For as long as I can remember, car detailing accessories
have been given the same level of attention as basic janitorial supplies.
Visit your local auto parts store or large retailer and you will find
hordes of cheaply made brushes and inexpensive sponges and towels that all
look the same, but have different packaging. Innovation in the car
detailing accessory industry was limited to new colors and eye-catching
As a serious enthusiast, I would allow very few "retail detailing
tools" in my car, let alone put them to work detailing it. Fortunately,
a few specialty catalogues source brushes, wash mitts and towels that are
more in tune with the needs of the enthusiast detailer. They just
cost an arm and a leg.
About five years ago, the OXO company, famous for its kitchen utensils,
released a new line of brushes and dusters. When introduced, OXO's
detailing accessories were far and away the single largest improvement in
brushes and dusters in more than 25 years. They applied their unique
ergonomic, soft handle technology to properly designed brush and duster
heads to establish a new mark of excellence in detailing tools.
Unfortunately for OXO, a barrage of microfiber towels and accessories
overshadowed the significance of their vastly superior bushes and dusters.
Since the OXO tools were introduced, a few companies have come to market
with more interesting soft handles, contoured brush heads and more bright
colors, but nothing revolutionary. That is, until now.
Meguiar's Introduces Gold Class Accessories
Early this year, Meguiar's introduced and started shipping the first
complete line of detailing accessories in the company's history. Their
new line of brushes represents, from what I can see, a whole new way of
thinking about detailing tools. The new Meguiar's brushes are ergonomic,
functionally superior and attractive. Meguiar's applied critical
thinking and innovative design to push past clever marketing gimmicks,
delivering superior functionality.
When I met with Dick Koeth, VP Strategic Planning for Meguiar's, Inc. 18
months ago, he hinted that Meguiar's was interested in the accessory
market. According to Dick, "The industry as a whole is lacking in design
innovation. Meguiar's will enter this market if it can redefine the
state of the art for the car enthusiast. We will not come to market with
another me-too line of accessories."
Meguiar's sales and marketing chief, John Dillon, explained to Better
Car Care what Meguiar's and its design team went through to bring the
new Gold Class accessory line to market. "Meguiar's did in less than
eight months what takes most companies two years!", Dillon said. "We
pulled together a team of Meguiar's staff, designers and extreme car
detailing enthusiasts who worked on this project with no limits
thinking.", Dillon says "No detail was overlooked." John Dillon,
previously with Eagle One and Saleen Performance, Inc., is himself an
extreme car enthusiast who suggests "Meguiar's did not look at the
mass market input, but rather worked closely with car hobbyists to
establish and understand the requirements for a proper set of detailing
The Perfect Shine co-owner, David Ostroff
(right), gets a lesson on drying towel technology from Jeff
Shipley (left), Meguiar's Accessory Product Manager, while Jon
Wilson (rear) studies the new line.
Meguiar's Gold Class Brushes
The new Gold Class brushes are an outstanding achievement for Meguiar's.
Where possible, each brush was designed to be multi-functional or
adjustable. The Versa-Angle brush handle, for example, is reversible to
change the angle between the brush body and the handle. The result is a
brush that can be comfortably used in all situations. For instance, the
wheel brush works equally well on wheels with a flush face and those with
a deep offset. Reversing the handle on the Body Brush makes it possible to
scrub the bottoms of rocker panels and under the rim of wheel wells
without having to be a contortionist.
There's more to this new line of brushes than just the Versa-Angle
handles. Meguiar's design team established new standards for brush head
quality and design, too. Each brush has a specific purpose in mind and the
proper characteristics to accomplish a task. The wheel brush, for example,
has much longer bristles that are set at steep angles around the rim of
the brush. The result is an even flow of bristles that properly arc
across the top. The result is a brush that can reach the nooks and
crannies of modern wheel designs, yet cleans more wheel area with each
The Versa-Angle handle on the
Body Brush (top) and Wheel
Face Brush (bottom) is long enough to make bending over and
stooping down a thing of the past. The reverse angle on the
Body Brush makes it an ideal tool to reach rocker panels and under
wheel well arches. The long, flag-cut bristles offer
scratch-free use even on the most delicate finishes.
For the car enthusiast, brush functionality is second to
safety. No matter how useable or functional, a brush that scratches a
surface is unacceptable. In this arena, the new Gold Class brushes shine.
