Choosing the best car cleaning products and equipment can be time consuming and overwhelming. After countless hours of research and testing, we’ve created the ultimate car cleaning kits to save you the hassle.
The car wash kit, exterior cleaning kit, interior cleaning kit and paint correction kit contain all the products needed to detail your car like a pro. There may be cheaper car cleaning kits available. However, those ready-made packages often exclude essential products. In addition, they may not provide the amount needed to detail even the smallest vehicles.
Many people find cleaning their car a relaxing way to spend the weekend, and the results can be satisfying. After all, it’s hard to beat the feeling of driving a freshly detailed car that looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor. Learning how to detail a car with the best products and tools will save you money in the long run. In addition, it helps maintain the trade-in value of the vehicle.
Best Car Cleaning Kits
Choosing the best car cleaning kit is not always easy, as almost every car care brand offers ready-to-use kits. Most brands offer a complete range of skilled car cleaning products. Still, every brand seems to have a few products that stand out above the rest (pun intended for car cleaning). Taking a brand independent approach can build a collection of the best car cleaning products and equipment for all inclusive kits.
How products are rated:
Price – Product price is an essential factor when choosing items for the car cleaning list. Many products have an average price or slightly above average. Less expensive supplies may not last as long or may require more product per application. At the same time, the products with the highest price can offer diminishing returns with significant price increases.
Performance – Consider effectiveness, safety and durability when determining a product’s performance. The products on our curated list offer strong cleaning capabilities and can be used on a variety of surfaces. Product durability may vary depending on driving conditions. Still, each featured product has an average lifespan comparable to that of the competition.
Easy to use – Some products offer exceptional performance, but applying them can be tricky. Working with hard-to-use products can diminish the fun of car cleaning and result in a few mistakes in the learning process. The product that lasts the longest is not as good as a typical consumer cannot easily apply it correctly in a DIY environment.
Types of car cleaning kits:
Car Wash Kit
There are quite a few car wash kits on the market. Many of them come with a single bucket, wash mitt, and a pair of microfiber towels. These pre-assembled kits are inadequate because the safest way to wash a car is to use the two bucket car wash method. The first bucket is filled with water to rinse the wash glove after cleaning each panel, while a second bucket contains car shampoo. Each bucket should also be equipped with a debris filter to minimize the chance of paint damage.
It is good practice to use several washcloths or use a microfiber cloth to clean the lower panels of the car. The bumpers and rocker panels are often much dirtier than other areas. Using separate wash media to clean those parts is ideal. Remember to always start with a roof wash and work your way up to the rocker panels to minimize the risk of paint damage.
The ultimate car wash kit includes everything from the water hose to cleaning tires and everything in between. If you already have a collection of auto detailing supplies, you can pick and choose the missing items from your product and equipment range or use an upgrade.
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Exterior Car Cleaning Kit
The exterior car cleaning kit includes many of the items included in the car wash kit. The additional products are aimed at disinfecting and protecting the paint. It is best to disinfect the paint of a car annually. That’s why the Exterior Cleaning Kit has everything you need to remove adhering and underground contaminants. For example, if you use iron remover, tar remover and clay bar, the paint will become smooth as glass.
Attention for detailers of new cars: Never use iron remover in a closed garage. The noxious sulfur smell is incredibly potent and will linger for days in areas without adequate ventilation. Also wear nitrile gloves when working with iron and tar removers because the odor doesn’t wash off easily and you don’t want to absorb strong chemicals through your skin.
The ultimate exterior car cleaning kit includes supplies to service a car for a few years or several vehicles for a year. You can purchase some of the listed products in larger quantities to provide a lower cost per application. However, commercial sized containers or multi-packs can be too much for the average person to have on hand.
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Interior Car Cleaning Kit
This list of supplies includes everything you need to detail a car’s interior, except for the expensive equipment. For example, a steam steam cleaner and a hot water extractor are significant purchases. Each item can easily cost over $1,000. We do include a wet/dry vacuum cleaner in the interior cleaning list. A powerful vacuum cleaner makes it easier to remove pet hair and other stubborn contaminants.
Our list includes a three-part carpet/upholstery cleaning system to help you remove the toughest interior stains. First, the enzyme pre-treatment breaks down the most stubborn stains with ease. Then step two helps to dissolve and further lift the soiling from the carpet and upholstery fibers. Finally, the third step helps tackle any remaining stains and sterilizes the surfaces to eliminate car odors.
The ultimate interior cleaning kit will keep your car looking and smelling great.
Remark: If your car doesn’t have pet hair and you don’t plan on detailing someone else’s car, save some money and don’t buy pet hair removal brushes.
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Paint correction kit
Paint correction is a skill for those who have mastered sanitizing a car’s paint. We have included two dual action polishers in the paint correction kit to ensure that all areas of the vehicle can be polished effectively. DA polishers have less corrective power than rotary polishers. However, they are much safer and easier for novice car detailers.
Adequate lighting is critical to successful paint correction. That’s why we’ve included LED work lights and a headlamp in the paint correction kit. Ideally, paint corrections are done in a garage and away from the elements. Still, it is possible to polish the paint outdoors as long as the panels are out of direct sunlight and remain cool enough not to affect the working time of the products.
The ultimate paint correction kit complements the exterior cleaning kit. Combining the two cleaning kits into one large set would have produced a list of over 50 items and cost over $1,500. We have included a respirator as compound and polishing dusts are harmful to the respiratory tract.