The 10 Best Car Detailing Kits

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This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in March of 2018. Whether you have a brand new sports car or a 20-year-old hand-me-down, there’s something satisfying about driving around in a freshly washed, waxed, and polished vehicle - and it also helps to preserve its value. From basic, no-frills sets to extensive collections with all the bells and whistles, these detailing kits will have your ride looking squeaky-clean from its grille to its tailpipe. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Meguiar's Complete

2. Chemical Guys Wash Bucket

3. Griot's Garage Starter

Editor's Notes

November 02, 2020:

Wax on, wax off. For this update, we've removed the Chemical Guys Drought-Buster and replaced it with the Aero Cosmetics Waterless, another water-saving solution that doesn't require a garden hose or bucket to be effective. It's less expensive and gets higher marks from reviewers.

We've also replaced the Meguiar's Ultimate with the Meguiar's Complete. Both are great sets from a highly-regarded company, but the Meguiar's Complete costs less than half as much, and it still has everything that you need for a spic-and-span ride.

Another newcomer is the Chemical Guys Black, which comes from a top brand and is specially designed for dark-colored cars. We also removed the Adam's Arsenal Builder because it was too expensive for its ratings when compared to others on our list.

Finally, we've updated the information on several items, including the Griot's Garage Starter, the Armor All Complete Care, and the Mothers California Gold System.

October 17, 2019:

Added Adam's Arsenal Builder. It comes with almost everything you need to detail your car and a high-quality foam gun that helps apply foamed soap without making contact with a sponge. This allows the soap to lift the particles before wiping, which may help avoid causing scratches or swirl marks.

Griot's Garage Starter takes the top spot because, along with having most of what other detailing kits have, it comes with a clay system, which helps substantially when preparing the car's paint for waxing and polishing. You can achieve good results without claying your paint, but using it produces a show-quality polish with less imperfections than alternatives. Meguiar's Ultimate is still an excellent kit and includes buffing compound and a pre-wax glaze that has also been shown to have great results.

4. TriNova 33906

5. Aero Cosmetics Waterless

6. Chemical Guys BUF-209X

7. Armor All Complete Care

8. Turtle Wax 50821

9. Mothers California Gold System

10. Chemical Guys Black

Shilo Urban
Last updated by Shilo Urban

Shilo lives for adventures in far-away lands and reads books like it’s going out of style (which it is). Dogs are her co-pilots. She’s traveled to 60 countries and has lived in Austin (where she received a BA from the University of Texas), Maine, Paris, Seattle, New Zealand, Los Angeles, and now—Fort Worth. Before becoming a freelance writer over a decade ago, she had more than three dozen jobs, including high school teacher, record label manager, tour guide, and farmhand for endangered livestock breeds. She speaks fluent French and horribly mangled Spanish, which she is working every day to improve. Shilo geeks out over history and culture, and her areas of expertise include travel, art and design, music, pets, food, crafts, toys, and home furnishings. Current obsessions: Gobekli Tepe, tassels, and fresh lemonade.

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