10 Best Car Wash Kits of 2020 – Car Cleaning Kit Reviews

How often do you wash your car? Most people wash their cars once a week, or maybe twice a month. And while you could take it to an automated car wash, you get better results if you wash it by hand. Car washes use hard brushes and harsher chemicals that could damage bodywork.

That said, a basic wash a deep detail. The latter often involves polishing, waxing, protective sealing, and underbody cleaning. Thorough detailing extends the lifespan of your car. It also lowers your garage bills. So let’s help you find the best car wash kit.

OUR TOP PICK
car wash kit
Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax All

  • It works with or without water, so you can use it anywhere.
  • It has minimal wastage and it’s good for the environment.
  • It gives 36 waterless washes and 57 water washes.
  • It protects your car from ultraviolet damage.
  • It has a refillable spray bottle for easy top-ups.
  • It cleans everything from upholstery to underbody.

 

The Best Car Wash Kit on the Market of 2020

1. Meguiar’s G55032SP Complete Car Care Kit

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A complete car care kit needs at least six items. Meguiar’s surpasses that benchmark. This comprehensive car maintenance bundle contains a dozen premium products and offers everything your car needs to stay beautiful and spotlessly clean. It even has anti-scratch tools.

Many car owners debate about using shampoos or clay bars. They get qualms about what product to use on which type of dirt. With Meguiar’s, you can rub your clay bar onto stubborn dirt, or scrape off surface blemishes using ScratchX 2.0. Liquid wax polishes everything off.

You may worry about the wax leaving a white residue on the black parts of your car. Meguiar’s PlastX sorts that out with little to no elbow grease. And then there’s Endurance Tire Gel for your treads. The products in this kit are so intuitively named that even novices can figure out what goes where. And the shampoo product is confused with conditioner for deeper, wetter, shine.

This car wash kit has an interior detailing product – not many car cleaning bundles have that. And when you just need to clean a single spot, you can use Quik Details. Just spray and wipe, no water needed. There’s also an applicator, a towel for wiping, and a wash mitt for soaping up.

Meguiar’s car wash kit is genuinely comprehensive. But its interior detailer is for plastics and rubbers. It works fine on the dash, but you may need something else for your carpets and seats.

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2. TriNova Complete Car Wash Kit

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Before you get excited about a 19-piece car care kit, it helps to know what the 19 pieces are. TriNova gets the mix right because it has all the essential cleaners for windows, tires, scratches, and spots. The bundle has both a rubber tire cleaner and a metal wheel cleaner, which is a nice touch. Also, all the spot-cleaning products have spray nozzles for added convenience.

When you’re irritated by a hazy smudge or a minor dent, you don’t have to rush to the garage and have the whole car redone. You can use Scratch & Swirl plus two clay bars to get rid of the blotch. These work well when combined with a spray of Quick Detailer, which is also included.

You want smooth, streak-free results, and the cleaning cloths in this pack ensures that. Some of the pieces come in pairs for washing and rinsing … or for applying and removing excess products. So that’s two microfiber towels, two waffle-weave chamois/shamie drying towels, two premium cleaning rags, a spongy applicator for liquid wax, and a microfiber wash mitt for soapy suds.

The towels are color-coded to ensure you don’t mix up your rags, washing towels, and shamie wiping towels. For heavily soiled wheels, there’s a stiff scrubbing brush and a foaming shampoo. Finish with glossy tire mist and wheel-spray, ensuring that showroom shine.

The TriNova car cleaning package seems superior. It has nearly 20 pieces, and many are in doubles. It doesn’t have a plastic cleaner though, so you may be left with post-wax problems.

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3. Chemical Guys 209X Complete Detailing Kit

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As a buyer, you may be fooled by the number of items in your car wash kit. This bundle – for example – has 13 pieces. But only two of those pieces are cleaning products. All the rest are colorful accessories. The Chemical Guys detailing kit has one bottle of Polishing Pal Cleaner and one bottle of Polishing Pal Conditioner. But it does include a TORQX electric polisher.

Not many kits include this piece of hardware. It runs from as slow 1,200 orbits per minute to a high-temp 4,200 OPM, so it’s a versatile device. It has two color-coded backing plates and five color-coded foam pads to handle different cleaning tasks. The dual-cleaning hardware can clean, wax, and polish. It has an 8mm orbit for better coverage and enhanced temperature control.

