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What Are Your Favorites?


As mentioned before in Todd Cooperider’s Article about his favorite detailing products, I too frequently get asked…what is your favorite for doing this, what about that? Do we have products that we absolutely love and always find ourselves reaching for first? Of course we do, but at the same time things can change and you have to adjust accordingly. This blog post was dedicated for the readers of the DI Blog as I want to hear back what are your 5 favorite products that Detailed Image offers. Not only do I want you to list your top five products, but also explain why and the reason you chose to start using that product. This will also be a article full of product reviews if you think about it, so the more you all are involved the better for everyone else as you can help others by submitting your products and thoughts. Also, if you bought a certain product based on the type of vehicle(s) you own, I want to know that too, tell me everything :). Looking back at Todd’s article on his favorite products, about 6 or 7 of them would be in mine as well. Another reason to add “why” is because projects such as the Rolls Royce Phantom are made easier when both people are on the same page.

So please take the time to list your products and explain why each is important to you and your detailing needs.

For example:

I absolutely love Chemical Guys Diablo Wheel Gel. It is strong enough to attack some neglected wheels yet safe enough for the most delicate finishes. I started using it back when Detailed Image carried it and it caught my eye being Ph balanced and now use it on nearly every detail. You can dilute 3:1 which makes it a great value and a little really goes a long way with this gel based cleaner.

Thank you for your participation and I look forward to seeing what you all have to say.

DJ Mayo Reflections Detailing
DJ Mayo
DJ Mayo Studios
Gainesville, VA

16 comments on What Are Your Favorites?

  1. Addison G. says:

    I agree Mr. Mayo, Diablo is the only i use.

  2. Danny R. says:


    My favorite DI offered products are the following.

    1. Blackfire Wet Diamond – I love this product the way it leaves the finish so sleek and the wetness it leaves on a corrected vehicle is amazing, even if its not corrected it leaves the finish great. Also you only need about 1 oz for a medium to large vehicle on a yellow foam hand applicator pad.

    2. Meguiars M105 / M205 – This combo is just amazing and can correct just about anything.

    3. 303 Aerospace Protectant – This works wonders its great on interior surfaces (plastics, vinyl, leather, etc. it leaves a great non greasy matte finish. It also works great on the exterior ( trim, tires, and engine bays)

    4. Meguiars Quik Interior Detailer – This works great on ALL interior surfaces and thats not a typo this works great on keeping of the original factory look without adding any sheen to the interior. It even works great on clear plastics, and navigation screens. Now DI please get the gallon of it, it should be out at the beginning of 2011 from Meguiars.

    5. DI Ultra Plush Two Sided Microfiber towels – These work great for quick detailing and removing wax and polish residue without marring the finish of the vehicle.

    Danny R.

  3. DJ Mayo says:

    Addison- Diablo rocks!!!


    Thank you sir, a lot of good things come from those 5 products for sure.

    Let’s keep them coming as I want this to be an open discussion for others to share and see as well.

  4. Eric says:

    My top 5 are as follows:

    Meguiars 105 – lots of defect removal, PC usable! Pair it up with an orange pad and you will get some serious correction work!
    Menzerna 203 – very versatile product that can be used as a middle ground polish, or a single polish step before wax polish. Pair it up with the right pad and it will finish down LSP ready.
    EZ detail brush – gets in the hard to reach areas of all wheels and is safe for all wheels
    blackfire wet diamond – very slick feeling sealant wax with good durability
    DI clay – works just as well as the clay magic and the other brands, but cheaper!

  5. Danny R. says:


    No problem I like this article one of the best yet, and thanks for answering my question about the backing plates used on the RR you and Todd did. I ended up getting the new Chemical Guys Evolve 4R 5″ foam backing plate for my Makita 9227. Its exactly like the 3M Perfect it III but only cost me $18 instead of $69 for the 3M since Chemical Guys were having a discount on it today. Looks like a very good backing plate DI should consider carrying it as it conforms to curved body panels, since they already carry CG products.

    Danny R.

  6. Eric H says:

    Hi DJ,

    Of all the DI products I use and enjoy, these two come to mind because they are just so much better than competing products.

    1. Optimum Opti-Bond Tire Gel: Makes tires look new, not too shiny, and simply lasts far longer than other products.

    2. DI Microfiber Waffle-Weave Drying Towel: My favorite remark is from a reviewer who said, “It makes drying fun. Nothing makes drying fun.” And to think I spent hours smearing water around with a big-name competitor’s waffle weave. I must admit thinking at first that the reviews were a bit over enthusiastic – after all, its just a towel. Well, now I’m the one raving.

