I get asked all of the time what products I like to use for which applications, so I figured I would put together a list of 10 of my favorite products.
I tried to break this list down so that it covers most areas of detailing (polishing, interiors, wheels, washing, etc), so there should be something for just about everybody here.
While I was brainstorming on this list, I needed to come up with the criteria I would use to select the top 10 products. Should I think in terms of which products are the best in their category? Should I factor in ease of use? Should I base it on which products were the innovators of new technology? Well, I ended up considering all of these facts, and most importantly I made the decisions based on what works well for ME. Just because I prefer a product for x and y reasons, it doesn’t automatically mean that everybody will find them to be their favorites. So in the end this is just as the title labels it…my Top 10 Favorite products.
One other note…new products are coming out all of the time, so my list can, and will change. I’m continuously trying and testing new items, and if I find something that I prefer more then it immediately becomes a part of my regular detailing arsenal.
So here’s my list, ranked in no particular order.
Leatherique Rejuvenator Oil and Prestine Clean
For those of you who have been following my work for a while now, this selection shouldn’t come as a surprise. I use the Rejuvenator Oil and Prestine Clean system on just about every detail that I do. It is a proven product that has been around for the better part of 40 years now, it works as advertised, and it’s a joy to work with. When it comes to leather care, I don’t use anything else.
The full paint correction jobs that take 20+ hours worth of work get all of the glory, but some of the most enjoyable work that also produce stunning results are the quick 3-4 hour details. For this level of service I pretty much always use Optimum Poli-Seal. It’s an All-In-One product (Cleaner / Polish / Sealant) that can be used very quickly just to clean and protect the paint while adding a bit of gloss, or you can take your time with it and use different pads to get some light paint correction as well. It’s incredibly easy to use, it’s relatively inexpensive for a polish, and it produces great results every single time. If you need just a quick maintenance polish on your car, this is the perfect product for the job.
When Doug Lamb (fellow Ohioan!) developed the Grit Guard, little did he realize that he would change the way the detailing industry and enthusiasts would wash vehicles. There are some products out there that you could debate which is best, or there may be differences of opinion simply due to brand loyalty, but this is not the case with the Grit Guard. While there is no guarantee of a completely swirl-free wash system, this is as close as you’re going to get when combined with the proper techniques. Everybody should have 2-4 of these in their arsenal…period!
Optimum No Rinse
While I still find myself doing more traditional washes than rinseless washes, I felt that Optimum No Rinse had to make this list. You can use it to wash your car without the use of a hose (like in the winter time, or when there are water restrictions in the summer), you can use it as a quick detailer, and you can use it as a clay lube. It’s versatile, it works very well, it’s eco-friendly, and it’s on my Top 10 List!
Meguiar’s M105 / M205 Polish System
Meguiar’s M105 Ultra Cut Compound and their M205 Ultra Finishing Polish have really set a new bar in the detailing world. What before could take 3 polishing steps (compound, medium cut polish, finishing polish) can now be accomplished in just two. M105 is a heavy cut compound, but finishes down like a medium polish in most cases. M205 finishes down very nicely, and works much faster than traditional diminishing abrasives. While there may be other products that provide a heavier cut or a finer finish, none (that I have found) provide as much performance in a 2-step process than Meguiar’s M105 / M205.
Blackfire Wet Diamond Paint Sealant
There are a lot of very good sealants on the market today with technologies improving at a rapid pace. So while it may be a challenge to come up with which is “best”, it wasn’t a challenge for me to add Blackfire Wet Diamond to my list. It has tremendous durability, it looks fantastic, it’s very easy to work with, and I just like it! Whether I’m working on a daily driver BMW or a rare Ferrari 288 GTO…it gets sealed with Blackfire Wet Diamond when I’m finished. Oh, and it’s also what I use on my personal car.
Chemical Guys EZ Creme Glaze
I was introduced to Chemical Guys EZ Creme Glaze by DJ Mayo of Reflections Detailing, and am very glad that he did. I use it as a paint surface cleaner after polishing, and it preps the paint so that your sealant or wax can bond for maximum durability. For quick details where polishing isn’t involved, you can wash the car, then apply EZ Creme Glaze, and then finally top it with your favorite wax or sealant. You’ll be left with a high gloss and slick finish. I apply it with a PC on speed 5 or 6 with a black or blue pad, and can typically finish the entire application in about 20 minutes. Residue removal couldn’t be easier!
E-Z Detail Brush
For hard to reach places, I can’t imagine what I would do without both the full size and the mini E-Z Detail brushes. I use them to clean the inner barrels of the rims, brake calipers, behind the wheel spokes, exhaust tips, and many places in the engine compartment. I use both sized brushes on every single detail without exception.
DI Accessories The Great White Microfiber Towels
I have a lot of different towels I use on a regular basis depending on the area of the car, but the one I use most often is The Great White microfiber towel. When I am dealing with exterior painted surfaces, The Great White is perfect for Quick Detailer application, removal of compound or polish, removal of waxes or sealants, and final buffing. They are even soft enough for the most finicky paints out there. These are the main towels in my microfiber arsenal!
Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer
Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer is yet another simple and effective product that I use on every single detail. The fine mist spray works wonders on guages, instrument clusters, consoles, navigation screens, stereo controls, and basically any smooth surfaces of the interior. It goes on clean without any kind of residue, and it leaves the finish looking new as opposed to “dressed”. It also has a nice scent.
OK then, there’s my list! Like I said, it wasn’t intended to be a definitive “best 10 products ever made” compilation, but rather a collection of products that continuously work well for me. I’m confident that if you try some of the products on my favorite list, they may quickly end up on yours as well.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions or comments.Thanks, Todd Cooperider Esoteric Auto Detail, LLC Columbus, Ohio