The Top 5 Products Every Car Detailer Needs in Their Arsenal

The Top 5 Products Every Car Detailer Needs in Their Arsenal

Detailing your car is an essential part of car maintenance that involves cleaning, polishing, and protecting your vehicle to keep it looking like new. When it comes to car detailing, the products you use can make a huge difference in achieving the perfect outcome. While it may be tempting to use cheap products to save a few bucks, they often result in a poor user experience and in some cases, may even damage your car’s exterior and interior surfaces. I get that not everyone is as crazy as I am about having the best car washing supplies, but when you value your vehicle(s) and want them to look good for as long as possible, it’s a no-brainer for me only to use the best of the best.

I have spent years curating products I think are the best for detailing cars. So, I decided to compile the top 5 car detailing products every car detailer needs in their arsenal. Whether you’re a seasoned car enthusiast, professional detailer, or beginner looking to take your car detailing game to the next level, read on to discover the top products you should be using to get the best results for your car.

#1 Car Shampoo (Car Soap)

Koch Chemie GSF (Gentle Snow Foam) - The Best Car Wash Soap

There’s no secret here what my favorite car wash soap is; Koch-Chemie Gsf (Gentle Snow Foam). The first time I used it was on my previously owned EM1 Civic Si and man, I instantly fell in love with this stuff. It’s slick, has shaving cream-like foam when sprayed on a surface, and suds up nicely in the bucket.  

Since this snow foam hit the market, it’s been regarded as one of the best car wash shampoos for car detailing, and for good reason. This high-quality soap is designed to deliver exceptional cleaning performance while being gentle on your car’s delicate surfaces. Its unique snow foam formula creates thick, clinging foam that encapsulates dirt and grim, lifting away from the paintwork for a safe and scratch-free cleaning experience. GSF has excellent lubrication properties, minimizing the risk of swirl marks or scratches during the wash.

This is a pH-neutral soap, making it safe on various surfaces, including paint, glass, and wheels. The exceptional cleaning power and gentle nature make Koch-Chemie GSF the top choice for car detailing enthusiasts and professionals. 

#2 Wheel and Tire Cleaner

P&S Brake Buster  - The Best Wheel and Tire Cleaner

If you search the web, you will find several wheel cleaners that claim they are the best. Many of them work really well, but the one I find to work perfectly well for my use is P&S Brake Buster. Brake Buster is a highly effective solution designed to tackle the tough task of cleaning wheels and tires. With its powerful formula, Brake Buster easily removes brake dust, dirt, and grime that accumulate on these surfaces, leaving them looking clean and refreshed. For me, a big selling point of this stuff is that it doesn’t strip the tire; I don’t want my wheel and tire chemical to be so strong that it compromises the rubber on the tire where it shows signs of cracking over time. I don’t want to strip my tires every time I wash them; I just want to remove the surface film. 

Brake dust, which is a byproduct of brake pads wearing down, can be stubborn and difficult to remove. However, Brake Buster's strong cleaning agents are specially formulated to break down and dissolve brake dust, ensuring a thorough and efficient cleaning process. The formula is carefully balanced to be tough on dirt and grime yet gentle on various wheel materials such as chrome, aluminum, painted, and clear-coated finishes. This means you can confidently use Brake Buster on your wheels and tires, knowing that it will effectively clean without scratching or harming the surfaces.

Using Brake Buster is a straightforward process. Simply spray the product onto the wheel or tire, allowing it to dwell for a short period to penetrate and loosen the contaminants. Then, rinse it off with water, and watch how it effortlessly removes the dirt and grime. I like to use this product in a foam cannon - it foams exceptionally well and provides more coverage to your wheels and tires. 

#3 Glass and Window Cleaner

Stoner's Invisible Glass - The Best Car Glass Window Cleaner

A good glass and window cleaner is necessary to have in your car detailing arsenal. When it comes to maintaining the appearance of your vehicle, clear and streak-free windows are an essential component. This is where Invisible Glass comes to the rescue, a superior cleaning solution that will leave your car windows crystal clear. 

