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  1. #1

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    Suggestions for Detailing and Cleaning Brushes

    If you are like me as a hobbyist detailer, you probably have a collection of various brushes that you use for cleaning and detailing. I am asking my fellow Autopians for their suggestions on what brushes you use for various detailing task. Many of my brushes are "re-purposed" older tooth brushes or art-painting horse hair brushes or antique horse hair shoe cleaning brushes that I find at garage/rummage sales.

    One brush I have used extensively is the E-Z Detail Mini-Brush for cleaning the barrels of rims to remove brake dust and road traffic film. If you use something else, like Wheel Woolies, let me know and why you use them over other brushes. You do not need to include large boar-hair brushes for car washes; I consider that is an exterior car-wash media.

    Suggestions of brushes I am looking for specific detailing and cleaning tasks are:
    Leather
    Carpets and seat fabric
    Engine Compartments
    Tire Rubber sidewalls
    Wheel wells
    Rim barrels and spokes/ribs
    Vinyl trim
    Canvas or fabric convertible tops

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions. My real reason for doing this is with the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales coming up, it might be time to "upgrade" some detailing equipment and I am sure there are other detailing hobbyist/enthusiasts who may want to do the same thing and add some of these brushes to their Christmas Wish List.
    GB detailer

  2. #2
    DETAILED TODAY? PA DETAILER's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for Detailing and Cleaning Brushes

    For wheels/tires/wheel wells. One kit from Mothers.

    https://www.autopia-carcare.com/moth...l#.Xb8BG25Fxjo


    Canvas or fabric convertible tops.


    https://www.autopia-carcare.com/ragg...l#.Xb8B3W5Fxjo
    2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2
    www.autiopia.org

  3. #3

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    Re: Suggestions for Detailing and Cleaning Brushes

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    If you are like me as a hobbyist detailer, you probably have a collection of various brushes that you use for cleaning and detailing...
    Heh heh, yeah...and not just a dozen or so

    The vast majority of mine are smaller BHBs, mostly from Griot`s (the ones they sell for "interior dusting", which I don`t do with `em) with six or so "BBQ-style" ones from other vendors, which, so far, have all been *INFERIOR* to the Griot`s ones. Maybe "soft enough" but still more coarse/less gentle-feeling...

    Many of my brushes are "re-purposed" older tooth brushes or art-painting horse hair brushes or antique horse hair shoe cleaning brushes that I find at garage/rummage sales...
    Most of my brushes like that are far too aggressive for use on anything except the pedals/floorliners/tires/etc. (No, not the small artist`s brushes, but I seldom end up using those except to apply product in tight spots; they`re good for applying Ultima TTG+ and SprayWaxes).

    As a non-Pro who only does our vehicles, I never need anything aggressive after I`ve done the initial "big cleanup of a new-to-us vehicle". My general rule is "if I wouldn`t use it on the hood of a new black exotic, it doesn`t touch my vehicles". I find it odd that others seem to need more aggressive wash media/products/processes than I do, since our vehicles get used awfully hard and sometimes get genuinely filthy between washes (you should see the floor of the wash bay! I`ll often have to stop, pull the vehicle away, and clean the floor before continuing with the wash)...they just *come clean*, no scrubbing, no problem. It`s like the supposed "German brake dust"-Issue that simply hasn`t been an issue for me...even after track days, solid-black, caked with dust, they just wash up fine with nothing special although I`ll often have to dump my Wheel (Rinse) Bucket after each one. Maybe it`s because I generally LSP `em.

    But for an *aggressive* little plastic brush, I get Denture Brushes (for free) from my dentist. NO, they never touch anything on a vehicle except the pedals, and only some of those.

    IME, Horsehair Interior Brushes made for leather seats are generally very gentle. Good for working up a lather when you gotta do that, but otherwise not of much use to me.

    The plastic brushes made for interiors are too aggressive for my taste, but good for scrubbing carpets/mats.

    The AutoInt/ValuGard Velour Brush that Ron Ketcham convinced me to buy is *very* nice as really gentle brushes go, good for things like headliners and maybe-fragile fabrics. Pricey though!

