Nothing is better than washing and polishing a piano black GTO back to its showroom shine. Even if you don’t have an iconic car like that one, maintaining your car’s original luster takes a lot of work. Some people use buffers to "wheel" or re-melt their car’s original paint layer back to a beautiful sheen and some just execute quick detailing, waxing, or apply a layer of sealant to protect the color and look of their vehicle.
Fortunately, several companies out there have started producing kits that will help your revitalize your car. These kits tend to cost less than the singular products and also tend to have all of the materials you need to fully restore your car’s beauty. In this guide, we are going to walk you through several great car kit products that are on the market today, but before we do that, let’s take a look at the types of car kits you can find.
Types of Car Kits
Polishing and Waxing – Some kits are primarily designed to boost the shine of your car. These kits sometimes come with compounds, sealants, quick detail solutions, and some even use clay bars for providing a mirror like surface on your ride. For the most part, these products all endeavor to restore the smooth surface of the paint finish. Usually, like most car kits, these waxing kits will provide the solution you need, the clay bars if that’s the type you’ve selected, and a microfiber cloth for finishing.
Cleaning – Like polishing and waxing kits, these tend to also provide a microfiber cloth, but the purpose of these car kits is to remove surface grime and detritus. Some of these kits come with a bucket that will filter out large particles so that you can always be cleaning with clean and clear water. Some, on the other hand, have cleaning solutions for your tires, windows, interior surfaces, and even your headlights.
Features to Look For
These types of products can vary greatly in price. You can spend as little $10 for a simple kit, but more premium choices can range upwards of $70. In our estimation, you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a great clean, refreshed look on your car, so consider some of the products in the mid-range before you settle on something too cheap or expensive.
Extras that Make the Process Easier
- Microfiber Cloth – Microfiber cloths are so much better than towels or rags. Those products will leave swirls and not remote as much foreign particles from your car as a good microfiber cloth. As a general rule, we like kits that include these microfiber cloths; no other cloth provides as smooth a shine.
- Microfiber Mitt – Similar to microfiber cloths, these products are invaluable to the car upkeep process. As the name implies, you simply put these on like a pair of gloves and apply your cleaning/waxing product.
- Grit Guards or Filtered Buckets – These are amazing when you are cleaning your car. Cars tend to pick up detritus and grit during everyday driving, and your cloth is going to pick it up when you are cleaning. Buckets with grit guard will keep this nasty stuff off out of the water so that when you apply water from the bucket, you aren’t just reapplying the gritty material that’ll scratch your paint job and make your car less clean.
|Product||Best Design Feature||Price||Rating|
|Chemical Guys GAP_VKIT_04 V Line Polish and Compound Sample Kit (4 oz) (4 Items)||This is a great way to check out some of Chemical Guys’ excellent line of car products.||$21.49||Stars 4.8/5|
|Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar System||The microfiber cloth is an excellent addition.||$15.74||Stars 4.5/5|
|Meguiar’s Smooth Surface Clay Kit||This product does a great job at removing everything you don’t want from the surface of your car.||$16.29||Stars 4.4/5|
|Meguiars Ultra Polish Kit with 6.5 Inch Pads||You won’t find a better kit if you own a dedicated buffer.||$119.99||Stars 4.6/5|
|Chemical Guys ACC_101 Detailing Bucket Kit (5 Items)||The grit guard bucket keeps your water clean.||$33.73||Stars 4.5/5|
|Griot’s Garage 58512 Starter Wash and Dry Kit||The wheels on this kit’s bucket make the car cleaning process more timely and efficient.||$79.99||Stars 4.7/5|
|Meguiar’s 7-Piece Ultimate Car Care Set||You’ll have your bases covered with this kit – it has seven cleaning products||$49.99||Stars 4.8/5|
Waxers and Polishers
1) Chemical Guys GAP_VKIT_04 V Line Polish and Compound Sample Kit (4 oz) (4 Items)
Chemical Guys have a great line of products that definitively restore a car’s natural showroom shine and luster. While not a traditional kit that includes things like microfiber cloths or polisher heads, this particular sample kit is amazing for finding the Chemical Guys product that will work best for your car.
This Chemical Guys kit includes:
- Chemical Guys V32: This is the strongest concentration of polishing compound that has the ability to greatly cut through dust and grime down to the clear coat of your car. This product is designed for scratch-resistant and ceramic clear coats.
- Chemical Guys V34: Designed to manage moderate to semi-heavy polishing jobs, V34 can even remove 1500-2000 grit sanding scratches. Also designed for scratch-resistant and ceramic clear coats, this product is also designed with rotary polishers in mind.
- Chemical Guys V36: V36 is made for moderate polishing jobs. It can successfully remove 2000-2500 grit sanding scratches, swirls and holograms. This polisher is also designed to cut away grime and grit.
- Chemical Guys V38: V38 is refined for finishing. Despite it being a little weaker than the previous products in the kit, this polisher is perfect at removing light defects.
2) Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar System
Clay bar systems of polishing are very effective, especially if you want to restore your vehicle’s lost luster. Clay systems like the Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar System require you to first lubricate the surface you’re restoring with a lubricating and waxing solution. This particular kit comes with one of these in the Showtime Instant Detailer. Apply this solution to the surface of your car, knead the clay bar so that you have a large working surface and gently wipe the surface that’s covered in the detailer.
