Best Car Wash Kit: Spiff Up Your Ride
Be a car care expert in minutes with one of these top car wash kits.
How you take care of your car says a lot about you, so make the right statement by using the best car wash kit for your baby. I come from a car family where weekly washings are considered normal. These days, we have a professional detailer come to the house to wash our Toyota XRunner and Durango Hellcat. However, there was a time when I did the washing and waxing myself. Like any enthusiast, I have my go-to favorites. First, there is the wash formula that suds perfectly and suspends dirt to prevent scratches. Then the detailer works magic at creating a perfectly smooth surface ready for waxing. Finally, the wax seals and protects, giving you that deep luster and shine. So, what message are you sending with the condition of your car’s exterior? With one of these best car wash kits, you can ensure your car is always looking its best.
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.Learn more
Best Overall: Chemical Guys 14-Piece Arsenal Builder Car Wash Kit
Best Value: Turtle Wax Complete Carnauba Wash & Wax Kit
Honorable Mention: Adam's Arsenal Builder 21 Item Car Wash Kit
Most Versatile: Meguiar's Complete Car Care Kit
Premium Pick: Armor All Premier Car Care Kit
I made sure to pick reputable brands that are well-known in the industry. Most of these companies have been in business for decades and have spent many years perfecting their formulas so consumers have access to the best cleaning supplies. I also looked at the types of items included in each bundle, so you're not paying for products you don't need and are getting products you will actually use. I also understand that car owners have different budgetary requirements. As a result, I chose a wide range of products for those who have the ability to splurge to those who just want a basic kit with traditional car cleaning supplies. I avoided products from unknown manufacturers and kits with smaller bottles and items that don't last very long.
Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.
Best Car Wash Kit Reviews & Recommendations
- Size: 14 products
- Model: HOL126
- Weight: 12.37 pounds
- Produces great results
- Foam gun works with a standard hose
- Easy to use
- You may not need every item included
- Foam gun won’t work with a pressure washer
- You’ll run out of products at different times
- Size: Four products
- Weight: 6.33 pounds
- Model: 50825
- Infused with a proprietary tropical Caribbean Crush scent
- Contains carnauba wax
- Friction reducing detergents
- Washing leaves a conditioner residue
- Weird to clean and wax at the same time
Premium PickAdam's Arsenal Builder 21 Item Car Wash Kit
- Size: 21 products
- Weight: 15.77 pounds
- Model: VAR_ARS
- Cleans vehicle inside and out
- Great for beginners and pros
- Easy to use
- Bucket lacks a lid and dirt filter
- Spray nozzles lack quality control
Most VersatileMeguiar's Complete Car Care Kit
- Size: 12 products
- Weight: 1 pound
- Model: G55032SP
- Promotes a deep shine on the vehicle’s finish
- Includes products many kits don’t
- Time consuming to use all products in one session
- Foam applicator could be better quality
- Lacks a wheel cleaning product
Honorable MentionArmor All Premier Car Care Kit
- Size: 8 items
- Weight: 9.2 pounds
- Model: N/A
- Affordably priced
- Products are easy to use
- Produces positive results
- No bucket
- Air freshener doesn’t last very long
- Lacks accessories
My top pick for the best car wash kit is the Chemical Guys 14-Piece Arsenal Builder Car Wash Kit because it has top-quality products that deliver show-worthy results. For a more affordable option, try the Turtle Wax Complete Carnauba Wash & Wax Kit, which gives you a simple yet effective wash and wax solution.
Things to Consider Before Buying Car Wash Kit
The number of products you need in your kit will depend on how detailed of a wash you want to do. A simple wash and wax only may only need maybe two or three products. A more detailed washing could require six or seven different products. Try to avoid products that try to do too many things at once. They do a lot, but none of it well. Instead of a wash and wax combo, look for a kit that has separate wash and wax solutions. In addition, your car has multiple exterior materials, so look for a kit that can address all of these different surfaces. For example, this could include solutions for paint, metal, plastic, glass, and rubber. This will give you the best finish and protection for each material type.
Some kits come with more than just the cleaning products. These kits are nice because you don’t need to purchase anything in addition to the kit. A bucket keeps everything organized in storage and is useful during washing. A foam cannon works with specially designed soap to create a thick layer of suds over your vehicle, eliminating the need for the bucket. Other accessories to consider are a mitt or sponge to wash with, an application pad for wax, a tire brush, tire shine applicator, and microfiber towels. The more products you have in your kit, the more tools you will need. It’s best to use a separate applicator for each product so that you don’t have cross contamination degrading the effectiveness of each product.
Car Wash Kit Pricing
You can buy a simple car wash kit for less than $50. However, it will have a limited number of products and tools. It will also be basic quality formulas that will not provide any specialized cleaning ability or protection for your car. More expensive kits tend to come with more supplies.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: How often should I wash my car?
A: At a minimum, we recommend washing your vehicle every two weeks. Some car owners, however, clean their vehicles weekly, while others do so less regularly.
Q: Can I use hand soap or dishwashing soap to clean my car?
A: We don't recommend it. Household cleaning products are not designed to clean a car's paint and may remove the protective coating on the finish.
Q: How do I dry my car after washing it?
A: You can dry your vehicle with a clean towel that’s designed for use on your car. There are silicone squeegees that will remove the water without scratching your paint. Then for a completely contactless solution, you can use pressurized air to blow the water off the vehicle’s surface.
Q: Is it bad to let your car air dry after washing it?
A: It’s a bad idea to let your vehicle naturally air dry after you wash it. You did all of the work to wash it, so why ruin it with water spots? Minerals and deposits in your water remain on your vehicle’s surface when the water evaporates. These minerals create micro-etches in your clear coat, which dull the look of your car’s paint.