Detailing Your Car On A Shoe String Budget

Do you want to get your car looking amazing as it once did but you’re a bit strapped for money? Don’t worry, regardless of what you’ve seen online about detailers using dozens and dozens of products to use to work on expensive cars, you really don’t need all that much.

Depending on what you’re goal is for the detail. I know you want to get it clean, that’s a straightforward answer. But what part of the car do you want to detail? Do you want to detail the whole car? As in the engine, wheels, tires, paint, leather, etc… Or something more specific? ]

In this article, I’m going to cover a few points for you to follow when you want to detail your car on a shoe string budget.

What’s Your Budget?

Obviously, everyones’ “budget” is going to differ. Your budget maybe $100 while the next persons budget is $1,000. So first identify how much money you’re willing to spend on the products.

Take into consideration that, just because you do have money to buy more products and tools, doesn’t mean you should buy more products and tools.

Please don’t fall into the rabbit whole of wanting every product and tool for every application imaginable. As nice and fun that it is, it is truly not necessary and won’t do much of a difference.

If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll really need to figure out what you need to detail or at least the order of importance that you’ll want to detail.

You can always detail one part of your car and then wait a few days or weeks to buy whatever else you need to detail the rest of your car. But don’t get stuck on the idea that you have to have every to get the job done right.

A Few Core Products

Like I mentioned above, make sure you know exactly what you’re going to detail so you know what products and tools to get.

The tools I’m going to list are the ones that I use the most when I’m detailing customer car’s. These are the ones that I see myself using most often. Just keep in mind that these are not going to brand specific.

There’s hundreds of choices out there that get the same job done. Go to sites like AutoGeek and Autopia to search around which ones best fit your preference and budget.

Here’s the list:

  • Waterless wash- Use for window, glass, and chrome cleaning
  • Rinseless wash (ONR)- Use for washing cars and for clay lubricant
  • All purpose cleaner- Use for cleaning wheels, tires, fender wells, engine, leather, cloth, headliner, vinyl, plastic (pretty much everything)
  • Small and big hand held brush- Use for the vents, dashboard, wheels, gas cap area, and nooks and crannies
  • Cheap towels for interior- Use for wiping off the residue after you’ve cleaned your interior or engine

This is a really short list, I know. But like I said, these are what I use most when I detail customer car’s. Have a look around the sites I mentioned earlier and look at their forums. Not only can you compare prices, but you can get feedback from hundreds of other members that have used those products as well.

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