I don't know about you, but when I turn that corner and make my way down the detailing aisle, I feel as if I've just been cracked over the head with a whipping stick. My eyes wander from side to side, up and down, inside and out, and then before I know it, I'm caught up in an orange, green, yellow, and pink packaging psychedelic mind trip. Seriously, there are so many products out there to choose from, and they all have bright packaging. Some of the products are the bare necessities, and some are tools and gadgets to get the job done faster and easier, which are cool. But then there is also a select handful of products that make such drastic claims, I wouldn't be surprised if they had the cure for world hunger! The truth is, there are a lot of really good and cool products out there. To show you, we've gathered up a chunk of products that will benefit your detailing routine. (I know what you're thinkin', "Are you trying to overload me like a detailing aisle?"). Take a look and get acquainted with them. Also, be sure to search the manufacturers and see what else they offer. If you do that the next time you set out to buy some detailing goods, "that aisle" won't overload your brain and cause a major malfunction.
From Meguiars (17991 Mitchell South, Dept. SC, Irvine, CA 92614, 800/347-5700, www.meguiars.com) are Quik Interior Detailer Interior Wipes. They quickly and safely clean interior plastics, vinyl, leather, audio/video equipment, and more. Fast interior touch-ups are now simple and easy. Use daily to maintain a clean appearance and every time you wash or Quik Detail your paint for that complete "just detailed" look. Unlike traditional protectants that leave a greasy look and feel, Quik Interior Detailer leaves a natural appearance and a fresh fragrance with every use.
Eagle One (P.O. Box 14000, Dept. SC, Lexington, KY 40512, 877/5EagleOne, www.eagleone.com) has developed a line of new products: NanoWax Spray, Nano-Polish, and Nano-Protectant. NanoWax penetrates the paint surface deeper to provide superior protection and long-lasting shine, while filling in fine scratches and swirl marks. Nano-Polish penetrates tiny grooves on wheel and metal surfaces, providing excellent polishing and cleaning benefits, while providing anti-corrosion protection. For your interior, Nano-Protectant enhances surface penetration for optimal cleaning, conditioning, and UV protection.
New from Turtle Wax (5655 W. 73rd St., Dept. SC, Chicago, IL, 60638, 800/TURTLEWAX, www.turtlewax.com) is ICE, a synthetic liquid polish. Innovative new technology blends silicone and organic polymers to provide shine and durability to your car's finish. Water-clear formula can also be applied to all exterior rubber, plastic, and vinyl trim to restore color and shine without leaving white residue. Unlike conventional waxes, ICE can be applied in direct sunlight and on hot surfaces without streaking.
The Porter Cable (4825 Hwy. 45 North, P.O. Box 2468, Dept. SC, Jackson, TN 38302, 800/4US-TOOL) 7424 Dual-Action Polisher is the perfect buffing, polishing, and detailing machine for the car care perfectionist. The random-orbit, polishing action of the 7424 will give you swirl-free results without burning your paint or removing excessive amounts of clearcoat. The Porter Cable 7424 Dual Action Polisher is designed to give you swirl-free results much faster than you can achieve by hand. With the Porter Cable 7424 Dual Action Polisher anyone can produce an outstanding finish on their car. Electronic variable speed control adjusts from 2,500 to 6,000 orbits per minute. Handles screws into both sides and it comes with one disposable foam pad. Additional foam pads and accessories sold separately. This polisher can be used for removing light scratches and swirl marks, and for applying your favorite glaze, wax, or sealant.
California Car Company
California Car Company (800/423-5525, www.calcarcover.com) has taken the power of the Original California Car Duster, which gives your car the look of being just washed, and combined it with The Original California Dash Duster, that easily removes dust from your car's interior in seconds. The 100 percent cotton mop heads of these dusters are treated with a special paraffin wax that literally lifts dust from the vehicle's surface. The Auto Detailing Kit is designed to quickly and efficiently remove dust from both the interior and exterior of your car by moving the dusters lightly over the car's surfaces.
