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Understanding Detail Sprays

If you are new to the world of car detailing you may not know exactly what a "Detail Spray" is or what they are designed to do. There are both interior & exterior detail sprays. This article focuses on the exterior type.

Almost every manufacturer offers one or more detail sprays. Detail sprays are not designed to replace a traditional wax, sealant or coating i.e. they are not intended for long term paint protection and depending on the brand and type of spray, last a week or 2 at most. Detail sprays are designed for light cleaning and/or gloss enhancement. They are a simple spray-on wipe off product. They remove dust, fingerprints smudges etc., and are a quick, easy way to get that "fresh waxed" look. There are several categories of detail sprays available..


These types of sprays contain lubricants that allow you to remove those dust and fingerprints without scratching your paint. Note: it is critical to use the right type of towel with a detail spray. No matter how many lubricants are in the spray, a rough towel (or the towels tag) can scratch your paint. Although these types of sprays usually have some gloss enhancement properties they are not long lasting. Below are 2 good choices.

Griots Garage Speed Shine
Griot's Garage Speed Shine "5 Minute Detailer"
Meguiar's Final Inspection

Polymer Based

Similar to paint sealants these type of detail sprays include polymers. The polymers add durability to the spray, offer enhanced gloss, add depth of colour etc. You will find the water beading is more enhanced by the polymers as well. Below are several examples of quality polymer detail sprays.

Sonax Brilliant Shine
Sonax Brilliant Shine

Ceramic Based

Ceramic Detailers contain the same Sio2 particles found in ceramic coatings. Although it is not required to use a ceramic detailer on a ceramic coating, having a quick detailer that has the same ceramic particles as your coating is a bonus. These types of sprays also enhance gloss & water beading similar to polymer based types.

Clay Bar Lubricant

Another great use for detail sprays are as a lubricant when doing a clay bar treatment on your vehicle. Although pretty much any detail spray can be used as a lubricant, because you mainly need the lubrication and not any gloss enhancement or durability, use just a basic detail spray for this task since they are the least expensive.

Detail Spray Towels

As mentioned above the type of towel used with a detail spray is very important to prevent scratching the paint surface. The best choice is a very plush, edgeless & tag-less towel. Here are some examples...

The examples shown here are just part of our detail spray product offerings. To view all the options for sprays and towels check out our Paint Care category of the website.

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