3 Best Auto-Detailing Books For Beginners and Car Enthusiasts

Best Auto-Detailing Books
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Auto detailing is such an intriguing subject for car enthusiasts. For best results supplement your practical learning with the top three books I recommend on auto-detailing.

As a passionate car enthusiast and book lover, I’ve devoted this article to you. If you’re planning to delve into the art of auto-detailing or kickstart your own car detailing business, you’ve landed at the right spot.
I’m here to guide you through three of the best books on auto-detailing. These guides offer in-depth knowledge, transforming your interest into a professional skill set. They cover the minutiae of car care and detailing essential to turn any vehicle into a dazzling masterpiece.

1. Automotive Detailing “In Detail” Book

The first on my list is “Automotive Detailing in Detail” penned by the trio of experts: Dom Colbeck, Jon Steele, and David McLean. Released in 2017, this book stands the test of time, even in 2023, thanks to its comprehensive and up-to-date content.

Who should read it?

If you’re a detailing enthusiast craving to learn the real science behind car detailing without the marketing gimmicks of pricey products, this book is for you.
It offers insights into the detailing glossary and cuts through the fog of advertising, focusing on the actual knowledge you need.

What I don’t like?

I found a couple of drawbacks worth mentioning. The book slightly stumbles when it comes to recommendations for US products, which may leave some readers in a quandary. Additionally, the price point is higher compared to other books in this genre.


Despite these minor hiccups, many people, including myself, consider “Automotive Detailing in Detail” as the ultimate book on auto-detailing.
Its unique blend of science-backed methods and in-depth knowledge justifies its place at the top of our list and its slightly higher cost.

2. The Big Book on Auto Detailing

The second book I want to introduce is “The Big Book on Auto Detailing” by Greg Dumond.
A treasure trove of over 250 pages brimming with valuable information, illustrations, photos, secret tips, and a product ordering guide, this book is an excellent primer for anyone wishing to learn the basics of auto-detailing.


From engine cleaning, car washing, interior cleaning, window polishing, and compounding to applying protection, it covers it all. If you’re aiming to establish your own auto detailing business, this book provides the core info that can give you a solid foundation.

Who should read it?

Anyone just starting out in car detailing as they’ll be able to learn all the basic principles of car detailing and even some basics of starting a home-based car detailing business.

What I don’t like?

Firstly, the book is a bit expensive. Secondly, I believe this book is more suited for beginners entering the detailing field.
While it provides a great foundational understanding, detailing experts may find it lacks the in-depth technical insights they are seeking.
That being said, “The Big Book on Auto Detailing” remains an invaluable resource for anyone starting their journey in the auto detailing world.

3. Detailing Hand Book

The third resource I want to share is a gem that costs you nothing. “Detailing Hand Book” a free eBook by Michael Cohen and provided by NES2KO, is a treasure chest full of advice.
With topics ranging from engine cleaning, paint protection, and car washing to polishing techniques, this 88-page guide unveils some unique detailing secrets unheard of elsewhere.

Who should read it?

I recommend this book to anyone keen on diving into auto-detailing literature. It’s perfect to print out and keep in your garage for a quick reference. And if you’re not looking to invest in more expensive books yet, this could be your go-to guide.

What I don’t like?

The book, published back in 2007, may feel slightly dated in the fast-evolving world of auto detailing.
For instance, modern products like spray ceramic coatings, such as Nexgen Ceramic Spray, were not around in 2007. Hence, some information might seem outdated.


Despite this, the book excellently explains the general principles of detailing, making it a valuable addition to your detailing resources.


In the vibrant world of auto-detailing, the journey of learning should never come to a halt. There’s always a wealth of information to glean from an extra book or two.
If you’re looking to broaden your detailing knowledge, I would also recommend “The Profitable Auto Detail Shop” by J.M. Cook, and “DIY – Detail It Yourself: The Car Enthusiast’s Guide To a Fantastic Looking Car.”
But remember, while books provide valuable insights and theoretical knowledge, there’s something special about watching professionals in action.
If you’re genuinely passionate about learning the intricacies of auto-detailing, I highly suggest enrolling in an auto detailing class. These can be online or, for a more immersive experience, look for local detailers offering training.
Books like the ones I’ve mentioned serve as an excellent introduction to the auto-detailing universe. Still, seeing someone performing the detailing tasks in real-time offers an entirely different level of understanding.
These hands-on experiences are where you get to see the magic happen, adding depth to your knowledge and sharpening your detailing skills.


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