Detailing a car needs to be done regularly if you want to keep your vehicle bright and shiny for years to come. But is it something all car owners know how to do? Probably not. Is it something that professional detailers got the hang of perfectly? Yes, but not all of them. This is because, although you may know how to detail a car, the detailing tools you use can either make or break the game.
So whether you have a dazzling new ride parked in your garage or a faithful beater that’s done more than enough for you over the years, you still need to do your best to keep it looking great.
Considering there are always new items showing up in shops — and knowing just how difficult it might be to choose — we’ve prepared a list of the best detailing tools and kits on the market.
Choosing The Right Detailing Tools
High-quality car detailing tools are necessary to ensure your prized possession’s beauty, durability, functionality, and longevity.
Some people think it’s okay to use ordinary cleaning materials or even household products to look after their vehicles. I beg to differ. Choosing professional detailing tools is a must for every car owner who wishes to DIY car cleaning, so make sure to read through this list until the end.
Some of these tools might require an initial investment. But, the benefits they can provide more than makes up for the cost as they will help you maintain your vehicle clean and groomed — increasing its longevity in the long run.
Before we get to discussing car care products, let's go through the basics of detailing.
For many, this term may still seem fancy, while, in fact, it describes a simple process, not to mention a necessary one, for that matter.
What Tools Do I Need For Car Detailing?
Car detailing is the process of sprucing up your car so that all its non-mechanical parts end up looking shiny and fresh. So what do you need to do this?
Nothing you can’t successfully find online or even in a local body shop. You can make variations in the different types of car detailing tools you choose, but the list should include:
- Microfiber towels - These are the Holy Grail of car detailing, so make sure you have plenty on hand. I always keep extra ones in my car’s glove compartment and trunk.
- Detailing brushes - You will need these important car detailing tools specially designed to help you clean different parts of your car’s surfaces.
- Pressure washer - This is a powerful tool when you want to detail the outside of the vehicle and remove all dirt.
- A high-quality detailing kit - Choose wisely, as this product can either set you back or help you give your car the royal treatment it deserves.
- Upholstery or leather cleaner - Depending on what kind of seats and interior you have, you’ll want a special cleaning product to deal with them.
- New garbage bags - That fast food box from last Friday evening? That curled-up ball of this month’s receipts? Get some garbage bags and throw them away.
- A car vacuum cleaner - OK, maybe it doesn’t specifically need to be created for vehicles, but it will help a lot if your vacuum has crevice tool attachments to reach those tight spots.
Apart from these car interior cleaning tools, you’ll also need a shampoo for the carpets, a window cleaner, and safety gloves — so your skin doesn’t absorb any chemicals.
What Do Professionals Use To Detail a Car?
Although a professional detailing session may go a bit differently than an amateur one, it’s important to know there are similar features.
Sure, a car detailer may use professional detailing products, but all-in-all there are plenty of other detailing components that remain the same.
Professional detailers will also have microfiber towels handy, a bucket or two, garbage bags, a vacuum cleaner, safety gloves, and they also need to detail every nook and cranny. The only difference is they know what the perfect car detailing tools are.
And believe me, using these will make a world of difference.
What Tools Are Needed To Detail a Car?
Basically, it all depends on what you want to detail, whether it’s the interior or the exterior of your car. Even so, you’ll need different products based on the type of surface treated.
The dashboard will need a special product, while the glass will require something else.
Thankfully, the auto industry has enough detailing tools and products to care for all car surfaces. As it can be hard to choose amongst so many products, I've curated a list of my favorites — including, of course, our own range of Nexgen products.
Top 10 Best Car Detailing Tools
Most of the products in this list are part of a kit that makes pampering your vehicle easy.
1. Nexgen Clay Bar Detailing Kit
If you’re interested in detailing the exterior of your car the right way, then you can’t even think about skipping ceramic coating. But before you do it, make sure you clean the surface thoroughly with the Nexgen Clay Bar Detailing Kit.
- 3 clay bars
- 12 microfiber cloths
- 3 bottles of Quick Detail Spray for clay bar lubrication and instant detailing and spot removal.
If you’ve had problems before when you felt like the ceramic coating layer wouldn’t adhere so thoroughly, these Nexgen clay bars will solve this issue. Using them will make the paint squeaky clean and blemish-free — the perfect foundation for a ceramic coating session.
