As some of you might already know, for several years I ran the Detailing World site (I was head admin and overall site manager), and for a couple of those years I also headed up the official product review section, until I drafted someone in to take over that.
Anyway, even though I'm not a pro detailer, and don't profess to know everything, I do know a bit, have a lot of friends in the industry from manufacturers to retailers, through to some pros, so I thought I'd just post up a little list of a few products I always have in my kit, which you may want to check out (not my kit itself - you can go buy your own lol!). Some of these might be familiar to you, some might not.
Menzerna 203S - a medium to fine cut pure polish primarily for machine use by rotary or dual action polishers. Very easy to use, comparitively little dusting and finishes down really well even on quite hard paints. Can be used by hand, but it's hard work and the results aren't ever as good as by machine.
Menzerna PO85 RE - a slightly finer cut finishing polish than the 203S for when you just want to clarify the gloss on the car and/or remove very light swirling. Same as above - can be used for small areas by hand, but if doing a full car, or even a full panel, you need a machine polisher to get the max out of it.
Poorboys Polish with Carnauba - An 'all-in-one' cleaner non abrasive polish and wax combined. This is a single step paintwork polish that has no cut at all, so you can use it as often as you wish and by hand application. It's fine to use in direct sunlight, even on dark colours, it's an absolute doddle to use, gives great results even for those with little knowledge about good technique, it smells nice (a little like bubble gum). Probably my No.1 detailing product bar non, and something I use all the time on both my cars.
AutoBrite Direct Cherry Glaze - This is another 'all-in-one' product that cleans, polishes and protects your paintwork, but unlike many similar products, it can also be used on unpainted black trim, so it works on your bumper strips, mirror housings, scuttle panels and so on. Smells very nice (cherries, obviously).
Meguiar's #16 Wax - This is a pure protectant wax and so needs to be applied to clean, preferable polished paintwork. It's arguable one of the longest lasting waxes out there, even in comparison with some of the mega expensive 'boutique' waxes costing hundreds or even thousands of pounds, despite being very much at the bottom of the price scale, and almost a 'budget buy'. It works best by hand application on a soft foam pad, and the very, very thinnest of coats (so you can barely see there's any wax on the surface). Over application, which is a common mistake, sees it quite hard to buff off, but used correctly, it's one of the best paste waxes you can buy. Unfortunately it doesn't smell very nice, but that's not important to most.
Finish Kare #425 - this is, strictly speaking a quick detailing spray for post washing wipe downs and light cleaning, which it's brilliant at, but it's also a superb glass cleaner and treatment in either neat state, or what I do, dilute it 50:50 with filtered water. With regular use (after washing and like any glass cleaner - spray on and wipe/buff with a microfibre), it builds a water repellant quality to you glass (all of it, including the windscreen), which is basically like 'rain X' or any of the new breed of nano glass sealants. Fantastic stuff and as said, if you get the litre bottle, you can decant half off, cut it down with water 50:50 for use on the glass, and save the remaining undiluted stuff for use as a quick detailing spray for the paintwork. Leaves the paint slick, glossy and prolongs the time between waxing.
Zaino Z16 - this is a water based tyre dressing that's white in colour and looks a little like milk, as many dressings do. Its 'default' finish is very much a muted 'satin' effect that's not overly 'in your face' as a dressed tyre unlike some of the solvent based ones that are extreemely wet looking and tend to 'sling off' up the sides of the car. Z16 doesn't do that, but you can apply 2nd or 3rd coats if you do want a more glossy finish.
Hope some of that's been of interest and I'll try and update with more products when I have time.
Thanks for reading