Product Reviews

Best Car Detailing Kits (2023 Guide)

For when a DIY car wash and wax needs an upgrade, consider one of the best car detailing kits.

While car wash stations can charge an extra dime for a lesser wash, car detailing kits let you clean your vehicle exactly to your liking. These kits are packed with essential tools to wash and wax your vehicle and can include extra accessories that really make your car shine.

Our review team has tested the best car detailing kits on the market. Below, we break down the essential components of each kit, what their most outstanding features are, and how they can rejuvenate your car’s appearance.

Our Review Standards

The detailing kits in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching Amazon for top products, looking at factors like Prime shipping eligibility, customer ratings, Amazon superlatives, and prices.

Our testing team then ordered the five kits that best met these standards. A team member tested each product on a car, taking note of the contents of each kit, how well the products cleaned, and their ease of use. Each kit was given a rating out of 5 stars based on this criteria.

Car Detailing Kits Testing Process

We used two different testing kits to clean separate sides of two of our testing vehicles, which were a 2014 Honda Civic and 2016 Audi Allroad. Each kit was used according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer to achieve the best results for a finished clean.

Due to their intended use as interior detailing brushes, we tested the HMPLL Car Detailing Brushes on the interior of the 2014 Honda Civic.

Why You Can Trust Us

Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

5 Best Car Detailing Kits

#1 Best Overall: Chemical Guys Arsenal

The Chemical Guys Arsenal Detailing Kit.

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Loaded with some of its best-selling cleaning products, the Chemical Guys Arsenal is our top choice for the best car detailing kit. It comes with not only the famous Honeydew Snow Foam soap but best-sellers like the Butter Wet Wax and Diablo wheel cleaner.

To make the cleaning process more enjoyable, this kit includes a foam gun that you can use to spray lathery suds on your vehicle. This kit’s wash mitt and microfiber towels help enhance the detailing process, as well.

What’s In The Box?

  • Honeydew Snow Foam car shampoo
  • Butter Wet Wax car wax
  • Diablo Wheel Gel rim cleaner
  • Silk Shine dressing
  • Signature glass cleaner
  • 3.5-gallon bucket
  • Cyclone dirt-trap
  • Torq Foam Blaster foam gun
  • Microfiber wash mitt
  • Short-handle brush
  • Three microfiber towels

Our Experience

The Chemical Guys Arsenal used to clean the exterior of a vehicle.

The Chemical Guys Arsenal came included with every accessory we needed to do a full detailing of our testing vehicle. We especially enjoyed using the foam gun for its power, reach, and quantity of suds it produced on a single load.

After using each product according to its specified instructions, our testing vehicle looked rejuvenated. We found that our kit had enough materials left over to complete at least three more washes and multiple waxes after its first use.

Overall Rating5 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5 based on approximately 23,000 ratings

Customers who enjoy using this kit to clean their cars find the foam gun to be the most useful tool for expediting their detailing process. Some negative reviews claim that the wash mitt doesn’t dry well after use.

What Is It Good For?

Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran of automotive detailing, the Chemical Guys Arsenal is a superb choice for restoring your car’s exterior to its full glory. We recommend it for anyone who needs a versatile kit for major cleanings and minor touch-ups alike.

#2 Best Accessories: Adam’s Arsenal Builder

The Adam’s Arsenal Builder Detailing Kit.

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If you want to be prepared for any car cleaning situation, one of the Adam’s Arsenal Builder’s various items can do the trick. Not only does this kit come included with soap and wax but it’s also equipped with miscellaneous drying and detailing tools, too.

Unlike other detailing kits, the Arsenal Builder includes an interior cleaning spray suitable for dashboards, upholstery, and more. To keep your car smelling fresh long after a wash, this kit offers pre-wrapped air fresheners.

What’s In The Box?

  • Car shampoo wash soap
  • Spray wax
  • Tire shine
  • Wheel cleaner
  • Interior detailing spray
  • Glass cleaner
  • Three soft microfiber towels
  • Great white drying towel
  • Wheel scrubbing mitt
  • Wash sponge
  • Foam gun
  • 3.5-gallon bucket
  • Grit guard
  • Three car air fresheners

Our Experience

The Adam’s Arsenal Builder used to clean the exterior of a vehicle.

