If you own a car, you most certainly understand the feeling of dismay when it doesn’t look as good as it can. There’s dust all over the shiny finish, there’s mud on the tires, and the seats smell and look really uninviting. Now you could take your car to a car wash, but the cost compounds over time and gets slightly out of control. Hence, just as it is with changing the engine oil yourself, it is much cheaper to keep your car looking its best if you put in a little elbow grease yourself. And this is where cleaning kits for cars come into play.
What Are Car Cleaning Kits?
As the name suggests; car cleaning kits are complete packages of tools and chemicals alongside other goodies that you can use to clean a car yourself. The contents of these kits vary with price, with cheaper kits shipping with around two different liquids and a brush to larger kits that aren’t too far off from qualifying as a mobile car wash. Which kit you choose for yourself depends on how passionate you are about the quality of every wash as well as how much effort – and money – you are willing to put in.
What Comes with a Car Cleaning Kit?
So, what can you expect to find in a cleaning kit if you buy one? An assortment of items depending on the complexity of the kit, the most important of which we are going to list and explain below.
First and foremost; car shampoo. This is the most important item in a cleaning kit, as it is what constitutes the actual wash. Car shampoos do the heavy lifting and get rid of all the dirt, grime, and other pollutants on your car. The quality of a car shampoo also matters. Cheaper shampoos might get rid of the dust, but they will leave micro scratches and swirls all over your paintjob. A good-quality car shampoo not only leaves your car looking trim and proper, but also doesn’t leave unwanted marks on your paint.
After you’re done shampooing your car and washing it all off, you don’t want to just leave it wet like that if you want the perfect finish. But you can’t use any ordinary towel, not if you don’t want to irreversibly damage the paintjob of your car. This is where specially fabricated drying towels come in. These towels are made specifically for drying a car after a wash. They’re made of materials that are super absorbent and also really soft on the car’s paint. These leave your car sparkling without any swirls or scratches, and thus are an important bit of cleaning gear you shouldn’t skip out on.
As your car ages, its paint begins to look duller and duller. The micro scratches and swirls from dust and sand pile up over time, and your car seems to lose its factory-new shine. This is why waxing a car is one of the most important steps in the auto detailing world. A layer of wax, when properly applied, not only gives your car a brilliantly glossy look, but also protects your paintjob from said scratches and swirls. Applied every three months, it is possible to keep your car looking new and scratch-free for almost forever. A good wax will not only fill in existing scratches and hide them, but also make wiping off water after washes and rain very easy without coming off itself.
The windows of your car tend to accumulate a lot of dust, not to mention those pesky birds always making a mess. Glass cleaning liquids, or wipes, are used to do exactly that. Clean the glass. Though car shampoo can do a decent enough job by itself, glass cleaners are designed to give your car’s windows that extra clean shine and visibility that makes your car stand out on the road.
Don’t forget about your tires! As the main points of contact between your car and the surface of the ground, tires are easily the dirtiest part of your car, but they don’t have to be. Tire cleaners can make a world of difference, because clean tires give your car an entirely new look. Shiny black tires that scream to the world this car is well-looked after? Yes, please.
Paint Scratch Remover
If your car has some light scratches, a paint scratch remover might be able to help. These have a specific way of being applied, instructions for which can be found with the product, and can be an almost magical solution for scratches that aren’t too deep. Paint scratch removers can make your car look just a tad bit cleaner without the need for a completely new paintjob. Just remember to wax your car from now on!
It’s not just the exteriors on your car that tend to get dirty. Grime, grease, and food stains can make their way all over the interior of your car as well. This is where interior cleaning liquids come in. While some are designed for specific uses – restoring the look of interior plastics and removing seat stains for example – there are all-purpose ones as well that tackle anything you throw at them and leave your car looking and smelling fresh.
Hoses and Nozzles
Not much explaining is needed for these. Some car cleaning kits ship with hoses and nozzles as well so you have everything ready for your wash the moment the kit arrives. Some nozzles are fancier than others and feature multiple modes, but they all get the job done one way or another.
Small, handheld vacuums are crucial to properly cleaning the interior of your car. Dust, sand, and crumbs of food get into the tiniest crevices in your car and a vacuum cleaner is the best way of getting rid of them. Better vacuums also ship with an assortment of attachments and serviceable batteries.
Like the tires of your car, the floor mats get really filthy as well. Carpet cleaners are designed to completely rid them of any dirt or mud they’ve accrued better than a simple wash with soap and water.
Washing Mitts or Brushes
Of course, when you’ve shampooed your car, you need something to clean it before washing it all off. Car cleaning kits often ship with some sort of wearable cleaning mitt or a brush whose bristles are designed to get at the nooks and crannies of your car and leave it dirt-free without hassle.
What to Consider Before Buying a Car Cleaning Kit
With all that said, you would have to decide for yourself which car cleaning kit you ultimately end up going for. Keeping your budget in mind, decide how important all the items listed above are to you. Which ones will you actually use? Do you have the patience to dry your car after every wash? Do you really care that much about waxing your car and making it look its absolute best? Does your car’s interior ever really get that dirty that buying a kit with interior cleaning products is justified? These are all things worth considering before making the purchase, and will ensure no one item goes unused in a corner of your garage.
If you’ve bought your car cleaning kit and are ready to make your car shine again, be sure to check out our ultimate guide to car cleaning before you leave. And, if you’re already done and are proud of your handiwork, check out how you can maintain that glossy finish going forward. Once you get used to cleaning your own car, you’ll thank yourself for how much money you end up saving in the long-term.