How To Detail Your Car

I love detailing cars, because it lets me make them beautiful while listening to podcasts. It’s my therapy! I use Adam’s Polishes on all my vehicles, it’s amazing stuff. I often explore other brands and sometimes I do find things that work well. However overall I find Adam’s delivers solid quality time after time.

This page will be used to document my detailing processes. I will also make lists of products I’m currently using and recommending as well as products I’m testing.

Detailing Equipment

Pressure washers, brushes, hoses and other gear.
ProductNotes
Greenworks 2,000-PSI 1.2-GPM Pressure WasherThis cold water electric pressure washer is excellent for detailing. Powerful to run a foam cannon and it's cheap! You're not stripping paint from concrete, you don't need a million PSI and GPM.
Snub Nose Gun ConversionConvert your pressure washer gun to a snub nose. The long wand is for doing work on the ground not washing cars. I went to Lowe’s and Home Depot until I found the right combination of fittings to mate washer nozzles without the wand.

Matt from Obsessed Garage sells a snub nose kit. His is even shorter and it's a great deal if you don't have a foam gun yet since it comes with one. I haven't tested the MTM foam gun, but it looks good.
50ft Quick Release HoseShould be about $80 at the hardware store. You’ll need fittings to make it quick release instead of screw on. Buy this at the same time as the pressure washer. To find the right fittings take the hose to the floor model of the pressure washer with a handful of fittings from the same isle. Try them out until the hose fits the washer and gun.
Homer Buckets Really any type of big buckets will do. Go to your hardware store and just make sure they're the right size for your grit guards. I recommend at least two!
Detail King 12" Grit Guard InsertGet one of these for each bucket. They're designed to trap grit and grime below the water surface at the bottom of the bucket. This keeps your wash pads clean!
Adam's Foam CannonThis cannon is really made by MTM like the one that Obsessed Garage includes. I'm not sure if it's the same exact model, but if you are going to buy his snub nose gun just skip this. If not this will work great with your pressure washer for massive suds!
Chemical Guys Premium Grade Microfiber ApplicatorsExcellent little applicators for your choice of wax. I like to just throw mine out after every use. These are cheap enough and unless you wax every wash it's not worth reconditioning them.
Adam’s 32oz Dilution BottlesThese are premium quality spray bottles. They last a lot longer than cheaper options. I recommend getting three. One for detail spray, another for wheel cleaner and the last for tire shine.
Adam's Pressurized Spray BottlesThis is a really high quality pressurized sprayer. If you can afford it, go and treat yourself to three of these instead of the manual spray bottles. These will spray at angles without interruption and are much easier to apply an even coat almost like with a paint gun.
Adam’s 10” Wash PadsThese wash pads are awesome. They last a long time if you keep them clean and take care of them. Well worth the money and don't screw your paint up. Get at least two.
Adam’s Wheel & Tire Brush KitThe perfect wheel brush kit which works great with Adam's Wheel Cleaner. If you want perfect looking rims go ahead and get this kit.
Color-coded Microfiber Bulk Detailing TowelsThese aren’t for drying, or waxing, or anything that involves large finishing work on paint. I use green and blue towels for things that don’t get super dirty, like interior wipe downs or detailing around badges, chrome parts and grills. Yellow I use for door jambs, under trunk lid, and other dirty places. Orange is for wheels and other REALLY dirty places like wheel liners or exhaust tips.
Cobra Deluxe Jr. 600 Microfiber TowelsExcellent towel, premium quality and lasts a long time. These smaller ones are for drying and taking wax off smaller car panels.
Cobra Super Plush Deluxe 600 Microfiber TowelsA larger version of the premium Cobra towel. This one is great for your hood, roof, trunk, etc...
Armor All 2.5Gal, 2HP, Utility VacCapable little shop vac for your car. It's probably not what you want for your wood shop, but for vacuuming up car interiors it's perfect.

