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Tools You Don't Really Need When Starting a Car Detailing Business

If you are considering starting a detailing business, you might be wondering about the right equipment to purchase. You don't need to spend a lot of money to start an auto detailing business. You can easily find alternatives that do the same thing for less money and effort.

While costly equipment is often thought of as the route to success, in this article, we will explore why that is not always the case.

Buffers & Polishers

There are generally three types of polishing machines: rotary, random orbital, and dual-action machines. All three methods involve rotating heads with pads, sanders, or other attachments to clean/shine up surfaces or apply polish cars.

Luckily, when you are starting up on your detailing business, you don’t need to spend lots of money for a buffer.

  • Rupes DA Polisher ($500-600)

  • Griot's Dual action buffer (Recommended)

Start off with a cheaper option and once you earn more money from your detailing jobs, then switch to a more expensive brand that best fits your needs.


Getting started with a detailing business, you will not need to invest in the most expensive steamers. Instead, focus on what you can afford at this point without getting into debt. Once you are making a profit, it will be easy to buy a better quality steamer.

  • Mcculloch steamer (Small version is less than $200)

  • Industrial steamers (Costs around $600)

It’s recommend you first invest in a steamer before getting an extractor. Once you develop your routine, then you can explore upgrading to an industrial steamers

Water Extractors

A water extractor is a great tool to have as it makes cleaning your customer's cars easier and faster. However, You don’t have to have a water extractor when starting, a steamer works great too! Cold-water extractors are cheaper than hot-water extractors because you don't require a heating element.

  • Water Extractor (Mytee is around $500)

  • Wet/Dry vaccum (Ridgid vacuum is Recommended)

Pressure washers

With a lot of pressure washers on the market these days, choosing one can be difficult. It is recommended to find one for a good price and quality without breaking your bank account. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a pressure washer if you have more affordable options which will do the job just as well.

There are many types of pressure washers, from gas to electric or portable. Industrial strength can also be used. Gas pressure washers has higher PSI. You can find high PSI with electric, but it is not ideal to wash cars with High PSI because you can remove the paint.

  • Ryobi (Most recommended)

A car detailing business might require a decent amount of money upfront, but it's not necessary to invest in expensive equipment. There are many other options out there that work just as well and cost less. So once you’ve purchased all the necessary equipment for doing your job, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful mobile auto detailers business.


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