Recommended Kits

Detailing Kits

Detailing can be a daunting hobby to get into. A quick look through a distributor site like AutoGeek can leave you more confused than when you first started. With the help of the community we have created a few tiers of recommended products that will help you begin your journey. These aren’t the be-all end-all lists for detailing! Everyone’s garage is different.

While this might not be the cheapest investment, you must realize that most of these chemicals are going to last you months or longer, especially when you buy in bulk. If you have any suggestions for the list, please let us know.

Within these lists you can mix and match. You don’t need a million different towels but several options are provided, for example. You can tailor your list to your budget.

Pricing Disclaimer

Prices on this page are not exact. Prices recorded were accurate at the time of posting and may have gone slightly up or down, so be sure to check your total before hitting the checkout.

Buying Tips

Buying Tips: Check for sales often! If you find a chemical you like using, order it in bulk for a lower price per volume. Some chemicals can be diluted with water to go further. Read the labels. Check your garage for what you already have. Check local stores before ordering online to potentially save on shipping/cost. Lowe’s and Home Depot have cheap buckets, for example.

Make sure to check out The Beginner’s Buying Guide, as well.

Basic ($75 – $100)

General Basic Kit

Collinite845 Wax$19One bottle lasts for years of waxing.
Grit GuardGrit Guard$9 eachGet two. One for each bucket.
Home Depot5-Gallon Buckets$3 eachGet two! One to rinse and one for soap.
Meguiar'sGold Class Car Wash Shampoo$15/64ozEasy to find at Walmart, Autozone, etc
Meguiar'sSmooth Surface Clay Kit$18.50Includes clay, quick detailer, and a microfiber. Alternative: Nanoskin Sponge
Stoner's Stoner's Invisible Glass $3.50Add-on Amazon Item.
The Rag CompanyChenille Wash Mitt$5.50
The Rag CompanyDry Me A River Towel$5.25Two towels will dry a whole car.
The Rag CompanyGlass Towels$3.75 eachPick up a couple. They're good for all glass.
The Rag CompanyEdgeless 300$1.40 eachGreat all purpose towels.

Quick Over-the-Counter Kit

Home DepotHome Depot5-Gallon Buckets$3 eachGet two! One to rinse and one for soap.
Grit GuardWalmartGrit Guard$9 eachGet two so you have one for each bucket.
Meguiar'sAutoZoneHot Rims Wheel & Tire Cleaner$5Bright pink bottle.
Meguiar'sAutoZoneQuik Interior Detailer$7Purple label. The "Ultimate" version is more expensive.
Meguiar'sAutoZoneUltimate Quik Wax$10Spray wax lasts for two weeks per application.
Meguiar'sAutoZoneSmooth Surface Clay Kit$18Includes clay, quick detailer and a microfiber.
Meguiar'sAutoZoneGold Class Car Wash Shampoo$11Easy to find in most auto stores.
ProEliteAutoZoneUltra Plush Detailing Cloth$8Pick up 2-3.

Meguairs “Complete Car Care” Bundle

Meguiar'sComplete Car Care Kit$66Includes soap, wax, PlastX, ScratchX, quick detailer, interior detailer, clay, two towels, and a foam applicator.
Grit GuardGrit Guard$9 eachGet two so you have one for each bucket.

Intermediate ($150 – $200)

Assumes you already have the General Basic Kit supplies.

General Intermediate Kit

303Aerospace Protectant$21Interior protectant, no greasy feeling.
CarProIron X Iron Remover$20Pricey but dissolves brake dust and contaminants easily.
Meguiar'sAll Purpose Cleaner$25/galConcentrated.
The Rag CompanyEdgeless 300$1.40 eachGood for dirtier jobs and interior grime.
The Rag CompanyEdgeless 500$5.45 eachGreat for general use. Get a few (or a dozen, we don't judge!)

Advanced ($250+)

Assumes you already have the General Basic Kit and General Intermediate Kit.

You’ll want 3-4 of each pad because cleaning them while using can be daunting and they can become saturated. This helps make it so you can use them on a few panels and swap to a fresh one quickly.

Paint Correction Kit

3MAutomotive Performance Masking Tape $8Alternative: regular blue painters tape
Astro Pneumatic5" Velcro Backing Plate$11A 5" plate offers better control and comfort
CarProEraser$21Removes residue before wax. Alternative: Isopropyl Alcohol
Griot's GarageDA Polisher$130Alternative: Harbor Freight DA Polisher ($70)
Hex Logic5.5" Yellow Pad$8Heavy cutting pad.
Hex Logic5.5" Orange Pad$8Light cutting pad.
Hex Logic5.5" White Pad$8Polishing pad.
Meguiar'sM105$10Compound (harsh cut for wet-sanding marks)
Meguiar'sM205$12Polish (not harsh, used for light scratches and swirls)

Useful Miscellaneous ($∞)

These are things you’ll often see mentioned around the Internet, usually someone raving about them or coveting someone’s inventory.

Great gift ideas for the detailer in the family.

BrushABNWheel Woolies$55Excellent wheel brushes.
BrushEZ DetailNooks and Crannies Brush$16Great for spokes, grills, exhausts.
BrushGriot's GarageLug Nut Brush$17Great for spokes, grills, lug nuts.
BrushSolo Horton BrushesBoar's Hair Brushes$30 (online minimum)Sizes 6, 8, 10.
Clay AlternativeNanoskinAutoScrub Fine Grade Sponge$9Alternative to using clay.
CoatingOptimumOptimum Gloss-Coat Paint Coating$60Paint coating.
CoatingCarProCquartz UK Edition$55/30ml.Paint coating.
No Rinse Wash/LubricantOptimumOptimum No Rinse$20Dilutes for rinseless wash, clay lube, and quick detailer.
SealantMenzernaJescar Power Lock$28Polymer Sealant.
SealantCarProHydro2 Touchless$58Spray and rinse sealant.
Updated on 15 February 2020

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  1. Great collation of products LagunaGTO, really helpful information for the beginner detailer as well as existing detailers who want to try something different than what they usually use.

    I have noticed these are all products mainly sold within the US. I’m wondering if there will be a European version at some point in the future or will it always be primarily American based products/companies?

    1. Thanks Jack! We would most likely need some assistance curating lists for European detailers. The majority of our subscribers on reddit’s r/AutoDetailing and our views on this site are from the US. We do list vendors that sell internationally, but building exact lists will be a bit tough. Some of the products are worldwide or it should be easy to find comparable models.

  2. just hoping for some headlight kit reviews and some recs on coatings for headlights. ie is optimum opti-lens worth it?

  3. Can someone put a good starter kit together for doing headlights? I have a DA polisher and 6″ backing plate/pads for paint detailing but need 3″ backing pad, sand paper, polish, and coating and don’t know what to get that won’t break the bank.

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