We all want our rides to look as clean and shiny as we can, right? Well if you want your car, truck or van look it’s absolute best, then investing in a quality car detailing kit is a must.
In this article we are going to take a deep dive investigation into some of the very best car detailing kits on the market right now. We’ll look at not only what makes for a kit packed out with the best car detailing products – we’ll also help you to find the right detailing kit to suit you and your needs.
The Best Car Detailing Kit
We’re going to kick off our list with a quality kit from a quality manufacturer. Meguiar’s have been around for a long time, building up a strong – and in our opinion well deserved – reputation for making outstanding car cleaning kits.
That is just what they have done here with this awesome 12-piece kit. It is packed full of kit, making it ideal for any car detailing rookies who need everything to detail a car delivered in one convenient package.
Includes Excellent Car Wash Formula
Includes Clay Bars
- Weight8.2 Lbs
Next up we have another entry from a company with a top reputation when it comes to car cleaning products. Chemical Guys are definitely one of the market leaders when it comes to car detailing products. What they have done here is put together a kit containing a number of their best products so you can, in their words, build an “arsenal” of quality cleaning gear.
There is some great quality stuff here too, and unlike some kits they all come in pretty big sizes. So you get 16 Oz of the Diablo Wheel and Rim Cleaner for example. This PH-Balanced formula is safe to use on a range of materials and surfaces and will help you to get crazy clean wheels.
Includes Foam Gun
16 Piece Kit
Great Starter Kit
- BrandChemical Guys
- Weight13.6 Lbs
The third item to make our list, and we are looking at another great starter kit for anyone who is lacking in detailing equipment and products. This time we are looking at a great set of car detailing products brought to you by TriNova.
They are promising a set of professional quality products here, and looking at what you get bundled in the box, it’s hard to argue with that assessment! First off all you are getting a quality wash shampoo in this kit. As we said before, that is a very important ingredient in a starter detailing kit.
13 Piece Kit
Multi-Stage Cleaning Process
Quality Car Shampoo
- Weight1.21 Lbs
So far we have looked at a number of products that are perfect as starter kits for those with little current stock of detailing items. Next up though we have something a little different. This is not a kit bursting with items – you are in fact only getting four pieces in this kit.
What you have here is a kit ideal for end stage detailing. By that we mean after you have used a shampoo to thoroughly clean your car, you can bring out this bad boy to add the finishing touches.
2x Clay Bars
Instant Detailer Spray
- Weight1.9 Lbs
Back to the starter kit style of products, and the next one is coming to you from Griot’s. Again, this kit is stacked to the brim with quality cleaning products.
There are a couple of stand out features to be found in this kit. The first is the car wash itself. Yes, it is a quality car wash, but frankly that should come as no surprise. The interesting thing about this car wash is that it is biodegradable. That is something to bear in mind if you clean your car in your yard or near your lawn – there are fewer chemicals here that could do any damage.
Great Starter Kit
Biodegradable Car Wash
- Weight8.8 Lbs
Chemical Guys are back with a really good quality item here. This innovative product is, as the product name describes, an eco-friendly and water less car wash kit.
Or at least… it’s nearly waterless! Basically, you add a small amount of the cleaning product to the atomizer spray. You then water it down (distilled water is the recommended added ingredient) and then spray the car.
Carnauba Based Wax
Works on Bodywork, Wheels and Windows
6x Microfiber Towels
- BrandChemical Guys
- Weight3.85 Lbs
It would have been a surprise if we managed to complete a list of the best car detailing kits without including Turtle Wax somewhere – and here they are! Turtle Wax has been around for a long time, making quality car cleaning products that are also excellent value for money.
Turtle Wax is true to form here, with a six piece detailing kit complete with a phenomenally low price tag. Not only is it great value for money though, this is a pretty innovative design of product here.
2x Quality Microfiber Tires
Great Value for Money
- BrandTurtle Wax
- Weight5.4 Lbs
Armor All are, as their name implies, all about protection. That is why the kit is built around the Armor All Original Protectant product. You get 10 Oz of this quality product, and frankly it is almost worth the price of purchase by itself.
It is designed to be applied after the car is cleaned and waxed. Once in place it works to protect the car paint from fading and cracking. At the same time it provides effective protection from damaging elements such as UV light and oxidation. That is a really useful level of protection, and if you really want to protect your car paintwork from damage you should certainly take a close look at this product.
Excellent Paint Protection
- BrandArmor All
- Weight4.35 Lbs
With a few exceptions, most of the kits we have looked at so far have assumed that you will be doing most of the work of cleaning the car. If you have looked at the products on our list so far and thought that whilst it all looks good, it also looks like a lot of hard work… then this kit from Chemical Guys could be of interest to you.
It comes with one electrically powered TORQ random orbital polisher. This beast can put out between 1200-4200 OPM (Orbits Per Minute), which is more than enough power to tackle the buffing of just about any vehicle.
TORQX Dual Action Polisher
Full Assortment of Buffing Pads
Pad Cleaner & Buffing Conditioner Fluids Included
- BrandChemical Guys
- Weight10.4 Lbs
We started our list with a kit from Meguiar’s and we are finishing it with another from the same manufacturer. Not only though does this kit come with the Meguiar’s name as a badge of quality, there is also another stand out detail about this kit – it’s huge!
