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The Best Car Wash, Wax, and Detailing Supplies

Updated Dec 10, 2022
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Taking good care of your car is worth it. Regular washing and detailing not only makes the car nicer to drive but can also help your car retain thousands of dollars in value down the road. This guide includes pro tips and recommended supplies for the average do-it-yourselfer who wants to make their car look its best without a lot of time, hassle, or expense.

Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash, the best soap

Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash

The best soap
This highly rated soap is designed to clean your car’s paint without hurting the protective wax coating.
We recommend
Relentless Drive Ultimate Car Wash Mitt , an absorbent, washable mitt

Relentless Drive Ultimate Car Wash Mitt

An absorbent, washable mitt
This microfiber wash mitt has a thick nap that absorbs lots of sudsy water and helps keep dirt particles away from the paint.
We recommend
Dramm ColorStorm Premium Rubber Hose (50 feet), the best garden hose

Dramm ColorStorm Premium Rubber Hose (50 feet)

The best garden hose
This tough rubber hose isn’t cheap and can be heavy to wrangle, but its strong fittings and durable body can last for years—and there’s a lifetime warranty, just in case.
We recommend
Gilmour Full Size Zinc Pistol Grip Nozzle, a well-made, inexpensive hose nozzle

Gilmour Full Size Zinc Pistol Grip Nozzle

A well-made, inexpensive hose nozzle
Far from fancy, this basic hose nozzle is affordable, solidly built, and easy to use, and it has a great spray pattern.
We recommend
Meguiar’s Water Magnet Drying Towel, the best towel to dry a car

Meguiar’s Water Magnet Drying Towel

The best towel to dry a car
This waffle-weave microfiber towel absorbs lots of water and won’t scratch the paint.
We recommend
Sprayway Glass Cleaner , an effective, affordable glass cleaner

Sprayway Glass Cleaner

An effective, affordable glass cleaner
This glass cleaner is inexpensive, effective, and widely available, and will quickly clear away the grime on any glass surface.
We recommend
Stoner Car Care Tarminator, to remove stubborn tar and bugs

Stoner Car Care Tarminator

To remove stubborn tar and bugs
This degreaser will help remove stuck-on debris better than a milder car wash soap.
We recommend
Eagle One A2Z All Wheel & Tire Cleaner, the best wheel cleaner

Eagle One A2Z All Wheel & Tire Cleaner

The best wheel cleaner
This spray-on, wipe-off cleaner makes it easier to spruce up wheels, although some scrubbing is needed with all of these cleaners.
We recommend
Meguiar’s Quik Detailer, for bird poo, bugs, and other touch-ups between washes

Meguiar’s Quik Detailer

For bird poo, bugs, and other touch-ups between washes
Spray on this cleaner between full washes to wipe off dirt, dead bugs, bird poop, and other elements that can hurt your car’s paint.
We recommend
 Nu Finish Car Polish (Liquid), easy-to-apply protectant

Nu Finish Car Polish (Liquid)

Easy-to-apply protectant
This highly rated liquid polish is durable, easy to use, and inexpensive.
We recommend
Meguiar’s 3-in-1 Wax, to restore a dull finish

Meguiar’s 3-in-1 Wax

To restore a dull finish
This is a good overall cleaner wax for removing light scratches, oxidation, and other small defects.
We recommend
Quixx Paint Scratch Remover, smooth things out

Quixx Paint Scratch Remover

Smooth things out
This kit was effective at smoothing out both light and deep scratches in our car’s paint.
We recommend
Mothers Back-to-Black Trim & Plastic Restorer, the best plastic trim cleaner

Mothers Back-to-Black Trim & Plastic Restorer

The best plastic trim cleaner
This treatment helps make plastic trim of any color look good again.
We recommend
Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit, the best headlight-restoration kit

Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit

The best headlight-restoration kit
This kit has everything you need to clean up hazy headlight lenses and help you see better while driving at night.
We recommend
Dyson V7 Car+Boat, quick and cordless

Dyson V7 Car+Boat

Quick and cordless
This cordless, lithium-powered handheld vacuum is strong and versatile enough to reach into tight spots.
We recommend
Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer Cleaner, the best interior dash and display cleaner

Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer Cleaner

The best interior dash and display cleaner
This spray-on cleaner works on all solid interior surfaces, including an in-dash display, and provides some UV protection without leaving a sticky film or glare.
We recommend
Meguiar’s Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner, the best carpet, cloth, and fabric cleaner

Meguiar’s Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner

The best carpet, cloth, and fabric cleaner
This is great for regular cleaning of carpet, cloth upholstery, and other interior car fabrics.
We recommend
Lexol Leather Deep Cleaner, a proven cleaner

Lexol Leather Deep Cleaner

A proven cleaner
This is a popular cleaner for regularly maintaining a car’s leather upholstery and trim.
We recommend
Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag, air cleaner

Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag

Air cleaner
This granulated charcoal air purifier is nontoxic and chemical- and fragrance-free.
We recommend
Griot’s Garage Car Care Organizer Bag II, the best toolbox for car-care supplies

Griot’s Garage Car Care Organizer Bag II

The best toolbox for car-care supplies
This spacious organizer has lots of nooks and crannies for keeping your detailing gear handy.
We recommend

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