As a professional car detailer based close to Petersfield in Hampshire, I’m fortunate to have at my disposal some amazing kit. You would be forgiven for thinking that the most important piece of equipment I use is the Rupes machine polisher or commercial pressure washer. In fact, the essential items are also the most basic daily-use tools. I’m talking about all the brushes, wash mitts and most important of all, the microfiber cloths I use. So, I thought I would compile a handy list with my recommendations for your car maintenance kit.
Tips for your essential kit from a professional car detailer:
When it comes to brushes, I’ve split them into three categories for different areas and surfaces on the vehicle. It’s important to keep these brushes separate to avoid cross-contamination, a common theme which you’ll find throughout this article.
For the interior, we need quite a few brushes for all the various surfaces and materials. As a professional car detailer, I’ve amassed quite the collection. But, here’s what I would recommend as a minimum for your car maintenance kit.
- AMMO Small Interior Brush
- Swissvax Leather Cleaning Brush
- AMMO Scrub Pad
- Vikan Upholstery Brush
- Detail Factory Ultra-Soft Detailing Brush
- Detail Factory Boar Hair Detailing Brush
Here, I’m keeping it simple with a couple of brushes to keep with your paint wash mitts for the exterior. I use these brushes for any badges and emblems, window rubbers, panel gaps, and tight areas that need special attention during the wash. I also have some Vikan brushes for the engine bay and door shuts; again, these are brushes that should be kept separate to avoid cross-contamination.
- Detail Factory Ultra-Soft Detailing Brush (PAINT SAFE)
- Detail Factory Boar Hair Detailing Brush (PAINT SAFE)
- Vikan Long Reach Brush Set (ENGINE BAY)
This is where things can get a bit pricey, but it’s well worth the money, and if you take care of these brushes they’ll give you many years of service. Here are my minimum recommendations.
- Large EZ Detail Brush
- Small EZ Detail Brush
- Tuf Shine Tyre Brush
- Vikan Long Handle Brush
- Detail Factory Boar Hair Detailing Brush (make sure to get a different colour one to the one used on the paint)
For the wash mitts, it’s pretty simple, here at BlackRiverDetails we like to use microfiber wash mitts since we’ve found that they do the best job at safely washing the vehicle’s surface, the fibres don’t go limp like in wool wash mitts. Hence, they hold their structure to safely encapsulate the dirt and prevent it from being dragged across the paint. They don’t break down anywhere near as quickly as wool wash mitts, so assuming you take good care of them they should give years of safe washing, and to top it all off, they give an excellent cleaning action and absorb plenty of water, so you have a good amount of car wash solution loaded into your wash mitt giving plenty of lubrication between the paint and the mitt. Here are my go-to wash mitts;
- GTechniq WM2 Wash Mitt (For the upper portions of the vehicle)
- Microfiber Madness Incredimitt (For lower portions of the vehicle)
- Microfiber Madness Incrediflair Wheel Mitt (For the wheels only)
As a professional car detailer, I have hundreds of different microfibers, all colour coded to multiple tasks. But that can be rather expensive if you’re looking to maintain your own car. So with that taken into consideration here’s my best bang for the buck microfiber towel list that with good care will last many years and will be a joy to use whilst being safe for all surfaces.
- 2x UF Microfiber Drying Towel 90x60cm (For Paint Only)
- 10x UF Red Microfiber Buffing Fleece (For removing polishes, sealants, waxes, quick detailers) (For Paint Only)
- 10x UF Black Microfiber Buffing Fleece (For wheels, engine bay, door shuts, metal polishing) (NOT for Paint)
- 10x UF Blue Microfiber Buffing Fleece (For Interior Only)
And there you have it, my complete list of the best brushes, mitts and microfibers for DIY car care, this list may seem like a bit much but if you want to keep your car looking its best and avoid installing any unsightly swirl marks and scratches of your own then this is one of the best ways to go about it. Remember most swirl marks and scratches come from improper washing and drying of your vehicle, so be mindful of contamination of your various wash tools and keep everything separated to avoid cross-contamination, i.e. don’t store your wheel cleaning equipment with the same things you use to clean the paint.
Finally, if you have any questions please do get in touch. And if you’d like to find out more about the services we offer at our premises close to Petersfield in Hampshire, contact us HERE.