During testing, we were able to find a cleaning product suited for every piece of our vehicle’s exterior. We had to reload the foam gun with soap and water to entirely coat our testing vehicle, which was a slight hassle.

After our initial cleaning, our vehicle was spotless. We especially liked using the brushes for scrubbing our tires and thought the air fresheners produced a nice scent. Because the foam gun ran through suds more quickly than anticipated, the soap quantity depleted quicker than expected.

Overall Rating4.7 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5 based on over 600 ratings

A common praise from customers is this kit’s sponges and towels hold up well after multiple washes. They also say the cleaning instructions for each item are clear. One complaint we found was that some customers thought the foam gun didn’t have enough spraying power.

What Is It Good For?

If you prefer to be prepared for all detailing situations, the Adam’s Arsenal Builder is the detailing kit for you. It also makes for a great gift to any gearhead in your life.

#3 Best For Beginners: Armor All Ultimate Detailing Kit

The Armor All Ultimate Detailing Kit.

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The Armor All Ultimate Detailing Kit is equipped with the basics for both an interior and exterior wash. Its Extra-Shield glass, wheel, and tire cleaners are formulated with protective sealants that block dirt and grime buildup.

Despite not including a foam gun, this auto detailing kit has a wash mitt and a few microfiber towels to aid with washing and drying. The interior detailing spray can be used on plastic, vinyl, and rubber.

What’s In The Box?

  • Snow foam shampoo
  • Ceramic tire coating
  • Ceramic glass cleaner
  • Ceramic wheel cleaner
  • Extreme shield protectant interior spray
  • Wash mitt
  • Three microfiber towels

Our Experience

The Armor All Ultimate Detailing Kit being used to clean the wheel of a vehicle.

Because of its limited size, the Ultimate Detailing Kit is equipped with the bare essentials for car care. This means our team was limited to a basic wash but could not perform a wax or other exterior cleaning.

Our testing vehicle was still noticeably cleaned after using this kit. We were impressed with this cleaning kit’s tire care products, which were tough on built-up brake dust. After a single use of this kit, there was only enough soap and other materials left for one or two cleanings.

Overall Rating4.2 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.6 out of 5 based on over 13,000 ratings

Reviewers say this kit is ideal for traditional car washes, noting how well the wheel cleaning sprays work on tough grime. Many customers recommend giving this kit as a gift to brand new car owners, while others pair it with wax kits for a complete cleaning package.

What Is It Good For?

Our review team recommends the Armor All Ultimate Detailing Kit for anyone who wants to complete a basic wash of their vehicle. It’s also well-suited for those who are new to auto care.

#4 Best For Precision Detailing: Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit

The Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit.

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Should you want to fine-tune your detailing process, Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit may be the best step forward. Not only does it come with shampoos and conditioners, but a wide variety of exterior and interior detailers, as well.

This kit includes items such as a clay bar and quick detailer that can eliminate dust and debris from your vehicle’s interior. For even application, the soft applicator pads can help you swirl in polishes, waxes, dressings, and more with ease.

What’s In The Box?

  • Gold Class car wash shampoo and conditioner
  • Gold Class liquid carnauba wax
  • Quick detailer
  • Quick interior Detailer
  • Two clay bars
  • ScratchX 2.0 gel
  • PlastX clear plastic cleaner and polish
  • Microfiber wash mitt
  • Microfiber towel
  • Soft foam applicator pad

Our Experience

The Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit being used to clean the exterior of a vehicle.

Given this kit’s extensive wash and wax tools, we were impressed with the level of detailing we could achieve. Buffing out light scratches was easy with the ScratchX 2.0 gel and applicator pad. The soap did not create many suds and required more swirling than anticipated.

Cleaning our testing vehicle was a straightforward process using this kit. The interior tools had to be handled with care not to stain our upholstery, so we advise being cautious while using them. There was enough of all of this kit’s materials left over afterward for another wash and wax.

Overall Rating4 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5 based on over 4,800 ratings

One frequent comment that we noticed from customers noted how absorbent the microfiber towel was, even after multiple uses. Many customers found this to work better as a polishing kit only, using other car wash soaps to clean their vehicle before applying this kit’s wax.