    I owe you three more… 🙂

    -Eric H.

  7. Addison G. says:

    Here’s my top 5:

    Chemical Guys Diablo – would be my number one for wheels. It is great at knocking out brake dust and any other build up if you let it dwell and do its thing. As DJ said it also has a neutral Ph so won’t harm any finishes. I started using this product because I saw that it was concentrated and really saves you a lot of money compared to other wheel gels.

    Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Gloss – this product is great. You can dilute it for regular washes and for stripping off wax and anything else off the paint if you are going to seal the paint or do paint correction. I use it all the time in my foamer, wash bucket, and also use it in my wheel cleaning bucket.

    Chemical Guys Extreme V.R.T. – I use this product mainly to protect and shine up plastic trim on the outside of vehicles. This product also works great on vinyl and rubber. If you apply it with a microfiber it doesn’t take much to do a whole car so it lasts a long time.

    Chemical Guys Synthetic Quick Detailer – I use this every time I dry a car. Prepping your drying towel with this will give some lubrication between your paint and the towel preventing towel marks in the paint. It can also be used to clay and as a normal quick detailer.

    Mequires APC – our blog leader Todd Cooperider put me onto this stuff. I have two bottles mixed, one for interior and one for exterior. It is a great all purpose interior cleaner, especially on spills. If a car has a lot of built up dirt on the paint I will spray it with this to break the dirt away from the paint to make it easier when I start washing.

  8. Jack Nagz says:

    Well with all the products I’ve used, simply a top 5 will not suffice. Here’s my top 10 (in no particular rank or order)

    1) Washing – Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Gloss: Before I discovered DI, I used Megs Gold Class soap, which is not bad. But I really saw the light when I got my hands on a gallon of CWG. Great smell, amazing lubricity, and awesome in a foam gun. This stuff is extremely economical and lasts forever. Another great product by CG

    2) Optimum Instant Detailer & Gloss Enhancer: I’ve actually never purchased this product before, but I can safely say it’s my favorite QD. DJ Mayo was the first to introduce this to me while we were working on some car (I can’t remember which) together, he explained how concentrated it is and I was instantly interested, since I love buying economically. After using it, I fell in love with it and will eventually switch to it once my CG QD is all done. The QD provides great lubricity and leaves the surfaces very smooth and fresh. Can’t wait to buy this stuff!

    3) DI Accessories Gentle Fine Grade Clay: I’ve used mothers, meguiars, and a couple other random claybars, and I still find this one the best. Very cheap compared to competitors, great to work with, easy to cut up. I am very paranoid about scratching the clear so I always divide this into about 6 pieces. I haven’t been disappointed with this clay yet!

    4) 303 Aerospace Protectant: When I bought my WRX, the previous owner had used armor all everywhere in the interior. After I hit it with Megs D103, I finished with 303 aerospace protectant. This product leaves a great matte finish, and protection for months. I haven’t seen any dirt adhere to my plastics since, and it’s been a couple months, pretty amazing stuff.

    5) P21S Metal Polishing Soap: One of my favorite exterior products. Very versatile product. I’ve used it on chrome wheels, all types of exhaust mufflers (from standard 3″ to melon shooter canister exhaust). It does an awesome job of shining up dull metals to really make them stand out.

    6) Chemical Guys Extreme V.R.T.: The best tire dressing hands down. Amazing matte finish and great durability. I use it on tires and trim, and love it!

    7) Chemical Guys Extreme EZ-Creme Glaze with Acrylic Shine II: Whenever I spoke to DJ, he always talked to highly of this product, and I see now why he loves it so much. This is a great prep for the sealant or wax, it removes any leftover water spots and leaves the finish amazingly smooth and glossy. I use this on a black pad.

    8) Meguiar’s Ultra-Cut Compound M105: The only time I’ve ever used this product has been with the surbuf pads, which DJ also showed me. Great polish, awesome amount of cut and nice finish. Nondiminishing is nice for a high cut polish as well. Going to pick up a bottle as soon as my other heavy cut polish is done!

    9) Menzerna Power Finish PO203S: I’ve been a long time fan of power finish. This polish is so versatile, I can use it as a finishing polish or a cutting polish depending on my pad. Great 1-step polish for the jobs which require a medium amount of cut with a great finish, or for the more economical client. Love this stuff, especially when I can do so much damage on my soft subaru paint with it 🙂

    10) Blackfire Wet Diamond: Awesome sealant. Ridiculously smooth finish, gloss, durability, beading, etc etc. Go to sealant, I even use it on windows! Get a bottle if you don’t have one already.

    ~Hope you guys enjoyed that!

