The Best Car Detailing Kits (Review) in 2020

Washing your car regularly keeps it well maintained and free of damaging dirt and grime. But you don’t want to...

Best Choice
meguiar’s complete car detailing kit
Meguiar’s Complete Car Detailing Kit
Premium Pick
Chemical Guys Complete Car Detailing Kit
Chemical Guys Complete Car Detailing Kit
Best Value
Armor All Complete Car Detailing Kit
Armor All Complete Car Detailing Kit
Washing your car regularly keeps it well maintained and free of damaging dirt and grime. But you don’t want to merely keep your car clean — you need to give it some TLC too. Taking the time to detail your car after you clean its exterior helps extend the life of your paint, protects against the harmful effects of everyday driving, and can really make your car look shiny and sleek. Detailing is extra work, but it’s important work. If you want to keep your vehicle looking good for many years, regular detailing is critical. Fortunately, you can make the task of auto detailing much easier with a car detailing kit. These kits include all of the cleaning, polishing, and waxing products you need to deep clean your car. And you can check out some of the best car detailing kits right here.

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.

Key Features
  • 12 Products
  • Includes Excellent Car Wash Formula
  • Includes Clay Bars
Specification
  • Brand Meguiar’s
  • Model G55032SP
  • Weight 8.2 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.

Key Features
  • Includes Foam Gun
  • 16 Piece Kit
  • Great Starter Kit
Specification
  • Brand Chemical Guys
  • Model HOL148
  • Weight 13.6 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.

Key Features
  • 13 Piece Kit
  • Multi-Stage Cleaning Process
  • Quality Car Shampoo
Specification
  • Brand TriNova
  • Model FBA_33906
  • Weight 1.21 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 shampoo to thoroughly clean your car, you can bring out this bad boy to add the finishing touches.

Key Features
  • 2x Clay Bars
  • Instant Detailer Spray
  • Microfiber Towel
Specification
  • Brand Mothers
  • Model 07240
  • Weight 1.9 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 few stand out features to be found in this kit. The first is the car wash itself. Yes, it is a quality car wash, but 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.

Key Features
  • Great Starter Kit
  • Artificial Wax
  • Biodegradable Car Wash
Specification
  • Brand Griot’s
  • Model FBA_11131
  • Weight 8.8 Lbs

The Chemical Guys are back with a really good quality item here. This innovative product is, as the product name describes, an eco-friendly and waterless 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.

There are two advantages here. One is the fact the product is diluted really extends its lifespan, meaning this 16 Oz bottle makes up to two gallons of cleaning fluid. It also means you don’t need a hosepipe, pressure washer, or even a single bucket of water.

Key Features
  • Carnauba Based Wax
  • Works on Bodywork, Wheels and Windows
  • 6x Microfiber Towels
Specification
  • Brand Chemical Guys
  • Model HOL401
  • Weight 3.85 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 the 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 money-wise, but it’s also a pretty innovative product, to boot.

Key Features
  • Multi-Function Products
  • 2x Quality Microfiber Tires
  • Great Value for Money
Specification
  • Brand Turtle Wax
  • Model 50821
  • Weight 5.4 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.

Key Features
  • Excellent Paint Protection
  • 4x Products
  • Glass Wipes
Specification
  • Brand Armor All
  • Model 78452
  • Weight 4.35 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 while it all looks good, it also looks like a lot of hard work. Well, 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.

Key Features
  • TORQX Dual Action Polisher
  • Full Assortment of Buffing Pads
  • Pad Cleaner & Buffing Conditioner Fluids Included
Specification
  • Brand Chemical Guys
  • Model BUF_209X
  • Weight 10.4 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, but there is also another stand out detail about this kit – it’s huge!

This car detailing kit is packed with quality items. 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 afterward and keep it looking great for longer.

Key Features
  • Phenomenal 19 Piece Kit
  • Includes Paint Restorer
  • Quality Items for a Range of Vehicle Surfaces
Specification
  • Brand Meguiar’s
  • Model G55048
  • Weight 12.48 Lbs
Best Car Detailing Kit Buying Guide & FAQ

Wondering how to tell a great car detailing kit from lesser-quality options? Our buying guide will help you choose the right kit with all of the right products and accessories that you need as a car owner. You’ll learn how to put these different tools to work to make easy work of auto detailing.

car detailing

What to Look For In Car Detailing Products

  • Starter or Supplementary

Car detailing kits typically come in two forms: starter kits and supplementary kits. A starter kit is ideal for car owners who don’t have a ton of cleaning or detailing supplies, while a supplementary kit is a great choice for those who already have some items in their garage. If you’re new to car detailing, you’ll want to choose a starter kit that includes absolutely everything you’ll need to save time and money.

  • Cleaner/Shampoo

The first — and most important — item you’ll need in the detailing process is a car cleaning solution or shampoo. The cleaning solution or shampoo needs to be sudsy and effective at gently removing dirt and grime. Look for a car detailing kit that includes a quality cleaning solution that’ll get your car clean with a basic wash.

  • Wax

Next, you’ll want to look for car detailing kits that include a quality car wax. After cleaning your car, you’ll apply the wax to leave a protective finish that’s also shiny and filled with luster. Carnauba wax is a great option for all vehicles, but you can also consider kits with artificial wax if you’d prefer a longer-lasting wax.

