The wait is over and you’ve got your new car. Or maybe you already had the car for a while and decided that it needs a little bit of a refresh. Or even you did not receive it yet but like most of us are already thinking on what’s the best way to take care of it once it arrives.
Well, you came to the right place. I personally tried almost all the products I listed here with great results. Since I had my car wrapped in PPF and ceramic coating immediately after buying it, I did not get a chance to personally try the wax and sealant products, but after encouraging a few friends to try them, they were very happy with them.
For all of you that really want to take the best care of your new, existing or future car, here is a list of the most popular care products that the automotive communities recommend:
1. CarGuys Super Cleaner is one of the most versatile and gentle cleaner for pretty much all surfaces inside the car. You can us it effectively on the dash, upholstery, any canvas, leather or plastic surfaces. It cleans very well, the manufacturer even recommending it for outside surfaces. Not only it does a great job cleaning but it also leaves a very pleasant refreshing smell after use.
2. In some situations, owners reported that when using microfiber towels on certain surfaces, even without any type of cleaner, the material will become scratched or scuffed. Many times it seems that the glove box and the various dashboard areas are mostly affected by this issue. The solution for this is Chemical Guys Vinyl, Rubber and Plastic Dressing. Using this on any of the plastic or vinyl panels will give them a brand new look and will hide any previous scratches or scuffs quite well. It protects sensitive surfaces against UV damage, fading and cracking.
3. For the leather seats you’ll never go wrong with 303 Products Aerospace Protectant. It’s is very easy to apply as it comes in a spray bottle and will protect leather surfaces against UV damage, fading, discoloration and cracking. It also helps keep the leather look like new for much longer. Definitely one to have in your cleaning supplies box especially if you have kids!
4. If you’re looking for super clean and more importantly, clear windows, Sprayway Glass Cleaner Aerosol will deliver and over-deliver. This foam spray is extremely good at cleaning any glass or mirror surfaces from bugs, grime, fingerprints and general dirt. No wonder they started bundling it in 12-packs most likely due to high demand. The formula is made in such a way that it will not fog up windows on the inside after use, which is very important for cars. This works like a charm on any glass surfaces in your home too.
5. One of the items that are often ignored or simply not cared for enough, when detailing a car, are the floor mats. Yes they get dirty, inevitably, but that does not mean that they should stay that way. The Chemical Guys Floor Mat Cleaning Kit is one the most popular and highly praised for its results. Having everything you need in the kit, this will help renew the rubber or vinyl mats keeping them non-slippery at the same time. The kit comes with a brush and three microfiber towels. For the carpet mats the solution is the Turtle Wax Power Out. This will come with an incorporated scrubber and will help remove odors caused by pets, cigarette smoke, food and mildew. Not only that, but while cleaning, it will also add fragrance to the carpets and a soil repelling silicone layer.
6. With the advent of touch screens in pretty much all recent cars, even with screen protectors designed to hide them, pesky fingerprints seem to inevitably find their way between our eyes and whatever information we’re trying to find on the screen. Having a good screen cleaner handy will make a big difference. I was quite impressed with WHOOSH! Screen Cleaner Kit on how easily it removes the oily fingerprints from the touch screens, sunglasses or mirrors. It comes in two different sized containers that fit inconspicuously in any small storage area around the driver. The kit also contains 3 small cleaning cloths.
7. Dust, crumbs, lint, you name it, we carry it all with us in the car and it’s not always convenient to have a large vacuum cleaner handy or go to a detailing shop to get all that stuff out. This super small and portable, yet powerful vacuum cleaner from ThisWorx, will get rid of all that in a heartbeat. It comes with special nozzles that help this tiny powerhouse to get all that hard to get dirt in all those little crevices. Extremely ergonomic and with a clear container, the vacuum comes with a spare HEPA filter and a special brush to keep that filter clean. Powered by the 12v cigarette lighter outlet, the cleaner has 16 feet of cord so you can effectively vacuum any part of the car.
8. And lastly, after all work is done, to compliment that clean car feeling, here is an air freshener that gets rid of that last little hint of odor and will make your car smell like it came out of the factory line just minutes ago: New Car Smell Premium Air Freshener and Odor Eliminator
1. Hailed as the most technologically advanced car cleaner, Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine seems to be the go-to car soap for car enthusiasts as well as OEMs and professional detailers. This no-rinse formulated cleaner will release even the most difficult dirt and grime from the paint leaving a lubricant layer behind that helps maintain the paint finish.
2. How to apply the Optimum No Rinse & Shine you ask? Quite easily, with the Big Mofo Chenille Wash Mitt. This microfiber washing mitt is very comfortable to use and its large size will ensure that you will finish the job much faster with way better results. The mitt is made of extremely soft plush and can withstand lots of uses without tearing or losing performance.
3. When it comes to rims we all know that this is one of the most customized part of a car. And no wonder, with so many styles and finishes, it’s hard to resist. But with this abundant variety also comes certain frustration when having to clean them and keeping them in tip-top shape. For that, most enthusiasts will recommend using the same cleaner you use on the painted surfaces since the rims most of the times have the same finishing coating applied. However in some cases good results have been reported using Sonax Wheel Cleaner Full Effect. This wheel cleaner has an acid-free pH balanced formula which means it won’t stain or damage the wheel finish.
4. …and since we’re on the subject, here is the perfect set of wheel brushes, so there’s absolutely no dirty spot left on those shiny rims: Woolies Wheel Brushes. These differently sized bendy brushes will get into all those hard-to-get spots and leave you with a sense of accomplishment.
5. Some of hardest surfaces to keep clean and good-looking on a car have to be the tires. They are simply not meant to stay clean, but that does not mean we won’t try to keep them as black and shiny as possible. Few products out there can truly keep tires looking good for long, and among these, Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel is one of the top performers.
6. Some of the most controversial automotive care products have to be the wax and sealants. Of course many times is easy to spot an under-performing product (pun intended) but when we’re dealing with professional grade options, it often comes to very minute details that not everybody will notice. However, for the keen eyed car owners out there, a few products deliver consistently good results. One of them is Duragloss 105 Performance Polish. This polish/sealant keeps receiving outstanding reviews, due to it’s durable seal and professional looking finish.
7. Although the Duragloss 105 also has a wax agent in its formula, if you are looking for a great wax alternative, you will likely want to try Collinite 915 Marque D’Elegance Auto Wax. Having a high concentration of Carnauba wax, this product is guaranteed to resist high temperatures, protect against UV, prevent light scratches or provide a hydrophobic layer to the car. And these are just a few of the many great qualities of the Carnauba.
8. Since no wax or sealant is really useful without a good and effective way of applying it, the Wax Pads from Griot’s Garage will certainly help. One of the features that helps this product stand out from the competition is that it won’t absorb the wax or sealant, but instead keep it on the surface of the pad where it matters. Make sure to couple these with some good and comfortable pad holders like the TCP Global Pad Holder or these 3 Inch Pad Polishers. For those that prefer using drill bit attachment, I recommend GP12003 Hook and Loop Rotary Backing Pad. Perfect for the job.
9. And finally, the omnipresent item in any car cleaning kit has to be the microfiber towel. The Professional Grade Premium Microfiber Towels from Chemical Guys will will fill that spot perfectly. They come in a pack of 12 and will work well on drying surfaces as well as applying various cleaning solution on interior or exterior surfaces. These are also recommended by OEMs for applying polish or removing wax or sealant.
Hopefully this list will narrow down some of the best products out there that will help you keep your 4-wheeled prized possession in great condition. Feel free to leave comments about other products and I will certainly give them a try and report back the results.