    For non-critical/non-fragile surfaces of the undercarriage and in wheelwells, my BHBs are sometimes too gentle (if used properly..which is a whole `nother topic) so I use snythetic-bristle "grille" brushes from...I forget, maybe Walmart. I replace them when the flagged tips appear worn. No, I`d *NEVER* touch wheels/grilles/anything that could show marring with such a thing!

    Similarly, I utterly despise the EZ/etc. brushes, using them only for areas like the insides of coil springs in the winter and/or maybe squeezing between the driveshaft and the floor pan on something like the Tahoe. Those coarse bristles just aren`t something I want to use and I never need anything that aggressive for wheels no matter how bad they get between washes. They never got the wheels more than ~80% clean at best anyhow, and they sure didn`t clean the back sides of the spokes properly.

    If you use something else, like Wheel Woolies, let me know and why you use them over other brushes.
    I prefer them over the EZ/etc. ones, but I try to get the majority of the [crap] off with BHBs before switching to the WheelWoolies for the same reason I use BHBs for the initial passes of the wash proper ("dislodge" > "transfer" when it comes to cleaning off nasty stuff). Even with the Wheel Woolies, I still have to get in there with a small mitt (the little sheepskin ones, usually black, made for wheels.."three finger Mitts") for the final passes.

    Maybe off-topic- when it comes to BHBs for Wheels, the one from Wheel Woolies is my current fave, vastly superior to the ones from Universal Brush (my usual go-to).

    General note on Bristle composition- Natural bristles like Boar`s/Horse/etc. hair rinse clean a *LOT* better for me than synthetic bristles, no comparison at all.

    Cuting down BHBs to make the bristles shorter (and to cut off the flagged tips if they have `em) will make the BHBs much stiffer and more aggressive. I use those more for household dusting (with a RW) than for Detailing.

    I`ve still never found anything like the little toothbrush-style brush that TOL sold back in the day. Plastic bristles, but with "Foamed" flagging that was incredibly soft and gentle (until it wore, which could happen fast). I simply loved those, still have a few but can`t find anything similar.

  4. #4

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    Re: Suggestions for Detailing and Cleaning Brushes

    The ones from Mother`s that PA DETAILER linked are similar to the ones I get at Walmart (wouldn`t surprise me if the Mother`s ones are better). But again, I`m awfully careful about what I let those touch!

  5. #5

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    Re: Suggestions for Detailing and Cleaning Brushes

    I use wheel woolies and love them. I bought a go EZ for wheels but it scares me so I use it for engin compartment. Works great their.



    For interiors detail factory fine brushes



    For exterior trim lug nuts and most outside work. I use suds magic detail brushes



    Was planning to replace with Solo horton brushes but these have been great and donít have to worry bought metal edges.

    Tuf shine low pro brush for tires and that about covers it.

    Oh got these from mothers for trim



    And the Raggtop brush for the convertible top.

    These have all been great performers for me



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  6. #6

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    Re: Suggestions for Detailing and Cleaning Brushes

    Coatings=crack- Ah, other than the holes in the handles, those Suds Magic BHBs look identical to the ones I got from, uhm...I forget..maybe Detailer`s Domain. At least I don`t *think* mine have the holes...

    And I agree about just skipping ones with metal ferrules, not worth the hassle of taping them up with other options out there.

    I`d be scared to death about using those Mother`s brushes on trim lest I accidentally touch paint with `em. Eh, I`m awfully paranoid about such stuff

  7. #7
    BudgetPlan1's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for Detailing and Cleaning Brushes

    Quote Originally Posted by Coatings=crack View Post
    I use wheel woolies and love them. I bought a go EZ for wheels but it scares me so I use it for engin compartment. Works great their.


    For exterior trim lug nuts and most outside work. I use suds magic detail brushes


    Do these things hold up to mildly grungy wheel work? Finding out that with the Cayman brakes/pads, merely foam/rinse not quite getting everything like on all of our other cars....have to go after some small crevices on spoke/rim connection and lug nut wells.

    Thanks for any info...

