Best Car Wash Kits: Thoroughly Clean and Protect Your Vehicle
Keep your ride looking new with these cleaning solutions
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A car is one of the largest investments people make. It’s important to maintain your car and keep it running its best. It’s also important to keep it looking its best. Preserving your car’s good looks is rewarding in more ways than one. A well-kept vehicle has a higher resale value, and besides, it’s fun to take good care of your vehicle.
Automatic car washes can do more harm than good, so a good old-fashioned hand wash is still best. Considering your car needs all the TLC an inanimate object can possibly get, we decided to look at some of the best car wash kits circulating the web. From upholstery to shining paint to scratch removal, these kits will have your car looking as good as new. To help you along, we’ve assembled a series of top kits that will keep your car looking new, inside and out, for years to come.
This kit contains 12 products that clean, shine, and protect your vehicle's finish, interior, wheels, and more.
- Includes shampoo, liquid wax, detailer sprays, scratch remover, a wash mitt, towels, and more.
- Great for beginner detailers
- ScratchX only removes small defects, not large blemishes
- There aren't enough towels and pads for multiple applications
This clever car wash tool comes with everything you need to scrub your vehicle. It’s available at a low price and includes a mop with three unique heads.
- This kit focuses on cleaning the exterior of your vehicle.
- The mop extends easily and lets you reach difficult spots.
- Each mop head is gentle on the car’s surfaces.
- The kit doesn’t include cleaners with the supplies.
- It doesn’t have a mop bucket, so you’ll have to supply your own.
This kit has nine parts that come together in a handy container. It doubles as a cleaning bucket. Featuring microfiber cloths and scrubbing tools, this complete set offers everything you need.
- This kit has all you need to clean the interior and exterior.
- The sponge applies wax smoothly, and the microfiber towel prevents scratches.
- Doubling as a bucket, the container keeps everything together.
- Though the kit has all the cleaning tools you need, it doesn’t include cleaner.
- The handles are somewhat small, which could make gripping them a challenge.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Car Wash Kits
- Showroom appeal. A clean car is visually more appealing. Clean cars also have more value.
- Protect the finish. Keeping your vehicle clean is important for more than just aesthetic reasons. Over time, it will be exposed to things such as tree sap, dead bugs, and bird droppings. These can corrode the finish and dry up, so they become challenging to remove without destroying the paint.
- Performance and safety. A dirty car can also adversely affect its performance. If it's covered in grime, it can cause wind resistance, which can affect your fuel economy. It's also important to keep the windows clean because if you can't see out of them clearly, it can cause safety issues.
- Protection from damage. Dirt, road salt, and tar can also build up on your vehicle's undercarriage and bodywork and may eventually damage it. If you keep your car clean, you can help avoid these problems and prevent your vehicle from losing more value than it should.
Types of Car Wash Kits
There are basically two types of car wash kits: basic and advanced. A basic kit will have a variety of cleaning products for both the interior and exterior of your vehicle. It may also include a microfiber towel or two. An advanced kit will have cleaning products as well as a variety of tools that you otherwise may need to purchase separately.
Basic Cleaning Kits
Car wash kits contain various combinations of products. They typically all have some type of car wash soap or shampoo to clean the finish. Many feature a liquid wax to bring out the shine and color in the paint and protect the finish. Other common items are tire foam and wheel cleaner.
Basic car wash kits also often feature glass cleaners and/or multi-purpose cleaners as well as products geared specifically toward sprucing up the interior of your vehicle. They may even feature air fresheners or odor eliminators so it smells fresh.
Advanced Cleaning Kits
The more you pay for a kit, the more products it contains. Premium car wash kits usually have more tools and hardware than their less-expensive counterparts. They may include items such as a foam gun, which in some cases can attach directly to a garden hose and won't require other tools or machines for operation.
Bigger kits also have buckets, sponges, towels, brushes, and other applicators. Many include clay bar kits, which you can use to remove contaminants from the finish. Pollutants such as brake dust can settle on the paint and can be difficult to remove unless you use a clay bar.
Founded in Connecticut, Armor All was formerly owned by Clorox. Now, it’s one of the leading providers of cleaning products for automobiles. A top selection is the Armor All Three-Pack of Cleaning Wipes.