You can attach various accessories to the TORQX polisher. These could be Hex-Logic buffing pads, brushes, or 5.5-inch textured polishing pads. Some may argue this is a polishing kit, not a car wash kit. But the comprehensive combination of pads and buffs are good for stubborn dirt. It can remove surface paint transfer or stubborn worn-in stains. And it saves you elbow grease.

This Chemical Guys combination is good for removing scratches and dents while working in your protective wax or paint sealant. But it does nothing for your glass, rubber, and plastic bits.

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4. Griot’s Garage 58512 Starter Wash and Dry Kit

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Just because it’s sparse doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Griot’s car wash kit possibly has fewer items than any other kit. But it’s also among the most convenient because it has a compact container. The carry case in Griot’s trademark red shade has an ergonomic handle with finger molded grips and a secure black lid. It’s made of hard plastic, and even has casters for enhanced portability.

This carrier box doubles as a wash bucket. The bucket has a perforated grate at the bottom. It lets dirt and solid particles seep through, keeping your drying towels and wash mitt free of excess residue. Unfortunately, the grate isn’t very strong. It’s held in place by plastic rods which easily break during regular usage, leaving the grate limp and useless.

Aside from the bucket, the car wash kit has a fluffy wash mitt, a terry-weave drying towel with elongated loops, and a bottle of concentrated car shampoo. The shampoo is Brilliant Finish, so it gives your car a high gloss even before you polish. It doesn’t leave any streaks. To avoid wastage or over-concentration, the car wash kit has a measuring cup and mixing suggestions.

You can spot the Griot’s Garage car wash kit from miles away, with its branded red and black bucket. But it’s a bare minimum bundle, so you need lots of extra items to complete it.

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5. Armor All Premier Car Care Kit

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This 8-piece car-wash kit can be a little confusing to use. Especially if you’re not well-versed in detailing. To ease your learning curve, Armor All has sub-divided it into smaller sub-bundles. For example, if you’re doing interiors, you’ll use the Multipurpose Wash and Protectant. This covers your dash, knobs, rubbers, and fabrics, though you need time for everything to dry.

For your exteriors, use the Wash & Wax plus the Glass Cleaner. Then for your wheels, start with the Wheel & Tire Cleaner then polish things off with Tire Shine. In all three sub-kits, you can apply soap using the plush wash ad, rinse with water, then dry with a microfiber towel.

Unfortunately, towels aren’t included in the car care kit. But because you wash and wax with the same product, you don’t need to layer it, so you don’t need to wipe off the excess product or wait between coats. That saves time and hassle, and there’s less chance of smudging or streaking. To keep the car smelling clean and sweet, mist it with FreshFX Pump Spray.

This starter pack is ideal for basic home care, but it can be puzzling to regular drivers. If you want something more comprehensive, look into Armor All’s 29-piece car detailing kit.

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6. Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax All Our Top Pick 

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Customized kits can be useful. But the best car wash kits cut across brands and models. Aero Cosmetics has a detailing combo that doesn’t just work on cars. You can use it on bikes, boats, ATVs, and even lawnmowers. And it’s just as effective without water, so it’s ideal for emergency cleaning, or low-water states like California. That said, it takes longer than regular washes.

Why? Because you can only wash, wipe, and wax the car in sections, so it’s more labor-intensive. It does use less energy though. You don’t have to wait for the section to dry before you ‘rinse’. The product needs to be wiped off while it’s still wet. For extra-grimy areas like the bumper, you have to ‘soak’ for five to ten minutes before you ‘rinse’ with a damp cloth.

Overall, you’ll use less water and product. But you’ll go through tons of towels, both for ‘washing’ and ‘drying’ so buy towels in bulk. Ideally, they should be machine-washable to lessen your labor, since they’ll get pretty grimy. Never use fabric softener on the towels though. Wash Wax All works on all car surfaces, from glass to rubber and plastic, and from windows to wheels.

The product has no alcohol or ammonia and contains four towels, one gallon of product, and a 16-oz spray bottle. The spray bottle has product in it, and you can refill it from the 1-gallon bottle as needed. You can use this kit 30 to 60 times, depending on whether it’s a water wash or a waterless wash. It gives your car a glossy seal with built-in UV protection.

Aero’s car wash kit serves everything from your seats to your engine. It gives an exceptional shine, but only for light cleaning. Mud, grease, and road salt has to be pre-washed.