2. Nexgen Detailing Starter Kit
The Nexgen Detailing Starter kit is perfect for those looking to have all the essential car detailing tools in one package — regardless of being a pro or a newbie. It includes ceramic soap, detail spray, waterless wash, a premium clay bar, and thick microfiber towels which help with the application process.
3. Nexgen Ultimate Detailing Kit
While the Detailing Starter Kit is great for those keeping their car at a basic detailing level, the Ultimate Detailing Kit really takes things a step further when it comes to detailing tools.
Since I’m a fan of ceramic coating, I candidly recommend it to anyone who owns a car and was impressed that this kit contains two ceramic spray bottles as well.
4. Nexgen Ceramic Coating Kit
Ready to take things even further when it comes to owning a showroom-shiny car? Then you definitely need to try the Nexgen Ceramic Coating Kit.
- (3) Nexgen Ceramic Spray 8oz Bottles
- (2) Nexgen Quick Detail Spray 8oz Bottles
- (2) Premium Clay Bars
- (10) Premium Microfiber Towels – White
This kit helps level out minor scratches and create a glass-like shield over your vehicle’s paint to protect it from UV rays, weather, and contaminants, and provides everything you need for a full exterior detail and ceramic coating
5. Nexgen Ceramic Wash Kit
If you want nothing but the BEST when washing your vehicle, this wash kit shouldn’t be missing from the car detailing tools you have stored in your garage. Not to mention that using it can turn into an exciting process for kids who will have plenty of fun with the Foam Blaster.
The Nexgen Ceramic Wash Kit is amongst the best ones on the market. It allows you to use the included ceramic soap by mixing it with water and spraying it on your car with the Foam Blaster.
The Chenille Wash Mitt can be safely used without damaging the surface. The grip it offers is also great as it allows plenty of movement control.
6. Nexgen Motorcycle Kit
For those of you looking to extend the car detailing tools challenge to their hogs as well, you’ll be happy to discover that the Nexgen Motorcycle Kit keeps everything looking dazzling.
It includes three products to keep your bike looking its best, a Ceramic Spray, a Ceramic Soap, and a Quick Detail Spray, but also soft microfiber towels that will help you complete the job with no scratches.
7. Armor All Car Wash And Cleaner Kit (4 Items)
Wondering what it would be like to go with even more detailing supplies in one kit? You can try the whooping Armor All Car Wash and Cleaner Kit. There’s nothing really missing from this car detailing tool kit. It has every little thing you might need and nothing you wouldn’t.
There’s also more money to be paid upfront, but I suppose it’s worth it if you’re not buying anything else and stick to this kit only.
8. Chemical Guys TORQX Complete Detailing Kit - 13 Items
Once you finish with basic detailing, you might be in the mood to give your car some extra care with a bit of polish. The easy way to do this is by using the Chemical Guys TORQX Complete Detailing Kit. This kit is made of quality car detailing tools and the dual polisher is easy to use even by beginners.
9. Chemical Guys HOL134 Best Complete Wheel, Rim, And Tire Kit
The use of car detailing tools should also extend to more specific parts of your cars, which many times end up being overlooked — the wheels and tires.
The wheel cleaner included in the Chemical Guys HOL134 Best Complete Wheel, Rim and Tire Kit does a great job, and you’ll be excited to see that the brushes really help remove all the dirt bits stuck on the rims. The Protectant and the Wheel Guard keep the wheels safe quite a while after being back on the road.
10. Adam’s Leather Care Kit
If your car seats are dressed in leather, a great addition to your car detailing tools is the Adam’s Leather Care Kit,
The tools in this detailing kit are pretty straightforward. The products do the job without too much fuss and the conditioner offers premium UV protection for your dash, door panels, and any other hard interior surfaces. Once used, it will leave seats looking clean and nourished again.
Having the right car detailing tools in your checklist is one of the best investments for your prized possession. They can help you look after your car faster and easier, saving you huge amounts of time and effort.
My recommendation is to start off with any of the detailing tools I’ve mentioned above and start growing your list as soon as you see satisfying results. I personally think they’ll come sooner than you think.