Invisible Glass is formulated to tackle the toughest grime and residue that accumulate on car windows. Its powerful cleaning agents work efficiently to remove dirt, dust, fingerprints, and even stubborn haze caused by smoke or environmental pollutants. I tend to spray a liberal amount of product on my windows and then with my glass-cleaning microfiber towel(s), wipe off. Unless you get crap on your windows regularly, you shouldn’t have to clean your glass often.

If you’re like me and have tint on your windows, you can rest easy knowing that this product is safe for your windows. Many car owners worry about using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that may damage their window tint - fortunately, Invisible Glass is safe on tinted surfaces. Because it’s ammonia-free, it effectively cleans without compromising the integrity of any tinted film.

Another great use of this stuff is for around-the-house cleaning. My mom stands by this. While Invisible Glass is known for its effectiveness in cleaning car windows, its versatility extends beyond automobiles. This cleaner is also perfect for use on mirrors, glass tabletops, household windows, and even electronic screens. It’s also great for regular maintenance around the house - I use this stuff to wipe down just about anything (countertops, appliances, etc.).

#4 Drying Aid

Obsessed Garage Drying Aid - The Best Car Drying Solution for Slickness and Repelling Water

The main reason for using a drying aid is to add lubrication and protection to your paint. A product like this will be used at the end of your car washing process after you’ve dried your vehicle with either a leaf blower or a microfiber drying towel. Our private-labeled drying aid is formulated to provide an added layer of lubrication and hydrophobic properties, allowing water to slide off effortlessly and reducing the chances of water spots or streaks forming on the surface. I love how slick the surface of my paint is after using this stuff.

This product works exceptionally well on a ceramic-coated car. It creates a hydrophobic layer on the surface of your vehicle. This reduces friction and the potential for marring or scratching the surface, ensuring a safe and gentle drying process.

Applying our Drying Aid is a simple and straightforward process. After drying your vehicle, spray a fine mist of the product onto the dry surface. Then, using a high-quality drying towel, gently glide it over the surface to absorb the drying aid and any excess water. The lubricating agents in the Drying Aid help the towel glide smoothly, reducing the risk of towel-induced scratches.

#5 Rinseless/Waterless Solution

McKee's N-914 - The Best Rinseless and Waterless Car Cleaning Solution

I don’t do a ton of rinseless/waterless washes on my cars, but I can definitely see the reasons for using these washing methods. A product I’ve come to love for this washing application as well as for other uses, is McKee’s N-914. McKee's N-914 allows you to wash your vehicle without excessive water consumption (rinseless wash). Its advanced formulation encapsulates dirt and grime, lifting it away from the surface without scratching or damaging the paint. 

In addition to its wash capabilities, McKee's N-914 is an exceptional waterless wash product. Ideal for situations where traditional washing methods are impractical, this versatile solution allows you to clean your vehicle without the need for rinsing. Simply spray the N-914 onto the surface and gently wipe away dirt, dust, and smudges using a plush microfiber towel.  

What makes this stuff great is its versatility and the many ways you can use it. It excels as an interior cleaner, effortlessly removing stains, spills, and grime from various surfaces inside your vehicle (using the waterless dilution ratio - 1:128). From vinyl to plastic, leather to fabric, N-914 can tackle the toughest interior cleaning challenges.

I remember ditching my previous windshield washer fluid product and transitioning to this stuff instead. It’s a highly effective windshield wiper fluid, providing optimal visibility during challenging weather conditions. Its streak-free formula ensures a clear windshield, enhancing your driving experience and safety on the road. You’d again use the waterless dilution ratio for this application.

Whether you're looking for a rinseless and waterless wash solution, an interior cleaner, or a reliable windshield wiper fluid, McKee's N-914 delivers exceptional performance across a wide range of applications. Its versatility, efficiency, and impressive results make it an indispensable addition to your car care arsenal.

All of these products have been vetted and tested by me and my team. I’m sure there are plenty of other car detailing products out there that are great, but the ones I’ve listed above are my tried and true ones. 

Watch My In-Depth Videos On Each Car Detailing Product Above