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My Favorite Detailing Supplies

Updated: May 31, 2022

Here is a list of my favorite automotive detailing supplies I love to use. I have been working on cars for many years and keeping a car looking its best is a very big part of the maintenance. Over the years I've come to love some products more than others and here is a list of my personal favorites.

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Car Wash (Chemical Guys CWS-301 Citrus Wash & Gloss Foaming Car Wash Soap)

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When it comes to a good automotive detail job you want to start with a good foundation and it starts with the car wash. A good car wash is effective at removing any debris from the surface of your vehicle while still preserving your paint or clearcoat. I have always had amazing results with Chemical Guys products and I have to say their car wash doesn't disappoint.

Chrome Polish (Mothers 05212 California Gold Chrome Polish)

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A while back I used to take my car to a professional car wash and I could never understand how they got my chrome wheels looking so amazing so finally I went and asked one of the employees and they showed me their secret. I bought a bottle of the Mothers Chrome Polish and love it, if it is good enough for the pros its good enough for me.

Clay Bar (Chemical Guys CLY-113 OG Clay Bar & Lubricant Kit)

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If your unsure what clay bar actually does and why you should use it here it is. The clay bar removes any impurities from the surface of your vehicle. If you wash your car and run your hand along it I can almost guarantee the surface doesn't feel 100% smooth. So after your car wash you can rub the clay bar across the surface and it will lift off debris and impurities making your surface even cleaner, its also a must if you plan on doing any paint correction, more on that later.

Drill Brush Kit (Holikme 20Piece Drill Brush Attachments Set)

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If you have a drill and want to make your life a whole lot easier when cleaning your car I highly suggest a drill brush kit. Its amazing for cleaning the upholstery and little details on the interior and exterior of the car. Trust me its hard to clean some of these details by hand and the brush kit makes easy work of it.

Detail Brush Kit (LUCKLYJONE 7Pcs Wheel & Tire Brush, car Detailing kit)

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Cleaning wheels is a pain, the wheel and tire brush kit has all the brushes you need to clean the wheels effectively and easily. If you watch any detailing video online you will always see them using this set to clean the wheels and the emblems and the interior of the vehicle. Save your fingers and use the proper tool, you'll thank me later.

Interior Cleaner (Chemical Guys SPI22016 Total Interior Cleaner & Protectant)

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When it comes to an interior they can get just as dirty as the outside especially if you have spilled drinks in the cup holder, scuff marks on the doors and dash or grime build up on the handles. Soap and water may get the job done eventually however I love the Chemical Guys Interior Cleaner and Protectant as it makes clean up much faster and easier and provides an additional level of protection for your interior panels.

Interior Shine Dressing (Chemical Guys TVD-109-16 Silk Shine Dressing)

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I absolutely love this stuff. After everything has been cleaned you go over it with the Chemical Guys Silk Shine Dressing and it offers protection and an amazing shine. Its like the cherry on top for a good detail job and makes everything pop and look restored with moisture instead of looking dry and dull.

Polish (Meguiar's G19220 Ultimate Polish)

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Over time your paint wont have that shine like a new car and the reason for this is micro scratches and swirl marks. This can simply happen from washing your car or any rubbing on the paint or the weather beating down on it. So when it comes to paint correction (which is restoring your paint to that new look) polish is one of the steps that brings back that shine. Polish has a mild abrasive that smooths out the surface of the paint to remove the micro scratches and swirl marks. Make sure to wash and clay bar the car first so your not grinding any surface debris into the paint when polishing the car.

Polisher (Avid Power AEP127 6-inch Dual Action Polisher)

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You can polish a car by hand however a Polisher will make the job easier and provide better results. Its like hand sanding vs power sanding, the proper tool improves the whole process. I personally have a singe action polisher (which just spins in a circle) and a dual action (which spins in a orbit and a circle) and I love the dual action way more. Its easier to use as it doesn't generate as much heat and it also works compounds more effectively than a single action polisher.

