Family Handyman Approved: Armor All Wash & Wax
If you're looking to polish up your car quickly and easily, give the Family Handyman Approved Armor All Ultra-Shine Wash & Wax a try.
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It’s been more than twenty years since I graduated from high school, which means more than twenty years since I last washed and waxed a car by hand.
Back then, on the last few warm weeks leading into the summer break, lots of us headed home from school on Friday, dragged out the hose and a five-gallon pail, assembled our soaps, sponges, waxes and towels, turned on some tunes and started scrubbing our cars in the middle of the driveway.
Of course, this was the precursor to taking the car out cruising later that night. But I remember it just as fondly.
Recently I headed to the local auto parts store to pick up a wiper blade for my wife’s Subaru. As I entered the store, I ran smack into an aisle loaded with washes, waxes, tire shines and shammies and felt a wave of nostalgia. After pacing up and down the aisle a few times, I settled on a jug of Armor All Ultra-Shine Wash & Wax to bring home and relive those memories.
What Is Armor All Ultra Shine Wash & Wax?
It’s a concentrated combo car wash soap and wax in one. It combines a proprietary blend of cleaners, surface lubricants and real carnauba wax to deliver a streak-free, mirror-like shine.
The orange-soda-colored liquid concentrate can be applied to your vehicle with a car washing foam gun or a bucket and a rag. It’s available in sizes ranging from 16 ounces to one gallon.
How We Tested It
I waited for the first summer-like May day. Then pulled my pickup into the driveway, dragged out the hose, bucket and sponges and got to washing.
The bottle of the Armor All Ultra-Shine Wash & Wax recommends just under an ounce-and-a-half of soap concentrate per gallon of water. Online reviews of this product advised more soap per gallon of water for shiner results, but I stuck to this formula exactly, mixing three ounces for two gallons of water. At first, the meager amount of suds concerned me.
I hosed off my truck, then began scrubbing, starting on the roof and working down. After finishing one side, I sprayed it down, checking to see if I missed any dirty spots. Then I wiped off any beads forming on my windows or mirrors before moving on to the next side.
I scrubbed my way down each side, doing the tires and wheels last. Once finished, I ran around the truck with a microfiber cloth, spot-cleaning drips or runs I missed. At this time, I noticed some film buildup. This must have been where the product dried on my truck’s surface. I effortlessly buffed out the film spots with a dry cloth. In no time, I was finished and cleaning up.
The finished product looks good. Not flawless, showroom quality, but better than the ten-dollar super-wash from the gas station up the street. The soap cleaned the day-to-day dust and dirt, and removed more of the caked-on bugs and debris across the front bumper and grill than they usually do at the touch-free car wash. In fairness, that probably has more to do with elbow grease than the detergent itself.
I’m happy with the way my wash turned out. The 16-ounce bottle of Armor All Ultra-Shine Wash & Wax cost just under five dollars, and will get me four or five more washes in the future.
Rather than using more detergent, you can improve the luster of the finished product by pairing it with a spray-on or buff-on wax.
Why You Should Buy This
The all-in-one formulation, easy application, affordable price and trusted brand name make the Armor All Ultra-Shine Wash & Wax ideal for anyone looking to keep their car shiny and beautiful without breaking the bank — or their backs.
Where To Buy
The Armor All Ultra Shine Wash and Wax is available online or in-store from Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, AutoZone, Advanced Auto Parts, or at Amazon.com.