July 19, 2022 4 min read

Top 10 Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Detailing Product

Many times, we buy detailing products based on there price alone and end up with an inferior product that doesn’t last or perform well. Often, such a case is part of the old saying that you get what you pay for. However, you must ask yourself these questions before buying any detailing products so that you don’t end up wasting your precious time and hard-earned money on.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of essential questions that you must ask when you select your next detailing products, whether it be something as simple as your next vehicle soap, glass cleaner, quick spray detailer, sealant/protectant/wax, tire dress, microfiber towel, or your next do-it-yourself ceramic coating.

Top 10 questions to ask before you buy detailing products 

  1. Is the company a manufacturer? – There are a lot of inferior detailing products that are relabeled or from a vendor that knows nothing about the formulation or how well the product performs. Fundamentally, those products are not a manufacturer of what they sell and they could be selling a bottle of water for all they know. That means that they do not stands behind their product and the formulation could be watered down. You should ask, is the product relabled by a 3rd party manufacturer or vendor or does the company manufacturer their own products? Buying from a company that is a manufacturer of the product assures you that it is authentic, and the company stand behind its claims and features of the product.
  2. Do you formulate your own products? – Just like being a manufacturer of your own products, formulating the product assures that you know exactly what goes into the product. Knowing what general chemicals are in a product is one thing but formulating them yourself assures that the product performs well and will not cause any harm to treated surfaces. The last thing you want is some rebranded product from another country that wastes your time by lasting only a few days and ends up costing you more to replace it. Moreover, you never want to apply a product that has unknown chemicals that may result in damage that could cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair.
  3. Do you test your products and how long before your release it? – Research and development are essential with any product. If someone sells you a detailing product and cannot verify their testing process or how long they test it in the real world, walk away! Many inferior products make claims of a product lasting so long, but they really don’t know because they never tested it in the real world or even a lab for that matter.
  4. What technologies are used in your product? – Having the right technologies, such as H2O-SiO2 tech, self-healing tech, hydrophobicity, water-based formula, ultra-glide/non-stick coating tech, and others are essential to have in any detailing or sealant product if you want it to be effective or have the best long-lasting results.
  5. Is there a free detailing hotline? – Have you ever attempted to use a detailing product, but the directions were not clear, and you may have done more harm than good on your vehicle’s surface? It’s very rare that a detailing product provides a detailing hotline that you can call and get the answers that you need from a live person. Detailing products that offer a free detailing hotline go above and beyond for standing behind their product.
  6. What is your the return policy? – Many times, detailing products have no clear return policy or lack one altogether. A company that manufacturers their product should have a clear return policy that guarantees satisfaction, or you get your money back.
  7. Does the product have a shelf life? – Many detailing products sit on the shelf for a long time and can chemically break down losing their effectiveness. Knowing what the shelf life is on your product will help you make the right choice in making an investment in a product that lasts a long time on the shelf awaiting its next use.
  8. Is the product water-based or solvent-based? – Knowing if a product is water-based over being solvent-based puts your mind at ease in knowing if a product is eco-friendly and non-abrasive over something that may be harmful to the environment, pets, and children and may be harsh to some surfaces or materials. Water-based formulas are the safest and can be used on virtually any type of surface versus ones that are solvents that could break down certain materials and surfaces causing damage.
  9. How long has the company been in the industry? – A good indication of if a product is worth your time and money is how long the manufacturer has been in the industry. A new start-up company has not had the proper time or experience to offer a real-world-tested product that is durable and lasts a long time. Moreover, a young company may not have the proper research and development into their formulations. Also, it is good to know what the company did before the release of their latest products and if those previous products were directly related to the new ones. Previous products that are similar mostly means that the newer products are better versions.
  10. Do you package and bottle your own products? – The majority of detailing products cannot make a claim of packaging and bottling their own products. Many times, such a process is handled by another vendor or one that is not even in the same country as the manufacturer. Having others handle the packaging and bottling could jeopardize the quality of the product with contaminations or other issues that may end up sending a customer an inferior product. Products formulated, packaged, and bottled in the same place have better quality control. Additionally, products formulated, packaged, and bottled in America are also claimed to have better quality control ensuring the customer gets exactly what they paid for. 

NOTE: All 10 of the questions above are ones that TopCoat® can stand behind and give a clear and correct answer to for all of our products. TopCoat® is proud to be formulated, packaged, and made in the USA!