Polishing Compound (Meguiar's G17220 Ultimate Compound)

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Meguair's Ultimate Compound is if you have deep scratches or oxidation. This compound has harsher abrasives than a polish that smooths the topcoat of your paint more aggressively. While this is effective against larger issues in your surface you need to handle with care as to much abrasive and polishing in a single spot can generate heat and cause you to burn into the paint (basically micro sanding into the paint through the clearcoat). Im not trying to intimidate you im just suggesting take your time and care when using this product, it is very effective if used properly and I highly suggest. The process is wash, clay bar, compound polish, polish, wax and lastly ceramic coat.

Pressure Washer (Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 psi Electric Pressure Washer)

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A good pressure washer is a must when it comes to a good detail. If you notice most professionals always have a pressure washer handy and for good reason. They increase the speed in which you can clean the car and also increase your ability to remove grime from the paint. This is very important as the more you clean the surface before actually washing it the less chance you will have causing damage by scratching it due to rocks and dirt dragging across the surface as you wash it. It also helps to remove grime in hard to clean areas and can be used for many other jobs as well. I use this pressure washer for work as well as personal use as it can clean concrete, houses, cars, furniture, etc.

Shop-Vac (RIDGID WD1451 14-Gal. 6.0 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac with Auto Detailing Kit)

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Don't try to use your house vacuum on your car as its just not built for that. Think of a shop vac as a outdoor vacuum and for good reason. This vac has way more suction is more durable and is designed to do a better job for outside jobs such as the interior of your car. What I like about Ridgid is they are super durable and have a great warranty. I use this shop vac for everything from cleaning the car to sucking up mud from a underground pipe burst (yes you heard me right this thing can vacuum water). Its like having a car wash vacuum for your home.

Tire & Trim Gel (Chemical Guys TVD-108-16 Tire and Trim Gel)

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This product blew my mind, Chemical Guys are truly masters of their craft. The Tire and Trim Gel is a clear gel that you put on your tires and trim (obviously) but what it does is amazing. It makes your tires and trim shine like its new and gives the blacks so much rich depth. It almost looks like you repainted the trim but its our best kept little secret. Just wipe it on and your done

Upholstery Cleaner (Chemical Guys SPI-191-16 Lightning Fast Upholstery Stain Extractor)

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Cleaning upholstery seems pretty tedious and it can be if you don't have the right stuff. I like the Chemical Guys Stain extractor because its fast and effective. I just spray it on my seats or carpet and let it soak in and then work it with my drill and a drill brush attachment and then suck it out with a upholstery cleaner or shop vac. Sometimes on really dirty jobs it may take a couple of passes but you would be amazed by the results.

Upholstery Cleaner (BISSELL SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner, 2458)

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So the difference between a portable carpet cleaner and a shopvac is the following. A shop vac just sucks like a vacuum. A portable carpet cleaner has a container for clean water with your upholstry cleaner and another container for the dirty water. You have a hose with a vacuum head and you can spray your cleaner/clean water with it and then suck the mixture right behind it with the vacuum. I have had great luck with the Bissell and for best results I like to use it with hot water)

Wheel Cleaner (Chemical Guys CLD-997-16 Diablo Wheel Gel Concentrated Wheel Cleaner)

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As I have said before cleaning wheels is a pain and the worst part is typically brake dust, especially the front wheels. Not all cleaners are the same and what I like about the Diablo cleaner is its safe for a wheel surfaces such as painted wheels. I like to clean my wheels using this cleaner and the wheel brushes listed above.

Wax (Meguiar's G18211 Ultimate Paste Wax)

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I love waxing the car because it means I am almost done with the detail. Wax is important as it provides a layer of protection for the clear coat and it fills all the final imperfections on the surface to give your car the glass look you are looking for. When I wax I wipe the wax on the car usually in circles and then let it dry and then wipe off in circles working it into the surface. Ive used other waxes over my years but i really like the results and smell of the ultimate paste wax, also I prefer paste over liquid as it just seems to do a better job.

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