Orison (P.O. Box 5198, Dept. SC, Abilene, TX 79608, 325/692-1135, www.orisonmarketing.com) is an aluminum oxide remover and cleaning agent that contains no fluorides, acids, caustics, or solvents. It's fast-acting, biodegradable, and totally safe to use with plastic, rubber, and PVC. Simply immerse the part you wish to clean in the Alumina solution, and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then, remove the part, rinse thoroughly with warm water, and all the oxidation, tarnish, and other deposits will be gone. The system works extremely well on trim pieces, engine components, accessory brackets, and other aluminum parts that deteriorate over time and are difficult to replace. Alumina also works great as prep for polishing or paint. Alumina is available in 1- and 5-gallon bottles, and 55-gallon drums.
ZoopSeal (951/922-2396, www.zoops.com) is designed to protect polished aluminum, stainless steel, and chrome parts from oxidation and eliminate the need for repeat polishing. It's also designed to prevent dulling and oxidation, retain the polished brightness and luster of aluminum, eliminate the need for repeat polishing, be safe to use and environmentally friendly, and eliminate undesirable powder coating or chrome to chip, peel, and yellow. Each deluxe kit covers 75 square feet.
From Evercoat (6600 Cornell Rd., Dept. SC, Cincinnati, OH 45242, 513/489-7600, www.evercoat.com) is its Multi-Purpose Cleaner. The cleaner is a super-concentrated formula designed for heavy-duty cleaning jobs on many interior and exterior surfaces. It's ideal for tires, shop floors, engines, convertible tops, plastics, and vinyl; also for removing bug residue and carpet stains.
Scotchgard (888-3M HELPS, www.3m.com) Paint Protection Film maintains the beauty and integrity of automotive finishes on vulnerable exterior painted surfaces such as leading hood edges, fender end caps, and rocker panels. This rugged urethane film helps protect against stone chips, bug damage, abrasion, and weathering. Scotchgard Paint Protection Film is transparent and nearly invisible, and it does not alter vehicle appearance.
Blue Coral (P.O. Box 2967, Dept. SC Houston, TX 77252, 800/844-1080, www.bluecoral.com) offers up a new Carnauba Cleaner Wax, available in liquid or paste. The new cleaner was is designed to remove swirl marks and oxidation and restore original shine. It also contains polishing agents and Carnauba Wax that are formulated to clean, polish, and protect. Blue Coral Cleaner Wax is designed for all automotive paint finishes.
Mothers Polishes·Waxes·Cleaners (5456 Industrial Dr., Dept. SC, Huntington Beach, CA 92649,714/891-3364, www.mothers.com) is making it easier than ever to polish your car's faded metal wheels and trim with the PowerBall and PowerMetal Polish, two key players in the first line of consumer car care products specifically engineered for use with your favorite power tools. Mothers PowerBall is a unique foam polishing ball that attaches to any standard-size hand drill. Mothers PowerMetal is a new polish specifically formulated for use with power buffers-together the two make metal shine in minutes instead of hours.
The Black Magic (800/416-1600, www.blackmagiccarcare.com) wheel brush is made from a combination of non-slip matte rubber and high-gloss red plastic. The grip area allows you to hold the brush directly over the bristle area for more torque and cleaning power, while the soft, feathered bristles delicately clean your wheels, preventing scratches. The Black Magic wheel brush is also designed to be rested on its back when not in use, so that the bristles will not become contaminated with dirt.
The Absorber (available at most auto parts retailers) is a synthetic drying chamois made of high-tech PVA material that has a unique open cell structure to maximize water absorption. The Absorber absorbs water three times faster and holds 50 percent more water than a regular towel or chamois. Its tough, durable construction is resistant to most chemicals and detergents, is unharmed by grease, oil, and solvents, resists tearing or shredding, will never flake apart, will not rot or mildew, can be machine washed, and lasts years with normal use. Yet its soft material is gentle and will not harm even the most delicate surfaces. Comes in a handy storage tube to keep out dirt and contaminants.
