The variety of automotive detailing supplies on the market is sometimes a little overwhelming, so lets look at some basic jobs you would normally do to a car. This applies to both the do-it-yourselfer and the professional.
As an example, let see what you might need for a basic Wash and Dry. You will need the following supplies to properly wash and dry your vehicle
• 2 wash buckets, with a grit guard or tray for each
• Micro fiber wash mit or Micro fiber covered sponge
• Micro Fiber drying towel
• Tire brush
• Wheel cleaning brush
• Water filtration ( optional )
• Drying Blower ( optional )
Most of the detailing supplies are not available at your local automotive supply store, often you will need to purchase them online or find a wholesaler in your area. Finding all the products and equipment from one location is often difficult, but if you find a local wholesaler that carries a wide variety of brands, you can easily get all the supplies you need.
If you are looking to purchase your detailing supplies for home use and are not getting into detailing other vehicles professionally, then a good start would be to check out some local detailing shops. There are professional auto detailers in every major city, and I bet there are a lot more then you think there are. Most of the detailers in the business love what they do, and if you contacted them to discuss detailing, I am sure they would love it. You should ask if you can buy some of the product they use, you will probably get a better deal then if you went and tried to find everything you need yourself. You will probably find that each detailer has a brand or line of products they prefer over others, this is either from experience or what they learned with. Many experienced detailers usually stick to a specific brand for the majority of their products. They will use other suppliers as well for all the specific function products that only select manufacturers produce.
Other detailing supplies that you can buy at your local automotive hardware store are the simple tools and products. Micro fiber cloths and towel are now very common. A few years ago, you would not be able to find a single micro fiber cloth anywhere but specialty stores. Micro fiber drying towels and polishing cloths are the standard for all your auto detailing jobs, don’t get anything else to wash, dry, buff or clean with. The characteristics of micro fiber make them non-scratch and super absorbent. You can also find decent cash wash soap and brushes at your local automotive supply store too. Never use dish soap on your car, only use car wash soap designed for automotive purposes. Dish soap will strip all the protective layers you apply to your car, such as wax, sealant, trim sealers and detailer sprays. Only use it if is your intention to prepare the car for paint correction and polishing, in that case, you want to remove all those waxes and sealers.