You should take your car through the car wash at least once a season. For a thorough cleaning, getting your car professionally detailed may be worth it. However, a single detailing appointment can cost $100 or more. If you want to save money and detail your car yourself, a number of high-quality car detailing kits have all the tools you need.
Armor All Complete Care, $13
At $13, the affordable Armor All Complete Car Care kit has all the essentials for basic detailing. It includes Armor’s All-Original Protectant, the brand’s special car cleaning formula that preserves the surfaces on the inside of your car from fading due to age or excessive sunlight.
For the exterior of the car, the kit includes a can of Ultra Shine Wash and Wax, a special blend of cleaning products that will get rid of dirt more efficiently than standard surface cleaners. This kit also comes with glass wipes and tire foam, but no towels or sponges.
Mothers California Gold System, $15
After your car has been washed and dried, the detailer will run a clay bar over the paint to get rid of remaining debris. Clay bars eliminate dirt and grime particles that are hard to see and don’t wash off with water. The clay won’t harm your car’s paint job and can even be used on the interior and windows. For $15, the Mothers California Gold System includes two clay bars and an instant detailing spray for a little more shine after washing.
Griot’s Garage Starter Care Kit, $65
A bit pricey, the Starter Car Care kit comes with more supplies than the cheaper alternatives. With this kit, you get Griot’s car wash formula, a can of tire foam, shine spray, cleaning clay, carnauba wax, and vinyl dressing. Each cleaner is biodegradable, which is better for your car’s paint and the environment. The wax and wash come in 16-ounce bottles, while the shine spray and wheel cleaner come in 35-ounce bottles, meaning you’ll definitely get more than one detailing job out of this detailing kit.
Meguiar’s Ultimate Car Care Kit, $93
This premium detailing kit comes with washing liquid, polish, liquid wax, plastic restorer, paint protectant, quick detailing spray, and the Ultimate Compound. The latter is Mequiar’s special formula designed to address everything from oxidation to light scratches. This kit also comes with six microfiber towels, a special drying towel, and a reusable foam applicator. It’s a little expensive but definitely worth it.
Chemical Guys Wash Bucket Kit, $100
The Wash Bucket is the most expensive kit on this list, but it comes with a lot of products from one of the most trusted names in car care. Included in this kit are the standard liquid wash, wax, quick detailer, and sprayable dressing. It also comes with unique items like butter wet wax, which adds an even deeper shine to paint. Four microfiber towels and a wash mitt are provided, as well as a bucket insert and a soft brush for gentle cleaning.