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Todd Cooperider’s Top 10 Favorite Detailing Products!

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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

Leatherique Rejuvenator Oil

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.

Optimum Poli-Seal

Optimum Poli-Seal

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.

Grit Guard

Grit Guard

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

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 / 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

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

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

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

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

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.

Todd Cooperider Esoteric Auto Detail
Todd Cooperider
Esoteric Auto Detail
Columbus, Ohio
EsotericDetail.com

48 comments on Todd Cooperider’s Top 10 Favorite Detailing Products!

  1. Tom Beyer says:

    Todd,
    Do you have any suggestions on how to finish the interior black doors on the c6 Corvettes? I have used Meguiars interior detail spray and now tried 303 but it still seems to look a little blotchy after a while. Does it need a thorough cleaning first or is this just something that will continue to happen? I like the look of a satin finish slightly wetter looking than stock.

    Thank you

    • Hi Tom,

      When working with 303 Aerospace Protectant, you may need to go back over it to even out the finish if it’s looking blotchy. Apply the 303 as you normally would, and then go back over it with a lightly dampened microfiber towel. This will help smooth out the finish, and it will take a way a little bit of the gloss (which is good, in my opinion). Try this to see how it works, and if you’re still not satisfied then you should try Optimum Protectant Plus.

  2. Norm says:

    Hi Todd,
    Can you name one or two of your favorite waxes? Thanks!

  3. Jared says:

    7 out of those 10 make my top list as well……. wonder where i learned it from? :o) I actually haven’t considered getting the Blackfire Wet Diamond Paint Sealant yet. Ive seen you mention it many times but i want to see what my combo we talked about will produce. Something tells me ill be ordering some soon. Do you think a blue pad would be best or is black good enough?

  4. 9S says:

    You use Chemical Guys EZ Creme Glaze before Blackfire Wet Diamond ?

    I can use Chemical Guys EZ Creme Glaze before Menzerna Power Lock ?
    It’s Compatibility between us ?

  5. 9S says:

    Hi Todd,

    Thanks for the suggestions. EZ Cream how different the CG-408.
    EZ Cream is better than CG408 ?

    • I wouldn’t say it’s better, but I will say it’s different despite the fact that they achieve similar results. 408 Vertua-Bond also has some slight correction capability (EZ Creme Glaze does not) and would be great for prepping the surface for wax/sealant when the vehicle hasn’t been fully polished. Even after polishing, I’ll sometimes use one or the other (depends on my mood that day!). I have a full review coming up soon on the 408 Vertua-Bond.

  6. G35Guy says:

    Hi Todd,

    I drive a Diamond Graphite G35X and am looking for an LSP to give me a really nice deep, wet look. What do you think about Lusso Oro and do you recommend any other LSPs that would work well with the paint color to give me that look?

    Thanks!

    • The biggest part of that final wet look comes from the polishing job and prep leading up to the LSP (last step product) application. Here’s an article I did on the “wet look“. It also depends on whether you wish to apply a product and be done, or regularly work with it. If you don’t mind applying a paste wax on a monthly basis, then you have some great choices from P21S, Blackfire, Chemical Guys, and Dodo Juice in that $40-$60 range (recent reviews on P21S 100% and Blackfire Midnight Sun). From there you go up to Pinnacle Souveran, Dodo Supernatural, and then the ultimate in Chemical Guys E-Zyme. If you want to apply it and not have to worry about it for a while, then go with a sealant that will leave a great finish like Blackfire Wet Diamond or Menzerna Power Lock. I personally don’t have experience with Lusso Oro…

  7. 9S says:

    Thank you so much Todd.

  8. Marcus says:

    Mr. Cooperider,

    Started detailing back when I was in college to make some extra money but I have been out of the game for quite some time (Graphic Designer by trade) and just now getting back in the swing of things. I have always been a weekend warrior but really want to dive back into a full-blown detailer with my own cars then maybe build from there. I just ordered the Optimum No Rinse as well as their Instant Detailer. My question is, how do their products compare to Griots? I have read your top ten and will slowly be building my arsenal back up. Any help would be much appreciated!

    P.S. Unbelievable job on the Ferrari 458, read it on Ferrari Chat posted by the client, some of the best work I have ever seen!

    Cheers,

    Marcus

    • Hi Marcus,

      Just build up your detailing arsenal and skills, continue to educate yourself on techniques, practice and improve, and who knows where it will take you! As for the comparison to Griots…I’ve never tried their products and can’t provide a true comparison.

