While increasing your detailing IQ will gradually help you become a better detailer, using the right products can immediately improve your skills. And whether you’re an early adopter of the following products or you’ve never touched them before, one thing’s for sure: you should be using them. These car care products were chosen because they make your job as a detailer easier, they’re essential to the proper car care mindset, and, best of all, they keep your car looking great.
Six Essential Car Care Products
1. Wheel Protection
Wheel protection is important because clean wheels make your car look better, you don’t want to deal with etching or pitting, and lets face it, wheels are expensive. Protecting with a synthetic wheel sealant (resistent to high heat) will shield your rims against brake dust and keep them looking great between car washes. It will instantly become easier to clean your wheels, and you’ll notice that when you protect regularly, they stay cleaner longer.
2. Paint Sealant
A lot of people do use polymer-based paint sealants, but there are a lot who still hang their hat on the much more traditional, less effective carnauba paste wax (in terms of protection and durability). Sure, carnauba yields a great shine, but the right way to think about car care is to consider preserving your finish. Paint sealants offer a stronger barrier against contaminants, a longer lasting bond, and, yes, a great shine. It’s hard to beat modern paint sealant technology, and I suggest you get on board.
3. Exterior Trim Protection
If you’ve ever noticed your rubber or plastic trim start to turn grey, it’s because you’ve been neglecting the fact that UV rays damage almost any surface exposed to them. When it comes to paint we realize the importance of a wax or sealant, but not many car owners think to protect their trim. An exterior plastic sealant will nourish the surface and shield it against the Sun’s harmful rays.
4. Non-scented Odor Eliminator
Most odor elimination products in the detailing world carry a hefty scent with them so as to coverup (or replace) whatever the foul smell is. This is not good. Malodors, especially in your car, need to be removed at the source or else they’ll find their way back. Switch to a no-scent odor eliminator that encapsulates and removes odor molecules at the source.
5. Glass Sealant
Protected glass smudges less, streaks less, repels water/snow/sleet away effortlessly, prevents bugs from caking to the windshield, and much more. Most importantly, glass that has been sealed stays cleaner longer, meaning your visibility is better for a longer period of time. I’m sure we’ve all witnessed the terror of a filthy windshield… so stay ahead of the game and protect your car’s glass.
6. Bug Barrier
If you live in a buggy area you know how much of a pain it is to remove bugs from the front of your car. Fortunately, the problem has been addressed with a temporary barrier of protection against bugs that makes removing them as easy as drying your car. So whether you’re hitting the road for a cross country cruise or just picking up groceries in central Florida, shielding your paint and grille from hard-to-remove bug splats is a must.
Regardless of how much you know about car care, these product choices will help you maximize the effectiveness of your detail. At the end of the day, it’s all about making your job/life easier and getting the most out of every detail you do. Next time your wax diminishes after 2 months or you notice how much effort it takes to clean your wheels, consider that there are products designed to relieve the burden.
Have you adopted any of the above? Share in the comments!