DuPont (www.dupont.com, available at most auto parts retailers) introduces new car wash that contains Teflon surface protectors to give you a spot-free clean. The non-stick Teflon coating leaves an invisible protective barrier to help repel new dirt, mud and road grime for a long-lasting, clean finish. DuPont's high-foaming, deep-cleansing formula will not strip or remove prior wax coatings. Best of all, its anti re-depositioning agent keeps dirt in the bucket and off of your wash sponge.
Mr. Clean (available at most auto parts retailers) AutoDry Carwash is an all-in-one innovative product that gives your car a spot-free shine, with absolutely no need to hand dry. Here's how it works: Mr. Clean AutoDry Carwash Soap, cuts dirt to clean your car. Then Dry Rinse Polymer creates a sheet of water to begin the unique dry-down process. The Mr. Clean AutoDry Carwash Filter removes water impurities that cause spots. Look for the microbeads as they dance across your car, and then evaporate without leaving spots. Lastly, watch it dry without ever lifting a towel.
Scratches and swirls on the surface of a vehicle can be caused from improper car washing. The dirt and grit from the vehicle's surface are trapped in the mitts and brushes that are used for washing and they are subsequently rubbed back into the paint. Don't continue to make this costly mistake that will leave you trying to remove unsightly and irritating scratches. You can now preserve your paint's finish with the Grit Guard (3690 County Rd. 10, Dept. SC, Bellefontaine, OH 43311, 866/592-5925, www.gritguard.com), a raised radial surface designed to release dirt and grit from your wash mitt and trap it at the bottom of your bucket. Place the Grit Guard Insert at the bottom of any 12-inch-diameter bucket and simply rub your mitt or brush across it to extract any contaminants. The dirt and grit is trapped beneath the Grit Guard's raised surface, keeping your water and wash mitt clean and scratch-free.
Ditch holding your thumb over the end of the hose and grab hold of Turtle Wax's (5655 W. 73rd St., Dept. SC, Chicago, IL 60638, 800/TURTLEWAX, www.turtlewax.com) deluxe nozzle. This deluxe nozzle has seven various spray functions to fit all your cleaning needs plus a locking trigger that enables a convenient constant spray. The seven spray functions include: jet, mist, shower, cone, fan, flat, and soaked.
Make tire dressing easy with Eagle One's (P.O. Box 14000, Dept SC, Lexington, KY 40512, 877/5EagleOne, www.eagleone.com) foam applicators. The applicators are contoured to spread tire dressing smoothly and evenly while eliminating runs and drips, oily hands, and messy rags. Their dual-density foam design allows for a dense handle, which keeps your hands clean. A contoured applicator perfectly spreads the dressing on your tire's sidewall and they're washable and reusable.
Meguiar's (17991 Mitchell South, Dept. SC, Irvine, CA 92614, 800/347-5700, www.meguiars.com) Gold Class Chenille Car Wash Pad provides maximum surface and wash protection. It's bone-shaped for comfort, and it's deeply tuffed to provide the ultimate in softness and feel. The chenille wash pad is also clearcoat safe and provides scratch-free performance.
It's also fun to go out cruising at night, but unfortunately those headlights only attract more and more bugs. Then, when the hot sun shows itself it bakes what's left of splattered bugs on your paint, which can be hard to get off. Wizards Products (11469 8th St. NE, Dept. SC, Hanover, MN 55341, 800/356-7223, www.wizardsproducts.com) make a spray-on bug remover. Wizards bug remover safely removes bugs without harming paint and is suitable for use on all surfaces. The way it works is the remover softens and neutralizes acidic proteins found in bugs, which ultimately makes removal much easier.