Ever since 1974, I’ve tested and used many Car Care products to keep all of our family cars looking as new as possible. I started doing this because I was not satisfied with how my parents’ cars looked when they were dropping me off at school or to sports events. My parents and I came to an agreement that they would purchase the car care products as long as I used them to completion on their cars. It was during this time that I was able find out what worked best and I eliminated many products that were either difficult to work with or didn’t give me the satisfactory result that I was expecting.
I’m listing my favorite products on this page. I categorized them by how much time you want to spend on car care. Each level will give you higher level of gloss and a more satisfactory finish when you are done.
All of these products are sold and shipped by Amazon, so there is never a worry about customer service and shipping.
I’ve created three levels of car care products.
Level 1 is the most straight forward and easiest to use. Level 2 requires a bit more attention to detail and there is some more time involved. Level 3 is the most dedicated level of car care. It’s for the enthusiast who spends more time than the average owner in his or her garage working towards the best possible finish.
I’m dedicating another car care page to my favorite Level 3 products.
Level 1 products:
These were the first products that I ever used when I started my car care journey back in the mid seventies. They are easy to use and they provided me with a great durable finish on my Corvettes and on my parents cars as well. The car wax applicator pads are nicer now than they were back in the day. The pads have an extra fold of fabric to help you get a better grasp on the pad while applying the wax.
Use these products as directed. DO NOT apply wax in direct sunlight. It is best to apply wax inside your garage as directed by each manufacturer.
NEVER use dishwasher soap or other household soaps to wash your car! They will ruin the paint on your car!
I’ve always used an appropriate car wash soap. They contain the proper oils and lubricants to maintain the proper factory finish of your paint. These containers last for several seasons, so you will get more than your money’s worth when you purchase these:
This car wash soap is concentrated, so you only need to add a small amount of the soap to a half filled bucket of water to get the proper balance.
I started with some basic sponges when I began my car detailing journey. But I found that they barely made through one car wash.
So I upgraded to a different style.
Car Wash Sponges
These hybrid sponges last for a long time, sometimes up to a couple of years! They do a great job when it comes to removing the dirt from your car. Best of all, they don’t scratch the finish!
I use these all the time.
I like this square style car wash bucket.
It doesn’t tip over when you are outside on your driveway washing your car. This bucket is stable and sturdy.
Car Wash Bucket
Best of all, when you are done washing your car, simply rinse out this bucket and use it to store all of your car wash products!
I used to use the least expensive towels that I could find at the nearest discount store when it came time to dry my cars or to remove the dried wax. Today’s towels are much nicer. They are softer and more absorbent. Here are a couple of links here that will save you a trip to your nearest brick and mortar store.
Level 2 Products
These car care products are a step up from the previous products as the owners put more time into their car care.
I’ve been using a clay kit that removes the tiny particles that get stuck on the top surface of the paint.
Once those rough contaminants are removed, I’m able to apply a nice coat of polish and then a nice coat of wax.
I really like the Mothers Clay Kit.
This is a very nice clay bar kit. Simply spray the Instant Detailer onto a small portion of the paint, and then rub with the clay bar until you feel less resistance.
Keep reapplying the Instant Detailer and rub again with the clay bar. When you feel almost no resistance with the bar, then you know that you’ve removed the surface contaminants. Repeat this process for the whole car.
At this point you are ready for a coat of polish.
Since you now have a much smoother paint finish after using the Clay Bar Kit, it is to your benefit to use these extra soft foam wax applicator pads. These are soft and durable to give you several applications. Use a separate pad for the polish and the wax.
This polish will really bring out the color and make it pop! When you apply this polish, only apply to a small portion about shoulder’s width and about 12 inches across. Rub it in for about a minute or so. DO NOT let this polish dry. DO NOT apply in direct sunlight. Use a microfiber towel to remove this product from your paint BEFORE IT DRIES. This will give you the highest gloss and most durable finish that can last up to a year. At least that has been my personal experience with this product. I use this on one of our family SUVs and I only need to apply it once a year!
The ceramic wax products are new and very easy to use. Simply rub this product onto the paint, wait 3-5 minutes, and then remove with a microfiber towel.
Always apply wax to your paint in a shaded area or inside your garage. DO NOT apply wax to your car in direct sunlight. This will damage the finish of your paint.
These microfiber towels are soft and do an excellent job removing polishes and waxes from your car’s paint. They wash well and can be reused several times while maintaining their softness.
Huge Selection of additional towels and microfiber towels in various sizes and quantities!
You’ve probably noticed that I have not listed any type of Rubbing Compounds here on this page. I’ve used many over the years. When I’ve been faced with dealing with dull oxidized paint, I have tried rubbing compounds on these dull finishes. The results were only temporary and the finishes were never to my satisfaction.
I’ve made it a point to not own a car that has an oxidized surface. The top layer of paint is permanently damaged and I have never been satisfied with the results that the rubbing compound delivers.
If you are going to ask me about a barn find type car that has badly oxidized paint, I might consider purchasing it, but it will be receiving a new paint job as soon as possible!