Opening its doors in 1941, this American company has roots in Chicago, where its head office remains. During its time on the market, Turtle Wax has developed a reputation for quality car maintenance supplies.
Beginning operations in California more than 40 years ago, Chemical Guys has become a top name in car detailing and cleaning supplies. One of its most popular offerings is the Chemical Guys 14-Piece Car Wash Kit.
Car wash kits come with a variety of different products, some of which are essential and some of which you may not need. (If you don't have leather seats, for example, you don't need a leather cleaner.) Don't settle for a kit that has extraneous items. Be selective, and choose one that falls within your budget and provides all the essentials for your particular vehicle.
This is the most important element in a car wash kit. You can't wax or polish your vehicle until you clean it first. Some shampoos are better than others. Try to find a brand that foams easily when you add water. It's also critical that it keeps the car's finish in good condition.
Another thing to look for when choosing a car shampoo is that it doesn't leave any streaks. This will make your detailing job a lot easier. Also, it should produce a nice shine. Another plus is if it has a nice scent. If you don't like the smell, it will make your job a little unpleasant.
Next, check which type of cleaners are included in the kit. Some provide polishes that are designed to specifically clean plastic. Others have glass cleaner for the windows or a multi-purpose cleaner that works on a variety of surface areas. Some kits have dirt and dust-fighting protectants and tire cleaners.
Most kits have liquid wax, which prevents debris from clinging to your car's surface and gives it a nice shine. They may also contain detailing spray, which is another way to get that sought-after glossy look. You need to figure out which cleaners you require, so you can find one that has them all (or at least most of them).
Microfiber Towels and Mitts
You can have all the shampoo, cleansers, and waxes you need, but they won't do you any good if you don't have a way to apply them to your vehicle's interior and exterior surfaces. Look for kits that have absorbent microfiber towels or mitts. The aim is to pick up the dust or dirt the first time you wipe the cloth across the surface area. Also, make sure the cloth is soft so that it doesn't damage your paint.
When it comes to drying your vehicle, the best towels are made of microfiber or chamois. If you don't use the right cloth, you’ll leave streaks or spots behind—or worse, you can scratch the paint. If you use a bath towel, for example, it can leave lint behind that might scratch the finish.
Car wash kits can range in price from less than $30 to as much as $200. Most good-quality comprehensive kits start around $50. They usually include a few tools alongside the products. If you spend a little more, the kit will have better-quality tools and more durable mitts. The most expensive kits will feature items such as clay bars and foam guns.
Consider how much it would cost to buy the items separately versus buying them bundled together in a kit. It's usually more cost effective to buy a kit, but one possible drawback is that it may feature items you don't need.
Best Car Wash Kits Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Before you purchase a car wash kit, determine what you already have in your garage. If you’re stocked up on microfiber towels and wash mitts, you don't need a kit that has these items.
- You may be happy with a kit that has just the basics for an exterior makeover, or you may prefer a kit that has everything you need to clean it inside and out. Kits that feature more items are typically more expensive. If you have money to spare, you may want a package that features everything from cleaner for the seats and molding to a clay bar that removes surface contaminants from the paint finish.
- If your kit doesn’t come with a bucket, make sure you have one with a 5-gallon capacity. It’s easier to use if it has a handle and wheels. Some even have grit-guard inserts to collect the grime that falls off the mitt.
Q: How do I use a car wash kit?
Each of the products in a car wash kit has a specific purpose. Follow the directions, and your car will be much cleaner and shinier as a result.
Q: How do I choose the best car wash kit?
Choose a kit based on the products it provides. There are some great beginner kits if you just want to do a basic car makeover, and there are kits with more advanced cleaning products for a more thorough wash, wax, and shine.
Q: Should I get a car wash kit?
Absolutely. Since the items are bundled, you’re likely to save some money. They provide most, if not all of the essentials you need to make your car shine.
While the Meguiar's Complete Car Care Kit is an excellent all-around car wash kit, consider the House Day Two-in-One Car Wash Set if you want to save a little money. Its multiple mop heads make cleaning vehicles affordable and easy.