If you want to keep your car’s finish pristine and shiny, you’ll need to do more than just regularly give it a wash. Spending the time to do a thorough detailing session every couple months makes a huge difference in protecting and maintaining your car’s finish. If you’re looking for the best car detailing products, you’ve come to the right place.
Here, we’ve rounded up all our top product recommendations across several categories so you don’t have to browse all over the place to get what you need. Armed with these products, some elbow grease, and time, you can get your car looking like it’s brand new and maintain it for years to come.
For more information on the top 10 best car detailing products, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
- 1. Best Car Wash Soap: Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash
- 2. Best Pressure Washer: Sun Joe SPX3001 Pressure Washer
- 3. Best Foam Cannon: DUSICHIN Adjustable Foam Cannon
- 4. Best Paint Scratch Remover: Meguiar's ScratchX 2.0
- 5. Best Clay Bar: Chemical Guys Medium Clay Bar and Luber Kit
- 6. Best Car Wax: Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax
- 7. Best Buffing Pad: Viking Microfiber Car Detailing Applicator Pads
- 8. Best Non-Ceramic Spray Wax: CarGuys Hybrid Wax
- 9. Best Ceramic Detailer: Meguiar's Hybrid Ceramic Wax
- 10. Best Tire Shine: Meguiar's Endurance Tire Gel
1. Best Car Wash Soap: Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash
There are dozens of car wash soaps out there and truth be told, any from one of the more reputable brands will do the job just fine. But if we had to choose one, that pick goes to Chemical Guys’ Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash. This car shampoo is designed to be gentle on sealant and wax coatings, ideal for weekly use. It’s also pH balanced so it won’t damage other materials on your car’s surface, such as polished metals, glass, vinyl, rubber, and plastic trim pieces. It features a slick formula that easily glides off your car, helping ensure swirl marks and scratches don’t occur while you wash. It also rinses clean, leaving behind no residue or water spots.
2. Best Pressure Washer: Sun Joe SPX3001 Pressure Washer
If you routinely wash your own car, we highly recommend investing into a pressure washer. The Sun Joe SPX3001 is our top pick, powered by a 14.5-amp/1800-watt motor that generates 2,030 PSI of pressure along with 1.76-GPM water flow. That should be plenty enough to wash your car, but also to take care of any household jobs you may have, such as cleaning your deck, fence, or patio. The pressure washer includes 5 quick connect nozzles so you’ll have a variety of pressures to choose from. If you don’t have a lot of experience using a pressure washer, avoid one of the really fine spray nozzles since they can actually peel the paint off your car!
Attached to the pressure washer is a 35-foot power cord and a 20-foot hose, which is enough to wash your car bumper to bumper without any hassle, unless you own a large SUV or pickup truck.
3. Best Foam Cannon: DUSICHIN Adjustable Foam Cannon
If you’re using a pressure washer, you’ll want a foam cannon to easily blanket your car with your favorite car shampoo. The DUSICHIN Adjustable Foam Cannon features a 1/4″ quick disconnect fitting and a 1-liter bottle. While most foam cannons are similar, you’ll want to get one with quality components so it’ll last. DUSICHIN answers the call with brass connectors on this particular foam cannon.
In order to use this foam cannon, your pressure washer must flow at least 1.2 GPM and over 1,000-PSI pressure. It’s also adjustable, so you can control the mixing and just how much foam it generates.
4. Best Paint Scratch Remover: Meguiar's ScratchX 2.0
Getting rid of light scratches is an important part of car detailing. You’ll want to take care of those unsightly blemishes before spending more time and labor applying a hefty coat of wax. If you’ve got a few scratches you need to get rid of, consider Meguiar’s ScratchX 2.0, which is specifically designed to be a fine scratch and blemish remover. It’s formulated with an exclusive micro-abrasive system that safely removes scratches, blemishes, and swirls on all paint finishes, helping you restore clarity to your car’s finish. More importantly, this product permanently removes those defects rather than simply hiding them; but don’t expect it to work on deep scratches.
This scratch remover is clear coat safe and can be used either by hand or with a dual action polisher.
