The Best Car Detailing Brushes (For Every Task)

If you go to any detailing store (in person or online), you’ll notice that they have a tonne of different options. Different brushes excel at different jobs. Some are great for tyres, others are best used on the interior.

I’ve tried and tested a lot of detailing brushes, so I have compiled this list of my favourites and will be explaining what type of brushes suit certain tasks so you know exactly what to look for.

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Tire Cleaning

I have two favourite tire cleaning brushes which suit different situations:

Stiff Tire Brush (left/ white bristles) and Detail Factory Tire Brush (right/ grey bristles)

The stiff tire brush has almost no flex to the bristles, making it very aggressive. This means it’s excellent for super dirty tyres which need a very deep clean. However, it is too aggressive if you don’t want to strip all the tyre dressing from the previous wash, or clean your vehicle frequently (every few weeks).

Instead, for more well-maintained cars I prefer the Detail Factory Tire Brush as the bristles are more flexible and hence less aggressive. They do still feel reasonably firm, which is great for agitating the chemical, however they don’t scrub the tire wall quite as hard.

Wheel Barrels

Again, I’ve got two choices here which I switch between depending on the vehicle I’m working on:

EZ Detail Bristle Brush (blue) and Carscope Microfiber Wheel Brush (black)

The bristle style brush is great at fitting into small gaps between the calliper and alloy, and has plenty of scrubbing power. However, the bristle style does mean it’s more likely to cause marring on sensitive finishes.

The microfiber wheel brush is great for more delicate finishes (e.g. gloss black/ diamond coated) which show marring more easily. It doesn’t have the same level of scrubbing power as the bristle brush, so suits vehicles which are cleaned more frequently.

This particular microfiber wheel brush fits in a 4 cm gap between the alloy wheel and brake disc. Some microfiber style brushes are much bulkier than this, so make sure you check it’ll fit before placing the order.

Wheel Arches

I only have once choice here and that’s the EZ Go Brush (product link).

Okay I know you’re thinking, it does kind of look like a glorified toilet brush but hear me out.

Since the bristles are located on the top and sides of the head, it makes cleaning the entire wheel arch and being able to reach the back of the arch on an SUV much easier. The bristles are relatively firm but still have some flex making them very effective at cleaning both plastic and carpet wheel arches.

I honestly could not be without this brush!

Looking for more great accessories? Check out my favourite microfiber towels and what to look out for.

Rubber Seals

On my vehicles I clean, the rubber seals have a reasonable build up of dirt, moss and algae so I need a good brush to tackle this.

My favourite brush for cleaning rubber seals is the Valet Pro Sash Brush (product link).

It is a boars hair bristle brush which I’d describe as medium-stiff. It provides plenty of agitation on rubber seals and hard plastic areas that need more attention. Do not use it on the paintwork though as it’s just not soft enough!

Badges/ Emblems and Delicate Grilles

For deep cleaning badges and delicate gloss black grilles, go for something like the Detail Factory Ultra Soft Synthetic Brush (Amazon product link).

These brushes are ideal for cleaning delicate areas because they are ridiculously soft and gentle. I still wouldn’t go attacking the paintwork with them, but if you accidentally touch the paint then they’re unlikely to cause any damage.

Tire Dressing Application

Some people prefer to use a foam or microfiber applicator when applying a tyre dressing, but I really like to use the Carscope Tire Dressing Brush (product link).

It’s perfect for low-profile tires and results in a really even application of cream and gel-like tire dressings. I’ve been using this brush for about 18 months and it hasn’t shed a single one of the densely packed nylon bristles.

Interior Cleaning

To effectively tackle an interior, I think having a few different styles of brushes is really helpful:

  1. Ultra Soft Brush (Amazon product link) – ideal for dusting delicate areas e.g. piano black trim
  2. Stiffer Detailing Brush (product link) – best for cleaning dirty plastics
  3. Leather Brush (Amazon product link) – essential for cleaning dirty leather seats and steering wheels
  4. Upholstery Brush (product link) – good for getting sand/ pet hair out of fabrics
  5. Drill Brush (Amazon product link) – great for efficiently deep cleaning fabric seats, as well as fabric and rubber floor mats

Soft Top Roof

To clean a soft top convertible roofs I go for something that is medium stiff as it means I will still get plenty of agitation, but it won’t damage the fabric.

My favourite brush for this is The Rag Company Ultra Utility Brush (Amazon link)

It is pretty large so I can cover a decent sized area quickly, and the bristles have the ideal amount of flex to them.

Looking for more great accessories? Check out my favourite microfiber towels and what to look out for.



Heather is a professional car detailer & valeter based in Cheshire and the owner of Auto Care HQ. A familiar face in the car detailing community, she has written over 200 car detailing guides on and has produced over 165 videos on the Auto Care HQ YouTube channel.

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