Keep that New Car Smell – Reviewing Top Auto Detailing Kits

Getting a new car is always an exciting experience. That new car smell is intoxicating and you want it to last as long as possible. Keeping your car’s interior spotless and odor-free requires regular and thorough cleaning. Investing in a high-quality auto detailing kit can make the job much easier.

In this comprehensive review, we will compare the top auto detailing kits on the market in 2023. We’ll examine key factors like price, included accessories, ease of use, cleaning power and more. Read on to discover which auto detailing kit is best for keeping that new car smell for years to come.

What to Look for in an Auto Detailing Kit

When shopping for an auto detailing kit, there are several important features to consider:

Type of Cleaners

  • All-purpose cleaner – cleans various surfaces
  • Leather cleaner – protects and conditions leather
  • Wheel cleaner – breaks down brake dust
  • Glass cleaner – streak-free shining


  • Microfiber towels – lint-free cleaning and polishing
  • Interior detail brush – lifts dirt from crevices
  • Wheel brush – cleans lug nuts and spokes
  • Air freshener – leaves a fresh scent


  • Carrying case – keeps everything organized
  • Small bottles – easy storage and dispensing
  • Telescoping tools – compact storage

Value for Money

  • Number of products – more isn’t always better
  • Reusable accessories – less waste
  • Concentrated cleaners – dilute to make last longer

Keeping these factors in mind while shopping will ensure you select the ideal kit for your needs and budget. Now let’s dive into the top auto detailing kits for 2023.

Chemical Guys HOL148 Carbon Flex Trim & Glass Auto Detailing Kit

The Carbon Flex kit from Chemical Guys is a top choice for a comprehensive auto detailing kit. It contains almost everything needed to handle interior, exterior, and wheels/tires.

Key Features

  • Versatile all-purpose cleaner (16 oz)
  • Trim and glass restorer (8 oz)
  • Protectant for interior and exterior (16 oz)
  • Wheel and tire cleaner (16 oz)
  • Glass microfiber towels (3)
  • Chenille microfiber wash mitt

This kit provides multiple high-quality Chemical Guys cleaner formulas to handle any dirt, grime, or odors. The Carbon Flex trim restorer keeps all interior plastics and vinyl looking brand new. The versatile all-purpose cleaner can tackle leather, vinyl, rubber, and plastic. It’s concentrated so a little goes a long way.

Several microfiber towels provide scratch-free cleaning and detailing. The mitt allows a comfortable grip when cleaning exterior surfaces. At just under $50, this kit provides professional-grade detailing at a reasonable price. The main downside is it lacks interior specific cleaners. However, the all-purpose cleaner can be safely used throughout the interior when diluted.


  • Versatile cleaners in large bottles
  • Good value for money
  • Quality microfiber towels


  • No specific interior cleaner
  • Only one microfiber wash mitt

Meguiar’s G13616 Complete Car Care Kit

Meguiar’s is one of the most trusted brands among professional detailers. The Complete Car Care kit lives up to this reputation with a comprehensive selection of cleaners and tools.

Key Features

  • Interior cleaner and protectant (16 oz)
  • Exterior cleaner and protectant (16 oz)
  • Wheel and tire cleaner (16 oz)
  • Quick interior detailer (16 oz)
  • Glass cleaner concentrate (16 oz)
  • Microfiber towels (5)
  • Foam applicator pads (2)

The Meguiar’s kit contains dedicated cleaners and protectants for interior, exterior, wheels, glass, and quick jobs. The microfiber towels are ultra-plush and lint-free. Foam pads provide swirl-free application. At around $60, this is one of the more expensive kits but backed by Meguiar’s legacy.


  • Specialized cleaners for each area
  • High-quality microfiber towels
  • Renowned Meguiar’s brand


  • On the pricier side
  • Could use a washing mitt

Armor All 78420 Cleaning and Detailing Kit

For a basic and affordable option, Armor All provides a straightforward kit. It covers all the interior and exterior basics without unnecessary extras.

Key Features

  • All-purpose cleaner (23 oz)
  • Glass cleaner (23 oz)
  • Protectant for interior and exterior (23 oz)
  • Air freshener and odor eliminator (8 oz)
  • Microfiber towels (3)
  • Foam applicator pad

The three large bottles contain concentrated formulas that can handle most cleaning tasks inside and out. The air freshener helps remove odors quickly. Microfiber towels safely clean and polish. A foam pad applies protectant evenly. At around $25, this Armor All kit provides all the essentials on a budget. Just don’t expect the same level of quality as premium brands.


  • Very affordable price
  • Covers all basics
  • Large bottles of cleaners


  • No wheel/tire cleaner
  • Cheaper quality accessories
  • Formulas not as potent

TriNova Car Wash Kit

For those who enjoy washing their own car, TriNova’s kit has all the tools needed for a pristine clean.

