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Auto Detailing: A Brief History

Auto Detailing a Brief History

Auto Detailing: A Brief History

The auto detailing industry has a long history, running back to the early 1800s. Its history is even longer that that of the car! With innovations in technology, the industry has grown and developed, with new products, equipment, auto detailing methods being invented on a daily basis. How did it all start? Let’s have a look at some important dates in the history of auto detailing.

History of Auto Detailing

1800 – World’s first wax was developed out of animal fats in a German town called Bischofsheim to protect the lacquer like paint that was applied to horse carriages.

1886 – The first “production” vehicle was invented by Karl Benz. The auto-mobile was powered by petrol or gasoline. The company, now known as Mercedez Benz, was founded in 1889 by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Mayback.

1888 – Menzerna, a top selling company today, started developing a range of solid, liquid and paste polishing compounds.

1901 –  Frank Meguiar, Jr.  founded a small furniture polish laboratory and a plant in his garage. The company, now known as Meguiar’s, is a giant in the automobile detailing product industry today.

1910 – George Simons developed a cleaner and a carnauba wax product for car finishes. His company was named Simons Manufacturing Company and the products were named Simons Cleaner and Simons paste wax. In 1912, the company was renamed Simoniz and the auto detailing process was known as “simonizing”. Their slogan was “Motorists Wise, Simoniz”.

1920 – In the early 1920s, 3M invented the world’s first waterproof sandpaper which reduced airborne dust during automobile manufacturing.

1925 – 3M revolutionized the automobile/auto detailing industry by inventing masking tape, which allowed paint shops to get a razor sharp line on two-tone paint jobs.

1944 – PlastoneTM auto polish is the first bottled car wax. This liquid auto polish was invented by Ben Hirsch. It was renamed Turtle Wax® for its hard shell finish.

1969 – The polymer sealant introduced by DuPont is the world’s first commercially available product of its kind.

1970 – By the 1970’s, Japan and Europe were using metallic based paints with a clear coat. This clear coat system produced outstanding hardness, gloss and long lasting color. The process was brought to USA but for the first 2-3 years, there was clear coat failure in many cars.

In the mid 1970s, the unique twin head orbital action polisher designed by Cyclo U.S.A for the aircraft industry was also found to be amazing at paint correction in automobiles.

1990sDetailing clay, which was first used in Japan around the 1980s, was first introduced in the US in 1990.

Introduction of the water-based, oven dried, two-stage paint system happened in the 90s. This diversified the paint colors and perfected the clear coat system.

Microfibers were first publicized in the early 1990s in Sweden and saw success as a product in Europe over the course of the decade.

2000 – PPG Industries invented CeramiClear, a binary clear coat composition that eliminated paint degradation from causes such as acid rain, salt and UV radiation.

2007 – Clear paint sealants, which are nanotechnology polymer coatings, were invented.

This is only a brief history of auto detailing. More innovations are being added to this amazing list. The current trend in auto care is definitely eco-friendly auto detailing, especially because auto detailing has been stigmatized for having a negative impact on the environment. More and more auto detailers and customers alike are choosing green auto care instead of chemically laden ones.

DetailXPerts is a pioneer in green auto detailing, with a proud history of over a decade. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

* Article based on and

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