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.
- 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