive slate of services and availability in most metro areas.

What We Like
  • Many locations

  • Customizable options for detailing

  • Employee-owned

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricing varies across locations

  • More expensive than many more basic competitors

Founded in 1959, Ziebart is perhaps best known in the automobile industry for its rust-proofing services. But the international company’s extensive resources and top-of-the-line tools make its luxury detailing services some of the best in the business. Pricing varies by location, service, and style of car, so you’ll need to contact your nearest branch for an accurate quote.

Employee-owned since 1995, Ziebart offers interior detailing services that disinfect and restore surfaces: Every fabric in the vehicle undergoes vacuuming, pre-treating, spot cleaning, and deep a shampoo. Fabric protection is also available to guard against future spills, and a leather conditioner can be applied to restore or maintain the luxury look of certain interiors.

Exteriors get the VIP treatment as well, with a process that removes grime caused by weather, oxidation, tree sap, insects, and other things. Application of the optional “Aquapel'' rain repellent can offer drivers better visibility when driving at night and make rainy days less harrowing by helping water roll off your windshield quickly.

Best Drive-Through: Mister Car Wash

Mister Car Wash

Mister Car Wash

Why We Chose It: With more than 300 locations in operation, Mister Car Wash has earned the trust of drivers across the country for its no-frills drive-through wash and quick and friendly service.

What We Like
  • Hundreds of locations nationally

  • Monthly memberships for unlimited washes

  • Rewards program

What We Don’t Like
  • Interior services not available at all locations

When you’re looking to shine your vehicle without a full interior detail, a classic conveyor car wash can go a long way. With more than 300 locations around the country, Mister Car Wash is one of the most widely available options—and a top-rated one at that.

The company’s most popular offering by far is the drive-through “Base” car wash, which runs around $7 and uses T3 conditioner to wash away any impurities and clean your wheels. There are a number of add-ons for those looking to elevate the experience: Tire shine, rain repellant, and hot wax are just a few of the available upgrades in the more expensive packages.

Mister Car Wash is a great choice for drivers looking to maintain a clean exterior, and frequent visitors can sign up to receive unlimited washes for a month. Select locations even offer interior detailing services, too: Check with your nearest franchise if you’re looking for more than a standard drive-through wash.

Final Verdict

Overall, Spiffy came out as one of the best car cleaning services, thanks to its convenient, on-demand business model and wide range of prices and perks. With basic washes starting around $50, Spiffy wasn’t the most cost-efficient option, but its transparent pricing, customizable services, and easy-to-use app made it a top choice for users seeking a quality wash quickly.

Meanwhile, DetailXperts stood out as a top detailing service for its unique steam cleaning method. Customers at many locations raved about the quality of customer service and their satisfaction with the cleaning. MobileWash stood out for its promise to beat the price of any other on-demand wash. Ziebart operates locations all around the country, making it a reliable choice for car detailing. And if you’re just looking for a no-frills drive-through wash, stopping at any of Mister Car Wash's hundreds of locations will get the job done every time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Car Cleaning Service?

A car cleaning service can offer interior detailing, which vacuums, disinfects, shampoos, and freshens the upholstery and other surfaces inside your vehicle, or exterior washes, which scrub, spot clean, and shine the outside of your vehicle. Most car cleaning services do both, with a range of options that run from a basic exterior wash all the way up to top-dollar detailing. The most extensive packages can include any number of customizable add-ons such as waxing, rain repellant, and paint-enhancing gloss. 

How Does On-Demand Car Cleaning Work?

The seamlessness of on-demand car cleaning makes it an increasingly popular choice for busy drivers. To use on-demand car cleaning services like MobileWash or Spiffy, download the company’s app and share your location before scheduling an appointment. Once everything is confirmed, a technician will come to you (usually at your home or workplace) and bring everything needed to complete the cleaning job, including the power supply and water. All they’ll need from you are your car keys. Once the job is complete, you can pay, tip, and rate your experience in the app.

How Much Do Car Cleaning Services Charge?

A no-frills car wash—the drive-through kind, with DIY vacuuming—will run you less than $10. But for the fuller car cleaning experience (including interior wipe-down, vacuuming, upholstery shampoo, and more) the cost can vary widely depending on the size and soil level of your car as well as the degree of service you choose. Expect to pay at least $20 for any car cleaning service that includes interior vacuuming, and up to $300 for high-level detailing.

How We Chose the Best Car Cleaning Services

To choose the best car cleaning services, we considered company longevity, quality of services offered, geographic availability, and reputation. We combed through online reviews and contacted customer service departments to ensure that the companies chosen were maintaining a basic standard of quality work and responsive service, and we considered the level of convenience and care that each company offered to their clients.

While Spiffy is a relative newcomer in the car-cleaning space, its slate of options, positive reviews, top-notch customer service, and more were all factors in us choosing it for best overall. Other options stood out for their affordability: MobileWash guarantees the best price for on-demand car cleaning, while Mister Car Wash offers drive-through washes and monthly unlimited packages for customers who don’t need the frills (or expense) of a full detail.

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