The Evolution of Car Detailing Products: A Decade of Transformation

The Evolution of Car Detailing Products: A Decade of Transformation

Should You Clay Bar Your Car Reading The Evolution of Car Detailing Products: A Decade of Transformation 5 minutes Next How to Care for Leather, Keeping it Healthy and Happy


Remember when life used to be simple? We had three TV networks, plus a little PBS. When you wanted to promote or start a business, you chose a name that started with the letter "A" and took out an ad in The Yellow Pages, then waited for the phone to ring. And when it was time to give your car a boost and some protection, you went down to the local auto parts store and chose a tin of wax (applicator included). The choice wasn't overwhelming because neither was the selection. If memory serves me right, there were about four to five brands to choose from: Meguiar's, Turtle Wax, Simoniz, and Kit. If the store was a bit on the edgy side, you may have found Collinite and Nu-Finish. You threw down your $2.99 and walked out, not giving it another thought.

Over the past decade and a half, the world of car detailing products, and everything else for that matter, has gone "batshit crazy." Pardon the language, but it was really the only way to describe what has happened. With the internet literally shattering all barriers to entry, we not only progressed at an insane rate but simultaneously turned back into "The Wild West." No more gatekeepers, and everyone in the world owns a full palm-sized production studio. What a great time to be alive!

Advanced Paint Protection:

One of the most significant developments in car detailing products is the advent of advanced paint protection technologies. Traditional wax and sealants have given way to ceramic coatings and paint protection films (PPF). Ceramic coatings provide long-lasting protection against UV rays, oxidation, and chemical

contaminants. These coatings form a durable, hydrophobic layer on the paint surface, making it easier to maintain and enhancing the car's overall appearance. But are they better? When it comes to protection and ease of use, unequivocally, yes. However, within the circle of people we run with, many equate waxes to listening to your music on a vinyl record, and DIY ceramics and polymers to MP3. Both do similar things at different levels of convenience and clarity. Good results, different experience.



Yes, the buzzword of the decade, graphene, has been touted as the new revolution when it comes to car care products. And we remember the last time this happened—uhhh, Teflon. However, our experience and experiments with graphene are showing far more promise when it comes to actually improving or

benefiting the surface to which it is applied. We have found particularly good results when it comes to plastics as it seems the graphene molecules really get along well with their plastic companions. Although, as we know, part of the beauty of capitalism is choices and lots of them. So it will still be a few years for the market to determine which formulas and surfaces it makes sense to add graphene to.

The Rise of Eco-Friendly Products:

With increasing environmental consciousness, the car detailing industry has witnessed a surge in eco-friendly products. Water-based, biodegradable formulas have gained popularity as they reduce the ecological footprint while maintaining effectiveness. Manufacturers now prioritize environmentally friendly ingredients, reducing the use of harsh chemicals without

compromising on quality. From waterless washes to eco-friendly interior cleaners, the focus on sustainability has revolutionized the car detailing product landscape.

However, in our 20 years of experience, we have found that some surfaces respond well to "eco-friendly" and some not as well. We always focus on using the most eco-friendly ingredients possible. We have found natural works best on natural. For example, leather responds well to natural ingredients, while rims and wheels not as much.

Introduction of Ceramic Coatings:

Ceramic coatings have emerged as a game-changer in the car detailing industry. These liquid polymer solutions bond with the vehicle's paint surface, creating a protective layer that can withstand harsh weather conditions and chemical exposure. Ceramic coatings offer exceptional durability, scratch resistance, and

enhanced gloss, making regular waxing obsolete. Additionally, the longevity of ceramic coatings has reduced the need for frequent reapplications, providing long-term cost savings for car enthusiasts.

Competition and Innovation:

Competition in any area is a good thing as it fuels innovation and controls pricing. However, when it comes to detailing products, that may not always be the case. Many companies are not actually detailing companies at all but marketing companies that know keywords and algorithms and are simply looking for any product they can find to "fill in the blank."

Fortunately, there is still a large group out there that cares about innovating and cares about how their products work and the value they provide. They are not hard to spot, and a quick trip to their website will surely reveal what they are passionate about, i.e., making sales or making great car products.

Lithium falls into one category: innovate, test, retest, strive to make the very best products in the world, and provide the best support and service possible.

Oh, and one other thing: wake up every morning grateful that you get to do what you love every day and would do it even if you were not getting paid.

Now, that is what we call "lucky."

-Bill Crawley

CEO of Lithium Auto Care

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