If you love your car as much as I do, then you probably take a lot of pride in taking care of it. You take pride in getting it regular oil changes, cleaning all the spots most people forget, and learning about all the little stats behind it.
Of course, if you want to make your car last longer, you'll need to clean it. Learning how to clean out your car's engine area and interior can be pretty useful for its function and your comfort, but nothing is quite as important as keeping your car's exterior clean.
Call it a matter of pride or just liking the way that your car looks when it shines, but us gearheads get very particular about the exterior car cleaning products we use. Good products make it easier to clean your car than ever before.
Speaking as a gearhead myself, these are the picks I'd suggest to newbies who want to have their car looking good as new.
Gold Class Car Shampoo & Conditioner by Meguiar's
Meguiar's remains one of the gold standards when it comes to exterior car cleaning products, and this is the one that most professional detailing companies will swear by.
The Gold Class Car Shampoo & Conditioner they make conditions paint, lifts grit and grime effortlessly, and helps bring out the luster in old paint. The end result is a beautiful car exterior that'll turn heads wherever you go.
California Gold Car Wash by Mothers
Another top-rated car wash comes from Mothers and much like Meguiar's, it's from a brand that is favored among car buffs due to its excellent function. Their California Gold Car Wash removes grit, dust, and grime without harming the wax on your car.
This wash is also pH balanced for maximum car care safety. If you have a delicate vehicle, it'll take well to Mothers. This wash also was named as one of the best exterior car cleaning products by Autodeets, which should tell you volumes.
Clay Bar System by Mothers
Another Autodeets favorite is Mothers Clay Bar System. This is one of those car exterior cleaning products that most people don't use, but should, if they want to have a long-lasting coat of paint that shines like no one else's business.
Detailing clay removes grit that regular car wash can't bring out, fills in scratches, and preps the way for polish and gloss. Each system comes with instructions for newbies, a microfiber cloth, and two bars of world-class detailing clay.
Convertible Top Care Kit by Raggtopp
If you have a convertible, you might not actually know what exterior car cleaning products to use. Obviously, standard wash and gloss might not be the best thing for your fabric top—so what is?
Raggtopp is a company that's totally dedicated to helping convertible owners take better care of their cars. Their convertible top care kit will help your car's ragtop look better than ever and keep its tautness over the years.
Ultimate Polish by Meguiar's
Meguiar's comes at it again, this time with one of the best car polishes on the market. This polish is meant to go on your car right before the wax, and is designed to help bring out a unique depth of color on darker cars.
Getting this polish means that you can expect your car to look incredible and show-worthy. Though it's usually done using a motored polisher with a foam pad, a good sponge will work just as well.
Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit by Meguiar's
Headlights are often forgotten when you're talking about exterior car cleaning products, but they shouldn't be. Grimy headlights do not make for a well-maintained car, and depending on how much stuff they've seen, it can even turn into a visibility issue.
Meguiar's makes a great headlight restoration kit that gets rid of all the grime—even if you just went mudding.
4-Piece Complete Car Care Kit by Armor All
Armor All has always been one of those car care brands people can rely on for quality, and this is doubly true with their kits. If you're looking for a quick kit that will allow you to DIY your detail like a pro, this is it.
This four-piece set comes with glass wipes to keep your windshields clean, tire foam to keep your car's tires looking fresh, a wash and wax combo, as well as an overall car protectant. The only thing you really need is a wipe or two.
Chrome Polish by Turtle Wax
For the most part, we've covered just about every part of your car so far—except for the chrome rims. Believe it or not, Turtle Wax supplies one of the most affordable and effective chrome polishes on the market.
It costs less than five bucks, and will have your chrome sparkling like it's about to appear in a rap video. It lifts grit, protects your wheel, and adds a little sparkle, too.
Fathers Day Car Care Value Kit by Detail King
We can't talk about quality exterior car cleaning products without talking about cleaning tools. If you're looking for a long-lasting car wash, or want something a little bit more professional for wiping your car windows, this small car care kit will make it work.
Everything from basic tools to a microfiber wash mitt is included, making this a great gift for dad—or any gearhead, really.
Super Hard Shell Liquid Wax by Turtle Wax
Turtle Wax is a company that has a specialty among exterior car cleaning products—car waxes. If you're looking for one of the better waxes for people who don't have the time or money to afford a professional waxing machine, their Super Hard Shell will be a godsend.
This wax is liquid, which means you can mix it with a little water, spray it on, and buff it out with a microfiber cloth. This wax will let you keep your car hydrophobic, shiny, and beautiful for months without having to deal with all the crazy professional gear you'd normally have to use.