1. Terminology & Acronyms

Terminology & Acronyms

Here you’ll find a quick reference guide to common auto detailing terminology and acronyms.


Term Definition
Clay A chunk of clay (similar to modeling clay), used to remove stubborn surface contaminants after washing.
Clear Bra A thin, transparent film applied to a vehicle to protect from rock chips and scratches.
Dressing A product used to protect and dress a surface such as plastic and rubber with a specific finish.
Etching An uneven section of clear coat or paint caused by a chemical (usually an acid) eating away at the surface.
Last Step Product (LSP) The last product applied to the surface of a vehicle. Generally a wax, sealant, or coating.
Sealant A synthetic liquid applied to the surface of a vehicle to protect it long-term, usually lasting for a year or more.
Waterless Wash A solution used to wash a vehicle with little to no water and no rinsing afterward.
Wax A paste or liquid used to protect painted surfaces, usually lasting a few months.


  • 105 = Meguiars #105 compound
  • 205 = Meguiars #205 polish
  • AG = AutoGeek (brand/website)
  • AIO = All In One
  • APC = All Purpose Cleaner
  • BC/CC = Base Coat / Clear Coat
  • BF = Blackfire (brand name)
  • CG = Chemical Guys (brand name)
  • CP = CarPro (brand name)
  • DA = Dual Action, referring to a dual action orbital polisher
  • DD = Detailers Domain (website)
  • DI = Detailed Image (website)
  • IPA = Isopropyl Alcohol
  • LSP = Last Step Product, referring to wax, sealant, or a coating (applied as the last step you do when detailing)
  • Megs = Meguiars (brand name)
  • MF = Microfiber
  • ONR (also ONRWW) = Optimum No Rinse Waterless Wash
  • OTC = Over The Counter, referring to a product that’s frequently available at physical retailers
  • PC = Porter Cable, a tool company that makes awesome polishers
  • QD = Quick Detailer, referring to the product, not our speed 😉
  • RIDS = Random Isolated Deep Scratches, meaning scratches that can’t be polished or compounded out.
  • SW = Speed Wash, similar to QD/WW.
  • TRC = The Rag Company (brand name)
  • WG = Wolfgang (brand name)
  • WW = Waterless Wash