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Keeping their car as close to pristine condition as possible is the goal of any automotive enthusiast. Achieving a showroom finish at home requires more than just the basic wash and wax. Understanding the role and benefits of each type of detailing product can significantly elevate the quality of your work, whether you’re simply cleaning your car or maintaining your newly applied ceramic coating or PPF. We’ve compiled a guide of the best DIY products for car detailing that you should stock in your garage.

Car Wash Soap

Car wash soap is essential to keeping your car clean and looking its best. Regular detergents can be too harsh for your car’s paint, stripping away the any type of protective product and leaving it vulnerable to damage. Car wash soap is specifically formulated to be gentle on your car’s finish while still effectively removing dirt and grime.

Here are a few reasons why you should always use car wash soap when washing your car:

  • Protects Your Paint. Car wash soap is designed to be pH-balanced, which means it won’t damage your car’s paint. On the other hand, regular detergents can be too alkaline or acidic, which can strip away protective products and leave your car’s paint vulnerable to damage.
  • Removes Dirt. Car wash soap is formulated to effectively remove dirt, grime, and road salt from your car’s surface. It will also help to remove any old wax or sealant that may be starting to wear off.
  • Prepares For Waxing. After you wash your car with car wash soap, it’s important to apply a coat of wax to protect the paint if you have no other protection plans in mind.

Microfiber Towels

Do not skimp out on proper towels for your car. While you may find the most advanced detailing formulations on the planet, it’ll all be for nothing if you use towels that scratch your paint and swirl around dirt. Make sure you use multiple towels to delegate different tasks to each (you don’t want to clean your glass with the same towel you used on your tires and rims).

  • Superior Absorption: Microfiber towels have a unique weave that creates a larger surface area, allowing them to absorb more water and dirt than traditional cotton towels. This means you can dry your car more quickly and thoroughly, reducing the risk of water spots.
  • Scratch-Free: Unlike regular towels, microfiber towels are made from ultra-fine fibers that are gentle on your car’s paint. They are less likely to scratch or swirl the surface, making them ideal for drying and polishing. They are also lint-free, meaning there won’t be any towel residue left on your car after you finish drying.

Clay Bar

A clay bar is a specialized automotive detailing tool designed to remove stubborn contaminants from the surface of your car’s paint. It eliminates particles that regular washing can’t shift, such as tar, tree sap, industrial fallout, and other embedded grime.

Unlike traditional cleaning methods, a clay bar gently glides over the paint, trapping and lifting away these contaminants without causing any damage. The result is a smoother, cleaner surface free from rough patches and imperfections. It’s an essential step in preparing your car for a flawless wax or sealant application. Ensure that you use a lubricant or detailer spray to lower the friction of the bar and reduce the chances of scratching your paint.

Car Polish

The primary function of car polish is to eliminate imperfections, swirls, and minor scratches that may have accumulated on your car’s paintwork over time. These imperfections can be caused by various factors, such as environmental contaminants, improper washing techniques, or even everyday wear and tear. You can gently and effectively remove these imperfections by using a high-quality car polish, restoring the paint’s original luster and smoothness. By creating a smooth and even base, car polish ensures that wax can be applied uniformly, resulting in a stunning, long-lasting finish.

Glass Cleaner

When choosing a glass cleaner, make sure that it is ammonia-free. Ammonia can damage tinted windows, causing them to appear streaky and hazy. Instead, opt for a cleaner that is specifically designed for glass surfaces. These cleaners are typically ammonia-free and will not harm your tinted windows.

The Best DIY Detailing Products – Americana Global

As leaders in the automotive ceramic coating space, we know a thing or two about how to best detail and maintain a vehicle’s look. The products from Americana Global are some of the best available and what we trust to keep our coatings going strong.

Americana Global carries a wide variety of detailing products and is an excellent choice for anyone looking for any of the abovementioned products. If you have upgraded your car with a ceramic coating, we would like to make special note of Americana Global’s line of maintenance products that are specially formulated to protect ceramic coatings and paint protection films.

Ceramic Aftercare Soap

The Ceramic Aftercare Soap stands out as an exceptional dual-purpose automotive shampoo. It’s expertly crafted with potent surfactants designed to effectively eliminate contaminants adhering to ceramic coatings, ensuring a clean surface.

Ceramic Glass Cleaner

The Glass Cleaner is an innovative, streak-free cleaning solution specially designed to cleanse glass surfaces while maintaining a protective SiO2 coating. It’s versatile and safe for use on interior and exterior glass surfaces, including ceramic coatings, ensuring a thorough clean.

Rinseless Wash Soap

The Rinseless Wash offers a highly concentrated, eco-friendly solution designed for various cleaning and detailing needs without the need for rinsing. This versatile rinseless car wash suits multiple surfaces, including ceramic-coated vehicles, non-coated paint, glass, trim, chrome, vinyl, and paint protection film.

Vinyl & PPF Soap

This innovative, pH-neutral, wax-free automotive shampoo is crafted from natural ingredients and free of petroleum distillates, dyes, or residue-leaving agents. Ideal for various surfaces, this MVP automotive shampoo is completely safe for use on paint protection film, vinyl wraps, matte finish vehicles, carbon fiber, glass, plastic, and other substrates.

The Best DIY Products for Detailing

A well-detailed car is a reflection of the owner’s care and attention to detail. By understanding and using these products effectively, you can maintain your car’s aesthetic appeal and protect its value. Remember, the best results come from patience, precision, and the right tools for the job.

Shop Americana Aftercare Products Here

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Sam Azizian

Author Sam Azizian

Sam Azizian is the Director of Growth Marketing for the Elite Dealer Program at Ceramic Pro.

More posts by Sam Azizian