  9. Tim H. says:

    My top 5 in no particular order:

    Blackfire Wet Diamond: I love the way this looks on dark colored cars and it seems to last quite awhile. I also like the ease of use when applying and removing. This sealant can make a new car look better than new.

    P21S Wheel Gel: This stuff is safe for all wheel types and it is very effective in removing brake dust and other wheel crud. I’ve never seen anything work as well as this does. I haven’t tried Diablo Wheel Gel but it will be on my next DI order.

    303 Aerospace protectant: This stuff is all the things I always wanted from Armor All but never got. It isn’t slick. It doesn’t attract dust. I also like that it gives a restored finish to surfaces and not that fake “I’m trying to hide how poorly I’ve been treated by my previous owners” look that Armor All does.

    Optimum Hyper Spray Polish: This product is awesome. Very easy to use and I love the reduced spatter and dusting from it. It’s also a spray on polish. How great is that?

    Optimum Opti Clean: When diluted from concentrate this is one of the most inexpensive products on the market. It’s even more cost effective when you consider that it works just as well if not better than products that cost twice as much. This is one of the only products I’ve purchased in a large quantity based solely on it’s hype from other detailers on detailing forums. I do not regret this purchase whatsover. My experience has been the complete opposite of dissapointment.

    Honorable mentions go to most any detailing clay and my Griots DA. Both of these are game changers for my auto detailing.

  10. Richard Wright says:

    Great blog idea DJ! My top 5 that Detailed Image carries:

    1) Optimum Power Clean – This is a perfect all around APC. You can dilute it down to 3:1 and it is still very effective. I use it for engines, door jambs, wheel wells, tires, etc.

    2) Meguiar’s M105/M205 combo – The correction ability of these two products is simply amazing. Just by changing pad and pressure techniques, you can have different levels of cut that reduce the need for multiple polishes. How many other compounds can tackle some of the deepest defects but at the same time if used properly allow you to finish LSP ready?

    3) Lake Country Hydro Tech pads – These pads just cut and finish so well.

    4) 303 Aerospace Protectant – This is a very handy product to have. You can dress exterior, interior, and the engine with it (non flammable). A little goes a long way and if you don’t like the shine, simply wipe it down.

    5) Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine – Another fantastic Optimum product! Makes a great water softener, clay lubricant, quick detailer if you like, and of course no rinse washing.


  11. DJ Mayo says:

    Thank you everyone, we very much appreciate your in depth responses. Once we get some more replies, I’ll throw up a few of my favorites as well.

  12. Peter says:

    ONR – Gives me the versatility of washing my car that I never had before I started using it. It also makes for a very cost-effective clay lube. I’d say more, but it wouldn’t be anything that hasn’t been said over and over again about this revolutionary product.

    M105 – Several reasons, it cuts extremely well, has a quick working time, and finishes down very well for a compound.

    Optimum Car Wax – This spray wax breaks the stereotype of weak, short-lasting spray waxes. It goes on and comes off super easy, and leaves a great shine with some real depth and slickness. More often than not, I find myself reaching for this when detailing other peoples cars because of how fast it is and how good it looks. Yet I don’t feel guilty because it lasts as long or longer than several other LSPs.

    Leatherique Pristine Clean – I got turned onto this by the reviews on this website over the summer. This product is another time-saver due to it serving dual purposes in one application. It cleans and conditions not only leather and vinyl but rubber too, so it can be used on door seals and tires.

    HD Total – I know this isn’t sold here and it’s probably not that well-known, but it’s a favorite of mine. It’s eco-friendly, safe on pretty much any surface, and it’s gentle enough on your skin that you don’t need to wear gloves while using it. Yet it’s a very effective cleaner. I get great results using it on wheels, tires, engines, carpet, dashboards, even leather seats. Also, one of the best things about it is that it doesn’t need to be rinsed off. You can rinse it if you want to, but it’s not required. It wipes off without leaving residue behind.

  13. Tim Buxton says:

    Here are some of my favorites in no particular order,

    1. 105/205 along with Lake Country pads and my PC 7424. When used correctly this combination has the potential to create fantastic results and has become a favorite for me and many other detailers.

    2. 3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner. It is a good product from a company known for its high quality of products. I use this to remove excess rubber, grime, and tar from the paintwork on the racecars and roadcars I work with.

    3. Meg’s Glass Cleaner Concentrate. I love the smell and results I get from this product. It is well priced and goes a long way.

    4. Dodo Juice Supernatural. I am always blown away with the finish after the use of this product on properly polished and prepped paintwork.

    5. DI claybars. These are just as good as the “higher priced” claybars just at a better price. I always acheive super smooth results without causing damage to the paint.