This particular product works very well, the detailer lubricates the area so that it isn’t scratched and the bar picks up contaminants like brake dust, metal filings, and road grime. This kit comes with two 80 gram clay bars that are very kneadable so that you can always find a nice workable surface as you polish. In addition to the solution and the bars, the kit also includes a great microfiber cloth for finishing up the job.
3) Meguiar’s Smooth Surface Clay Kit
The Meguiar’s Smooth Surface Clay Kit is another great clay kit that works very similarly to the Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar System. Simply apply the Meguiar’s Quick Detailer Clay lubricant, knead your 80 ounce clay bar, and wipe it clean with the included microfiber towel. This system is great for removing bonded contaminants that have worked their way into your car’s paint job.
What we really liked about this particular product was exactly how reflective it left our test cars. We noticed that our cars had a mirror-like sheen and that the black vehicles we used it on were piano black and shiny.
4) Meguiars Ultra Polish Kit with 6.5 Inch Pads
If you have a rotary polisher/buffer, this is a great kit for you to use in order to reproduce that showroom shine. Meguiars Ultra Polish Kit comes with five 6.5 inch pads that you can use to deliver the proper levels of solution to your car’s surface. We really like how Meguiar’s has considered every aspect of the polishing process with this kit.
Firstly, it includes a full 32 ounces of Meguiars Mirror Glaze #105 ultra-cut compound. You start with this compound to remove bonded contaminants from your car’s paint job. To apply it with your rotary polisher, you can use the included three CCS orange light cutting 6.5 inch foam pads.
Secondly, you can apply the Meguiars Mirror Glaze #205 ultra finishing polish that’ll make your car extra-reflective. This can be applied with the two CCS gray finishing 6.5 inch foam pads that are also included in the kit. Once you’ve finished both processes, you can use the included microfiber cloth to buff your car to a streak-free shine.
5) Chemical Guys ACC_101 Detailing Bucket Kit (5 Items)
Our first cleaning kit is another product from the professionals at Chemical Guys. This kit has a great detailing bucket that has several excellent features that make the detailing process much easier to complete without spreading contaminants over your car. The first great feature of the detailing bucket is its gamma seal lid, which provides a tight connection so that you can easily and safely transport cleaning liquid or even store it until you need it.
In addition to this, the bucket also features a grit guard insert that ensures that any grit and dirt that comes off of the car safely is filtered to the bottom of the bucket, where it won’t get reapplied to your cloth. This greatly reduces your chance of scratching the surface of your vehicle.
The kit also comes with a great-smelling citrus car wash that does an excellent job of removing grime and grit from your vehicle’s surface. It also has a faux-wool, synthetic wash pad that is very effective at not scratching your car’s surface and also not leaving streaks.
6) Griot’s Garage 58512 Starter Wash and Dry Kit
We really like any car wash kit that comes with a microfiber mitt. These mitts make cleaning the surface of your car an absolute cinch, so we really appreciated this Griot’s Garage 58512 Starter Wash and Dry Kit. The particular mitt that comes with this kit has a deep nap that adds additional cleaning surfaces to the overall process when you use it. The result is a deep clean that is pretty amazing.
We also like the fact that a large, several gallon bucket that utilizes a grit capture system is included. This feature is great because the water is clean and you aren’t using hard particles to clean your car. This particular bucket also has wheels, which makes it an absolute breeze to truck to the different parts of your vehicle. In addition to these, this kit also comes with Griot’s Brilliant Finish car wash and a terry weave drying towel.
7) Meguiar’s 7-Piece Ultimate Car Care Set
Sometimes when you’re cleaning your car, you just don’t want to handle the surface, you want to clean the other aspects of your vehicle like the tires, the windshield and mirrors, and the inside. In this situation, the Meguiar’s 7-Piece Ultimate Car Care Set fulfills all these needs with ease. This kit includes:
- Hot Shine Foam – This is a great foam for restoring the luster to your car’s tires. Simply add it to the tire’s surface, let it sit, and then wipe it away.
- Ultimate Quik Wax – For the shining of your car, this product uses hydrophobic polymer technology to bead water and protect your car for weeks.
- Interior Detailer – This is designed to clean the non-cloth surfaces in the interior of your vehicle.
- Gold Class Car Wash – Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash does a great job at removing grime and brake dust from the surface of your car.
- Window Cleaner – This window cleaner will restore your car’s glass.
- Air Refresher – To complete the cleaning and refreshing package, this kit includes Meguiar’s air refresher, which has a pleasant scent.
- A Large Bone Sponge – For the application of the liquid products, this kit also comes with a standard bone-shaped sponge.
Knowing that you have a clean and shiny car is one of the greatest feelings that you can experience as a car owner. All of the products that we’ve featured here will totally revitalize your baby and give it a showroom look that it hasn’t had in years. If we had to go ahead and pick a favorite, we’d go with the Meguiar’s 7-Piece Ultimate Car Care Set. This kit is the complete package and only goes for about 50 bucks. It has products for just about every aspect of your vehicle and it even includes a large sponge.
If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, we suggest the Chemical Guys GAP_VKIT_04 V Line Polish and Compound Sample Kit. While this is just a sampling of the great Chemical Guys line of products, you definitely get more than enough of their solutions in this pack; all for about $20. While the kit is primarily designed for dual Action and rotary polishers, if you have a buffing/polishing device, there’s a lot of bang for your buck in this kit.