Detailing cars and the required supplies

By Kylie Widseth

A task such as cleaning a car is something we all have either personally done or something we pay to get down. Some individuals even like to get their cars detailed so that the car looks just as new as the moment they drove it off the lot.

Have you ever wanted to detail your car yourself or wonder what supplies it takes to make your car squeaky clean with every wash?

We’ve compiled a list of some necessary tools and supplies to detail your car.


  • Pressure washer — Speaks for itself. Gotta have it.
  • High-speed buffer — Used to remove pesky imperfections such as scratches and swirls, you’ll need at least one of these in your arsenal of gadgets.
  • Random orbital/dual action polisher — Used for applying and removing wax and sealants and filling in minor scratches, this bad boy is a value add.


  • Air compressor — Used for cleaning small spaces and ideal for cars.
  • Carpet extractor — Specifically for cleaning carpets, floor mats, and upholstery, this tool comes with a rotary brush shampooer perfect for tackling tough stains.
  • Wet/Dry Vacuum — Slightly less powerful than a carpet extractor, this tool is a decent stand in until you can invest in an extractor.
  • Ozone odor remover — This is a powerful piece of equipment used for removing odors related unwanted smells and destroying bacteria, viruses, and mold.
  • Odor fogger system — This electric thermal fogger discharges chemicals into a car’s interior to remove odors from pets, smoke, and food.
  • Interior dryer — Used for speeding up post-detailing drying, this is a handy tool for the rush job.

Other Basic Tools and Supplies

  • Stainless steel tank sprayer
  • Foam pad cleaning tools
  • Chamois drying cloth
  • Wash mitts
  • Nylon bug sponge
  • Terrycloth or microfiber towels
  • Spray and squeeze bottles
  • Wire brush
  • Nylon brushes
  • Detail brushes
  • Razor-blade scraper
  • Single-edge razor blades
  • Ultra-fine steel wool
  • Sandpaper
  • Heat gun
  • Assorted polishing pads
  • Finishing pads
  • Wool and foam cutting pads
  • Wax applicator
  • Floor mats and seat covers
  • Mechanic’s creeper (for sliding under vehicles)

51qDswFaL5L._SX340_BO1,204,203,200_If you’re interested learning more about detailing cars, boats, and even RVs, check out our book, Fast Cash: The Young Adult’s Guide to Detailing Cars, Boats, & RVs.


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