Best car detailing brushes

Car cleaning is therapeutic - we know this. Clean your car and mind with some detailing brushes.

A detailing brush on the Jeep logo

by Chris Williams |

Now look, there is something immensely satisfying in detail cleaning a car. Don’t listen to anyone who tries to disparage you about your insatiable car cleaning habits. They’re just jealous. Well maybe not, but you’ve found a friend in CAR because we understand the pleasure.

The main cleaning of a car is like showering yourself – it’s pleasant and functional, but car detailing goes one step further and into the realm of therapy. Sweeping away the dust from your air vents is to clean your mind; with each stroke of the detailing brush, you also clear the chemical debris that accumulates inside of your head.

You come away from the experience feeling more zen - and with a fabulously clean car.

It might sound like we’re off with the fairies and gone a bit Cheech and Chong, but the fact remains, there is a great use for car detailing brushes. As with practically any car cleaning accessory, the sheer volume of detailing and cleaning brushes is nuts.

What we’ve done here is give you a shortlist of the best car detailing brushes.

You're welcome.

What you need to know about detailing brushes:

What areas of my car can I detail?

Exterior: {#h-exterior}

The outside of your car is the best place to start. Once you've washed your car (using a wash brush) you can set about detailing pretty much any surface. With older cars, you have acres of chrome detailing, elaborate bumper designs and even hood ornaments you can delicately dust but even the most modern cars will have grilles and areas that'll accumulate dust that you can remove. We recommend using a soft brush on these surfaces.

Related: The best car polish | Invisible shield: The best paint sealants for cars

Wheels: {#h-wheels}

Your alloys are another obvious spot you can detail. Another focal point of any great car, you'll be wanting them to look as good as possible. You can get proper wheel brushes to use in tandem with alloy wheel cleaner to remove large amounts of dirt and brake dust residue before using a long-bristled detailing brush to make them look spotless.

If your wheels are particularly intricate (think BBS cross spokes) then you'll be needing a smaller detailing brush to get into the nooks and crannies. We've got a comprehensive guide to wheel brushes here.

If in doubt, you can always rely on one of the best car pressure washers to blast off the first few layers of grime.

Interior: {#h-interior}

The most obvious place to detail on the inside of your car is the dashboard. For most cars, this is the best place to use your softest detailing brushes as most of the time you'll only be removing dust and a gentle touch should be all you need. If your car is more modern and uses an infotainment system it may be worth also looking at getting a screen cleaner to wipe away those grubby finger marks you'll inevitably find.

There is more you can detail beyond the dashboard, however. Look at your seats, for example, these will feature little nooks that collect crumbs and dust over time and are therefore perfect for detailing. We recommend first using a vacuum cleaner on the seats to collect larger crumbs before diving in with a

If you're a fan of American '70s land yachts and have a car filled with 'tasteful' velour then you'll need a special fabric brush to keep it looking clean. The same goes for fans of Alcantara. This expensive faux suede may look excellent in a Porsche 911 GT3 RS but is notorious for soaking up sweat and being a nightmare to clean. Thankfully you can buy a leather brush that'll scrub the fabric without damaging it.

You can even extend your detailing to the boot compartment. Vacuum it first but then you're free to detail your factory-included toolkit with a soft-bristled brush.

OXO Garment Brush

OXO Garment Brush

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This brush may be designed for clothes but it'll come in useful if your car is full of soft fabrics. The red side will remove lint while the other side will brush the fabric.

Colourlock Leather & Textile Cleaning Brush

Colourlock Leather & Textile Cleaning Brush

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Like the brush in a shoe polishing kit, this is designed for cleaning leather. It's also great for brushing Alcantara.

Ecomoist Natural Screen Cleaner 100ml with Fine Microfiber Towel

Ecomoist Natural Screen Cleaner 100ml with Fine Microfiber Towel

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This set will remove both nasty bacteria and greasy finger marks from your car's infotainment screen.

Engine bay:

Yes, believe it or not, you can detail the oily piece of metal that sits under your bonnet. Use a tough bristle brush (rubber or nylon will be best) and you'll easily lift ingrained oil and dirt. Perfect for restoring the chromed inlet pipes on an Alfa Romeo Busso engine.

Draper 230 mm Nylon Fill Brush

Draper 52307 230 mm Nylon Fill Brush

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This brush is ideal for engine bays thanks to its tough nylon bristles.

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