Embrace your inner OCD with a look at my various mobile detailing product storage solutions.
A mobile tool chest would be a more robust option and one you wouldn’t have to bodge together yourself, however I’ve found their internal layouts aren’t particularly conducive to the storage of soft detailing, gear plus they can be quite bulky, whereas these units are cheap to replace if they get damaged, relatively slim and have that translucent look which I think works well for this application.
Behind door number one then you’ll mostly find a selection microfibre towels. While the more generic looking grey Smart Towels at the front can technically be used for anything, I generally reserve them for interior detailing duties only. The plush yellow twin-nap towels on the other hand are used to remove polish residue from paintwork, and the blue shag pile ones underneath only really come out for final buffing of waxes and sealants.
I also keep a few lint-free glass cleaning cloths in here which I prefer for finishing windows, then a bug sponge I literally never use and a handful of magic erasers kept in a small bag to prevent the abrasive material coming into contact with the towels, are also thrown in for good measure.
Draw number two continues the microfibre trend with a selection of larger drying towels. A couple of waffle weave’s are enclosed for more run-of-the-mill jobs, a pair of plush blue jobbies you’ve no doubt seen me using before sit alongside those, then some super-absorbent items for gentle drying of swirl free cars round off the collection. Folding them side by side like this allows any one of them to be easily accessed without having to fully remove the draw or route around in it, which is the last thing you want when you have a wet car waiting to be dried.
The third level is a dedicated wash mitt affair. Here you’ll find mostly synthetic items ranging from lightweight throwaway examples to more weighty microfibre types, however there is one natural mitt lurking at the back in the shape of a Dodo Juice Supernatural dead cat reserved for special occasions.
I manage to stuff around ten wash mitts in here and all of them are of course reserved for use on the body of a car, any downgraded mitts used to clean wheels for example, are kept elsewhere, i.e in a bucket.
Lastly then, the bottom draw is where I keep a varied selection of applicator and polishing pads. I’ve got oval tri-foam items, circular microfibre ones, fresh finger mitts for intricate wax application and 5 and a half inch to 4 inch machine polishing pads from the likes of Chemical Guys and Lake Country. Being the most colourful draw of the lot though I have to be careful not to leave it open for long, as it can serve to attract detailing-obsessed insects looking for a quick fix of fresh foam!
And that’s storage solution number one! It travels with me in the back of the car to then be wheeled out to where I’m working as it contains pretty much everything I need towel, pad and mitt wise, I also happen to think it looks pretty cool and helps give customers the impression that you’ve come fully prepared to tackle their pride and joy.
Moving on from ‘trolley dolly’s’ then, we have my sturdy little 18-inch open mouth tool tote, which despite being designed to store greasy spanners, works just as well for transporting fragrant sprayers instead. I carry a total of 8 chemical resistant triggers containing a range of bulk liquids from dressings to detail sprays, and this Ox item not only has the “power” to accommodate those, but also happily carries a heavy duty snow foam lance and a pair of one litre bottles filled with shampoo and snow foam concentrate.
In addition to the trigger sprays and bottles, the tote houses a number of different detailing tools from soft brushes and vacuum cleaner attachments, to plastic pry bars and hosepipe fittings, some of which are stowed away in the various velcroed pockets to keep things looking clean.
The key for me with a bag like this is having something capable yet compact. Working out of the car space is obviously at a premium, but I also need to ensure I’ve got everything I need to hand and a tool tote of this particular size seems to work perfectly for me.
The last storage item to share with you then is this branded over the shoulder bag from Flex, which originally came with the purchase of my XC ‘posi-drive’ dual action machine. Instead of plonking that in there though, I decided to fill it with miscellaneous polishes, protectants, and various other detailing product overspill that didn’t have a proper home elsewhere.
The bag is roughly split into three separate compartments, with the central one holding mostly bottled goods like polishing compounds, all in one products and various protectants, and the opposing two ends housing random bits and bobs including nitrile gloves, clay towels, funnels for decanting, plastic bags for covering engine bay components and even some industrial blades for back up when I’m working in rough areas like Birkenhead.
And while it might not appear as tidy as the previous two storage solutions, everything still pretty much has its place and because its covered, once zipped shut the chaos is fully enclosed.
I am debating getting a second tool tote to offload this lot into, but it’s nice to have certain things under cover since I do get caught in the rain every now and again, but I guess a quick test run using the existing bag will help me to decide wether to double up or not.
And that’s pretty much it, what you’ve seen here obviously isn’t all the gear I own but instead a decent cross section of it, which represents the type of thing I use day to day.
Links to as many of the items featured I could find are listed in the description below should you feel inspired to spend, but don’t get too carried away before doing some research of your own, as what works for me may not necessarily work for you.