THE proliferation of hand car washes has ended the need to come through a mechanical brush wash.
It’s one of the few areas of life where humans are actually taking over from robots.
Still, cleaning your car must be one of the most undervalued therapies there is.
The meditative focus of washing all that dirt off is one of the reasons to avoid paying someone else to do it.
Plus, as the summer months head our way, we’ll look for any excuse to get outside.
What do you need for car detailing?
Detailing involves more than a wash and a dry.
Car detailing enthusiasts layer products to create protective barriers against inclement weather, heat and other drivers.
It’s not a focus on one part of the car, but investing in specialist products for each component, such as wheel wash and glass cleaner, as well as the appropriate applicators, brushes and cloths for each task.
Detailing shuns household products such as washing-up liquid, as such detergents can strip protection from the paintwork and can encourage rusting and other damage.
To show cars another level of commitment, you need waxes, polishes, sealant and above all, time.
Time to jet wash, time to dry, time to buff.
To help you out, here’s our list of the best car cleaning products you can buy in 2019.
1. Karcher’s K2 Full Control
- Karcher’s K2 Full Control, £99 from Halfords – buy here
A jet wash for a modest price from one of the best brands in the business, the Karcher K2 Full Control has the capacity to blast the grease and grime off your motor.
It’s lightweight and has several attachments to get to those harder-to-reach areas.
To pair it up, we like Halford’s pressure washer shampoo.
At £12, the shampoo foams and helps lift the dirt for a more effective clean.
2. Autoglym Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner 500ml
- Autoglym Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner 500ml, £17.50 from Halfords- buy here
If you’re going the traditional route of a hand wash, then Autoglym’s Bodywork Shampoo is your friend.
A cap full of this neon coloured formula in a regular bucket is more than enough to cut through the road dust, dirt and bird muck.
Soap your car down twice for best results and, ideally, use a grit guard in the bottom of your bucket to stop your cloth picking up scratchy debris that’ll harm your paintwork.
Grab this Amazon bargain cloth, £10.15 for two.
3. Kent Extra Large Microfibre Drying Towel
- Kent Extra Large Microfibre Drying Towel, £3.99 from Therange.co.uk- buy here
Now is not the time to neglect the all-important clothes and sponges.
Drying off your car after rinsing saves an incredible amount of time.
If you let it drip dry in the sun, you’ll have a load of watermarks to polish off.
These come from residual salts and lime in the water of the area you live.
The Kent Extra Large Microfibre Drying Towel is fab since it’s impressively absorbent, holding eight times its own weight in water.
That makes it suitable and big enough for use on larger cars, like SUVs and vans.
4. Bilt Hamber Auto Clay
- Bilt Hamber Auto Clay, £11.38 from Amazon- buy here
Granted, you’re only going to want to touch Bilt Hamber Auto Clay if you’re really committed to detailing.
Claying your bodywork is considered somewhat specialist.
It involves pulling a formulated clay block about the size of a Post-It Note across the paintwork.
Using a lubricant, this action picks up all the residual microscopic grime and bits of insect.
The result is a smoother finish, obvious to the touch.
Award-winning Bilt Hamber is one of the few clays out there that works with just water, rather than a separate product.
5. Bilt Hamber Double Speed Wax
- Bilt Hamber Double Speed Wax, £18.24 from Amazon- buy here
Bilt Hamber’s award-winning Double Speed Wax isn’t cheap but it’s highly effective.
Apply evenly with foam pads. We love the easy-use, lint-free Meguiar’s Soft Foam pads.
Once you’ve applied the product, it cures by dulling (or what the pros call ‘hazing’) then you buff to a brilliant shine.
For buffing, we like these microfibre cloths from Halfords
6. Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel
- Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel, £12.95 from Bilthamber.com- buy here
This list might seem like a Bilt Hamber detailing party, but actually the brand just has incredibly reliable car care products.
Nothing trumps Auto Wheel, a pricey but highly effective wheel wash.
Turning a superhero purple colour as it breaks down the brake dust and grease, you couple award-winning Auto Wheel with the Filmer Car brush 18797 to minimise effort.
An angled brush head, it’s only £4.16 to get to those hard-to-clean areas.
Look forward to wheels that haven’t been cleaner since the day they rolled off the line.
7. Simoniz Tyre Shine
- Simoniz Tyre Shine, £4.38 from Amazon- buy here
Simoniz Tyre Shine is the cherry-on-top and the best way to finish the tyres.
Deepening the blackness of the rubber, Simoniz Tyre Shine leaves the tyres looking better than new, with a shine to invoke admiration.
Once you’ve dried the wheels off, spray this tyre shine liberally around the wall of each tyre.
Even if your motor is an old banger, tyre shine does wonders to make your car look cared for.
It’s a particularly useful product if you’re looking to sell your vehicle, but it’s also great for regular protection and makes the next wash much easier.
8. Turtle Wax Dash and Glass
- Turtle Wax Dash and Glass, £3 (Was £6) from Halfords- buy here
Halfords often have this bad-boy on offer, at half-price, so be sure to stock up.
Turtle Wax Dash and Glass is a smear-free, convenient way of cleaning up the dust from your cabin’s dashboard, screen and steering wheel and polishing up the windows, both outside and inside.
Leaving behind a pleasant smell, Dash and Glass is in a handy spray bottle, is suitable for use on plastics and glass and is safe for all the surfaces kids love to touch.
The price and streak-free finish make Dash and Glass a real favourite among its peers.
What can I use to clean the inside of my car?
Keeping the inside of your car clean is never easy.
Even if you have stringent rules on food and drink in the car, more often than not gravel drives or freshly mown grass finds a home in the footwell.
If you want to clean the inside of your car lightly, you’ll need a spray and microfibre class for dash and glass, a scented decoration to mask that cigarette/fast food smell and a quick shake of the mats.
More from sun selects motoring
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