Wash - Optimum Car Wash
, leaves the finish looking great, smells great, suds well with great lubricity. I do like Chemical Guys Citrus Wash for stripping the paint and using in a spray bottle as a citrus presoak, but it is usually not my first choice as a maintenance wash [even at the proper dilution].
Wax - Generally I will reach for Collinite 476 Doublecoat
or 845 Insulator wax
. They are staples in my arsenal with their ease of use, durability, and looks. There are a ton of beauty waxes on the market that would work very well too, but they are a little more costly for a little less durability and it's not suited to my demographic. I would throw in a vote for Optimum Spray Wax
too, easy, slick, not as durable. I treat it more like a detail spray on steroids, but it is a wax.
Coating? - I would throw in coatings as they are slowly replacing waxes. There are a ton on the market and I would suggest doing a lot of research before buying/applying one. I have and use OptiCoat
and for quicker applications, Detailers Paint Coating
Tire shine - Water based dressings, Meguiars Hyperdressing
is my go to [you can get it in smaller bottles from ADS and other retailers]. However, I have used Optimum Optibond
with great results. It is more of a gel, but can be diluted and sprayed.
Metal polish - Depending on the application, I have had good success with P21S Polishing Soap
and Collinite Metal Wax #850
Glass - I still use Stoners Invisible Glass with rain repellent on exterior glass, it was the first cleaner I used and have stuck with it. SprayWay can be found at many hardware stores and works well too, but economically I have loved Meguiars Glass Cleaner
. Works very well on abused windows with stains and is very cheap when broken down into cost per gallon [even a weekend warrior can benefit from the 11 gallons when diluted, as it works great on every glass and mirror in the house].
Carpet cleaner - Folex as well, definitely convenient with no rinsing needed. Works great on headliners and seats as well.
Leather - Adams leather cleaner works very well, although in terms of value a properly diluted all purpose cleaner works just as well for cheaper, but I like to keep a small bottle of Adam's cleaner handy because I know it's at a proper strength.
Leather/Plastic dash - Meguiar's Quik Interior Cleaner
and Meguiar's #40
Rubber and Vinyl cleaner. Aerospace 303
works great too.
Interior plastic/leather trim - Same as previous post
Clear exterior plastics - Meguiar's #40
, Overall, Optimum Power Clean
is my favorite APC.
Exterior black plastic trim - Clean with the aforementioned products, dress with Black Wow
, Collinite 845, or a sealant.
Rubbing compound - If this is referring to polishes, I would say try anything your heart desires and use it as directed. I like Meguiars M105/M205
, M101, D300 and a few others.
Clay bar - Speedy Surface Prep Towels
, safe clay alternative, much much quicker than traditional clay.
Head light restoration - Same polishes as paint, but make sure the lenses are sealed with a UV resistant coating or cleancoat.
Some detailing Must haves for myself are:
Optimum Power Clean
for wheels and tires, interior cloth and leather, any plastics and painted surfaces like the undercarriage, wheel wells, engine bay, etc.
Optimum No Rinse
or No Rinse Wash and Wax
. Both work perfect for rinseless washes, but also as glass cleaners, plastic and vinyl cleaners, water softeners, and quick detailers.
Tuff Shine Tire Brush
, if you ever make a detailing purchase from one of the major retailers, get this brush. Cheap and works wonderful.