      And thanks for the compliments on the Ferrari 458 article!

      Todd

      • Marcus says:

        Mr. Cooperider,

        Thank you for the kind words! Once I get my feet wet, I am sure I will be visiting your site more often for some questions and advice.

        All the best,

        Marcus Mayeux

  9. bob windsor says:

    Just got a 2010 lacrosse in deep blue. used auto glym radiant polish and coated that with an old can of mirror wax #16 carnuba by Maquire. Car attracts attention. Saw an ad for Blackfire carnuba wax and the wet Ice stuffon a boxter with 2 coats of carnuba In 3 months do you think it can be even better??? Live in S. Florida car in garage a lot. Any suggestions??

    • Polishing will bring out the most depth and gloss, while the sealant and/or wax will be the icing on the cake. A coat of Blackfire Wet Diamond, followed by a coat or two of Blackfire Midnight Sun wax (after letting the Wet Diamond to cure for 24 hours) would look pretty darn nice on that blue.

  10. Justin says:

    Thanks Todd – I’m going to give Extreme EZ-Creme Glaze a shot on one of my cars, and top it with Wet Diamond. I never thought of trying it until I read this.

  11. Rudy Hariman says:

    Hi Todd, I always enjoy reading your stuff. However, (as a newbie) I have a question. After applying glaze, sealant and wax and when I want to re-apply the sealant, do I have to strip everything off first or can I just put the sealant on? And if I have to strip off those layers first, what’s the best method? Can a paint claener do the job? I have Meg’s DC 1 Paint Cleaner currently. Another thing, if I apply a paint cleaner, will it eat the clear coat as well? I’m worried it will since I believe my car has a thin clear coat. Thanks much.

    • Rudy,

      By the time you need to re-apply a sealant, the wax will have long since worn off so you shouldn’t need to do anything special unless you’ve gone through the winter and want to re-do it in the spring. If that’s the case, then you’ll at least want to clay the car first before application. Paint cleaners such as DC-1 are safe for the clear coat and this one in particular is non-abrasive.

      I hope this helps.
      Todd

      • Rudy Hariman says:

        Hi Todd,
        Thanks for your reply and explanation.

      • Rudy Hariman says:

        Hi Todd,
        sorry I forgot to ask. Since EZ Creme Glaze has some kind of cleaner (if I’m not mistaken) in it, can it remove any previous LSP applied? Supposed that I don’t need to do any correction.
        Thanks much.

        • Rudy,

          Yes it most likely would. If you wanted to freshen up you car without polishing, I’d recommend a strong wash to help break down any LSP on the car, then use EZ Creme Glaze to finish cleaning and prepping the surface, and then re-apply your wax or sealant of choice.

  12. Vaibhav says:

    Hi Todd,

    Where I live i only have accessibility to very few options when it comes to waxes and sealants. Not to mention that most of the work will be done by using my own muscles as I do not access to motors as yet. So here is my question – I have a brand new black Chevy Cruze and I want to start protecting my car paint. The car is about a month old, mostly get to be parked in sunny/direct sunlight. Now the products which I have been able to source, though after a lot of difficulty, are Mother’s California Gold and Turtle wax hard shell. Now I hear you saying a lot of times how a good sealer will give me an amazing gloss but I still do not have access to it – although i have already ordered one from Amazon.

    DO you think I should wait for Amazon to ship me the blackfire all finsih protector+Blackfire Midnight Sun or will you recommend that I use either of the above two wax for protecting my car paint till i recieve the Blackfire products.

    If I should indeed wax my car after a good wash, which of the two – Mother’s California Gold or Turtle wax, should i use.

    Best,
    Vaibhav

    • Since I don’t have experience with the Mothers or Turtle Wax products that you speak of, I’d just say that you should wait for the Blackfire products to arrive. Even a few weeks without protection isn’t going to harm anything.

      Thanks,
      Todd

  13. Jeff Saffir says:

    Todd – thanks for all of your work and knowledge. I am really hooked on your site. I have a 2005 Mini Cooper S and have used the 105/205 combo as well as BFWD with great results. I just received the EZ Creme from you. I can’t help myself but can’t just work on my car and leave it alone. I plan on washing it with citrus wash to start fresh (eventhough I clayed and detailed it 2 weeks ago) and then I was going to use the EZ Creme and then 2 coats of BFWD. Would it be beneficial to use BF Polish before the EZ Creme or is this overkill after the clay, 105/205, BFWD two weeks ago? Thanks for your input. You definately have a customer for life!

