BITOG Detail and Wax - Top Picks

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BITOG Detail and Wax - Top Picks Here in the Detail and Wax forum we often see the same questions come up: What is the best spray wax? What is the best ___? This sticky is meant to be a quick reference guide to some of the most popular products the Detail and Wax regulars use. While we cannot capture all personal preferences, we'll list 2-3 popular and effective products in various categories sure to point you in the right direction. Car Wash: 1. Meguiar's D111 Shampoo Plus (gallon) Why this works: Offers great performance and a dilution ratio matching boutique washes but at a much lower cost. 2. Optimum No-rinse Why this works: Optimum is the leader in rinseless/low water wash technology. Can also be used as a detail spray. Car Wax/Sealant: 1. Collinite 845 Why this works: This hybrid wax/sealant is a workhorse, delivering durability, shine, and ease of application unmatched at this price. 2. Jescar Power Lock Why this works: This product practically wrote the book on quality paint sealants. With an updated formula it offers the longevity sealants are known for while matching the gloss of most waxes. 3. Nu Finish Why this works: Cost-effective way to get a good shine, widely available. Spray Wax/Detail Spray: 1. Meguiar's D156 Synthetic X-Press Spray Wax (gallon) Why this works: Cost-effective product that offers performance approaching high-end sprays. Can be used as a drying aid. 2. Optimum Car Wax Why this works: Perhaps the best performing spray wax available, more costly than some other options. 3. Turtle Wax Wax and Dry Spray Wax Why this works: Inexpensive way to get a good shine, widely available. Can be used as a drying aid. Finishing Polish/All-in-one: 1. HD Speed (All-in-one) Why this works: Great combination of correction and gloss, very easy to use even for those with little polishing experience 2. Menzerna SF4500 Why this works: High quality German finishing polish used by many detailing professionals 3. Meguiar's M205 Why this works: Quality product used by many DIY detailers as well as professionals Polish/Compound: 1. Meguiar's M105 Why this works: Workhorse polish that produces good results at a reasonable cost 2. 3M Perfect-it Rubbing Compound (or Machine Polish) Why this works: Used by many body shops, highly effective 3. Menzerna SF1500 Why this works: High quality German polish used by many detailing professionals Degreaser: 1. P21S Total Auto Wash Why this works: Excellent performance in engine bays and door jambs, can be costly 2. Dawn dish soap (~50% dilution) Why this works: Odds are this is already in your home, cheap, effective Wheel Cleaner: 1. Sonax Full Effect Wheel Cleaner Why this works: Excellent performance even on tough dirt and brake dust, can be costly 2. Eagle 1 Wheel Cleaner Why this works: Cost-effective and widely available 3. Car wash soap/water Why this works: Most mildly dirty wheels can be cleaned effectively with a bucket of wash water and brushes Tire Shine: 1. Turtle Wax Performance Plus Wet’N Black Ultra Wet Tire Shine Why this works: Cost effective, widely available, good longevity, low sling 2. Adam's Tire Shine Why this works: Good longevity, virtually no sling, matte-moderate gloss Plastic/Vinyl Dressing: 1. 303 Aerospace Protectant Why this works: Produces a low-gloss sheen that tends not to be sticky 2. Black Wow Trim Dressing Why this works: Produces a long-lasting shine 3. Adam's In & Out Spray Why this works: Same qualities of 303 Aerospace Protectant in an aerosol can for more consistent/easier application Leather/Upholstery Cleaner: 1. Meguiar's D101 All Purpose Cleaner (gallon) Why this works: Cost effective cleaner, can be diluted, multiple uses. 2. 3M Leather and Vinyl Cleaner/Restorer Why this works: One step product that cleans and protects interior leather/vinyl 3. 303 Fabric Guard Why this works: Offers protection from UV, stains, etc. Can be used on interior and exterior (convertible tops). Microfiber Towels: 1. Kirkland Signature - Costco Why this works: Decent quality microfiber towels sold at a low cost 2. Uber Ultra Microfiber Towel Why this works: High quality microfiber, dual pile (one side high, one side low) for more uses, can be costly. Where to buy? 1. Autogeek Why this works: Massive selection, good prices, frequent promotions 2. Amazon Why this works: Wide selection, good prices and fast shipping particularly with Prime 3. Detailer's Domain Why this works: High-end candy store for detailers, great products but pricey 4. Walmart Why this works: Good prices, often nearby to get something same-day
 
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Not a fan of Turtle Wax at all. I used some of their products years ago and they weren't very good. For a few bucks more you can buy some Mother's products which I like much better. And don't have to wonder if it's a junk product or not. Plus excellent customer service that stands behind their products. As far as online products I like Duragloss, Surf City, Ultima to name a few. With the Turtle Wax Tire shine I'd be skeptical about that product turning the tires brown after a month or two. I only use quality tire shine or none at all.
 

gofast182

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This list is meant to help detail and wax newbies pick some great products they don't have to question (not those of us who have 5 LSPs on hand at any given time). As I said, we cannot capture everyone's personal preferences or all of the good products that are out there. The list was made from years of being a reader/contributor to this forum, going back to many old threads to see what others like, and a little personal experience. Additionally, I tried to make sure each category contained a budget/common product as well as a "nicer" one to accommodate various budgets, etc. FWIW, I haven't used several of the products on the list but since many regulars to the forum really like them it was only right to include them. Mother's does have very good customer service, I've heard from several folks.
 
