Four product hacks for the time-poor home detailer

Washing, rinsing, clay barring, applying different cuts of polish, washing and rinsing again before finally applying wax or sealant – car detailing is a time consuming process. And that’s just the outside.

Sure, the effects of going all-in on a detailing job are stunning. If you take pride in keeping your vehicle in tip-top nick, you might think it’s worth the effort. But people have busy lives. Even if you’d love to dedicate a full day to showing your car some T and C, do you have that kind of time to spare?

That leaves you the option of paying for a professional detailer to do it for you. Which again might be money well spent to you. But we all know how things are with the squeeze on household budgets right now.

So what to do if your car is looking a little worse for the winter weather but you haven’t got the time or spare cash to do a full detailing job on it? Never fear. There are a number of quick, affordable hacks which, while not being as thorough or long-lasting as a full detail, can nonetheless make your car look great.

Here are three great car detailing supplies to check out for a quick fix.


All in one polish is a dream come true for any car enthusiast who hasn’t got the time to go through multiple cycles of cleaning, polishing and finishing to give their bodywork a major makeover. That’s because you can find products that do all three jobs in one, or combinations of the two!

For example, Auto Finesse Tripple is a fast-acting light polish that also contains cleaning solvents and carnauba wax. So as well as buffing out minor defects, it will also remove oxidised paint and chemical contaminants, while leaving a smooth, glossy coat. A single application will leave your car looking great for up to a month if you use it every day.

Dual action polishes frequently combine cutting compound with wax or ceramic sealant, meaning you can tackle defects and shine and protect your paintwork in one go. A good example is Chemical Guys V4 All In One Polish, which will tackle light scratches and swirl marks while leaving a sealed-in glossy shine. Or for removing deeper imperfections, Angelwax Enigma AIO provides medium to heavy cut with a ceramic sealant.


If you want to focus on giving your car a polish or wax and it’s the prospect of washing, rinsing and drying that is making you wonder if you have the time, waterless wash could be just what you need. It provides a wipe-down clean that will cut through light dirt and debris. It is also ideal for removing contamination from polishing, so can help to save time in between stages, without having to get the hose, buckets and drying rags out again.

Another benefit of waterless wash is that the no-soap formula means you don’t have to worry about rinsing and drying in time to avoid marring, especially useful in hot weather when soapy water evaporates quickly.


Another way to reduce the time burden of detailing is to make the work you do last longer. You might call this the little and often approach.

So using an All in One Polish might take a couple of hours to do the job properly. That’s a big saving on full detailing. But the effects start to wear off after a month or so. That’s another couple of hours you have to put in. After a while that starts to become a burden, too.

Quick detailer spray will extend the shelf life of whatever detailing you have previously done. It basically adds as a top up to wax or sealant, without having to reapply the wax or sealant properly. It comes in a regular variety that tops up a wax coating to maintain an attractive glossy finish, or in a ceramic variety. Ceramic sealant is ideal for applying on top of sealant to prolong the protection your paintwork gets. And in doing so extend time between polishes.

And yes, one of the big benefits of quick detailer is rapid application in the form of a spray.


Finally, if you’ve spotted some light defects forming in your paintwork but can’t spare the time to polish, a glaze could be just the ticket. Car glazes are finishing products which, like waxes and sealants, have both paint enhancing and protective properties. But they also smooth over minor imperfections, not by buffing them out like a polish does, but by filling them in.

Applying a glaze isn’t as effective as polishing out swirls and marring. The defects remain there, but obscured by the glaze. As with wax and sealants, eventually the glaze will wash off, and the marks will still be there. But on the plus side, applying a glaze doesn’t take as much time and elbow grease as polishing. It’s a quick fix solution that you can repeat until you do have the time to give your car a proper polish.

Photo Credit: Ford

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