  14. Jeff Saffir says:

    Todd – forgot one question. When I used the EZ Creme on my PC/black pad, do I prime it similar to how you mentioned in the 105/205 PC article you wrote? Thanks again.

    • Trying all of the different combinations and products is half the fun! No need to prime the pad with EZ Creme Glaze. Just 3 small drops of the product goes a long way! Try it at about speed 5, and once you get a feel for it you should see it almost disappear into the paint. It should only take about 20-30 minutes to do the entire car once you get the hang of it.

      If you’ve already done all of your polishing, there’s no need to hit it with BF Polish. Just do your wash, then EZ Creme, then BFWD…

  15. sohail99 says:

    Great articles Todd!

    I was just wondering, should we use just the weight of the DA to apply the EZ creme glaze?

    and any area restrictions?(whether to work in a 20″x20″ area or spread it like a sealant/liquid wax on the hole panel?)

    Any other pointers would be great!

    • Thanks!

      Really just the weight of the D/A is all you need when applying EZ Creme Glaze. It’s a pretty fool-proof product actually, as it’s very easy to use with no real learning curve. You’ll be surprised at just how little product it takes…a couple of drops will do half a hood. If you have a lot of visible residue then you’re using too much or simply not spreading out enough.

      • sohail99 says:

        Wow! thanks!

        I’ll be doing a full detail on my car in a few days! will use it then!

        btw I had used M105 followed by M205 and then jeweled the paint to perfection with Menzerna PO85rd.(Metallic blue color(Sparkle blue))

        After I sealed it with Blackfire wet diamond, though the shine was undoubtedly amazing and deep!(ppl had a hard time concentrating on the road whenever I took it out! lol)

        But I felt that something was still missing! I cant describe it exactly, but it always felt as if a lil’ extra pop was not there!

        I hope this fills in the extra ‘pop’ I was looking for! :D

        Thanks again!

  16. James K says:

    Your favorite list could very soon match mine. I just placed in order that looks almost identical to this list! I have used the Meg products before, and really like them. I am a newb to the CG EZ Creme and the BFWD though. I am gonna give them a try on my own daily driven car before trying them on anything else. I can’t wait to give them a try. I have read many good things about them both, and now seeing them on your list after I made my order only makes me that much more excited.

  17. Kostas Skourtis says:

    Dear Todd,

    Almost 7 months down the line, would you find yourself thinking of new products entering this top 10 list surpassing others?

    Kind regards
    Kostas

  18. Rob Southern says:

    Hi Todd
    I have brake dust that just wont shift from my alloys no matter how much i try – what product do I need to used to finally get rid of it? The build up is so much it now looks like the alloys are dirty even after they have been cleaned.

    Thanks

    • Rob,

      You might want to try Sonax Wheel Cleaner as it really does a good job of breaking down baked on brake dust. In cases where it still doesn’t remove everything, you may need to remove the wheels for a deeper cleaning (article coming soon on that very topic). And if it has etched into the finish and damaged the wheels, then re-finishing would be your only other option.

  19. Nathaniel says:

    Hey Todd! Excellent site! I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate the info.

    I have a cosmos black BMW (looks almost charcoal in the sun)

    From all my reading here I have narrowed it down to some products that I want to use BFWD and the EZCG with the citrus wash, P21S wheel, CG back to black and 1z cockpit.

    Also a clay bar and the dodo lubricant.

    I will be doing all work by hand right now and I would like to know what other products, applicators, etc. I need to be able to detail my car in full.

    Thanks in advance!!!

  20. Karen says:

    Hi Todd
    I just bought my second Mazda miata with cloth top. I am not a professional and never realized all the products to use to detail your car. I just want the basics. Car wash, wax, protectant for interior and wheel care. What comes after you wash. I had a red one and now black which takes constant care to keep it looking new.
    Please give me the basics
    Thanks
    Karen

    • My “how to properly wash and dry” article will be a good start for you. We also have plenty of articles on here for interior care, wheel care, etc. Use the search feature, or the menu on the left to find the appropriate categories and you will find a tremendous amount of information!

  21. Charlie Cam says:

    Hi Todd,

    Just a quick question about the EZ Creme.. Do you have to work in the product or is application similar to LSP?? Thanks

  22. jim says:

    Todd, 15months since your last post. Any new products on you list to replace or supplement the “old” ones?

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