10 Best Car Detailing Kits 2018
Sorting the top Car Detailing Kit for your needs
Published August 25, 2018
It is becoming more and more common for car owners to detail their own cars. Since the advent of rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber, a detailed car is no longer just a luxury but a feature that can affect the amount of money you make every day. A great car detailing kit can elevate your ride from grocery getter to money maker in no time.
Why Use A Car Detailing Kit?
You don’t have to make money off of your vehicle to want to keep it showroom clean, but for those that do, the best way to ensure a spotlessly clean interior and exterior is with an auto detailing kit.
Any professional car detailer will tell you that prep work is the key to achieving a finish on par with cars on stage at the Mecum Auction or in the impressive collections of Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld.
Pairing one of the 10 Best Car Buffers with a car detailing kit can elevate your car’s finish to its true potential and ensure that you have a professional auto detailing kit on par with the pros.
Before you run out to your nearest auto parts store, you should first know what is included in a professional car detailing kit.
Car Detailing Guide
The best car detailing kits will be one that includes a cleaning product for every part of the vehicle, and not only ensures a spotless finish but also protects from scratches and repels water.
Finish Care and Protection – A professional car detail will generally employ a 3-step process on your car’s finish, which means the best car detailing kit will:
- Clean the exterior surface panels of dirt, dust and automotive grime.
- Correct scratches and remove unsightly swirls and blemishes for the paint and clear-coat.
- Protect from further scratches and repel water.
Tires, Wheels & Rims – No professional car detail is complete without addressing the cars tires, wheels, and rims. The best car detailing kits will include a tire cleaner that provides the wet black look and a wheel & rim cleaner that removes grime and polishes to a mirror finish.
Headlights, Taillights & Glass – Automotive glass takes a real beating and can leave a car looking grimy and weathered if not addressed.
The auto detailing kit you choose should include a product that cleans automotive glass, repels water and doesn’t streak.
Interior Detailing Kit – Detailing the exterior of your car while neglecting the interior is like only cooking a meal halfway.
Professional car detailing kits include a set of brushes and cleaning products designed for the more delicate, smaller and harder to reach areas of a car’s interior.
They will also include a car upholstery cleaner to remove stains from your seats and carpets. In fact, they may include one of the 10 Car Upholstery Cleaners found here.
Engine & Chassis- Lastly, an auto detailing kit on par with the professionals will include a product that cleans the engine compartment and the chassis of the vehicle which are prone to accumulating stubborn dirt and road grime.
How To Detail Your Car With A Car Detailing Kit
Most professional auto-detailers will start with the exterior of the vehicle and move to the interior. Wherever you decide to start is up to you. However, it is important to remember that auto-detailing works best when you move from large to small.
Start with cleaning the largest components and surface panels first, moving to the smaller surfaces and finally to the smallest nooks and crannies.
It won’t do you any good to spend time washing the windows only to have to spray the car down with water to clean the surface panels.
Exterior – The first step in any car detailing process is giving the car a thorough cleaning with an automotive detergent. If you do not have any automotive detergent, dish soap will do; however, most car detailing kits will include car soap or detergent.
Use a sponge to wash all exterior panels, windows, lights, tires, and rims, then gently wash away the detergent. Repeat until all of the dirt, dust, mud, and grime have been removed from the exterior of your car.
The next step is to dry your car with a microfiber towel. Do not let any water dry on your car’s finish.
The next step in the process is to utilize the individual cleaners that are designed to clean different aspects of your car’s exterior. Use the glass cleaner included in your car detailing kit to clean all of your automotive glass, being sure to leave some for the interior. If your car detailing kit doesn’t include a glass cleaner, check out our recommendations for the 10 Best Car Glass Cleaners.
Follow the same process with the tires and rims, being sure to apply your specially-designed cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t forget that if your tires don’t shine like they are wet, even when they are dry, they are not as clean as they can be.
The next step is to break out your car buffer if you have one. If not, a microfiber rag and some elbow grease can be used to apply the car polish, wax, or rubbing compound of your choice to the exterior surface panels.
Apply a small amount of your chosen polishing compound to the car buffer pad or microfiber towel then carefully apply the car buffer to the panel.