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7. Shine Society Portable Car Detailing Kit

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Sometimes, less is more. That seems to be the case with Shine Society. Their car wash kit has all you need, carefully packaged in a portable zip-up carry case. And each product is in a spray bottle for easy application. This 4-product detailing kit has Waterless Wash & Wax, Glass Cleaner, Interior Cleaner, and Wheel Cleaner. It also contains microfiber towels.

The interior cleaner is multipurpose. It can clean all your rubbers and plastics, and it also disinfects and deodorizes the car.  Meanwhile, the glass cleaner works on clear, tinted, and mirrored glass. The products in this kit are color-coded and intuitively labeled for easy use. And the wheel cleaner is equally effective for deep-cleaning your tires.

Shine Society is committed to green cleaning. All its products are plant-based and handcrafted. The spray bottles are ideal for spot cleaning spills. Consider this a first aid kit for your car, especially if you like to drink coffee in traffic, eat take-out in your car, or ferry messy kids (and pets) on the regular. Each spray bottle has an 18-oz capacity, and the towels are 10-count.

When you want to save water and protect the environment while still keeping your car spotless, Shine Society’s portable car wash kit is it. Plus, the case looks cool and stylish in your trunk.

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8. Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar System

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Maybe you ‘borrowed’ the family car or ran an errand for your boss. Somewhere along the way, you scraped the side of a building. Or maybe someone parked too close and opened their car door too hard. You might even know the source of the damage until the car is back home. If you take it to the local garage, they’ll use scary jargon and big technical terms you barely understand.

Worse, they may inflate repair costs and claim you need complete bodywork. Luckily, Mothers have you covered. Their clay bar kit contains two bars of 100g car clay and 16 oz of Instant Detailer. Rub a clay bar on the scratch, dent, or blemish. Then spray some instant detailer and wait a few minutes for it to set. A few swipes with a foam pad or towel will clean it right off.

This isn’t a solution for crumpled bodies and heavy accidents. But it’s a quick-fix for minor dents, bumps, and scrapes. It can also polish any dullness or haze, restoring your car’s showroom shine. It can also remove bird poop and tree sap. The clay bars are pliable, so they’re safe to use on colored cars and clear coats. A microfiber towel is included for easy buffing.

Mothers Clay Bar Kit doesn’t have any soap or shampoo. It’s more for emergency body repair than regular cleaning. But it’s also a cleaning supplement for stubbornly sedimented stains.

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9. Jax Wax Professional Easy Wash and Wax

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Wash & Wax generally eliminate the need for waxing. They have gloss built in, so as soon as you rinse, your car gets that pleasant sparkle. But the power of layering isn’t just for human skin. If you follow up your wash & wax with polish and sealant, you get an amplified response.

That’s why the Jax Wax car wash kit offers triple-powered results. The kits come with a wash bucket that can tuck your cleaning implements out of sight when needed. Start with a high foam Jax Wash & Wax to remove any surface grime. Follow with Jax Body Shine polish to repair any blemishes or flaws. Then finish with Jax Liquid Carnauba to create a protective paint seal.

The Jax cleaning kit also contains a wash mitt and microfiber towels for washing, wiping, and drying. Jax Wax has lots of other products, but this kit has the components you need to wash on-the-go. The bucket is roomy, so if you want to buy more products to add to your wash kit, you can. You’ll probably need to because this detailing bundle has no interior cleaning products.

Jax Wax has a memorable name and an eye-catching package. But the products selected for this bundle seem redundant. They heighten shine without cleaning the car thoroughly.

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10. Turtle Wax 50754 Ultimate Car Care Kit

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The Turtle Wax brand is best known for its finishing products. Specifically, its premium wax paste. But the company has expanded into cleaning products as well, and this comprehensive cleaning kit proves it. Their alliterative product names are catchy and fun, but they’re also instructive for car novices. They include anti-UV Wet & Black for tires and other car rubbers.

Then there’s Wax & Dry for the rest of the car, Dash & Glass for windows and mirrors, and Inside & Out for overall paint protection. When you need a shortcut, ZipWax offers a quick clean in one simple step. Scratch & Swirl works wonders on blemishes, and when you detect a damp or nasty odor, just use a spritz of OdorX for 30 days of refreshing clean-car scent.

Turtle Wax products offer added protection against watermarks, streaks, and rain. For deep detailing, wash the car with ZipWax, rinse, then apply Wax & Dry. Don’t wait for the water to evaporate – spray wax works best on wet cars. Wipe off both the water and wax in one swipe, leaving your car surface shiny and dry. Spot-shine the wheels and windows to wind up.

