No matter the season, keeping your car clean inside and out is essential if you want it to live a long and happy life. With these handy car-detailing products, your ride will be looking and smelling good as new in no time!
Green Clean Automotive Car Shampoo
$43 BUY NOW
There are a ton of great car soaps on the market today, but it seems to be slim pickings when you’re looking for something that’s at least a little eco-friendly. This car shampoo from Green Clean Automotive uses plant-based surfactants and vegetable glycerin — rather than harsh solvents — to get your car shining again.
Aero Cosmetics Waterless Car Wash
If water conservation is the biggest concern, a waterless car wash like this is a great way to clean your car without running the garden hose non-stop. That said, we only ever recommend this for a light wash, because sometimes a hose (or a pressure washer!) are the only way to remove caked-on dirt and other road gunk.
Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover
Caked-on tar and bugs that won’t scrub off with regular soap can make cleaning your car all sorts of unpleasant. The folks from Turtle Wax have designed this heavy-duty power foam cleaner specifically for stripping that grossness from your front bumper.
Meguiar’s ScratchX 2.0 Scratch Remover
Once your car is clean, you may notice some faint scratches and swirls in the paint that you don’t particularly care for. If they are on the lighter side, this scratch remover from Meguiar’s can be used to lightly buff these marks out by hand, to return your paint to its natural glossy finish.
Scratch Pro Kit
Another solid choice for scratch removal is this three-step kit from Scratch Pro. It includes three different compounds and three different buffing pads to work your scratches out, step-by-step. It’s still only going to work on light scratches, but it’s way better than leaving them alone entirely.
Mothers California Gold Original Formula Carnauba Cleaner Wax
$19 BUY NOW
Now that your exterior is squeaky-clean and those pesky scratches are gone, it’s time for a good waxing to preserve your car’s paint finish. A pure wax would also work just fine, but using a cleaner wax can be useful if you accidentally missed cleaning a spot or two. That way you won’t have to start the waxing process all over again!
Nu Finish Wax-Free Car Polish
from $9 BUY NOW
Nu Finish has been on the market for ages, and people who use it continue to swear by it. Touted as the “Once-A-Year Car Polish,” Nu Finish is the only wax-free option on the market, and is hugely popular in markets where snow, ice, and salt are a problem. Weather will wear down a traditional wax, whereas Nu Finish seems to last well through the winter months.
Chemical Guys Rupes Orbital Polishing Kit With Pads and V Line Polishes
Working though washing, waxing, and buffing can be a real pain to do by hand. If there are multiple cars in the driveway or you simply subscribe to the mentality of “work smarter, not harder,” there’s nothing wrong with investing in a good orbital polisher. This kit from Chemical Guys includes the rig itself, as well as five variants of their hex pads and their three-stage polishing compounds — a great jumping-off point for keeping your car(s) in top shape.
3M Headlight Restoration System
In the case of some older cars, there’s nothing more annoying than shining up your paint job only to stare at foggy, yellowed headlight lenses. Recently, companies like 3M have come up with some great buffing pads made to attach to either a drill or orbital buffer that are meant to buff away that haze, and leave you with nice clear headlight lenses.
ArmorAll Outlast Tire Glaze
$8 BUY NOW
There are many manufacturers making tire-shine sprays, but for the most part they are a giant waste of time, unless you’re staying parked at a Show And Shine for a few hours on a sunny day. This tire glaze from ArmorAll doesn’t give your tires that super wet look, but unlike the other guys, it’s claimed to last through up to 100 car washes.
Turtle Wax Oxy Interior 1 Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Now that your car’s exterior looks shiny and new, it’s time to move on to the interior. Carpets and other fabrics are always the first thing to turn all filthy, but not to worry — Turtle Wax’s interior cleaner is great at pulling all sorts of stains. Just spray on and brush in until those annoying mystery stains are gone.
Car Vacuum Kit
from $95 BUY NOW
Just because the fabric is now clean, doesn’t mean you’re in the clear just yet. Especially if you’ve ever had kids in the car, you’d be shocked to see the sheer volume of dirt, dust, debris, toys, candy, and other foodstuffs that can get wedged under car seats. Rather than dragging out your household vacuum, a dedicated portable guy like this is a great start for getting into those gross nooks and crannies.
Leather Cleaner by Leather Honey
Finding a good leather cleaner can be tricky, and many industry professionals are now resorting to going outside the automotive industry to get the best available product to keep your leather interior in top shape. This cleaner is made by a small American firm and is great for every bit of leather in your household, and when combined with their leather conditioner, you can trust that your plush leather seats won’t crack or fade so long as you maintain them.
Stoner Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner
On rare occasions, the cheapest products can be the best! Invisible Glass has been used by both amateurs and pros for years, offering a clean and spot-free shine to your car’s windows for less than $5 a can.
ArmorAll Air Freshening Protectant Wipes
As a finishing touch, wipe down that dusty old dashboard with these protectant wipes to leave it smelling fresh and looking like new. These freshening wipes are incredibly handy for keeping your dashboard and center console clean and giving your car a nice fresh scent. They’re good for all plastic, rubber, and vinyl components – think of them as the hand-sanitizing wipes of the auto industry. If you want a little extra new-car smell, one of these car air fresheners is just what you need.