Man washing his car

Car Cleaning Products Everyone Should Own

We’re sure a lot of you will agree that cleaning the car isn’t a particularly fun task! However, we all love the look, feel and smell of a clean car and so it’s well worth putting in the effort.

If you want your car to look as good as new for as long as possible, you’re going to need more than a bucket of soapy water and sponge! Today we are going to be recommending our top car cleaning products everyone should own.

Car washing liquid/Shampoo

Car with soap on it

The most obvious product to start with is the car washing liquid. Whilst many people opt to use dishwashing soap, we do not recommend it. This is because dishwashing soap has too much grease removing detergent in it which will not only remove dirt but also remove the protective coating applied to the bodywork as well. Over time, this will leave the bodywork looking dull and lifeless.

Instead, you want to use a product that contains a softer detergent with lubricating ingredients. This is essentially to help shift the dirt from the bodywork without the need to use harsh chemicals.

Once the bodywork is clean and dry, you may be tempted to use wax. However, you may not be aware that some of these products will actually do more harm than good. Instead of using wax on your car bodywork that will eventually dry out and peel/flake, we recommend using Polytrol colour restoring oil.

Before and after applying Polytrol to a car bumper

Owatrol Polytrol is a deeply saturating oil that penetrates deep into the surface to re-wet the pigments that have dried out and so lost their colour and shine. It can be used on a wide variety of surfaces including car bodywork, dashboards, plastic bumpers and even chrome work. When applied directly to metal Polytrol also offers corrosion protection to help keep rust at bay.

Take a look at our previous blog posts for more information on using Polytrol on your car:

Wheel Cleaner and wheel brush

Most cars come with alloy wheels nowadays and so keeping them looking bright and shiny creates a beautiful contrast between them and the bodywork. Break dust and grime can be a bit tricky to remove. If you have a pressure washer to hand, this could be beneficial to assist you.

We recommend using a product and brush that is alloy friendly. The last thing you want is to try and clean your wheels and end up scratching them to bits! Read the product labels carefully to avoid this from happening.

Glass Cleaner (inside and out)

Having clean windows is not only a nice thing to have but it is also a safe thing to have! We recommend using a specific glass cleaner for them though as using other products may leave the glass streaky or could attract dirt and dust and you will be back to square one in no time.

Alternatively, you can use the D.I.Y version and make a mixture of vinegar and water. Whichever product you choose to use, just make sure to clean the glass inside and out!

Mitts/microfibre towels

cleaning a car with a microfibre mitt

A common problem people run into when cleaning their cars is using sponges. We have all seen those big yellow sponges and have probably used one at one point in our lives. However, these sponges can easily collect pieces of dirt and grit and hold onto them and so you could be left with tiny little scratches over your entire car.

We highly recommend you first rinse off as much dirt from your car using a pressure washer or by hosing it down first. Then, spend a little bit more money and purchase a microfibre wash mitt and cloth instead to help reduce the chance of scratches.

Leather/fabric cleaner

No matter how careful you are, you’re bound to get something on your leather/fabric seats eventually, whether it’s food, mud etc. We recommend using specific cleaners for your interiors, especially when it comes to leather. Using the wrong cleaning products could simply smear the dirt around, push it further in creating a stain or worse, you could cause the leather to dry out and split/crack!

These products can be purchased fairly cheaply and we always recommend having them to hand.

Fabric deodoriser

Another product most of us have probably purchased at one point in our lives is a car air freshener. Whilst they may smell nice and give your car a nice aesthetic, air fresheners will only cover the smells and not eliminate them. This means that once the freshener has started to fade, you will once again be able to smell the bad smell in your car. Not only this, but they always start off a bit overpoweringly strong – don’t you think?

We recommend using a product such as Febreeze or Oust (or another available product)  that actually eliminates the odours rather than masking them. You can purchase ones that are specifically made for fabrics and apply it to your seats, doors and flooring quickly and easily.

Multiple Buckets with grit guards

Bucket full of soapy water

We like to recommend you use multiple buckets when cleaning your car. One full of soapy water and the other with fresh clean water and both with grit guards. Grit guards are simple circular plastic inserts that you place into the bottom of buckets to help keep pieces of grit and dirt from swirling around in the bucket to be picked up again.

Having two buckets on the go will help keep grit problems at bay.

Vacuum cleaner

Vacuum cleaners are one of the handiest products you can use when it comes to cleaning out the interior of your car. Whilst you can use your household vacuum cleaner, it may be easier for you to purchase a small hand-held portable one. These cleaners usually come with a variety of nozzles to help you get all of those tricky and hard to reach areas.

Just make sure it is fully charged before starting – there’s nothing worse than waiting around for it to fully charge again before finishing!

Dashboard cleaner

We all love it when we get our cars back from being serviced and the dashboard is looking lovely and black again. However, some dashboard cleaners will leave a greasy residue behind to help protect it. Unfortunately, this residue can attract dust and dander and cause it to become dirty quickly.

Other products will dry out quickly, leaving your dash looking faded again. As previously mentioned we recommend using a product such as Polytrol colour restorer to keep it looking like new without the sticky/greasy residue.

Tyre cleaner

Man cleaning car tyres

This is one of those things that not everyone may think to do, but we think it really helps bring everything together. You have already put in so much hard work so why stop at the tyres? Tyre cleaner is quick and easy to apply and makes such a difference. Make sure to use a premium product that doesn’t contain harsh detergents. These can dry out the rubber and cause the tyre to crack or split!


So there we have it, our top car cleaning products we recommend to keep your car looking its best!

If you have any other tips or advice, please feel free to share them in our comments below. We love hearing from you!

For more information on all things Owatrol, why not follow us on social media? You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @Owatroluk

Owatrol Team
About Owatrol Team

Our team are ready and willing to support you with your requirements whether it is protecting your newly laid deck or renovating a luxury yacht, whatever the application Owatrol has the solution you are looking for.

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