Apply gentle, even pressure being sure always to keep the car buffer pad parallel to the panel that you are polishing.
Be careful not to hover over one spot for too long, or you may burn the finish and remember to apply your wax before the polish.
Interior – Detailing the interior of your car can be intimidating the first time. There is a lot of leather and upholstery that can easily be stained or ruined by harsh chemical cleaners.
Detailing your interior doesn’t have to be scary. Just as with the exterior, when detailing the interior, it’s important to start large and progressively move to smaller components.
The first step is to apply your car detailing kit’s car upholstery cleaner to your seats and carpets. Be sure to first test the cleaner on a hidden area of your car’s upholstery to ensure it won’t damage it.
If your car detailing kit does not include a car upholstery cleaner, we recommend any one of these 10 Best Car Upholstery Cleaners.
The last step to detail your car’s interior is to utilize the small detailing brushes included in your car detailing kit to brush and shine the small nooks and crannies of the dashboard, center console, door frames and anywhere else dirt can accumulate.
The job isn’t done until the interior can be displayed at an auto auction.
10 Best Car Buffer Kits
Car owners of every level of enthusiasm and skill can benefit from a car detailing kit and a thorough detailing of their car. There are loads of individual automotive cleaning products, all of which complete a specific task in the overall cleaning process.
The best auto detailing kits include a product for every automotive cleaning task and component. They are also affordable, comprehensive and, when used correctly, leave your car indistinguishable from the same model on display on the showroom floor.
10. Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit
Meguiar’s is featured a lot on our “Ten Best” lists. That’s because they have a reputation for quality car cleaning products.
We like the Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit because it includes nearly all of those high-quality and dependable products. The value provided by the Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit is incredible. You won’t find yourself running back to the automotive store because the Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit includes everything you can possibly need to achieve a showroom shine, including:
- microfiber wash mitt
- foam applicator pad
- microfiber towel
- 2 50-gram clay bars
- A 16-ounce bottle of interior detailer
- 1 container of quick detailer
- 1 16-ounce bottle of high gloss gel
- A 16-ounce bottle of liquid wax
- A 16-ounce bottle of car wash shampoo
Meguiar’s included these powerful cleaning products into the Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit because, when used in conjunction with one another they produce a comprehensive, professional car detail that will turn your car into the envy of the block.
The best part about the Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit is that it is entirely affordable on any budget. For less than the price of a professional car detailing you can ensure your car achieves a spotless finish month after month.
9. Griot’s Garage Master Car Care Collection with Bucket
The auto-cleaning experts at Griot’s Garage absolutely loaded their Master Car Care Collection with features that are as effective at providing a showroom shine as they are affordable.
The Griot’s Garage Master Car Care Collection includes:
- Ultimate Wash Bucket with casters and lid (optional)
- Black Shine™ Tire & Trim Coating – 15oz
- Car Wash – 16oz
- Complete Compound™ – 16oz
- Ergo Wave Foam Scrubber
- Heavy-Duty Wheel Cleaner – 22oz
- Interior Cleaner – 22oz
- Leather Care Spray – 22oz
- Liquid Gloss Poly Wax – 16oz
- Long Handle Wheel Scrubber Brushes – 3
- Microfiber Interior Cloths – 4
- Microfiber Wash Pad
- Paint Cleaning Clay – 8oz
- PFM™ Detailing Towels – 3
- PFM™ Dual Weave Glass Towels – 4
- PFM™ Dual Weave Wax Removal Towels – 4
- PFM™ Terry Weave Drying Towel
- PFM™ Terry Weave Towels – 2
- Rubber Cleaner – 35oz
- Speed Shine® – 22oz
- Spray-On Wax – 22oz
- Three-Finger Detail Mitts – 2
- Vinyl & Rubber Dressing – 8oz
- Window Cleaner – 35oz
- Yo-Yo Hand Applicator, Correcting & Waxing
The Griot’s Garage Master Car Care Collection enables you to bring a full arsenal of professional-grade car detailing tools to your car detailing project. You don’t even have to buy a bucket. This may quite possibly be the most comprehensive car detailing kit on the market.
8. Adam’s Essentials Car Detailing Kit
The Adam’s Essentials Car Detailing Kit is centered around an incredibly effective 5-step process that is guaranteed to leave your car’s finish better than the day you bought it.
