There is a lot of confusion between detailing and valeting. Some people think there is a certain difference, other people think they are the same. The difference between these 2 has always been a big part of discussion. The American word is “Detailing” and the English variation is “Valeting”. Both words mean the same thing, although people have been giving it their own description.
The dictionaries point of view on valeting
The Cambridge Online Dictionary says:
a valet service for cleaning cars
The free dictionary says:
1. A man’s male servant, who takes care of his clothes and performs other personal services.
2. An employee, as in a hotel or on a ship, who performs personal services for guests or passengers.
3. A person who parks and retrieves cars for patrons of restaurants, theaters, and other business establishments.
The main thing is that the word “detailing” is an American word. Just like the difference between “elevator” and “lift”, “valeting” is the English version of “detailing”. So to be perfectly correct, there isn’t any difference between them (even though “valeting” has a very incomplete description). People are making their own difference between them. The word “detailing” is very popular because the word implies you are working at a very detailed-level. The detailing scene has also been growing in America much earlier and harder then in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. American brands such as “Meguiars” and “Chemical Guys” have been helping to bring the word to Europe by mentioning the word “detailing” on their products.
The most common (incorrect) interpretation
The process of cleaning a vehicle very thoroughly with specialized products with less aim at the best price and more aim at the best result. This includes restoring paint, removing oxidation and going through several processes to correct any wear and tear that might be visible. Doing what they can to bring a vehicle back to “new” state. A detailer spent more time on a vehicle, goes through more steps and aims for perfection.
The process of giving the vehicle a quick clean look. This can either be a quick wash and wax, or a treatment with special products that adds gloss for a short period of time. It is not aimed at quality, durability or perfection, but aims at the best ratio between time and result. Trying to get the best look in the shortest time, without considering how long that look will last. A valeter will go for cheap products and works fast. Trying to do as many cars in a day as possible.
Does it matter
It is often bad for the average customer if a field of service is to difficult to understand. The curve to understand what somebody actually does is to big, which confuses customers that might become paying customers. They won’t understand what the difference is between these 2 terms and might not know who to call. Also, some detailers/valeters will give a different explanation about this subject, which might increase the confusion.
It would be best if there where clear and strict differences between the 2 descriptions. That way people can choose what they are, and how they should refer to themselves.
The factual difference
There is no difference. Just like there is no difference between a “lift” and an “elevator”. People have been giving their own interpretation to the 2 words, which might one day become an official description, but at the moment the official recognized dictionaries describe a “detailer” and a “valeter” the same way.
- "Protection" is an often used term in the field of detailing and valeting. But it is not always clear to everybody what protection really means, and what it does. Protection is a term used to clarify that a product is designed to form a barrier between a surface and contaminants from outside....
- Fireball is a relatively young brand of detailing products microfiber towels from South Korea. The brand mainly focuses its products around polymer technology, sometimes combined with wax. The vast majority of their products are also in liquid form....
- Cleaning a dashboard is no rocket science, but there are tips and tricks that can make the job a little easier. Some will help to clean easier, others will prevent you having to clean another area later on....
- RIWAX is a manufacturer of several different types of car care and car detailing products. The brand is being sold in several different countries and has an almost global spread. The brand originates from Switzerland....
- Koch-Chemie is a German manufacturer of industrial and commercial detailing products. Apart from developing new products, the brands aims at using sustainable raw materials, biologically degradable ingredients without the use of dangerous hydrocarbons....
- Cleaning the wheels on a car or bike can make a big difference. The wheels come into contact with various types of grime and dirt that might prove to be very difficult to remove. A simple guide will give insight into cleaning the wheels with less risk of damage or swirls....