DIY Auto Detailing [10 Must-Haves for your Garage]

Your car deserves the absolute best of the best. It goes everywhere with you, carries you through the rough weather, and never complains when it gets covered in mud. If you take care of your car, it will continue to take care of you. 

This isn’t only applicable to the engine. The detailing of your car is an important process to make sure that it will last as long as possible and be in great condition for years on end. Detailing your car can be a long and drawn-out process, but can also be an enjoyable one. 

The right products and tools for detailing your car will give you both a better end result and an easier time of doing it. There are some products that we consider to be must-haves. They are the cream of the crop when it comes to car detailing. This short list should get you started on putting some shine on your game. 

car tire with soap
Photo Credit: JLMedia, Pixabay

Must-Haves for DIY Car-Detailing


A bucket paired with a dirt screen at the bottom of it is your best source of clean water to properly clean your car. All the dirt gets trapped underneath the screen and you can say goodbye to dirty swirls and paint scratches from particulates that gather in the buckets. The dual-bucket system is going to be the best for your cleanest and spotless result. 

Hand Mitt

A giant squishy hand mitt is a must-have for anyone that’s detailing their car at any level. These hand mitts help prevent any damage from being caused that can often happen with other tools like sponges. 

Hand mitts are high-absorbing and won’t put a huge dent in your wallet. You can find quality lambs’ wool mitts for a decent price online or in any auto shop near you. 

sponge on car
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Pressure Washer

There are certain little bits of dirt that are either too stubborn or too hidden for your mitts to get at them. This is where a pressure washer comes in clutch and will take off every last bit of dirt without much effort at all. 

There’s a certain level of clean that you can reach with a pressure washer that you just can’t get with anything else. If you’re up to spend a little bit more and get a pressure washer, your car will thank you for it. 

Applicators and Brushes

Brushes and applicators are going to find something to do in every step of your car detailing process. These are necessary for getting your rims sparkling and will reach into crevasses that other tools struggle to get at. Pay attention to the type of brushes you buy, as there are different brushes for different jobs. 

Man Brushing Car
Photo Credit: Przemo_W. Pixabay

Foam Cannon

Shampooing your car means getting every inch of it covered. This can be a tough task when you’re working by hand, but a foam cannon makes it a breeze. The soap finds its way into all of the hard-to-reach areas, ensuring the best clean. Plus, they’re just fun to use. 

Dual Action Polisher

A dual-action polisher is the best way to give your car the most pristine buff possible. They can be intimidating, but if you use them right, there’s no risk to your cars paint and it will actually increase the lifespan of the paint you have. 

Vacuum and Blower

Detailing your car means cleaning it inside and out. Everyone has owned a vacuum at one point or another that didn’t do much more than make a lot of noise. The vacuum and blower that you choose for detailing your car’s interior needs to be more bite than bark. 

Find a quality vacuum that has the extensions you need to access those hard-to-reach spaces inside the car. It’s easy for a stray wrapper or piece of food to find its way into a crack and never come out again. With a good blower/vacuum combo you’ll find every last scrap and leave the inside factory-fresh. 

car blower in use
Photo Credit: peeonelove, Pixabay

Plastic Razor Blades

Yes, metal blades work to get stickers off your windows but sometimes it isn’t worth the risk. Plastic razor blades are great tools that work effectively but have a much lower risk of accidentally damaging the interior of the car or your paint job. 

Microfibre Towels

Getting your car dry without leaving any streaks requires quality microfibre towels. If you can find a set of quality towels, you’ll be set for life. These can perform any task and will be used throughout your entire detailing process.

Rolling Work Seat

No doubt, you want to be comfortable while detailing your car. If not, you might find yourself doing it less often than you want. A rolling work seat is a great way to take some pressure off your back, legs, neck, and arms while doing the detailing. Spinning around the car and having the comfort to pay close attention to every last detail is easy when you’re in a rolling seat.