 

  • Wheel Cleaner

Your vehicle’s wheels need special attention and their own cleaning product. Many car detailing kits include wheel cleaning products and solutions. Specially formulated to be used on wheels, this is a great tool to have in your detailing arsenal, as it allows you to expertly bring your wheels — which often attract the most stubborn dirt and grime — to a clean shine.

  • Clay Bars

Clay bars are a handy product to have in your detailing kit if you really want to care for your car’s paint job. Using a clay bar helps maintain and even restore paint, giving it a sleek, shiny appearance like it’s brand new. Consider a kit that comes with a clay bar if you want to give your car extra exterior care.

Why You Should Use a Car Cleaning Kit?

A car detailing kit offers two important benefits for your vehicle. It provides:

  • Deep Clean

When you give your car a basic wash, you’re just rinsing and soaping away everyday dirt. When you detail your car, you’re getting a much deeper clean.

Instead of washing with just soap and water, a car detailing kit provides you with specialized cleaning products that can both effectively clean and work to protect your vehicle’s many different surfaces and parts. You’ll have special solutions for deep cleaning your wheels, products that make glass glisten spot-free, and cleaning products designed just for chrome and auto paint. You’ll have a wealth of different cleaning tools that can offer a more specialized, in-depth clean.

  • Protection

Because all of the cleaning products in a car detailing kit are specialized and designed for use on vehicle components, you’ll also get protection. In addition to cleaning, many of the supplies included in a detailing kit help you better equip your car for all of the challenges and potential dangers it faces on the road. Wax, for example, protects your paint and your clear coat. Chrome cleaner, for example, ensures your chrome won’t dull or become worn. A car detailing kit is able to keep your car in its best possible condition for a long time to come.

How to Detail Your Car With a Car Detailing Kit

Putting a car detailing kit to use depends on what, exactly, is included in the kit. Every kit does start with the same step: wash your car until it’s clean. But from there, each individual kit can vary.

Some kits are more comprehensive than others, and you can use them to perform both a pre-detailing wash as well as waxing, using a clay bar, cleaning windows, and tackling chrome trim. Yet others include fewer products and may not need as many steps.

Make sure to read the instructions on each item in your car detailing kit. Each product will likely include its own instructions and indicate when in the detailing process it should be used. You can easily follow these steps to create your own detailing routine.

Best Car Detailing Kit FAQ:

Q: What is the difference between detailing and washing?

A: Washing your car is like giving your vehicle a bath. You’re using soap and water to wash away dust, dirt, and debris that accumulates each time you hit the road or park your car outside, exposed to the elements. All you need to wash your car is a supply of water and a quality car wash cleaning solution or soap.

Detailing, on the other hand, is much more detail-oriented work. When you detail your car, you clean and protect every inch of your car’s exterior — and potentially the interior too. Detailing involves more in-depth cleaning, and it requires more specialized products and tools. You need a clean car in order to detail your car, so you could call a car wash the first step of the detailing process.

Q: My vehicle is new. Does it need to be detailed?

A:

A new car doesn’t need to be detailed right away. However, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of routinely detailing your vehicle so it maintains its fresh, shiny appearance for a long time to come. The sooner you begin detailing your car, the easier the task will be.

It’s easier to detail a clean car than a dirty car, and that makes new cars prime candidates for detailing. You’ll want to think about detailing your new car after it’s been out on the road for a bit. Detailing will offer preemptive protection, offering layers of protection against damage that could affect your paint and exterior features. If you start relatively soon, you’ll be able to protect your car before the road wreaks havoc.

Q: How often do I need to detail my car?

A: It’s entirely up to you how often you’d like to detail your car. Regular washing is always a good idea, and so too is regular detailing. But there’s no set schedule that you need to follow.

You can follow your own personal preferences to determine how often your car needs to be detailed. Some people perform detailing every month; others do so once or twice per year. You’ll want to keep in mind that detailing offers important protection for your vehicle and its exterior — and that means regular detailing can offer a number of benefits.

Our Top Pick

You’ve discovered ten of the best car detailing kits available — and you now know that each one offers its own unique benefits and perks. From kits that offer targeted benefits for features like your car’s paint to comprehensive kits that cover cleaning and detailing, there’s truly an option for every car and every car owner. Whether you’re a first-time detailer or an experienced pro, there’s a kit on this list that’ll suit your needs. 

Picking the best car detailing kit isn’t easy, but our choice for the top option is Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit. This impressively comprehensive kit is the perfect starter set, and it includes absolutely everything you might want or need to start detailing your vehicle at home. It includes all of the basics, like a high-quality cleaning solution and natural Carnauba wax, and specialty detailing tools like clay bars and tire gel. You even get a set of sponges, microfiber towels, and wash mitts to cover all of your bases.

The vast variety of products makes Meguiar’s kit a serious standout. But it’s the impressive car cleaning solution included that really shines. Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Shampoo helps you get your car flawlessly clean, which sets you up for success as you detail your car and use the rest of the products in the kit. 

With the trustworthy Meguiar’s name behind this car detailing kit, you’ll know you’re getting a quality selection of products. The Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit also offers a reasonable price that makes it a value-driven choice.

Sources:

  1. How Often Should You Wash Your Car? – HowStuffWorks
  2. How to Wax Your Car – YourMechanic Advice