Professional Car Care Product
Is There Really A Difference

Most guys think a professional car care product is going to out-perform any retail car care product any day of the week. And in most cases this is the truth.

The problem is that as a rule, most professional detail products are going to cost more than traditional retail products. While most of us accept that we get what we pay for, this added cost of professional grade does not necessarily represent a problem.

Professional Car Care Products
Knowing the Difference

professional car care products

If shopping professional grade car care products represents a fair balance between cost and performance, then we should be O.K. with this. But what if I told you there are plenty of retail grade detail products that are not only just as good as professional car care products, but are far cheaper to buy!

I think if you are like myself, then this sounds like a compelling statement worth investigating. The problem is knowing the difference and being able to shop the difference. After all; we want the performance of professional detail products, while saving money.

None of us want to sacrifice performance just to save a buck or two.

Professional Detail Products:
Darren's List of Must Have's

professional car care product

I am going to lay out the products of detailing that are most common. Products that most driveway detailers will need, products that offer both retail and professional grade options.

I will lay out both options for you that I would pick based on performance, then you can decide which one you prefer. In most cases it will be the retail detail product that will be cheaper, but still offer the performance of the professional grade detail product.

While it seems that any guy in his right mind would opt for the cheaper, retail product, there still remains many guys who simply want professional grade no matter what.

I will let you decide.

Mothers Clay Bar Kit
Retail Grade

Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar System

  • Number one selling kit on Amazon
  • Everything needed to decontaminate your car
  • Not a product you really need to overthink
  • My choice in shopping a retail clay bar kit
  • Cheaper than the professional grade; but not by much

Chemical Guys Clay Bar
Professional Grade

Chemical Guys CLY_KIT_1 Heavy Duty Clay Bar and Luber Synthetic Lubricant Kit (16 oz) (2 Items)

  • Number one selling professional grade clay bar kit on Amazon
  • Everything needed to decontaminate your car
  • Once again; not a product you need to overthink
  • My first choice in a professional grade clay bar kit

Micro Fiber Cloths
Retail Grade

Kirkland Signature Ultra High Pile Premium Microfiber Towels, 36 Count (Pack of 1), Yellow - 713160

  • Micro-fiber cloths are an area worth considering bumping up to professional grade
  • I think micro fibers are the best type of cloth for anything, but not all detail chores are created equal
  • Some detail chores are perfectly suited for cheaper micro fiber cloths, other jobs are more suited for top quality micro fibers
  • These micro fibers are perfectly suited for basic, menial jobs of detailing

Micro Fiber Cloths
Professional Grade

Autofiber Korean Plush Edgeless Detailing Towels 16"x16" 4-Pack (Grey)

  • These are excellent micro fibers ideally suited for the finer chores of detailing (generally this will mean anything to do with working on your paint)
  • Edgeless micro fibers have become very popular as the safest alternative to working on your paint
  • As good as good can get!
  • Some of my very favorite

Waterless Wash
Retail Grade

Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax 16 oz. Aircraft Quality Wash Wax for your Car RV & Boat. Guaranteed Best Waterless Wash on the Market

  • Top selling product on Amazon
  • You don't need to overthink this and this product is a great place to start for anyone
  • If you want to experiment with costlier waterlesss wash products, do it after trying this one
  • As easy as easy gets

Waterless Wash
Professional Grade

Chemical Guys WAC_707_16 EcoSmart - Hyper Concentrated Waterless Car Wash & Wax (16 oz)

  • If you want to overthink these kinds of products, then this is a great product to use
  • This is the product you will find professional detailers like myself reaching for
  • A concentrate that will last you a long time
  • Follow label instructions for diluting
  • I use distilled water to make mine (distilled water is the purest water you can get and allows maximum potential from the concentrate)

Car Wax
Retail Grade

Meguiar's G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax - 16 oz.

  • Top rated car wax in Amazon
  • You won't go wrong with this and most people will be satisfied with the results
  • Definitely not the wax for the highly critical

Car Wax
Professional Grade

CSI Q-7 Wax 16oz 62-204-P

  • My "go-to" car wax for over 15 years
  • Body shop safe
  • Non-staining formulation (won't stain black trim)
  • Can be applied in direct sunlight, on hot paint
  • Can also be used on hard surfaces of interior of car (plastic door panels, coated car leather, dash boards, etc.)
  • True carnauba wax formulation
  • The most versatile wax I have ever used

Car Paint Sealant
Retail Grade

Nu Finish Liquid Car Polish

  • It doesn't come more retail grade than this
  • Good, but definitely not great
  • For anyone who really doesn't overthink waxing their car
  • When "good enough" really is good enough for you

Car Paint Sealant
Professional Grade

Chemical Guys WAC_118_16 JetSeal Anti-Corrosion Sealant and Paint Protectant (16 oz)

  • This is where you will find professionals like myself reaching
  • For anyone who demands more from their products than the Nu Finish above
  • As good as good gets when it comes to a quality car paint sealant
  • This is one of the areas I would be shopping professional car care product over retail

Car Upholstery Cleaner
Retail Grade

Armor All Oxi Magic Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner (22 fl. oz.)

  • As retail as retail can get
  • Good, but not great
  • If your demands are not great, than this will work
  • Nobody would ever confuse this with a professional car care product

Car Upholstery Cleaner
Professional Grade

Chemical Guys CWS_103 Foaming Citrus Fabric Clean Carpet & Upholstery Shampoo (16 Oz), 16. Fluid_Ounces

  • A well known and established name in cosmetic car care
  • This is one of my favorite upholstery shampoos
  • Concentrate so you can custom blend to suit your needs
  • Extremely economical

Professional Car Care Products Summary

top rated professional car care products

Shopping for professional car care products doesn't have to be as expensive as most guys would think. You just need to know the differences.

Today's world of cosmetic car care is filled with almost an endless amount of choices. Products designed for any car owner, but has the ability to produce professional level results.

One of the goals of this website is to help you navigate your way around the disappointments I have had to endure in testing so many products. Ultimately only you can decide which professional car care product represents the winning balance for you, but now you should be able to have a fighting chance in a very saturated world of options!

I wish you much success!


Darren Priest

  1. Home Page
  2. Detailing Tips
  3. ››
  4. This Page


Show / Hide