What Supplies Do You Need for Car Detailing?

Car detailing is all about maintaining the high quality finish of your automobile through a series of concerted activities designed … Continued

Car detailing is all about maintaining the high quality finish of your automobile through a series of concerted activities designed specifically to clean, restore, and apply finishing touches that will keep your car looking good as the first time you wheeled it off the auto dealer. More importantly, however, is that car detailing today has become a very important aspect of basic car maintenance, saving you hundreds of dollars in costly repairs brought about by dirt and debris that may have accumulated in your car’s various components, significantly affecting the appearance in the process.

Since car detailing typically involves the cleaning and restoration of your car to its highest possible quality finish, then you really don’t need a professional to do this for you. You only need the following auto detailing supplies and the basic understanding of how to use them and you should be well on your way to a great car detailing activity.

Sponges and Towels 

These car wash accessories are two of the most important tools you’ll need to start you on your car detailing chores. While there is a great deal of controversy on the use of sponges in cleaning the exterior of your car, its absorbent properties make it highly ideal for working the lather onto your car’s surface.

Since the major issue in the use of sponges is the miniature swirl marks and light scratches that it can leave on surfaces, you might want to use this on parts of your car that do not easily get scratched. For the more delicate parts, towels especially the microfiber variety can provide a much better solution to all-around cleaning of your car. Not only are towels excellent for washing your car, they are exceptionally useful for drying it, too.

Leather Cloths 

Professional detailers only use real chamois leather in their applications for a variety of reasons. This car wash item is made from natural material that facilitate optimum absorbency. They often have super-absorbent properties and can dry any surface really fast. Some folks do not actually recommend leather cloths for the same reason that they don’t like sponges, too – it creates swirl marks and miniature light scratches. However, this is more evident on synthetic leather cloths.

Using real chamois can help keep the surface integrity of your car. In fact, natural chamois is made even smoother and softer every time it gets wet. Since the surface of the chamois is softer and smoother than conventional car cleaning products, you can expect no swirl marks or light scratches on your vehicle. Of course, there’s a downside to natural leather cloths. They’re naturally more expensive and can lose all of their advantages over time. 

car detailing supplies

Professional Cleaning Products 

Picking the best car detailing products typically involves choosing from a variety of professional cleaning products to help you effectively clean every nook and cranny of your vehicle. These can include soaps, car wash equipment, shampoos, car polish, car wax, sealants, and a whole lot more. The secret to picking the right one is in looking at the ingredients that are included in the formulation of cleaning solutions. Ideally, while they should really be tough on dirt and other harmful particles present on and in your car, they should also be gentle enough not to damage the surfaces.

The whole idea about car detailing is to remove surface contaminants, clean the surfaces, and give them a layer of protection so that they will not get easily damaged or affected by the elements. If the cleaning product itself is causing additional problem, then you should ditch it immediately. The important thing to remember is to pick something that will help you retain or even restore the natural beauty of your vehicle while allowing you to remove all other unwanted particles off. 

Brushes for the Exterior and Interior 

There are instances when dirt and grime have clearly built up into one sticky mess that regular cleaning simply cannot get the job done. Even if you use the best car detailing equipment complete with a solution that is designed to dissolve the chemical bonds of this gooey mess, you will still require a really sturdy brush to get rid of stubborn dirt. Professional auto detailers use a variety of brushes in their detailing chores depending on what they would like to achieve.

For example, when it comes to cleaning the wheels of your ride, wheel woolies are simply incomparable since their cylindrical design allows them to be inserted through even the tightest of spaces in a wheel. These are also exterior scrub brushes that are primarily used to remove heavier particles that may not be easily done by conventional car cleaning products. For the car interior where the surfaces are usually more delicate, appropriate interior scrub brushes can do a good job of cleaning the inside of your car. There are also car detailing brushes that serve to provide a more precise cleaning and applying of finishing materials into smaller, more delicate surfaces of the car. 

Wax and Sealant 

Every car detailer, be it professional or otherwise, has to have a good car wax and sealant in his arsenal of auto detailing supplies. This is because these two products are what many can consider to be the finishing touches to a long and laborious process of cleaning and restoring the showroom quality of any vehicle. An excellent car wax is one that not only provides your car with exceptional shine and gloss, it also helps protect the surface from harmful UV radiation, dust particles, dirt, bird droppings and other debris that may chip away at the clear coat of your car’s paintwork.

Waxes provide a rather slick layer of protection so that even bird poop can be easily removed with a simple wipe. For longer lasting protection, you may want to invest in a premium quality paint sealant instead. These car detailing products are typically made of synthetic polymers to give your car the kind of protection that it truly deserves. The good news is that there are now products that come with car wash and wax combinations that simplify the process of cleaning and protecting your car. 