Detailing Products

All about waxes, sealants, shampoos and detail sprays.
ProductNotes
Adam's Car Wash ShampooThis shampoo is perfect, it suds like crazy with a foam gun and provides excellent lubrication. The shampoo is at the same time neutral and safe on paint finishes, coatings and waxes. You could get a 16oz bottle, but if you're going to run a foam gun go ahead and get at least 1 gallon. Personally I buy 5 gallon tubs, but I wash a lot and it adds to the discount.
Adam’s Strip WashYou need this stuff when removing wax or washing a car for paint correction. It’s basically the “reset” button on the paint surface. A 16oz bottle should last you a while since it's not an every day product.
Adam's Detail SprayThis stuff is the best detail spray you will ever use. I'm addicted to the stuff and I've even bought air fresheners from Adam's that smell it. I recommend you buy at minimum 1 gallon. I buy the 5 gallon tanks. I don't think it's worth buying a 16oz spray bottle. You're going to run out of it fast especially if you have more than one car.
Adam's Deep Wheel CleanerI can't say enough good things about this wheel cleaner. Yes there are lots of cleaners on the market that turn purple from the iron in brake dust. This one however has the best performance. The new formula has further improved this performance and even the smell of the product. You really want to get a gallon. Try the 16oz to start if you must, but you'll be hooked and sad when it runs out.
Adam's Super VRT Tire & Trim DressingThe VRT product is not something I use daily so I only buy 16oz bottles. However when you need it the results are awesome. I personally don't use it on tires, because it only makes them black and not shiny and black. I use this stuff on black plastic trim to make it look new and very black again. Watch out using this on running boards, it's a bit slippery for a while.
Adam's Tire ShineGo ahead and get a gallon of this stuff. It's an excellent tire shine which wont turn your rubber orange. You can get a shiny look or a really wet shiny look depending on how you use it. I prefer it over the matte look of the VRT.
Wolfgang WG-5500 Deep Gloss Paint SealantA bottle should last you a couple of years since it lasts months per application depending on use/abuse unless you have a lot of cars. This stuff provides excellent gloss and awesome water beading for easy drying and cleanup.
Adam's Buttery WaxPerfect to layer over a sealant like Woolfgang or Adam's. Or you can just put it on bare paint. However be warned, while the car show glow is addictive, this product wont last more than a wash or two. It's really meant for showing off your car at that special event or car meet. I'd stick to putting a sealant under it.
Adam's Total Interior DetailerJust a single 16oz bottle should last you a while unless you have a ton of cars. This stuff offers UV protection for your interior including leather. It will let you wipe up minor dirt and grime, but an interior cleaner is an option if you're known to make a mess in your car.
Adam's Leather ConditionerWant your leather to smell like a new car again? Need it to feel a little more supple? This conditioner is awesome. A small bottle will last you a while.

Paint Correction Gear

Polishers, compounds, finishing polish and everything you'll need!
ProductNotes
Flex 3401 VGR PolisherThis is the polisher I use most of the time. This bad boy cuts pretty hard and is easy to use. It has variable speed settings and a pressure sensitive trigger. I've had it for years and love it.

There is some controversy around this polisher. I'm told they were acquired by a Chinese company. I have no idea how true it is or where the new units are made and if it makes any difference. Mine was from Germany.
Rupes LHR 21 Mark II Big Foot Random Orbital PolisherThis is a solid polisher, highly recommended. Great alternative to the Flex. Adam’s also has their own line of “swirl killer” products on the market. No idea how good they are, Adam’s rarely makes a bad product. If you don't want the Flex above, go for ether this Rupes or the Adam's.
Adam’s Heavy Correcting, Correcting, and Finishing ComboThese little bottles will provide you a perfect three step process to a flawless paint job. Start with the coarse heavy correcting compound. Follow up with the correcting polish. Then finish up with the finishing polish and a wax job!
Lake Country Waffle Pro 6.5” Orange Heavy Polishing PadThe perfect pad for the first step with heavy compound. Make sure 6.5" is the right size for your polisher backing plate.
Lake Country Waffle Pro 6.5” Black Finishing PadThe perfect pad for the second step with correcting polish.
Lake Country Waffle Pro 6.5” Blue Finessing PadThe perfect pad for the third step with finishing compound.

Auto Detailing Videos

Auto Detailing Photos