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What are All In One (AIO) products

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An All In One (often referred to as a AIO) product is 1 product that serves 2 (or more) goals, or works in 2 (or more) ways. This can either be a mixture of properties that result in more than 1 effect that is commonly only achieved by 2 products, or this can be mixture of products. Not all the AIO product are actually called like that. Basically, it’s the opposite of a “stand-alone product”, which is 1 product that is aimed at 1 task/property.

What is an AIO

An example of an AIO product: a finishing/chemical polish that contains wax and solvents, which causes the product to leave behind a small layer of wax after the polish has been buffed off. This combines the properties of a polish (removing oxidation and superficial imperfections) and a wax (protection and improved water behavior).
Another example could be: a wax that contains sealant ingredients. This gives you the ease of application and swirl-filling properties of a wax, with the synthetic durability and chemical resistance of a sealant.

Types of AIO’s

There are many product that are essentially an AIO, but aren’t given that name. Mostly because it is much better to use a different term from a marketing point of view.

Why call it AIO

To be precise, the term All In One is incorrect. It would suggest that 1 product can do all the tasks you are going to do: washing, cleaning, correction, protection. But there is no such product. It is most plausible to think that “All In One” just sounded better than “A Few Different Product In One”.
The term All In One refers to the property of a product to do more then 1 task. When we categorize detailing cars, we can sum it up as: washing, preparation, correction, protection and maintenance. In many cases, a AIO will cover more then 1 tasks within 1 step. Or can even cover 2 complete category of detailing.
For example: a polish + wax will cover the category: correction, and also the category: protection.
Another example would be a wax/sealant hybrid, which covers in 1 step the need to layer different products.

The problem with some AIO

Every product needs certain properties to be the best it can be. A wax always needs wax, solvents and oils. Without those ingredients, it becomes unusable. When you introduce obsolete ingredients (at least obsolete for the perfect wax mixture) you can negatively effect the performance of the wax.
A sealant is mostly a cocktail of polymers and a carrier. Those ingredients aren’t needed for a good wax recipe.
In this case, combining the ingredients from a sealant with the recipe of a wax, can negatively effect both of them. Which results in a product that is not as good as a pure wax, and not so good as a pure sealant in specific properties.
However, sealant don’t fill up surface imperfections which hides swirls, and wax doesn’t have very good chemical resistance. So combining these 2 gives a wax/sealant mixture that DOES fill up swirls and DOES give chemical resistance.
So in 1 perspective, the combination of these products affect some properties in a negative way, but affect other properties in a positive way.

The same goes for a polish with glaze oils. You want an honest result after buffing off the polish. But the glaze oils hide the little imperfections that the polish couldn’t remove. You end up with a very good looking bit of paintwork, but since a glaze doesn’t very long (weeks at most), those imperfections will eventually return. So your good looking paint won’t last very long.
The glaze isn’t as good as a stand-alone glaze product, and the polish isn’t as thorough as a stand-alone polish. But it does save you time at that moment.

Are AIO’s bad, or should they be removed from the market?

Absolutely not. There is a place for most products. When you are in a hurry an AIO might be the thing you need. Or when you don’t have the tools to use a stand-alone product in a certain way, an AIO might be the solution.
So even though they have their drawbacks, they also have their benefits. The use of an AIO should depend on the situation and your need.
Do you have all the tools, time and knowledge to do something properly? Then I wouldn’t recommend using an AIO. I would recommend a stand-alone product.
Are you having little time, no machines or simply not the knowledge to do things more extensive? Then an AIO product might be the thing you need.

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