Looking to maintain your car, but on a budget?

The weather is now looking up, after months of rain, mud, dirt & road salt your car may be looking a bit worse for weather (haha get it worse for weather…. never mind)

Now we would not recommend any automated car wash, supermarket car wash or drive thru car washes. Now you may be saying why? but we will get to that on another blog post soon with photographic evidence using MY own car with one of these car wash methods. The best method is to get it booked in with a professional valeter/detailer which you can find here. If you are like a wide range of perfectionists or you just want to maintain your car after a detail by us or another company then you might want to read the information below.

In order to wash your car safely you need to ensure you have the following products, equipment and tools.

1. Hose.

2. Pressure washer.

3. Lambs Wool/Microfibre wash mitt.

4. 2 Buckets, preferably with grit guards.

5. Microfibre drying towel.

6. High quality pH neutral car shampoo.

7. Pre wash.

8. Wheel cleaner.

9. Wheel brush.

10. Glass cleaner.

11. Tyre Dressing.

Now you’re thinking wow that’s a lot of products just to wash a car, isn’t this going to cost a fortune? Yes/No is your answer. I also get a lot of questions what is the best product for my bodywork and wheels.

So below i have listed a few good products from just one detailing supplier. Ultimate finish currently have a 7.5% discount on orders and free delivery on orders of £29.95.

Wash Mitts

Meguiar’s Lambswool Wash Mitt is a good starting point, the pile is quite short therefore the grit remains visiable once you have washed a 1/4 of a panel. The pile is also of very good quality and lasts a considerable amount of time.

Microfibre Madness Incredimitt Wash Mitt is my weapon of choice, a great quality wash mitt that’s very durable, easy to clean and comes in a nice resealable storage pouch to keep fresh for your next wash.

We always recommend to clean your wash mitts with water post washing and let the mitt dry naturally.

Drying Towel

Dodo Juice Orange Plush Microfibre Drying Towel is a great towel, its super plush absorbs water very nicely and is easily cleaned and reused time and time again.

Uber Drying Towel One of my favorite drying towels, very thick, durable and relatively cheap.

Pre wash

A pre wash treatment is always recommended before you start washing the car. Pre washes remove traffic film which bonds to the paintwork over time. The different types of pre wash may be in the form of a spray on TFR, dedicated pre wash or snow foam. If you don’t have a snow foam lance and do not wish to use traditional TFR’s which may deteriorate the wax/sealant on your paint then i would suggest using ValetPRO Citrus Pre-Wash.


There are so many shampoos on the market, all designed and marketed in different ways. I would strongly recommend a good quality concentrated car shampoo.
Dodo Juice Born To Be Mild – Smells amazing, pH neutral therefore will not strip your existing wax and lasts a long time.

Wheel Cleaner/Brush

Dirty wheels can make a clean car look dirty aesthetically. Therefore a good wheel cleaner and brush combination should be used. I always get asked what is the best wheel cleaner, this is a tough question, it all depends on the wheel finish and overall condition. My weapon of choice and always will be is Valet Pro Dragons Breath.
Dragons Breath is a great wheel cleaner that breaks down bonded contamination, at the same time you see it working as it reacts with the paintwork and changes colour. The product doesn’t necessary need agitating however it is always advised. Dragons breath is a great cleaner however it is quite an expensive product, use it wisely!

Brushes are all personal opinion i have 9 wheel brushes, all different shapes and sizes & types depending on wheels and wheel finishes. A large detailing brush would be ideal for the front facing wheel and a soft bristle brush to reach the inside of the alloy wheel wall.

Glass Cleaner

Don’t scrape on one thing that you need to look out of, that’s right the windows! We would not recommend using household glass cleaners as this typically has extra chemicals which could cause the windscreen to become very hard to see out of if in direct sunlight. I would recommend AutoGlym Fast Glass, an absolutely brilliant product with a streak free finish at a very reasonable price.

Tyre Dressing

Finish the look of your freshly clean car with a good quality tyre dressing. Tyre dressings can be found in a matte/satin/gloss finish. This is all down to personal preference however i would recommend on a budget to use Meguiar’s Endurance High Gloss Tyre Gel.

Typically the products listed below can be found between £80-£100. The products listed above can be found from the one site listed above, the products listed above have only been selected by personal/business use and is perfect for a beginner/diy’er detailer. Save some money with the 7.5% discount and free delivery.

You could/can find the products cheaper elsewhere however please consider delivery fees.

If you require any support or guidance on the types of products to use for a specific area of a car, please do let us know. Email support@f5detailing.com

Thanks for reading.

F5 Detailing