- Wash and Dry your car.
- Deep clean your car’s clear-coat and finish.
- Polish paint and exterior panels.
- Wax your car’s finish, paint, and clear-coat.
- Deep clean your tires, wheels and rims.
The Adam’s Essentials Car Detailing Kit includes all of the valuable features you need to carry out the five-step process, including:
- 2 Single Soft Towels
- 2 Edgeless Utility Towels
- 2 Foam Block Applicators
- 1 16-ounce Super VRT
- 1 16-ounce Detail Spray
- 1 Visco Clay Bar Kit
- 1 16-ounce Total Interior Detailer
- 1 Blue Hex Grip Applicator
- 1 16-ounce Revive Hand Polish
- 1 Yellow Waxing Hex Grip Applicator
- 1 16-ounce Buttery Wax
- 1 Car Wash Bucket with Grit Guard
- 1 10-inch Car Wash Pad
- 1 Great White Drying Towel
- 1 16-ounce Car Shampoo
The Adam’s Essentials Car Detailing Kit is a third-generation best-seller trusted by regular car owners and professionals alike and, after experiencing it for ourselves, we couldn’t agree more.
7. Armor All Complete Car Care Kit
A car detailing kit can’t make the 10 best car detailing kits list if it isn’t manufactured by a trusted brand in automotive care. Armor All is one of the most trusted brands in car care, so we have 0 problems admitting the Armor All Complete Car Care Kit on to our list.
We like the Armor All Complete Care Kit because it combines their most reliable and powerful car cleaners into one small, comprehensive, easy-to-use auto detailing kit. The Armor All Complete Care Kit includes:
A 10-ounce bottle of Armor All original protectant – To ensure the complete removal of all dirt, dust, and grime from all of your car’s interior surfaces.
A 16-ounce bottle of car wash – To ensure the complete removal of all dirt, dust, and grime from all of your car’s exterior surfaces.
A 20-ounce bottle of foam tire protectant – Because no car detailing is complete without shiny black tires and spotless wheels.
25 glass wipes – To ensure that your car glass provides a spotless view.
The Armor All Complete Car Care Kit accomplishes less with more and that is why we consider it one of the 10 best car detailing kits. This car detailing kit, however, would be more content with keeping up the appearance of an already clean car rather than a hard-hitting mix of tools to clean up any old thing. If a deep clean is what you need, there are plenty of other options on our list to fit your needs.
6. Chemical Guys Foam Blaster 6 Foam Wash Gun Kit + Best Sellers Kits
Detailing your car can be a painstaking process. A process that can be made twice as tedious if you don’t own a hose that produces enough water pressure to remove stubborn dirt, dust, and grime for your car’s finish.
The Foam Blaster 6 Foam Wash Gun Kit, when combined with their Best Sellers Kit, provides every tool and cleaner you need to apply an auto-auction shine to your car’s finish, including:
- TORQ Foam Blaster 6 Professional Grade Foam Gun
- TORQ Foam Blaster 6 Heavy Duty Water Hose Trigger Gun
- Miracle Dryer Towel (36″ x 25″)
- Chenille Microfiber Wash Mitt
- VRP Supershine Dressing (16 oz)
- Hybrid V7 Optical Select High Gloss Spray
- Sealant & Quick Detailer (16 oz)
- Inner Clean Interior Quick Detailer and Protectant (16 oz)
- Diablo Gel Wheel & Rim Cleaner (16 oz)
- Mr. Pink Super Suds Shampoo & Conditioner (16 oz)
- JetSeal Sealant and Paint Protectant (16 oz)
The Foam Blaster is not included with the Chemical Guys Best Sellers Kit, but we couldn’t resist including it on our list of the 10 best car detailing kits because of its imaginative solution to the annoying problem of poor water pressure.
5. Turtle Wax 5-Piece Complete Care Kit
The Turtle Wax 5-Piece Complete Care Kit includes everything you need to achieve your car’s optimal shine by including 5 powerful cleaning products.
The Turtle Wax 5-Piece Complete Care Kit includes Zip Wax Wash and Wax, Express Shine Spray Wax, Wet ‘N Black Tire Shine, Super Protectant, and a microfiber cloth.
