The Best Tools to Help You Detail Your Car

You can spend hundreds of dollars in professional detailing that will return your ride to showroom condition. Or…you can grab a few simple tools to detail your car like a pro in a couple of hours. Here’s a guide to some tools you can buy to help detail your car.


Portable Vacuum

It is important to choose the best vacuum for the type of car you have. Two things will make cleaning your car easier for you: a long hose and plenty of attachments.

A long hose will give you flexibility to move around the vehicle. Multiple attachments will allow you to clean each surface in the vehicle and get into the nooks and crannies.

Trim Tool

A trim tool is probably not something that jumps to mind when you think of detailing your car, but it is one that will help you detail your car like a pro. If there’s a spill, or even if you want to get a deeper clean, you’d use a trim tool to pop a few panels from the centre console. It’s easier than you think and usually allows you to clean things like the shifter or parking brake boot (the shroud around each of those).

Detailing Air Gun

Sometimes those hard-to-reach places need something more than just a vacuum. With compressed air, you can clean out storage compartments and remove dust. You can also use compressed air to distribute cleaner through an air gun, giving it a more even application.

Applicators and Brushes

When washing your vehicle, it’s important to use the right tool to properly remove the dirt and grime. This could be, for example, when you’re cleaning the brake dust off your wheels. Simply spraying cleaner doesn’t properly clean them: you need a brush to get the job done. Using a sponge or wash glove will help remove dirt when washing the vehicle, too.

Portable Steam Cleaner

Use a portable steam cleaner to shampoo seats and carpets. This helps remove dirt and spills from deep in the fabric.

Choosing a portable steam cleaner is a lot like choosing a vacuum: your car has some hard-to-reach spots that often see spills, so find a cleaner with a long hose or at least some movability, plus a couple different cleaner heads.


A flashlight definitely belongs to a list of auto detailing essentials. Most cars have dark spots inside that still have to be cleaned. Getting a proper flashlight will help you see the interior a lot more clearly. A flashlight also helps when buffing or waxing a vehicle.

Rolling Work Seat

Having a mobile seat will come in handy. It’ll make it easier for you to tackle those stone chips, and buffing and/or waxing may feel a little less strenuous.

Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber Clothes

Cloths are probably the least-remembered detailing tool, but they’re definitely the most important. How else would you wipe on, wipe off? Or in many cases, just wipe off! The best part is that you can use and reuse them repeatedly after a good wash.

However, if you use them to clean up any oil or automotive fluids, wash them separately from your laundry. In fact, even a self-cleaning cycle afterwards to be safe.


Whether cordless or corded, a buffer and polisher is your best friend for applying wax to a vehicle. Thanks to its variable speeds, the pad will leave a clean surface behind.

Auto Detailing Essentials

Lots of detailing tools are available to help you detail your car, but don’t spend tons of money and get carried away, unless you really enjoy it. There’s a lot of satisfaction in a quick interior vacuum and a wipe down of the dash. But with these tools on hand, you’ll be able to clean as much as you like whenever you want.