Like most other sectors, the world of car cleaning technology is advancing rapidly. Ceramic coating is taking on traditional car wax; microfibre is replacing chamois. But humble brushes still have their rightful place.
The tricky thing with car brushes is knowing which ones are any good. More specifically, which ones have soft bristles; a handle and head that won’t get banged against the bodywork; and are made to last. We’ve selected and recommended the best car washing brushes largely following these requirements.
The best car wash brushes for exterior cleaning:
Vikan Hand Brush
Very sturdy and basic. The bristles splay out from the head, meaning it is only the bristles that make contact with the bodywork. The tips of the bristles are split to give both a soft touch and a more effective ability to remove dirt and muck. It can also be bought as a kit with a wheel rim brush and an interior detail brush.
Draper Wide Telescopic Squeegee and Sponge
The classic two in one. The sponge and opposing rubber squeegee blade are both 200mm wide, and the telescopic handle allows for a length between 460 and 725mm. A simple twist and lock handle; great for larger and taller cars where reach can sometimes be an issue.
Hozelock Professional Car Brush
Best long-reach brush
The Hozelock brush incorporates a number of useful features. Naturally, you can attach it to the garden hose, but near the handle, there is a container for a car wash or shampoo - you can direct the shampoo through the on/off rinsing jet or via the brush bristles. There is also a knob that gives you full water flow control. The bristles on the head are very soft and designed for use of cars. Meanwhile, the head itself can be rotated into one of seven positions and locked in place.
Hozelock Short Car Brush Plus
Best for small cars
Perfect for smaller cars, Hozelocku2019s second winner (is that an oxymoron?) here bears several features also present on its larger brush above. It has full water flow control and an on/off rinsing jet. The bristles are equally soft and the whole brush feels very solid and dependable.
Meguiar's Vera Angle Wheel Cleaning Face Brush
Best for wheels
Designed specifically for car wheels, the Meguiaru2019s brush has a small head and wide bristle angles for excellent cleaning coverage and to ensure only the bristles make contact with the wheels. The bristles are very fine and the head angle can be adjusted to make cleaning more comfortable.
Karcher Soft Washing Brush
Best Karcher car brush
Designed specifically for use with Karcher pressure washers (K2 to K7 models). The brush working width is almost 250mm, which gives good coverage on larger surface areas but struggles in more fiddly ones. The head has rubber protective housing around it for scratch-free use. As an official Karcher accessory, it is a bit pricey but Karcheru2019s reputation for quality both with its tools and accessories is well cemented.
Karcher Wheel Rim Brush
Also for use specifically with Karcher K2 to K7 pressure washers. Elongated and with all-round soft bristles, you get excellent reach and effortless wheel cleaning with this brush. The water is ejected, all-around, too in order to dislodge dirt from even the most peculiar of places.
26JPN Microfibre Wash Mitt
Not technically a brush, but microfibre wash mitts are great allies for a car wash. The noodles on this brush-like mitt make sure to remove dirt from both flat surfaces and nooks such as narrow panel gaps. The lack of any hard parts altogether also makes for care-free scrubbing.