The Tools


A discussion of the proper tools to use brings us to Paulís Second Theory of Car Care:

Use the Proper Tools!

Old T-shirts and bathroom towels are fine for cleaning certain non-painted or non-shiny surfaces, but they are OUT for rubbing on your paint! You want to use either microfiber cloths or 100% cotton towels. When waxing or polishing, use applicator pads designed for that use.


Pads and cloths

The Basic Tools

Here is the absolute minimum youíll need to start.

  • 5 gallon bucket

  • Wash mitt (designed for vehicle washing)

  • Car wash soap (leave the dish washing soap under the sink)

  • A few 100% cotton towels

  • A few microfiber towels

  • Glass cleaner

  • Plastic/vinyl cleaner/protectant

  • Vacuum

  • Paint cleaner and wax (or, to get started, a combination like Meguiarís Cleaner/Wax)

  • A shady spot


Some of my tools


Most detailers have an arsenal of products and tools for special purposes. You don't need them all to start. But if you find that you enjoy the detailing process and want to get more involved, you soon you will need:

  • Special drying towels

  • Clay bar kit

  • Polish, paint cleaner, wax

  • Extra applicator pads

  • Scratch remover (like Meguiar's ScratchX)

  • A variety of brushes, Q-tips, toothpicks

  • Quick Detailer (interior and exterior)

  • Leather cleaner/conditioner (if you've got leather, of course)

More information about this stuff is provided later. But my suggestion is not to buy anything until you are ready to use it.