  8. #8

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    Re: Suggestions for Detailing and Cleaning Brushes

    Quote Originally Posted by BudgetPlan1 View Post
    Do these things hold up to mildly grungy wheel work? Finding out that with the Cayman brakes/pads, merely foam/rinse not quite getting everything like on all of our other cars....have to go after some small crevices on spoke/rim connection and lug nut wells.

    Thanks for any info...
    My wife`s A8 and the Tahoe (the two Dailies) both have challenging wheels like that..gotta get into the coves/recesses around the lugs/valvestems/etc.

    While I may nit-pick about which BHBs are best...yeah, all the cylindrical BHBs I`ve ever used have held up OK when used for that. They do eventually wear/lose bristles/need replaced, but IME it takes a good long while. And even if you do go through them faster than you`d like, they`re simply great for that kind of work and I can`t imagine doing without them. Although I sometimes still follow up with swabs when I`m being all Autopian about it.

    EDIT: note that my wheels are LSPed, and that does make a big diff. Though I don`t recall going through the BHBs all that much faster when I left `em bare and used Wheel Cleaners, that kind of abuse probably *did* kill the BHBs a lot quicker. Eh...heh heh, you`re more into this stuff than I am, so just LSP `em if you haven`t already
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  9. #9
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    Re: Suggestions for Detailing and Cleaning Brushes

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    Eh...heh heh, you`re more into this stuff than I am, so just LSP `em if you haven`t already
    Coated and topped w PA Supersport. Corvette and both Honda`s clean up perfectly w pressure washer rinse/foam/rinse...Cayman, not so much. Get 85% clean but some nooks/crannies leave a bit of gruel.

    Guess it`s time to get some wheel brushes...

  10. #10

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    Re: Suggestions for Detailing and Cleaning Brushes

    Quote Originally Posted by BudgetPlan1 View Post
    Do these things hold up to mildly grungy wheel work? Finding out that with the Cayman brakes/pads, merely foam/rinse not quite getting everything like on all of our other cars....have to go after some small crevices on spoke/rim connection and lug nut wells.

    Thanks for any info...
    If you mean the detail brushes, yes. Been impressed with them. Even if itís been a couple weeks havenít been anything these couldnít handle. Got them from the big A. I like the woolies a lot for cleaning the barrels. Nice and soft but does a great job.


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  11. #11

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    Re: Suggestions for Detailing and Cleaning Brushes

    I can`t, for the life of me, get my barrels 100% with the Wheel Woolies. Even leaving the backsides of the spokes out of it, I simply *must* also use small mitts. But then I pretty much have to approach `em from the back sides (i.e., from under the vehicle) to get the inner lips/etc. clean anyhow.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Suggestions for Detailing and Cleaning Brushes

    Surprised tuf brush hasn’t been mentiined for tire sidewalls. https://www.autopia-carcare.com/tuf-...ire-brush.html
    Works great on everything from low profile to truck size, IME.

  13. #13

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    Re: Suggestions for Detailing and Cleaning Brushes

    Nope mentioned above. That and the AutoGeek low price seem to be the same and only thing I use on tires.

    Thanks to all the info here and AG I havenít had to many misfires on my purchases. Love this forum!


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  14. #14

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    Re: Suggestions for Detailing and Cleaning Brushes

    Be careful using Tire Brushes on soft/summer compound tires, I`ve marred `em up something awful with a brush that was fine on my other tires

    And just FWIW, whether coated or (freshly) LSPed, my wheels *ALWAYS* require some mechanical agitation. Always. The only diff with the coated ones is that they don`t need redone as often.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Suggestions for Detailing and Cleaning Brushes

    I’m a Wheel Woolies fan too. I hate the Speedmaster brush. It tortures me with backsplash when I pull it out when washing wheels. I keep wanting to throw it away, I’ve even tried to use it on dirty engines, but the bristles are hard and they sling dirty residue everywhere. I bought one and I received one in a “mystery box” (what happened to those), now I have two useless brushes.

    I bought a cheap set of natural brushes on Amazon to get around emblems and for detailing engine bays and they have held up fine under low stress usage.
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