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Terminology & Acronyms

Here you’ll find a quick reference guide to common auto detailing terminology and acronyms.


ClayA chunk of clay (similar to modeling clay), used to remove stubborn surface contaminants after washing.
Clear BraA thin, transparent film applied to a vehicle to protect from rock chips and scratches.
DressingA product used to protect and dress a surface such as plastic and rubber with a specific finish.
EtchingAn uneven section of clear coat or paint caused by a chemical (usually an acid) eating away at the surface.
Last Step Product (LSP)The last product applied to the surface of a vehicle. Generally a wax, sealant, or coating.
SealantA synthetic liquid applied to the surface of a vehicle to protect it long-term, usually lasting for a year or more.
Waterless WashA solution used to wash a vehicle with little to no water and no rinsing afterward.
WaxA paste or liquid used to protect painted surfaces, usually lasting a few months.


  • 105 = Meguiars #105 compound
  • 205 = Meguiars #205 polish
  • AG = AutoGeek (brand/website)
  • AIO = All In One
  • APC = All Purpose Cleaner
  • BC/CC = Base Coat / Clear Coat
  • BF = Blackfire (brand name)
  • CG = Chemical Guys (brand name)
  • CP = CarPro (brand name)
  • DA = Dual Action, referring to a dual action orbital polisher
  • DD = Detailers Domain (website)
  • DI = Detailed Image (website)
  • IPA = Isopropyl Alcohol
  • LSP = Last Step Product, referring to wax, sealant, or a coating (applied as the last step you do when detailing)
  • Megs = Meguiars (brand name)
  • MF = Microfiber
  • ONR (also ONRWW) = Optimum No Rinse Waterless Wash
  • OTC = Over The Counter, referring to a product that’s frequently available at physical retailers
  • PC = Porter Cable, a tool company that makes awesome polishers
  • QD = Quick Detailer, referring to the product, not our speed 😉
  • RIDS = Random Isolated Deep Scratches, meaning scratches that can’t be polished or compounded out.
  • SW = Speed Wash, similar to QD/WW.
  • TRC = The Rag Company (brand name)
  • WG = Wolfgang (brand name)
  • WW = Waterless Wash
Updated on 21 November 2022

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