It is often asked on detailing fora and social media: “what is the best washmitt”. Off course there is a difference between certain products and brands, but it is important to know what you are asking. In this guide I will try to explain what the problem is with this question unless it is asked more in-depth.
The general problem
When somebody asks what the best shampoo is, they are not letting other people know what they mean with “best”. A shampoo is developed with several characteristics in mind. It has to be slick, good soluble in water, good cleaning properties, wax/sealant-safe and several more. These properties can be very different between products and/or brands. In the question “What is the best shampoo”, it is nowhere specified if that person is looking for a shampoo that is very slick, if it just smells nice or if it is the least protection-affecting.
So it is almost impossible to give an answer.
What to keep in mind when you ask the question
Many detailers are searching for a certain product that offers good quality. This could mean that they are looking for a cheap product, one that smells good, etc. Before you ask the question which product is the best it is important to know what you are looking for. Are you looking for a wax that offers mainly gloss? Or is easy to buff off? Or one that offers as much gloss?
It is important to know what you are looking for, and to know that there will be cases in which 2 properties can not be combined. A shampoo that is really awesome at washing away stubborn grease can not be wax safe. Simply because you need a certain harshness to remove the grease, harshness that is more then the wax can handle. Even sealants are likely to be affected by this.
A list of things to consider
Here is a list of properties you might consider including in your question. These can be your own preferences, or just things you find important. This list is simply made to help you find out what you exactly want to ask, so you will get better answers that suit your search.
- Lambswool or microfiber
- Long or short hair/fibre
- With elastic wrist
- For wheels or paint
- When a part is spraypainted, a mist of paint can float down onto other surfaces. This can happen when a part of a car is being painted. This mist falls down onto other parts and dries up. This is called overspray and shows up as very small specks on top of the paintwork....
- Paint, just like any solid surface, has a certain hardness. To put it really simple, this tells you the force needed to put a scratch in the surface. Very soft paint gets marked easily, but is also easier to polish. A hard surface might not get scratched as easily, but will also be more difficult to polish....
- Trying to prevent polish or wax from getting onto trims and plastics doesn't always go flawless. In those cases, you might experience the white haze (residue) you can get on the plastic. Getting that white haze off might not be as easy as you think....
- A pre-wash can be done to loosen up dirt and grime before you start washing the car. This means that your washmitt (or similar) will have much less dirt to remove. This results in cleaner rinse water, less often the need to rinse your mitt and less mechanical cleaning needed....
- Removing a scratch is a very important part of the correction process. However, there are several different ways of removing several different types of scratches. It also needs an explanation on what removing a scratch actually means....
- The use of wax as a protective product is very popular and has been one of the most used ways of protecting paintwork since the invention of wax many years ago. The application of wax isn't very difficult, which makes it so popular. But it helps to know how to get the most out of your wax to get the best results....