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Product Review: Chemical Guys Bare Bones


Its the little things that set off the look of your freshly detailed car!  Things like compounding to remove defects, polishing to restore gloss and clarity to the paint, and sealants and waxes to protect that finish make up about 90% of the overall look of the car, but what makes up the final 10%? It’s the little things!

One of those many little things in particular are the wheel arches / wheel wells! Lets say you have a freshly cleaned wheel and tire that you just cleaned with CG diablo wheel gel and an ez detail brush, then dressed the tire with something like meguiars hyper dressing at a 2:1 ratio and you love the look of everything about the wheel and tire, but something just isnt sitting right….its the area behind the wheel (the backdrop to your “wheel picture”.)

Here is the perfect time to address that concern!

What you want to do is clean the wheel well thoroughly to remove all dirt and grime that has built up. I like to use a couple of different products for this process: meguiars super degreaser and/or chemical guys grime reaper APC. I’ll pre-rinse the wheel well and remove the loose dirt from the wheel well, then liberally apply the cleaner of choice and scrub and clean as best as possible, then rinse that out and dry. After a few minutes of air drying, I’ll spray my chemical guys barebones evenly and let it setup and dry on its own. After it’s almost dry, I’ll wipe it down with a terry cloth towel if it streaks (applied too heavy) for a smooth look. Now I have that black / dark backdrop for my clean wheel picture!


I would repeat this process once every month depending on driving conditions! Looks much better with a dressed wheel well!!!

Eric Schuster
Envious Detailing

Eric Schuster Envious Detailing
Eric Schuster
Envious Detailing
Orange County, CA

10 comments on Product Review: Chemical Guys Bare Bones

  1. alan says:

    how does this differ from black on black?

  2. Marc Harris says:

    Great review Eric!
    It truly is those small things that make the biggest difference in the final result. In addition to dressing the wheel wells so they’re not noticed, I like that Bare Bones is oil based as it lasts much longer and doesn’t rinse away as easily because it’s not water soluble. Great review on a product we love.
    -Marc from AutoLavish

  3. Stelian says:

    great review, great product

  4. eric schuster says:

    To be honest I hauset used black on black. I was going to but then someone told me to try barebones and I am glad I did!

  5. 9S says:

    Thk you for review Eric

  6. DJ Mayo says:

    Great review, Eric.

  7. Nice review on another great product from Chemical Guys…thanks Eric!

  8. Micah Johnson says:

    Great article Eric!

    I agree that too many detailers unfortunately neglect the wheel wells, which are in effect typically one of the dirtiest parts on the car and can be seen from almost every angle.


  9. Bosco says:

    I’ve used this product before. It’s not impressive. It gives a good shine (as you’d expect from any oil based product) but durability is unacceptable, especially once it goes through rain. Adam’s undercarriage product is much better.

  10. Rick M says:

    Bare bones does what it claims, can’t ask for more then that..overall it’s a very good product which BTW i would rebuy and recommend to a friend..in using it I have found a few things that seem to work well: it will remove light to moderate buildup such as road tars and saps with some elbow grease..the best way to use it is to buff it in by hand until the greasiness is gone, that way it will look great and won’t attract road debris/dust as fast as if it was left on with a sheen..and as always it has that great chemical guys grape scent

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