For car guys and gals, detailing is an almost-sacred ritual – a time when the stresses of work, school, paying bills, and whatever else are placed on the back burner for a few hours so that the mind is freed to focus on a singular task: restoring a car back to its pristine, showroom-worthy state. Even among Accord owners, everyone has their own process. Some will spend days or weeks researching the best shampoos, waxes, and leather conditioners, unleashing a fanatical attention-to-detail that borders on obsessive. Others are a bit more casual about it, maintaining that it’s really the time spent and the techniques employed that matter most. But no matter which camp you fall into, one thing is certain: having access to the right staple car detailing products does matter.

Of course, as with anything, the market for car detailing products is a mixed bag. There are a lot of superb – but often absurdly expensive – products out there, plenty of solid-performing affordable options, and a whole lot of junk. How do you know whether you’re buying the right stuff to restore your Accord’s deep, lustrous shine? Here, we’ve rounded up five car detailing products that you’re sure to love, from complete wash kits to headlight restoration kits. You’ll never see us recommend anything we wouldn’t use on our own personal cars; you really can’t go wrong with any of the products listed here.

1. Chemical Guys 14-Piece Car Wash Kit
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If you’re relatively new to the world of at-home car detailing, you’re going to need a lot of stuff just to get started. That’s what this Chemical Guys 14-Piece Car Wash Kit is perfect for. It comes with everything you’ll need to get started, including a bucket with dirt trap, a foam blaster, car wash brush, chenille wash mitt, towels, applicator pad, and five different 16-oz. wash and cleaner products to cover everything from paint to auto glass to wheels and rims. In other words, it encompasses all of the essentials, even including a 16-oz. bottle of Chemical Guys’ Butter liquid wax, with none of the frills. If you’re not familiar, Chemical Guys is well known in the industry for providing some of the best, most trusted auto detailing products you can get, making this kit an excellent starting point if you’re just getting into detailing with your Accord.


2. TriNova Black Plastic Trim Restorer
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It’s no great secret that automotive plastic fades, dries out, and becomes brittle over time – especially exterior plastic trim pieces, which are subjected to prolonged UV exposure, extreme temperatures, rain, snow, and in many places, salt spray. The trick is replenishing your plastic’s lost oils – and that’s where TriNova Black Plastic Trim Restorer comes in. Shipping in an attractive black bottle with an available foam applicator pad, this proprietary gel formula can restore all your black plastic trim pieces to a factory-like appearance, with a surface protective package that shines and protects your plastic for miles and miles to come. Importantly, this isn’t a dye, so it won’t streak and it does more than just cover up the problem. Just one application and we’re sure you’ll become a believer.


3. Mothers California Gold Pure Brazilian Carnuba Wax
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Liquid car wax is great, and for most Accord owners out there, it’s perfectly adequate for sealing and protecting car paint and restoring its lustrous shine. But if you really want the deepest shine you can manage, it’s got to be paste wax – like Mothers California Gold Pure Brazilian Carnuba Wax. Carnuba is sort of the “gold standard” for car waxes, owing mostly to its deep gloss finish, heat resistance, and the fact that it doesn’t become brittle and flake with time like some other waxes. Mothers California Gold paste wax is a non-abrasive, easy-to-apply carnuba wax package that will make your Accord really “pop,” and help preserve its finish mile after mile until the next application.


4. Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound
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If you need to do any paint correction on your Accord, you’re truly spoiled for choice; there is a multitude of cutting and polishing compounds available, and many can be applied either by hand or orbital buffer. But Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound is our favorite. The stuff is basically magic, with advanced micro-abrasives that cut just as effectively as much harsher compounds without scuffing or dulling your paint like a lot of those other products tend to do. It’s sort of like having a cutting and polishing compound together in a single product, and it saves you the hassle of having to tediously restore your Accord’s shine after hitting it with the cutting compound. Just as important, it can be applied either by hand or dual-action polisher, and it’s safe for clear coats and single-stage paints.


5. Meguiar’s Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit
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Back in the day, sealed-beam car headlamps were legally required in the US, and headlight fading wasn’t a concern because the lenses were all made of glass. We live in a different era now, and clear plastic is the norm for automotive headlamps, including on your Accord. That’s what makes Meguiar’s Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit such a necessity. It’s an all-inclusive package, encompassing a sanding pad, a wool pad, finishing discs, Meguiar’s PlastX clear plastic cleaner and polish, and a clear protective coating that you apply at the end to keep your headlights clear for up to a year. Use it as directed and the kit will help you remove surface oxidation and embedded contaminants, polish and buff your plastic headlights to a like-new finish, and top them off with a protective coating. The only additional thing you’ll need is a power drill to make quick work of the polishing stage of the process.


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