May 15, 2012 Brad Will

Car Detailing Products Decoded

A lot of confusion exists regarding auto detailing products.  The internet has spawned many websites and detailing forums that sell products, and discuss them.  Forums contain endless opinions on which products are the best for a given task.  All of this information can be very confusing when you are simply trying to keep your car looking it’s best.  The bottom line is, most of the best products are very close in performance.  In fact, if you examined the chemical formulations of the products, most would be nearly identical.  As discussed in previous articles, the process is more important than the specific products being used.  In addition, the simple fact that you are taking the time to maintain your car’s appearance or paying someone else to do so, is most important.  Neglecting the appearance your car is a recipe for disaster.  Once the surfaces are damaged, it can be very difficult or impossible, to fix them.

A simple strategy for selecting products and materials is best.  Ask a detailing professional what he or she recommends.  Most professional caliber products can be obtained from online retailers or directly from the manufacturer.  Most online retailers of car detailing products carry good quality products and may contain information on their use.  Just remember that the differences between the best products are marginal.  As for wash mitts and towels, simply make sure you have access to new or very clean materials.  It is also important to separate towels by task and never cross contaminate.  For example, you would never use a wheel towel on painted surfaces.  Interior towels should be reserved only for interior detailing.

Unless you have the experience,  knowledge, and equipment to handle more complicated auto detailing tasks, such as polishing and waxing, it is best to leave those tasks to a professional.  You can, however, do simple car detailing tasks such as washing and interior cleaning, with basic products that are available online or at most auto parts stores.  The bottom line is, do not get too caught up in the web that is car detailing products.  Take a simple approach to choosing products and follow a good process.