5. Best Clay Bar: Chemical Guys Medium Clay Bar and Luber Kit
If you really want your car’s finish looking like it’s brand new, you’ll want to get yourself a clay bar and set aside some time. Clay bars are designed to remove contaminants from your car’s surface and it’s highly recommended to go through your car’s surface with one prior to waxing. Chemical Guys offers 4 different clay bars, allowing you to choose from original, light, medium, and heavy. The medium and heavy clay bars are professional-grade products and it’s recommended that you have experience using a clay bar before buying one of those options. They tend to be fairly stiff and not easy to shape, which is not great for a novice.
No matter which clay bar you choose, it’ll do a good job at removing any contaminants in your paint and overspray—just make sure you have the experience and patience to properly use it. Chemical Guys’ clay bars are non-abrasive so you can safely use it on all aluminum, chrome, fiberglass, paint, and finishes.
6. Best Car Wax: Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax
Once you have your car thoroughly washed and you’ve gone through it meticulously with a clay bar, it’s time to apply a coat of wax. Like car wash soap, there are dozens of options to choose from, but we’re fan favorites of Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax. Seasoned auto detailers prefer this wax over its competitors for its ease of application/removal, affordable price, and durability. The Ultimate Liquid Wax is formulated with a long-lasting synthetic hydrophobic polymer, leaving your car with a deep and mirror-like shine for months. As a bonus, it comes with a special foam applicator and a microfiber cloth for buffing, so you don’t have to spend money on those accessories.
7. Best Buffing Pad: Viking Microfiber Car Detailing Applicator Pads
If you are using a wax that didn’t come with an applicator pad, or you’re looking for a quality buffing pad, here’s our recommendation. Viking Car Care’s microfiber applicator pads are offered in four different styles: standard, cotton terry, rectangular, and pads with a finger pocket. You can choose to purchase either a four or six pack, in three different colors. Well, three different shades of blue.
Designed for applying waxes, polishes, and other protectants, these buffing pads feature soft microfiber or cotton terry and are clear coat safe. And once you’re done, they’re machine washable and reusable, so a little goes a long way.
8. Best Non-Ceramic Spray Wax: CarGuys Hybrid Wax
We’re well aware that not everyone has the time to regularly wax their car with traditional wax. That’s why spray waxes exist, helping protect the coat of wax you’ve already applied and keeping your car shiny and protected in between heavy detailing sessions. Again, there are plenty of quality options to choose from, but our recommendation goes to CarGuys’ Hybrid Wax. This spray sealant is infused with traditional carnauba wax and is formulated for safe application on every surface of your vehicle.
When used properly, it’ll leave behind long-lasting UV protection and a hydrophobic barrier to keep water beading off your car’s surface. It comes in a bottle with a professional grade sprayer with a fully adjustable nozzle. You can even use CarGuys’ Hybrid Wax on glass, plastic, and rubber.
9. Best Ceramic Detailer: Meguiar's Hybrid Ceramic Wax
Ceramic coatings have become extremely popular in recent years, but they don’t come cheap. Fortunately, car detailing companies have been working on hybrid ceramic detailers that allow you to give your car ceramic protection without forking over hundreds of dollars. Not surprisingly, Meguiar’s was one of the first companies with a hybrid ceramic coating solution you can apply at home with its Hybrid Ceramix Wax detailing spray. It features advanced SiO2 to deliver ceramic wax protection and it’s extremely easy to apply. Simply spray it on your car after a wash, rinse it off, and then dry your car with a towel. No rubbing or buffing, unless you really want to.
10. Best Tire Shine: Meguiar's Endurance Tire Gel
Nearly every single tire shine on the market will do what it advertises: keep your tires shiny. But some tire shines last longer than others, and some are easier to apply than others without leaving a mess. If you want a product that’s long lasting and easy to apply, that would be Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel. Featuring an advanced formula with specialized macropolymers and copolymers that leaves your tire with a brilliant, high gloss shine, this product is designed to last weeks, even through rain and car washes. It’ll also help protect your tires against UV damage.
Being a gel rather than a foam or spray, you’re able to control just how much shine you give your tire, by adjusting how much you apply.
April 19, 2022: Updated link for Viking applicator pads.
December 17, 2021: Removed the previous promoted product.
June 21, 2021: Added link to promoted product.
June 17, 2021: Updated with a new promoted product recommendation.
June 7, 2021: Removed the previous promoted product.
March 5, 2021: Updated with a new promoted product recommendation.
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