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  • Writer's pictureSleek Car Studio

The Difference Between Auto Detailing Products

If you Google "auto detailing products", chances are you'll see 10's or even 100's of different options ranging from different brands to different names to different purposes. How can you differentiate between them?

In this blog post, you'll learn about the primary differences, a few different brands, what to expect when buying products, and how to use certain products.

The Brands We've Heard Of

As you begin your journey down detailing as either a hobby or a career, the first thing you're going to do is Google around. Once you begin to Google, your brain may hurt with the massive amount of options available (I know mine did).

There are a few things you want to look out for:

  1. What products have a reputable name.

  2. What products are more marketing/sales vs true, quality products.

  3. What you're buying isn't watered down.

As an example, many detailers will find that there are particular organizations within the auto detailing space that water down their products drastically. This results in spending money for no reason and products that leave a film-like residue behind that's incredibly difficult to get off.

Another big issue is some auto detailing manufacturers have multiple products that do the same thing, specifically for the marketing. This not only causes confusion for detailers, but dilutes (pun intended) the brand overall.

As you're going through your journey, you can't go wrong with the following products:

  1. Adam's

  2. Car Guys

  3. Meguiars

Remember - cost doesn't always equal better quality.

Mixtures Within Products

As mentioned in the previous section, when you begin your auto detailing journey, you're going to see a lot of products ranging from cleaning supplies for both interior and exterior, various sprays, and even buffing compounds for things like paint correction and ceramic coating.

When you begin looking for products to use, keep in mind that you want to differentiate between the products you'll use for detailing and products you may use for other jobs (ceramic coating, paint protection film (PPF), paint correction. etc).

The first couple of product categories you'll want are:

  1. A good exterior soap.

  2. Interior cleaning for dashboards, door panels, and consoles.

  3. A leather cleaner.

  4. A quick polisher/quick detailer.

  5. A rim cleaner.

Of course, there are way more products like waxers, polishers, quick detailers, etc., but the list above is a good place to start.

First, there's the exterior soap. This is what you'll apply with a foam cannon attached to your pressure washer or with wash mits. This is the exterior soap cleaning to remove the grime/particles off of the car.

Next, there's the interior cleaning. Door panels, center consoles, cup holders, and the dashboard can be cleaned with an all-purpose interior cleaner (just make sure it's not specifically a leather cleaner). This cleaner can be applied by spraying and wiping down with a microfiber cloth. You can also use a detailing brush followed by a buff with a dry microfiber cloth.

If you're working on a car with leather, you can pick up an interior leather cleaner and use it the same way you would an interior cleaner (just make sure you use a clean/different brush and microfiber cloth).

A quick polisher/detailer is great for after the car is washed and dried off to really get the shine to show on the cars paint. This isn't necessary, but certainly a great addition.

Last but certainly not least is a rim cleaner. You can clean the rims with the standard exterior soap/foam cannon you use (or wash mits), but you can also use a separate rim cleaner that's made specifically for rims. The primary benefit is a lot of the rim cleaners are geared towards working off the extra break dust.

Products To Start With

Now that you have a good method of starting a detail, let's list out a few products.

The Leather Cleaner also comes with a conditioner.

With the list above, you should be well on your way to starting your very own detailing journey.

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