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Here is my list: Car Wash: 1- Meguiars D110 Hyper Wash. Low cost, excellent suds and great cleaning power. 2- Optimum No Rinse. Very useful product for light-to-moderately dirty cars, also good for interior wipe-downs. Sealant: 1- Meguiars Ultimate Fast Finish. Easy application and reasonable lifespan. 2- Jescar/Menzerna Power Lock. Easy application (for a crème type sealant) with good temporary filling capabilities. Spray Wax: 1- Meguiars D156 Spray Sealant. Inexpensive and does not streak when applied under direct sunlight. AIO: 1- Meguiars D166. Truthfully, most products in this category are very similar, but this one is economical and has pretty good cut. Polish: 1- Optimum Hyper Polish. Great cut (for a polish), easy wipe off and not very oily (important if the car will be coated). 2- Meguiars M205. Very versatile product, but is sometimes a bit tricky to finish with. Compound: 1- Meguiars M100 – Great cut when paired with MF discs or wool. Cheap. Short work time. Degreaser: 1- Optimum Power Clean. Expensive, but works well as a “Medium Degreaser.” To be honest, I have not found a degreaser that I truly like using. Wheel Cleaner: 1- Meguiars D143 – Great for cleaning tires and wheels. I dilute it 1:1. Safe for all finishes. 2- Meguiars D140 – I use it undiluted on very dirty wheels. But cleaning power is still a bit weak compared to some other acid-based wheel cleaners. Tire Shine: 1- CarPro PERL – great shine when applied undiluted. Gives tires a “clearcoat” type look. It does sling a bit more than I wish, though. Plastic/Vinyl Dressing: 1- Meguiars D149. I generally despise any plastic/vinyl dressings, but this product is great for a quick interior wipedown. It adds a tiny bit of a gloss, just enough to restore surfaces to a “like-new” appearance without having the obvious appearance of being dressed. This product is also sold at the retail label under a different name. Leather: 1- Meguiars D181. Great leather cleaner, smells good, safe for all leather. MF Towels: - CarPro BOA. Soft enough for any finish, but also has a short nap which makes it usable for polish/sealant removal. Great for cleaning windows as well. - Anything from The Rag Company
 
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gofast182

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Glad to see The Critic weigh in; he's one of the best on the board. My list was not so much my personal list but more of a "consensus" thing to try and eliminate weekly 'What's the best spray wax?' threads and be a general help to folks who need a quick recommendation. You can buy anything on The Critic's list with high confidence that you're getting a great product, just don't expect to buy much of it at your local Walmart or Autozone.
 
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Where is the clay bar?
Originally Posted By: parshisa
Glad you haven't mentioned any of Chemical Guys products as they are junk and total waste of money. Also, there are sooooo many other good products other than those you've listed.
Doh.. just bought it over the winter on sale.. haven't used it yet.
 
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Originally Posted By: parshisa
Glad you haven't mentioned any of Chemical Guys products as they are junk and total waste of money. Also, there are sooooo many other good products other than those you've listed.
except their soaps and clay are pretty decent.
 
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Originally Posted By: Jooksing
Where is the clay bar?
This one is good and avail at Walmart. Price just dropped to $18 online at Walmart. Carwash soap can be used as lube.
 
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I agree with much of what is listed there, although not with all of it.. Personally, I would have put Finish Kare 1000p on there instead of NuFinish.. but I know some on here are fans. Having said that, I'm kind of surprised that your list did not include any Eagle One products, as much of what they offer is great stuff, such as their spray wax and wax-as-u-dry products. Heck, their car wash concentrate is awesome too.
 

gofast182

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Folks: please read and try to understand the intent. This cannot and will not capture everything everyone likes to use. I took the time to record this stuff, some from memory, some from reviewing pages and pages of threads to put together a list of products BITOG Detail and Wax contributors like that can help people who aren't sure what to buy and/or don't already have favorites. I didn't necessarily pick my personal favorites and tried to include a common/budget choice and higher-end choice for each category to help as many people as possible. SirTanon, if you go back and re-read the list you will find the budget wheel cleaner is Eagle One.
 
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