Meguiar's really took the time to understand surface safety issues. Each
brush has soft rubber impact barriers that prevent the tool from doing
damage when it strikes a finish, such as your paint or polished aluminum
wheel. All brush heads have bristles designed to do no damage when used on
the intended surface. Some brushes have specialized safety features, such
as the Tire Brush, which has a row of soft, wheel-safe bristles guarding
stiff bristles. This allows the brush to be used to deep scrub the tire
without fear of damaging a fine wheel.
I asked John Dillon if there were any difficulties in creating the new
line of brushes. He intimated that the number one stumbling block for the
project was finding manufactures who could build the brushes to
specification. According to John, "Most of the traditional manufacturers
in this industry laughed at us and said it couldn't be done. We insisted
it could and pressed on to establish the right manufacturing
partnerships." John continued, "Most of the manufacturers we visited
claimed they did not possess the skill or technology to maintain the high
tolerances required by the Versa-Angle handle design."
The Meguiar's design team really showed they were
thinking with these two brushes. The Interior
Brush (top) has stiff and medium bristles mounted at offset
angles. The angle change keeps the stiff bristles out of
play until you turn the brush around. When you need extra
scrubbing power to remove a carpet or upholstery stain, the power
is a flip away. The same kind of thinking went into the Versa-Angle
Tire Brush. The outer row of soft bristles protects your
fine wheel from the stiff inner bristles that are perfect for deep
cleaning dirty tires.
Meguiar's Gold Class Towels
With the introduction of the new Gold Class
accessories, Meguiar's debuts their third generation of microfiber
detailing towels, which now includes a drying towel, buffing towel and
glass towel. The most interesting of these is the new Duo-Fiber Glass
Super Towel. Duo-Fiber is the term Meguiar's has given their patented
cotton/microfiber fabric blend. The towel has incredible absorbency and
cleans glass to a streak-free finish. We tested this towel along side
three other glass specific cleaning towels and none compared.
If you're a fanatic about spotless glass, you're
going to love the Meguiar's Duo-Fiber
Glass Towel. It's the only glass towel I have ever
tested that cleans glass as well as newspaper (without the mess!).
The dual fiber design really works to wipe glass streak free.
A fun gizmo in the new Gold Class lineup is the
Microfiber Quik Detail Pad. The detailing pad is essentially a bone shaped
sponge wrapped in super plush microfiber. You use the pad, in place of a
microfiber detailing towel, along with a detailing spray to wipe down your
vehicle. I was a bit skeptical until I tried it, and was amazed with the
results. It's easy to hold and wipes paint and glass to a spotless
finish. The sponge core pulls away excess detailing spray, keeping the
material perfectly damp for a good wipe down.
I was most surprised and delighted to find a new and improved cotton
detailing towel. The Gold Class Ultra Plush Super Terry towel lives up to
its name. It is the thickest, most luxurious cotton toweling I have ever
come across, and would be a welcome addition in any 5-star hotel spa. Here
again, Meguiar's raises the bar by binding the edges with a satin
binding material to prevent scratching. The plushness of this towel
surpasses all but the finest and most expensive buffing towels.
The new Meguiar's Ultra
Plush Super Terry towel lives up to its name. This towel
is very plush, soft and is a delight to use for waxing, buffing
and quick detailing. The towel comes pre-washed, but seems
to get even softer after a few washes.
For drying, the Gold Class line now includes a range of
products to meet every demand. My favorites are the Water Magnet Drying
Towel and the Microfiber Super Suede Drying Cloth. The Water Magnet Drying
Towel follows in the path of the best microfiber waffle weave drying
towels. It's a generous size, and like all of the new Meguiar's
towels, its plush fabric is bound with a satin binding to prevent
scratching. The Microfiber Super Suede Drying Cloth is a synthetic chamois
that offers all of the benefits of a natural chamois, but none of the
drawbacks. If you are a traditional chamois lover, you will really like
this new towel. It's super thirsty and unlike a traditional chamois,
it's very easy to wring out. The only thing missing is that new chamois
Traditional leather chamois users will love the
Suede Drying Towel. It feels like a chamois and works
like a chamois, but it's easier to wring out and care is as easy
as washing and drying.