What Is It Good For?

If you’re looking for a lasting protective coat for your vehicle’s exterior and enjoy putting extra time and effort into your wash, we recommend using Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit.

#5 Best Interior Brushes: HMPLL Car Detailing Brushes Kit

The HMPLL Car Detailing Brushes Kit.

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The HMPLL Car Detailing Brushes Kit is for fine interior detailing between seat crevices, cup holders, and more. While the polyethylene dusters are suited for picking up dust, you can also use the steel wire brushes for polishing metal engine parts.

Each brush is equipped with a chemical-resistant plastic handle for a sturdy grip at all times. Because of their dense bristles, the boar hair brushes can be used wet or dry and don’t fall out after excessive use.

What’s In The Box?

  • Five various-sized detailing brushes
  • Three steel wire brushes
  • Air vent brush

Our Experience

The HMPLL Car Detailing Brushes Kit cleaning the interior air vents of a vehicle.

Our review team used this brushes kit in our testing vehicle and found that there were plenty of uses for each brush. The air vent brush was ideal for picking up loose debris while the hair-tipped brushes were able to comfortably reach into tight spaces.

After using the brushes, we found our vehicle to be mostly clean. The hair-tipped brushes did not do very well with picking up dust, but rather displaced it into the air. Each brush became dirty enough to require cleaning after a few minutes of use.

Overall Rating3.7 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.5 out of 5 based on over 5,700 ratings

Many customers like how easy these brushes were to use in their vehicles and appreciated that they didn’t scratch plastic or vinyl surfaces. Some reviewers claim these brushes do not remove any dust but merely displace it.

What Is It Good For?

For interior detailing and dust removal, the HMPLL Car Detailing Brushes Kit is our recommended go-to option. These brushes are a great addition to any car wash kit for those who like a spot-free dashboard.

Car Detailing Kits Buyers Guide

Before your next purchase, consider the following information to help you make an informed decision.

What Comes In A Car Detailing Kit?

Car detailing kits generally contain the following items:

Depending on the brand, some kits will come with extra accessories such as interior detailing brushes. A popular addition that has become more common among kits is foam cannons, which attach to a garden hose to spray soapy suds and take the elbow grease out of washing.

Interior Detailing

Not every kit we tested came with car interior cleaners. Other than things like microfiber towels and brushes, common items include carpet cleaner, leather conditioner, and sprays to clean areas such as the dashboard or steering wheel.

Customers should review what products are included with the car detailing kit before making a purchase to best fit their needs. That said, if you’re a fan of a certain brand or product, you can create the best interior car detailing kit by shopping piecemeal.

Your Car

Whether you’re getting your vehicle showroom ready or just performing a basic cleaning, make sure the detailing products work for your vehicle. If your car has luxury appointments like leather upholstery or chrome accents, buy cleaners that are suitable for those surfaces.

The finish of the car is also important, as black cars are usually more susceptible to water spots than other vehicles. A liquid wax or ceramic coating can also help restore the sheen to the vehicle.

How You Drive

Another consideration for car detailing kits is the type of mess you’ll be cleaning. If scraping mud off the sides of door panels is in your future, choose a cleaner that can tackle baked-on dirt. For motorists that stick to highway driving, a more forgiving cleaner will be suitable.

How Do I Detail My Vehicle?

Detailing your vehicle may seem like a daunting task at first, but it can be an easy process if you follow these simple steps:

  1. Wash the exterior of your car using a car shampoo and wash mitt or sponge. This may take multiple washes before all of the dirt and grime are removed. Once washed and rinsed, dry your car using a microfiber towel.
  2. Clean other parts of your car’s exterior (rims, tires, windows, etc.) using the recommended cleaner for each.
  3. Wax and polish your car using the specified cleaning products in your kit according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Once the exterior is cleaned, proceed to detail your car’s interior, if you choose. Use the interior detailing products included in your kit to clean air vents, seats, and more.

For a more comprehensive car care overview, refer to our guide on how to detail a car like a professional.

Best Car Cleaning Kits: FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.

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Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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