With the Turtle Wax 5-Piece Complete Care Kit you can clean, shine and protect all interior and exterior surfaces with ease and do so knowing your car will be protected by one of the number-one most trusted brands in automotive care.
4. Duragloss Car Care Kit
The Duragloss Car Care Kit is the ideal car detailing kit for the car owner who only occasionally details their car.
The Duragloss Car Care Kit is a no thrills ‘only the essentials’ car detailing kit, but that is actually the feature that makes it one of the 10 best car detailing kits.
Many auto detailing kits include a lot of products that the average car owner may never need.
We like The Duragloss Car Care Kit because of the understated cleaning power of the products included in the car detailing kit. They simply work, which is a feature that should not go underappreciated.
The Duragloss Car Care Kit provides a great value and only offers the cleaning products that you actually need, including:
- 16-ounce car wash concentrate
- 8-ounce surface polish with applicator
- 10-ounce aerosol detailing spray
- 8-ounce pump spray vinyl and leather dressing
- 22-ounce wheel cleaner.
The Duragloss Car Care Kit is also affordable and costs less than an expensive car wash. It even comes with a bucket.
3. Jax Wax Professional Easy Wash and Wax Car Care Bucket Organizer Kit
Jax Wax Professional Easy Wash and Wax Car Care Bucket Organizer Kit is quite the mouthful, but that’s because it is loaded with everything professional car detailers demand from an auto detailing kit.
Jax Wax Professional Easy Wash and Wax Car Care Bucket Organizer Kit obviously includes a professional-grade wash bucket that doubles as convenient storage for the rest of the effective cleaning products included in the kit:
- Jax Wax Liquid Carnauba Paste Wax 16oz.
- Jax Wax Body Shine Showroom Spray Wax 16oz.
- Jax Wax Wash N Wax Soap 16oz.
- 1 Premium 16″ X 24″ Waffle Weave Drying Microfiber Towel
- 2 Plush 16″ X 16″ Microfiber Towels
- Lambswool Wash Mitt
- Professional Grade Applicator Sponge
Jax Wax has a reputation for reliable, powerful automotive cleaning products. They claim never to dilute their products, which is great news for the average car detailer, and bad news for stubborn grime and dirt.
2. Mothers California Gold System
The products included in the Mothers California Gold Clay Bar System are specially designed to dissolve the dirt, debris, and contaminants that a regular car wash has no chance of removing.
One of the least complicated car wash systems on our list, the Mothers California Gold Clay Bar System accomplishes more with less. It includes two 100 gram Clay Bars, a 16-ounce Instant Detailer, and a 15-inch x 15-inch Microfiber Towel.
These powerful car detailing products combine to remove grains of metal, tree sap, and airborne environmental deposits that have, over time, become deeply embedded in your car’s finish.
Mothers California Gold System auto detailing kit combines all of Mother’s proven experience into one all-purpose professional-grade car detailing kit that produces incredible results with only three products.
1. Stoner Complete Car Care and Detailing Kit
The automotive cleaning experts at Stoner clearly wanted to cover all of the car detailing essentials when they designed the Stoner Complete Car Care and Detailing Kit.
It includes 12 individual cleaning products that provide everything you need to clean, shine, and protect your car.
- Invisible Glass Clean & Repel
- Invisible Glass Washer Fluid Additive
- Invisible Glass Water Spot Remover
- XENIT Gum and Adhesive Remover
- Trim Shine
- More Shine Tire Coating
- Bead Wax
- Speed Bead
- Gust 360 dust remover
- Carpet Cleaner
- More Shine Less Time Interior Detailer
- Trim Cleaner
The Stoner Complete Car Care and Detailing Kit qualifies for our list of the 10 best car detailing kits because of the proven reliability and effectiveness of all of the cleaning products included in the kit.
Each individual piece is specially designed to complete a specific task in the detailing process; when all 12 are combined, you are left with a comprehensive, spotless clean, inside and out.
The important thing to remember when you detail your car is to detail it regularly. Detailing your car ensures a clean finish that is protected from the elements.
Detailing your car can also extend the life of your car’s finish and increase the overall value of the vehicle.
No matter how often you choose to detail your ride, selecting one of the 10 best car detailing kits presented here is the perfect place to start.