This 10-piece car cleaning kit will introduce you way more Turtle Wax products. You’ll probably need a spray bottle with clean water. It ensures the car stays wet while you wax. It bit by bit.

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Buying Guide

If you want something done right, do it yourself. This especially applies to washing your car. And if you buy the right products, you can lower your car maintenance expenses. So what features should you keep in mind when you’re shopping for the best car wash kit?

Product Description

Some car wash kits include brushes and applicators. Others have waxes and polishes. When car detergents are advertised, these ‘extras’ are always included in the photo. That’ doesn’t necessarily mean they’re inside the product packaging. Read the description carefully to be sure of what’s inside the box. The pack may also have care instructions and first aid tips.

Chemical Content

There are different types of car wash products. Some are safe for kids and pets. Others are biodegradable, so you can flush them down the toilet or drain them onto your lawn. But some car cleaners are so concentrated that they can affect your breathing. You have to use them in the open air, or a well-ventilated garage. So check for toxicity and disposal recommendation.

Versatility

Does the kit have an all-in-one cleaner? These can be convenient because you can apply them to different car parts. Other car wash kits might have several products – one for tires and rubbers, one for windows, one for plastics, and one for fabrics. Many car waxes will whiten your car plastics, so the car wash kit might need Back to Black or a similar product.

Cleaning Speed

If you’re using a car wash kit, you probably intend to polish and/or wax the car. So depending on how much time you’ve set aside, drying speed matters. You may have to wash the car, dry it by hand, apply polish, let it dry, buff it, then apply wax and let it dry before the final buff. And each of these products may use multiple coats. So check how fast (or slow) your products dry.

Essentials and Extras

Every car wash kit must have car detergent, spot cleaners, tire cleaners, glass cleaners, interior products, and wax or polish. Extras include cleaning cloths, car brushes, and deodorizers. You can buy a six-piece kit of a sixteen-piece. But the best car wash includes the first six essentials we’ve listed. Ideally, they should be from the same brand or affiliated manufacturers.

Low-to-no Abrasion

The key reason drivers avoid car washes is their harshness. They use concentrated soaps and rough brushes that can sometimes damage the paintwork on your car. So if you’re cleaning your car at home, avoid abrasive products. For grimy areas, don’t rush for the toughest cleaner. Pick one that can soak or steep so it de-greases while you wait. It should wipe off easily.

Local Climate

You’re often advised not to wash or wax your car on a hot day. If you do, your cleaning products may dry too fast, leaving streaks and watermarks. Meaning you’ll have to clean the car again. But tropical areas have higher temperatures in general, while wintry regions may need antifreeze properties. Check the melting temperature indicated on the pack, just to be sure.

Anti-radiation

Even in areas that get six months of darkness, solar damage is still a possibility. And this ‘sunburn’ can happen even on gloomy days with low visibility. So check that some – if not all – the products in your cash wash kit have UV protection. This keeps the car cleaner for longer and protects your paint from ultraviolet fading and deterioration. Turns out cars need sunscreen!

Brand Selection

Some car specialists produce a wide range of car cleaning products, from butters and creams to pastes and waxes. This kind of company can market a comprehensive car wash kit. Other companies only make shampoos or towels, so you have to combine them with partner products.

Check whether your kit was bundled by the manufacturer or the car store. If it was put together by the car store as a seasonal promotion, you can’t be sure the bundled products are compatible. Some may be cheaper and lower I quality. Meaning if you mix them, you could damage your car.

Individual Pricing

When you buy something as a package deal, you assume you’re saving money. Marketers know this, and they may trick you into spending more. Look at your car wash kit and list each product. Check its price separately. Then add all the prices together and see if it’s a good deal. If not, buy each of the products on the list and assemble your own kit. You can even get a carrier bag!

Clean Comfort

To ensure your car is in the best condition, we recommend buying the Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax. Here’s why we love it:

  • It works with or without water, so you can use it anywhere.
  • It has minimal wastage and it’s good for the environment.
  • It gives 36 waterless washes and 57 water washes.
  • It protects your car from ultraviolet damage.
  • It has a refillable spray bottle for easy top-ups.
  • It cleans everything from upholstery to underbody.

What car products and brands are in your car wash kit right now? Tell us in the comments!