Meguiar's Gold Class Wash
I was dreading getting to this part of the story. After all, how much can
you say about a wash mitt? To find out, I decided it was necessary to do a
side-by-side test with some of my favorites.
A lot of personal preference goes into the selection of a wash mitt or
sponge. Meguiar's offers a full range of Gold Class mitts and
sponges, including the Ultra Plush Wash Mitt (synthetic wool), Deep Pile
Chenille Wash Mitt, Ultra Plush Chenille Wash Pad, Professional Grade Wash
Sponge, and the Ultra Plush Wash Mop.
My personal preference has always been a genuine wool wash mitt. I like
the way they feel, and I have never experienced swirl marks or other
negative effects from a real wool mitt. I was highly impressed with
Meguiar's Deep Pile Chenille Wash Mitt, which has a superior feel to it
and seems to glide across my paint effortlessly. This mitt has replaced my
wool mitt as my wash tool of choice. It's large, hold gobs of soapy
water and washes out freely to release dirt and grit.
My personal preference in wash mitt material has
long been genuine wool. The Meguiar's Deep
Pile Chenille Wash Mitt has a superior feel and washes out
freely for a scratch-free wash, making it an excellent choice.
Perhaps my best find of the day was the Meguiar's Ultra
Plush Wash Mop. I first looked at the device with trepidation, as it
reminds me of the local corner car wash, where a guy named Buddy, Billy or
Mac stands armed with a bucket of wash water and a scrub brush on a stick.
After I shook this image from my mind I could see the true utility of this
little gem. Unlike a traditional wash mop or brush on a pole, the Gold
Class Ultra Plush Wash Mop is mounted to a fully articulated swivel joint
connected to a telescoping pole. With one use I was hooked. I'll never
get out a step stool again to wash and dry the top of my SUV. The
Versa-Angle handle arcs up at just the right angle to keep the wash mop
head flat when washing flat, overhead surfaces. I use it to dry the top of
my SUV by wrapping a drying towel around the mop head.
|The head on the Ultra
Plush Wash Mop rotates and articulates, allowing it to remain
flush with the body panel you're washing. As an SUV owner, I
find this mop to be an indispensable tool that takes the drudgery
out of washing a tall vehicle.
Gold Class Finishing Detail
After spending a day at Meguiar's, I had a real chuckle looking in my
bucket of detailing brushes. John Dillon explained that the goal of
new Gold Class final detail brushes was to replace the "home
made" detailing brushes found in the detailing kits of many
professional detailers and serious detailing enthusiasts. Indeed, I
have a few "custom" paint brushes that I have cut to length,
shaped and wrapped with tape.
The Meguiar's Gold Class line now includes two final
detail brushes worthy of discussion. While multi-function final
detail brushes are not new, the Meguiar's approach is unique.
The Slide Lock Detail Brush is a full-size, paintbrush
style detailing brush that is completely safe to use on and around all car
finishes. It's uniqueness comes in the form of a slide lock that
surrounds the bristles. When the slide lock is all the way down
(bristles fully extended), the brush is soft and flexible for dusting
vents or deep cracks and crevices. As the slide lock is pulled up,
the bristles are effectively shortened to create a much stiffer brush for
removing stubborn particles.
The Gold Class Triple Duty Detailing Brush is a small
final detail brush with three specialized brush heads. I have had
the chance to use it only once, but quickly discovered it goes where no
other brush has gone before (like all the way inside my vents and deep
into the seams of my upholstery!).
|The head on the Meguiar's Slide
Lock Detail Brush (top) slides up and down to shorten or
lengthen the natural bristles, effectively adjusting brush
stiffness. The Tripe
Duty Detailing Brush (bottom) has three unique brush heads
that allow you to make quick work of vents, upholster seams,
console nooks and crannies, and exterior trim.
Thanks to Meguiar's, my detailing kit just got a bit
lighter and less cluttered!
I'd like to thank the Meguiar's team for taking the time to educate the
Autopia Car Care crew on their new line of detailing accessories. Each new
tool is unique and offers a significant contribution to vehicle finish
safety, versatility and detailing pleasure. With the new Gold Class line
of accessories, Meguiar's has established a new standard of excellence.
This is a clear benefit for both the car enthusiast and the car care
The new Meguiar's Gold Class accessories are available on-line at Autopia