Confessions Of A Neophyte Car Detailing Hobbyist — Super Quick & Superficial Product Review

My experience level is: I have watched weeks worth of YouTube videos, read volumes of how-tos and articles, read a lot on the boards (but haven’t participated actively very much). I’d say I know more than enough to get myself in trouble, but not enough to really know what I’m doing beyond the basics.

I am the fleet manager of exactly two cars: a 2005 silver Ford Explorer and a black 2014 Hyundai Tucson, but I’m only the boss of the Ford. My friends1 think I’m taking it a bit too far, but our cars look much better than theirs, so there’s that.

This is a list of some of the car detailing products I’ve accumulated and tried in the ~18 months since my awakening. Here we go!

CATEGORY 1: Products that I like very much and will probably buy again. There is plenty of overlap between products in this category.

  • Garry Dean Infinite Use Detail Juice waterless/rinseless wash
  • Chemical Guys Eco-Smart waterless wash
  • Chemical Guys V07 quick detailer
  • Adam’s Detail Spray
  • Blackfire Wet Diamond Polymer Spray quick detailer
  • Adam’s H20 Guard & Gloss drying aid and sealant/gloss enhancer
  • Optimum Opti-Seal paint sealant
  • GTechniq C2 V3 Liquid Crystal paint sealant
  • Nanoskin Rain glass sealant
  • Optimum Opti-Bond tire gel
  • Stoner Invisible Glass glass cleaner
  • Chemical Guys Black On Black vinyl and trim dressing aerosol
  • Chemical Guys Mr Pink car soap
  • Chemical Guys NonSense all purpose cleaner (APC)
  • Stoner Trim Shine vinyl/rubber/trim dressing
  • Adam’s Deep Wheel Cleaner

CATEGORY 2: Products that I like and may buy again. There’s plenty of overlap here as well, both within the category and with Category 1.

  • Optimum ONR rinseless/waterless wash
  • CarPro Perl Plastic & Rubber Protectant
  • Diamondite Perfect Vision glass cleaner
  • Menzerna Endless Shine quick detailer
  • Chemical Guys Afterwash drying aid and sealant
  • RainX 2-1 Foaming Glass Cleaner
  • Chemical Guys Glossworx car soap
  • Meguiar’s Plastic And Vinyl Coating aerosol
  • GTechniq Silo Seal paint sealant (discontinued, sadly)
  • Chemical Guys Inner Clean interior APC
  • Chemical Guys Silk Shine Dressing interior dressing gel

CATEGORY 3: Decent enough products but too much overlap with stuff in categories 1 & 2 that I think might be better. Also stuff that I’m just not sure about but don’t hate. I probably won’t ever buy any of these products again.

  • Ultima Wash And Wax waterless wash
  • Duragloss Rinseless Wash
  • CarPro Hydrofoam car soap and sealer
  • Sonax Polymer NetShield paint sealant
  • Griot’s Garage Spray Wax
  • Griot’s Garage Speed Shine
  • Meguiar’s Last Touch spray detailer
  • Meguiar’s X-Press Spray Wax
  • Chemical Guys InstaWax + spray wax
  • Sonax Brilliant Shine Detailer detail spray
  • Sonax High Speed Wax spray wax
  • Meguiar’s Ultimate Quick Detailer
  • DoDo Juice Red Mist detail spray
  • Turtle Wax Jet Black detail spray
  • Chemical Guys X-Treme Body Was & Wax car soap
  • Meguiar’s Hyper Dressing vinyl/plastic/rubber dressing (almost went in cat. 4)
  • Chemical Guys Bug And Tar Wash car soap
  • Chemical Guys Grime Reaper all purpose cleaner/degreaser
  • Chemical Guys Blue Guard II vinyl/rubber dressing

CATEGORY 4: Stuff I didn’t like and won’t buy again either because I thought it was a bad product, severely over-hyped or over-priced.

  • Flash Brown Royal Wheel & Tire Cleaner
  • Optimum ONR Wash & Wax waterless wash
  • Garry Dean Juice Boost paint sealant/waterless wash additive (specific to the Garry Dean line of products)
  • CarPro Spotless water spot remover

The list is not exhaustive. I have plenty of other products that haven’t been included, either because I haven’t had a chance to use them yet, or have used them so little that I can’t form an educated and informed opinion. These include glazes, polishes and compounds; lots of interior detailing stuff including leather care products; paint coatings, and also paste waxes. Quite a few tire dressings didn’t make it because they were so junky and I don’t even remember their names.

Final thoughts:

  • I have too much time on my hands and need to get a hobby.
  • I need to learn better self control when it comes to clicking the “add to cart” and “place order” buttons.
  • I may have to mark promotional emails from AutoGeek as spam, because this is getting expensive.
  • My kids will never go to college.2

  1. I don’t have any friends, but if I did, this statement would be true.
  2. I don’t have any kids, but if I did, this statement would be true.

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