Car Vacuum Cleaner 

You can always clean your car the old-fashioned way wherein you are going to bend over and try to scrub as much of the dirt that is trapped on the floor. Unfortunately, there will always be instances when you simply cannot remove everything. This is where a good car vacuum cleaner can come in very handy. It is one of those car detailing equipment that you simply cannot do without.

There are various types of vacuum cleaners that can be used in cleaning your car’s interior. However, there are certain features that you simply cannot do without. For example, a powerful suction is considered to be a must for any vacuum cleaner. And while portable, cordless cleaners can provide the versatility in their application, the power of their suction is simply not sufficient to pick up the dirt and debris that may be trapped in between the fibers of your car’s floor mat or carpet. The point is that, in any vacuum cleaner, its ability to pull out even the most stubborn dirt from any crevice should take precedence over anything else.

Secondly, your vehicle’s interior actually comes with a lot of irregular, tight spaces. As such, you will need a vacuum cleaner that comes with various attachments to help you reach these surfaces and spaces. These attachments should be natural extensions of the vacuum itself and should not get in the way of its suction capabilities. For instance, most car vacuum cleaners will have a telescoping nozzle complete with brush attachment at the tip. This combination allows you to remove stubborn dirt in hard-to-reach areas of your vehicle.

The presence of appropriate filters in the vacuum cleaner is also important as you don’t want allergens and other potentially harmful substances get recirculated into your vehicle’s cabin. At the very least, your car vacuum cleaner should have a HEPA filter fully built in. 

Detailing Water Hoses 

A lot of folks don’t consider the ubiquitous water hose as an important car detailing equipment. For them it is nothing more than a lengthy tube that conveys water from your faucet and into whatever it is you want to wash. More than that, however, is that in the hands of a professional detailer, detailing water hoses can be excellent tools for cleaning the various surfaces of your vehicle.

Using pressurized streams of water, these can effectively blast dirt and debris off the car’s surfaces. This helps facilitate the removal of these particles that can get in the way to a more efficient and more effective auto detailing.  Of course, one can always look at detailing water hoses as integral part of comprehensive car wash supplies. Nevertheless, if one truly understands the immense energy stored in water, this can actually be an excellent detailing tool. 

When it also comes to washing, a foam cannon can also be a very useful instrument in preparing the car.

car detailing

Car Polisher

A car polisher can improve the aesthetic appearance of any car. You can buff your chosen polish or wax using the traditional manual method. The problem with this is that you can never really be certain about the consistency of the pressure applied into each hand movement. If the pressure is not consistent, then you will have sections in your car that look hazier than the rest. Using a car polisher can help you apply your auto detailing supplies like car wax and car polish evenly and consistently throughout your vehicle.

In picking a car polishing machine, it is critical to look at the variable speed settings. This allows you to exert more control on the speed of the car polishing machine. It is important to understand that certain auto detailing products need to be applied and buffed at a much slower rate than other products. If the car polishing machine gives you such a feature, then by all means get this type of car polisher.

You might also want to consider the weight of the device since you don’t want it to be overly heavy, otherwise you’ll strain yourself and take the fun out of car detailing. That being said, you may also want to pick something that is very easy to use and control. At any rate, this should help simplify the whole process of polishing and buffing your car to a showroom finish. 

Pad Washer 

The integrity and functionality of your polishing and buffing pads are dependent on how you take care of these pads after use. This is where pad washer auto detailing supplies can help. These tools resemble an ordinary water bucket but integrated with certain features that allow you to clean, wash, and dry your polishing and buffing pads. This helps maintain the integrity of these car detailing equipment so you get to use them a lot longer. This easily translates to savings from having to purchase buffing and polishing pads every now and then. 

Detailing Air Blower 

If you give your car a really good wash, it is inadvertent that some of the water will be creeping into tight spaces and crevices that your drying towels simply cannot reach. This is where a detailing air blower can be really helpful. Just look at it like spraying compressed air into all the nooks and crannies of your car. The compressed air pushes beads of water out of these spaces to remove any trace of moisture. This helps keep the overall integrity of your vehicle while also preventing the buildup of mildew which can bring an entirely different set of problems for you and your family. A detailing air blower also allows you to remove dirt and debris from electric contact points where you simply cannot use water to clean these surfaces. The jets of air should blast these particles off any surface.

Cleaning and restoring your car to its showroom quality is not really that difficult. You only need to have the right auto detailing supplies as well as the clear understanding of how to use these tools and materials and you’re on your way to a more protected, beautiful ride.

Sources:

  1. 46 DIY Car Detailing Tips That Will Save You Money – family handyman
  2. Auto detailing – Wikipedia