With so many choices available, choosing the best car cleaning kit for a present or indeed yourself can sometimes be a bit of a minefield. Does the highest price kit really mean the best? Which is the best value for money? Which kit will help you get and keep a showroom shine?
These are just some of the questions you will be thinking about in your choice. Here we look at the essential items a good quality car cleaning kit should contain, comparing some of the best quality and most popular kits available on the market, from a range car care brands and making some recommendations for putting your own cleaning kit together.
So what are the essentials for ideal car cleaning kits?
Car Cleaning Kit Essentials
One of the first things you will need is to ensure it has a good quality car shampoo.
Most of the popular car cleaning kits from manufacturers such as Meguiars or Autoglym will contain a specially formulated car wash shampoo that cleans effectively but does not remove any of the protection from the cars paintwork.
The next item to consider is a good quality wash mitt. I would recommend you shy away from kits that with a sponge or think about replacing the sponge with a lambswool wash mitt or microfibre wash mitt.
Where any dirt or grit remains on the paintwork, sponges have a tendency to drag them across the surface causing fine swirls and scratches, especially visible in sunlight.
A good quality wash mitt on the other hand will pick up these dirt particle within their deep fibres and hold them away from the paintwork helping to reduce the possibility of swirls or fine scratches.
Not all car cleaning kits come with either a sponge or wash mitt and again I would highly recommend you consider buying one to add to your chosen car cleaning kit. Your friend, colleague or loved one receiving your gift will most certainly thank you for it.
The next step in your choice of car cleaning kit now really depends on how much of an enthusiast the car owner is or how much you want to spend. For a great value for money , easy and quick to use kit then the next most important component would be a good quality car wax to sit alongside the shampoo.
This will ensure that the person using the kit can protect the now clean bodywork from the elements and the dirt and grime that is picked up from the road, especially in wet and wintry weather.
Most quality waxes will either be described as carnauba wax or synthetic wax based. Very simply the natural carnauba based waxes give a great depth of shine and generally last 4-6 weeks, whereas the synthetics will tend to give longer protection, but some will say do not provide the depth of shine.
However some of the latest synthetics are now giving an equally deep shine but not all of these have yet found their way into the ready-made kits.
For someone who is extremely passionate about their cars appearance, then a kit, such as the Autoglym Collection, which gives them most or all they need for a perfect shine inside and out is likely to put a great big smile on their face when they open your gift.
This is one of the affordable ultimate in car care kits you can get straight off the shelf and containing no fewer than 12 items.
Popular Car Cleaning Kit Comparisons
Here we compare some of the most popular car cleaning kits available today, as well as a couple of real ultimate high-end kits for the mega-serious car enthusiasts.
*Click on any of the columns to sort the data to help make your viewing easier.
|Product/Brand||No. Cleaning Products||No. Tools/Cloths or Brushes||Storage Bag/Case||Price Band||Star Rating|
|Autoglym Collection Perfect Bodywork, Wheels and Interiors Car Valeting Kit||9||3||Yes||♦♦♦♦♦||★★★★★ (4.8 out of 5)|
|Astonish Complete 11 Piece Car Cleaning Valeting Kit||9||2||No||♦||★★★★ (3.8 out of 5)|
|Meguiars New Car Kit||3||4||No||♦♦||★★★★ (4.2 out of 5)|
|Muc-Off Supreme Care Kit||3||4||Yes||♦♦♦||★★★★ (4.3 out of 5)|
|Meguiar's NXT Wash and Wax Car Care Kit||2||3||No||♦♦||★★★★ (4.4 out of 5)|
|Greased Lightning Showroom Shine Ultimate Car Cleaning Pack||5||7||No||♦♦♦♦||★★★★ (4.5 out of 5)|
|Dodo Juice Supernatural Car Paintwork Wax Starter Kit||4||2||No||♦♦♦♦♦||Not Yet Reviewed|
|Turtlewax Black Box Detailing Kit (for black cars)||3||4||No||♦||★★★★ (4.3 out of 5)|
|Swizöl 1315010 Swissvax Master Collection||15||11||Yes||♦♦♦♦♦||Not Yet Reviewed|
|Swizöl 1115010 Swissvax Discovery Kit||4||4||Yes||♦♦♦♦♦||Not Yet Reviewed|
|Meguiar's Paint Restoration Kit||5||4||No||♦♦||★★★★ (4.6 out of 5)|
Price – these are approximate prices on Amazon.co.uk. These change frequently based on availability, special promotions, and more. But generally speaking:
♦ = under £25, ♦♦ = £26 to £35, ♦♦♦ = £36 to £45, ♦♦♦♦ = £46-£55, ♦♦♦♦♦ = £56+
♦ = under $40, ♦♦ = $41 to $56, ♦♦♦ = $57 to $72, ♦♦♦♦ = $73-$88, ♦♦♦♦♦ = $89+
Rating – the average user rating on Amazon.co.uk, where available. This can be very helpful in deciding if people are satisfied with their purchase.
But what about a present for someone who has a garage full of car cleaning products? This can be a difficult one as you won’t necessarily know what they have or haven’t got.
Putting Together Your DIY Kit
I have therefore put together the following list of products that most enthusiasts would be pleased to receive to add to their car cleaning kit supplies:
Clay Bar Kit – a step professionals and enthusiasts use to get their paintwork silk smooth before polishing and waxing.
Lambswool Wash Mitt – something all car enthusiasts should have in their kit.Microfibre cloths – a selection of quality microfibre cloths is another essential item in any detailing kit bag and something you can never have enough of. Applicator Pads – for applying polish, glazes or car wax – these can come in sponge, microfibre or terry cloth and will always be a great addition.
And the ultimate – a Dual Action Polishing Machine complete with pads for cutting, polishing and buffing – guaranteed to put a smile on any car enthusiasts face
Whatever car cleaning kit you decide to get for you, your friend, relative or colleague, ensuring that they include at least some or all of the above will start them on the right road to achieving a perfect shine.
I hope you have found some value in the above and would love to receive your feedback. Have you tried a particular kit? Feel free to let us know your thoughts about it. Are there any other products you feel are a must to include in a car cleaning kit? Have we missed a great quality kit that needs to be included on the, please let me know using the comments box below!