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Detailing and the body!


This is not a blog entry about a product, a technique, or anything related to the business end of detailing…its about the effects of the job at hand. Truth be told, “detailing” is a very labor intensive service!

There is something to be said for a super clean, glossy, and defect free car…and that is it took a lot of effort to get it looking that way! Something that is never really looked at, or understood by the paying customer sometimes, is the stress and torture your body goes through. All the bending over, the far reaching across the hood, the downward pressure applied to the machine while polishing, etc. really take a toll on the body. Hands get sore and achy from the constant wiping and and swiping with microfiber towels on various surfaces, not to mention the vibrations of the machine while polishing and gripping it. Backs get strained and contorted while bending over and reaching hard to reach areas of the car, or polishing the side skirts on a lowered car. Applying pressure to a machine isnt just using the hands, but the back as well. It takes the whole body in most cases.

Stretching is a very important step in reducing the effects of the endeavor we call detailing. By loosening up your body and getting it ready to contort, twist, and move in various abnormal ways, you will not be stiff, sore, or in so much agony the next day if you do this on occasion, and more so if you do it on a daily basis! I for one get pretty sore after a round of four or five 12-14 hour details done in a single week.

Also, something else to really pay attention to is the eating aspect while working. So many times I have gone 7-8 hours without eating during a long detail that when I finally realize I forgot to eat, I am exhausted physically because I haven’t been giving my body the energy source it needs! I personally have a high metabolism so I need to eat 5-6 times a day! So constantly have to remind myself to break once I split a car down the middle while compounding, or make a full round of final polishing, or while the sealant is setting up on the car. Doing this dramatically helps me focus and have sustained energy on a longer detail!

Hope that helps with just a couple of things that aren’t talked about all the time!

Eric Schuster Envious Detailing
Eric Schuster
Envious Detailing
Orange County, CA

8 comments on Detailing and the body!

  1. Adam B says:

    All makes perfect sense! The detail is only as good as the condition of the detailer.

  2. Frank Scammell says:

    Nice write up Eric, I agree and have the physical evidence t back you up!! I also keep a bottle of 800 mg Ibuprfen handy!

  3. Kris says:

    When I started detailing “professionally” last fall I was pretty out of shape and my lower back was especailly sore from all the bend and twisting for several hours a day. As a new years resolution I started weight training and eating better again and I saw significant improvement in my body’s ability to handle the stress that detailing can put on it in just a matter of a couple of week; no more sore backs or anything! Just my 2 cents…

  4. Tim says:

    I too forget to eat. I have to force myself to stop and get something between sections. It takes longer to regain the energy lost if I just push on through. Candy bars and other junk food are a temporary boost; but, don’t help long term.

    The same can be said for sleep. A really restful night sleep also helps the body recover.

    Thanks for the article and reminder.

  5. Eric says:

    Working out has definitely helped me as well!
    A good nights sleep…whats that??? I roughly get 5-6 hours after a 13-15 hour work day anymore…haha.
    Eating THE RIGHT foods is more important than just eating too. i should have mentioned that. Fast food filled with fat and all the wrong stuff is just a tummy filler, not a nutrient source! I prefer to search for a Subway close by, heck, they are almost as common as gas stations anymore!

  6. John G says:

    Couldn’t be more timely and I wasn’t even doing a detail! This past weekend was my first thorough wash after winter and my knee and back have been bothering me ever since. I also skipped lunch and actually ended up with a headache that afternoon to boot! Once the buffer, detailing brushes etc come out, one can become a static contortionist! Definitely a good idea to stretch, bring out some snacks, drink some water etc. Great reminder!


  7. Ivan Rajic says:

    Eric, great article! I just gave my new partner/assistant this speech almost word for word. I too used to MAYBE grab a quick bite, then do a 6-9hr detail start to finish. Not good. Now I eat at least once in the middle, sometimes twice and make sure to get a good breakfast in before starting the work.

    Working out definitely helps a lot, especially if you work out your core/lower back regularly. Stretching is a no-brainer and as good of shape I like to think I’m in, unless you’re 17-18 you’re going to start feeling it in your lower back, shoulders, etc after a good 8hr detail.

    Again, great article and very good points!

  8. Ron Ayotte says:

    Eric.. excellent article.

    Staying hydrated is important, as is taking breaks for snacks/meals.

    I also stretch before starting a detail and during it. I use of a mechanics’ creeper and stool when I detail a car to make it easier on the back. I find that doing interiors causes the most back pain; in some vehicles one has to be a contortionist to get to everything. One of the most important things to do is stretch AFTER you finsh a detail… I find that my back will stiffen up if I don’t. Another thing I do is take a nice hot shower before I go and deliver the vehicle.. it makes me feel “human” again (especially if you detail a “grungemobile”) and helps to recharge the batteries!

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