This car detailing kit is packed with quality items. There is the Ultimate Wash and Wax. It gently cleans away dirt and grime, whilst leaving a quality waxed surface behind. There is a quick detailer for fast touch up cleans, whilst the liquid polish and liquid wax are both designed to leave your vehicle looking incredible. The protectant liquid is designed to go on afterwards and keep it looking great for longer.
Phenomenal 19 Piece Kit
Includes Paint Restorer
Quality Items for a Range of Vehicle Surfaces
- Weight12.48 Lbs
Best Car Detailing Kit Buying Guide & FAQ
In our buying guide, we’ll take you through the features that you should keep an eye out for when picking out the best car detailing kit for you. After that, we’ll take a look at how best to use your new kit and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this extremely useful product.
What to Look For In Car Detailing Products
- Starter or Supplementary
Probably the biggest decision is whether you want a starter kit or a supplementary kit. If you have no or few quality detailing products and pieces of equipment, it makes sense to buy a starter kit so you have everything you need to detail your car all delivered in one convenient box.
In order to be able to detail your car properly, it needs to be as clean as possible overall before moving on to detailing. If you don’t have a quality cleaner/shampoo, then we would certainly suggest that you take a look at a kit that contains a quality cleaner or shampoo.
The other thing to look for is a good wax. A quality wax will really help to keep the vehicle looking great with a shiny and deeply lustrous appearance. Remember that carnauba wax will often give the best looking results, whilst artificial wax will typically last a lot longer.
- Clay Bars
We really like clay bars. They truly are the secret weapon of the pro shop, and they can help to restore your paintwork to the appearance it had as the car rolled out of the factory. They are cheap enough that you can buy them by themselves of course, but any kit with a clay bar inside will get an extra bonus point from us!
Why You Should Use a Car Cleaning Kit?
To us, there are basically two main reasons why you should use a detailing kit:
- Deep Clean
We will go into this a little more below, but a detailing kit allows for a deeper clean than a simple car wash can ever achieve.
There are, for example, products in a cleaning kit that are designed to clean a range of materials. There will be bodywork cleaners, there will be tire cleaning gels and foams and there will be products that clean the glass such as the windshield. That’s just a small flavor of the products in a detailing kit that can help clean your vehicle.
Whether it is wax or a dedicated protective product, there are a range of items to be found in a detailing kit that help to keep the vehicle looking great for longer. That is really useful as frankly after you have spent so much time cleaning the thing, you want your car or truck to carry on looking great for as long as possible.
How to Detail Your Car With a Car Detailing Kit
It will really depend on the kit that you end up buying. Some kits have more items than others, and each kit will be designed to be used in a different way.
We will give you two pieces of advice though. First, simply read the instructions on the items, they will guide you through their use.
Secondly, and we’ve mentioned this several times so apologies for going on! But do make sure that the car is as clean as possible before moving on to the detailing. That is why, where possible, we’ve included lots of kits that include a quality cleaner/shampoo.
Best Car Detailing Kit FAQ:
Q: What is the difference between detailing and washing?
A: Washing a car is basically a surface wash. You could use lots of water and a car shampoo, and it will leave the car (overall) nice and clean.
Detailing on the other hand is all about, well, the detail. It is about getting down onto the paintwork with clay to clean out any dirt that the shampoo leaves behind. It is also about cleaning the tires, applying wax and protection.
Detailing is basically a more in depth and far deeper clean that leaves your vehicle looking even better than a standard wash could ever achieve by itself.
Q: My vehicle is new. Does it need to be detailed?
A: Probably not, though if you want to keep it looking new and shiny, it will be a good idea to start detailing it soon. It will also be easier to detail a relatively clean car rather then having to clean a filthy car and start from there.
Also bear in mind that things like Wax also protect the paintwork from damage, as well as making it look nice and shiny. So it is a good idea to start detailing a new car soon, to start building up the additional protective layers.
Q: How often do I need to detail my car?
A: This is very much a personal question. Many people like to be out every weekend, helping to make their vehicle look great. Other people are going to leave it until the car is so dirty you can’t tell what the original color was, before getting the cleaning kit out!
Clean the car as often as you like. Do dear in mind though that a lot of these kits contain a number of items that protect the paintwork. Regular detailing then can help keep the car looking cleaner for longer.
Our Top Pick
Phew, that really was a deep dive into ten of the best car detailing kits on the market! On our list you will find kits suited to different levels of cleaning as well as kits designed as starters and some designed to supplement existing items and tools.
When it comes to picking the best product then, this diversity of products makes it a little hard. But, if we have to make a top pick (and our boss says we do) then we will have to go for the Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit.
For us, it is just packing everything that you would look for in a quality starter kit. Clay bars, tire gel and high quality Carnauba wax are supplemented by a set of excellent sponges and microfiber towels and wash mitts.
We were also particularly impressed that it came with a quality car cleaner in the kit. As we pointed out in the review, the car needs to be as clean overall as possible before moving on with the detailing. The Gold Class Car Shampoo will help you to achieve just that.
Add in the fact it comes with the Meguiar’s name as a stamp of quality and is also available for a very reasonable price tag, and it was obvious why this car detailing kit had to be our top pick.