Key Features

  • Car wash concentrate (18 oz)
  • Wash mitt and sponge
  • Wheel brush and wheel woolies
  • Assorted brushes
  • Drying towel

This kit skips the cleaners and focuses just on wash and rinse tools. The mitt and sponge safely scrub paint without swirls or scratches. Brushes clean hard-to-reach areas like wheel spokes, vents, and badges. The waffle weave drying towel is super absorbent. At around $35, it’s a cost-effective kit for self-service washing. Add your own cleaners and detailers to complete the process.


  • Quality wash mitt and brushes
  • Microfiber drying towel
  • Great for self-service washing


  • No cleaners or protectants
  • Wheel woolies lack durability

Griot’s Garage 10956 Complete Car Care Kit

Griot’s Garage is another premium brand trusted by enthusiasts. This kit provides a complete selection of specialty formulas and tools.

Key Features

  • Interior cleaner (22 oz)
  • Leather cleaner and conditioner (8 oz)
  • Quick detailer and clay bar kit
  • Wash mitt and drying towel
  • Microfiber towels (3)

A major highlight is the leather care duo – cleaner and conditioner. Clay bar and quick detailer remove contaminants. The microfiber wash mitt and towels are super soft. At around $120, it’s among the pricier kits. But Griot’s meticulous attention to detail justifies the premium.


  • Leather care products
  • Clay bar kit
  • Premium accessories


-Very expensive

  • No wheel or glass cleaner

Mothers 05224 California Gold Detailing Kit

Last but not least, we have a comprehensive kit from Mothers. It contains specialized cleaners and applicators for a complete detailing session.

Key Features

  • Exterior wash and wax (16 oz)
  • Interior dash cleaner (16 oz)
  • Glass cleaner concentrate (16 oz)
  • Vinyl and leather cleaner (16 oz)
  • Microfiber towels (5)
  • Foam applicator pads (2)

Mothers is best known for waxes, but this kit proves they make other quality formulas too. There’s a product for each trouble area inside and out. The microfiber towels are ultra-soft for scratch-free use. At around $35, this kit provides real value.


  • Broad range of specialty cleaners
  • Effective glass cleaner concentrate
  • Quality applicator pads


  • No wheel/tire cleaner
  • Only one wash and wax formula

Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Auto Detailing Kit

After reviewing the top options, how do you decide which is best for your needs? Here are some key questions to ask:

  • What’s your budget? Kits range from $25 for basics to over $100 for premium. Set a max price point.
  • Do you want specialty formulas? Multiple cleaners for specific tasks or 1-2 all-purpose bottles.
  • Interior, exterior or both? Some kits are interior focused, some exterior, most cover both. Decide your main objective.
  • DIY washing or waterless? Washing kits have mitts, towels, brushes. Waterless kits use detail spray and towels.
  • Accessories or liquids? Bottles eventually run out. Reusable tools like mitts and towels provide lasting value.

Once you’ve identified your priorities, match them up with the kit that best fits. Taking time to make the right choice will ensure you get a detailing kit that meets all your car cleaning needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can auto detailing kits completely remove bad smells from cars?

Yes, auto detailing kits with odor eliminating cleaners can completely remove bad smells from cars. Look for an air freshener or odor eliminator formula. Scrub odor hot spots thoroughly and air out the car to remove lingering smells.

Q: How often should I detail the interior of my car?

Aim to thoroughly detail your car’s interior every 2-3 months. Quick clean-ups in between can maintain freshness. High use areas like floor mats may need cleaning every few weeks.

Q: Is it okay to use household cleaners on car interiors?

No, avoid using household cleaners on car interiors. The chemicals are often too harsh and can actually damage surfaces. Automotive interior cleaners are formulated specifically for use on auto materials.

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Q: Can I use an auto detailing kit on leather seats?

Yes, but make sure the kit includes a dedicated leather cleaner and conditioner. All-purpose cleaners are too abrasive for delicate leathers. Use microfiber towels and avoid harsh scrubbing.

Q: What is the best way to dry a car after washing?

The best way to dry a car after washing is using microfiber drying towels. They quickly absorb water without leaving lint or swirl marks. Gently pat dry each area using straight wiping motions.


Regular auto detailing is crucial for maintaining that coveted new car smell and cleanliness. Investing in a comprehensive detailing kit simplifies the process with specialized cleaners and handy accessories. Just be sure to choose one that fits your budget and addresses your main pain points.

The Chemical Guys Carbon Flex kit is our top overall pick thanks to its versatility and value. For a premium experience, Griot’s Garage lives up to its reputation. Costco members can grab great deals on Meguiar’s bundles. Whatever option you choose, use our buying guide to match your priorities and enjoy professional level detailing results.

Keeping your vehicle spotless and odor-free doesn’t need to be a challenge. With the right high-quality auto detailing kit, you can enjoy that fresh from the showroom cleanliness for miles to come.

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