    6. Wheel Wax. Nothing puts the icing on the cake like a well cleaned and protected set of wheels. After removing the wheels from the car, cleaning, claying, and polishing is needed an application or two of this stuff sets the wheels off very very well!

    Best Regards,
    Tim Buxton

  14. Eugene P says:

    Challenging to limit it to 5, but here goes (in no particular order):

    Blackfire Wet Diamond Sealant
    Read great reviews about the product everywhere.
    I initially bought it to use on a new white vette, as I wanted to make the white pop as much as possible -kind of hard to make white pop, but this stuff did! Now I use it on all of my vehicles. Seems to last for months. Excellent shine and durability (I use 2 coats).

    Chemical Guys Extreme EZ-Creme Glaze with Acrylic Shine II
    Read about it here on the DI blog. I never even thought of using a glaze before.
    What a major positive difference it made to the color and gloss of the paint – after polishing and before applying a sealant. I use it under the Blackfire Wet Diamond sealant – what a combo. I used that combo on a 1996 torch red vette and I still can’t believe how good that red looks!

    Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Gloss.
    Read reviews about it here at DI. I was looking for a pre-polish wax stripper, and also something for a maintenance wash – this product does it both.
    Really cleans well – for example: I washed my filthy lawn tractor with it (after a summer season of tough curd built up on it) at wax stripper dilution and it came out sqeaky clean! I use it on all of my vehicles.

    Poorboy’s World Wheel Sealant.
    Read good reviews about it here at DI. I was looking for something to protect the wheels so I would not need to use harsh (or expensive) cleaners all the time to get off built up crud and brake dust.
    I am really impressed with how this product protects the wheels from hard-to-remove build up for a long time. Goes on easy; wipes off easy (I use 2 coats) . Weeks after applying, just a light wash (with whatever car wash product I am using on the car), with very little effort, and all of the wheel dirt and curd comes right off.

    303 Aerospace Protectant.
    Read reviews about it everywhere.
    Simply love this on interior, engine bay, tires, etc. – leaves a nice rich looking matte finish to anything it is applied to.

    honorable mentions 🙂
    – Meguiars m105 and m205 -what a great set of ‘matched’ products.
    – Dodo Juice Born Slippy clay lube – so slippery that the clay shoots out of my hand if I am not careful.
    – DI Accessories Medium Grade Clay Bar – great stuff at a good price.
    – Optimum (OPT) No Rinse Wash & Shine New Formula (ONR) – this product blows my mind.
    – DI Microfiber Waffle Weave Drying Towel – nice and soft and really absorbent.
    – Grit Guard Grit Guard Insert – a must have.
    – Blackfire Deep Gloss Spray with Polycharger – great to use after a wash on top of the Blackfire Wet Diamond Sealant; keeps the paint finish ‘slick’.
    – Porter Cable 7424XP – good tool for anyone at any skill level.
    – Lake Country 5.5″ buffer pads (all of them).
    – DI Microfiber Ultra Plush Two Sided Towel – nice MF towel at a good price; great to work with and holds up well after washing.
    – DI Microfiber Micro-Restore Microfiber Detergent Concentrate – makes used MF like new again.
    – Lake Country Tire Dressing Applicator – what a joy to use; makes easy ‘controlled’ work of applying a tire dressing.
    – P21S Gel Wheel Cleaner – great for abused wheels.
    – Optimum (OPT) Metal Polish – use it on the tops of my vette exhaust; so easy to use and what a great shine.
    – Optimum (OPT) Power Clean – excellent cleaner.

  15. DJ Mayo says:

    Thanks for all the great information everyone. I hope others can use this as a guide.

    Some of my favorites in no order:

    Optimum Quick Detailer – always easy to use and smells wonderful

    Chemical Guys VRT – Love this on tires, my favorite.

    Chemical Guys EZ Creme Glaze – Provides a great base for any type of protection after a polishing job.

    Surbuf Pads – They do serious correction which can lead to a 2 step process.

    DI Waffle Weave Towel – Would never be caught having less than 15 of these. 🙂

  16. Steven R says:

    Washing – I use Chemical Guys GlossWorkz Paintwork Cleanser as my maintenance wash cleaner. I use Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Gloss as my detail prep wash cleaner.

    Chemical Guys Diablo Gel Rim and Wheel Cleaner for my wheels. It works as good as described.

    Poorboy’s World Leather Stuff as my general prupose interior leather cleaner / conditioner

    Leatherique for the yearly maintenance.

    Dodo Juice Supernatural wax – just leaves the Oh My God shine / gloss.

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