In the world of auto-care, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more recognisable brand than Autoglym.
Every Valet, Detailer and petrol-headed hobbyist has used at least one Autoglym product at some time, and if consistency and performance are what you’re after, Autoglym Polar Wash may just be the next Autoglym product to join your roster.
While lacking any real flamboyance, the Autoglym Polar Wash somehow manages to stand out through its sheer inability to surprise you. It does exactly what you want it to, it’s easy to use and it is great value for money. If only it had a scent!
Keep reading to find out more on my Autoglym Polar Wash Review.
Final Score: 7.1 / 10
To keep the testing process fair, I followed the directions for use found on the reverse side of the bottle. Autoglym Polar Wash was developed as a stage 2 cleaning agent, meant to follow a prewash such as snow foam or none-contact pressure wash.
After completing my prewash, I mixed the product 50/50 with water and poured it into my foam lance as per the instructions (the instruction state that the mixing ratio is solely down to preference but advises not to exceed a 50/50 split).
I covered the car with the product, starting at the bottom and working my way up until I had achieved an even coat. I then agitated the foam with a wash mitt and rinsed off the remaining suds following the same bottom-to-top technique used to apply the product.
The instructions also state that you should ensure that all body panels and exterior components of the vehicle are cold to the touch. After de-icing my own car this crisp January morning, I didn’t feel the need to check this, but you may want to make sure.
Cleaning Power (6.5/10)
As you might expect with any Autoglym product, it did exactly what it said on the bottle. If you’re looking for a magic potion that will leave your car looking like it belongs on a dealership forecourt after one spray, mitt and rinse then you’re in the wrong place. But as far as performing like any other stage 2 washing agent, the Autoglym Polar Wash didn’t put a foot wrong.
Following the advice on the bottle and using the foam lance to apply the shampoo makes a significant difference when it comes to the actual process of washing the car. Instead of applying the shampoo with a mitt during the contact phase of the wash, the shampoo is already present on the car, giving it much more time to soak and loosen any remaining dirt and grime that was missed during the initial pre-wash.
As far as car shampoos go, the performance of Autoglym’s Polar Wash was good. It helped to effectively remove the remaining contaminants from the paintwork, ready for the next stage.
Foam Levels (9/10)
Autoglym Polar Wash is tricky to talk about when it comes to foam. The product is not marketed as the snow foam in the polar series, but the provided instructions state that it should be applied using a foam lance for best results.
It is described as a high foam product and it walks the walk, in that regard, creating a thick layer of foam when applied to the vehicle. I don’t see any reason why this couldn’t be used as a prewash foaming agent alongside another shampoo.
Ease of Use (7.5/10)
The product itself is complemented by the alternate application method given on the packaging. Using a lance to apply the product in an even way across all of the vehicle makes the process of a contact wash a whole lot easier.
The high-foaming nature of the product ensures that you can take your time with every panel, without fear of the product running down onto the floor from the areas you haven’t gotten around to yet.
The product alone has quite a thin consistency, but after it passes through the lance, it becomes a thick but smooth foam, allowing the pass of a wash-mitt over the car without any resistance.
Cost Per Application (CPA) (6.5/10)
Autoglym Polar Wash retails at £15 for 2.5 litres (£3 per litre at this size). Based on the recommended 50/50 mix and 250ml per car, 2.5 litres can cover 20 washes. This means the cost per application works out at 75 pence. A reasonable price helped by the foaming element of the product which acts as a way to increase the volume of an otherwise small amount.
Concentration Levels (Low/Mid/High – What to Expect?)
The Polar Blast car shampoo is a high concentrate shampoo and that is not an overstatement. I made the mistake of smelling the bottle and it nearly took my eyebrows off. The guided 50/50 mix ratio is a fraction strong, and you could probably afford to lower that to a 1:2 ration, soap to water.
Any increase from 50/50 doesn’t really have any noticeable effect and would just result in an unjustified increase in CPA.
Specialist Features (6/10)
Other than application via snow foam lance, the product doesn’t really have anything to sing and dance about. That’s not to say that the product isn’t stand out in its performance, it just does such a good job of doing exactly what you want it to that frankly, it’s slightly boring. It’s not even scented!
But, don’t let the industrial smell deter you from using this product. Autoglym Polar Wash is the race car of car shampoos; no bells and whistles, no radio, no heated seats, just pure, consistent performance.
What else would you expect from Autoglym? They’ve been a stable of car care since the 1960s. Reliability is in their nature and the Autoglym Polar Wash is no exception.
I suspect the whole Polar series is the culmination of that 60-year journey and frankly, it deserves to be. The Polar wash, like its other polar counterparts, are consistent in their ability to do exactly what is asked of them, no showing off. A perfect representation of the reliable, so-good-it’s-boring stable that Autoglym has become.
How do you use Autoglym Polar Wash?
Autoglym Polar Wash is best used with a snow foam lance. Simply add 250ml of product to 250ml of water and cover your car. You can also apply this using a bucket, adjusting dilution ratios as applicable.
What is the difference between Polar Blast and Polar Wash?
Autoglym Polar Blast is a dedicated snow foam and Polar Wash is a car shampoo. Polar Blast needs to be sprayed on, left to dwell, then rinsed off. Polar Wash needs to be agitated with a dedicated car wash mitt.
Is Autoglym Polar Wash any good?
Yes, Autoglym Polar Wash is a solid car shampoo. It foams really well and offers great lubricity when cleaning your car.
Is Autoglym Polar Wash PH Neutral?
No, it is not PH Neutral. It will not strip any wax or sealant that is on the car and has been designed to be a strong car shampoo, removing most road dirt and grime.
Do you need a jet washer to use Autoglym Polar Wash?
Yes, you will need a jet washer with a snow foam lance to apply Polar Wash.
Autoglym Polar Wash Final Thoughts
For 75 pence per application, Autoglym Polar Wash offers good value for money. As a foaming agent, it’s thick, smooth, and easy to work with. As a shampoo, it’s tough on dirt and environmental oxidants.
I’m happy to recommend this product and it’s one of the better car shampoos on the market right now. The application via lance is unique and I liked that it allowed a strong foaming application.
When it comes to Autoglym, it gets mixed reviews in the car detailing world and probably fairly so. However, Polar Wash has everything you want and need from a car shampoo, except maybe a scent (I’m partial to a nice smelling shampoo now and then)?
I tend to find that Autoglym products are solid and reliable, rather than “game changers”, and this is definitely where Polar Wash falls. If you’re on the fence, then it’s to grab a bottle and try for yourself as you won’t be disappointed.
- Safe and effective cleaner for home pressure washers
- Specially formulated for application through a pressure washer with a foam gun
- Creates a thick, high cling, blanket of foam