The wash mitt is one of the easiest ways that you can keep a scratch and swirl free car. The washing process is one of the most common causes of defects in your cars paint, so investing in a decent one is something that should be a high priority.
Wash mitts can come in many different forms, but before I dive into best car wash mitt’s on the market at the minute, I wanted to note the importance of not using products such as sponges or cheap noodle mitts.
The reason why you need to stay away is that neither are able to gather dirt particles and keep them away from your paint. Yes, they can remove dirt, but the dirt is simply moved across the car, causing scratches and swirl marks. A wash mitt will allow the dirt particles to move up into the fibres of the mitt and away from your paint.
In this article, I will discuss the best car wash mitts. I will also dabble on a few tidbits of information about the many types of car wash mitts. This will hopefully help you make the right choice in choosing the best cleaning and detailing tools for your precious ride!
Best Car Wash Mitts-Top 3
Here are what I think are the best car wash mitts on the market right now:
- Meguiar’s A7301 Luxurious Lamb’s Wool Wash Mitt
- Gtechniq WM2 Microfibre
- Adam’s Polishes Professional Car Wash Pad
Is it any surprise the Meguiar’s brand is again on top of this list of the best car wash mitts? Genuine lamb’s wool is generally regarded as the best material for car wash mitts. The soft and plush texture along with the deeper pies of wool will be able to absorb larger amounts of soapy water to thoroughly lubricate the surface while cleaning.
Proper lubrication is important when washing your vehicle. This is the reason why the best car shampoos are formulated to produce thick amounts of foam. When combined with the Meguiar’s Lamb’s Wool Wash Mitt, you can safely wash away dirt and contaminants safely with less danger of scratching or marring the paint. The deep piles of wool in this wash mitt will keep dirt and grit away from the paint so you can wash with confidence!
The unique thing about the Meguiar’s wash mitt is the special non-abrasive bug removing gauze on the reverse side of the wash mitt. This material is great for removing baked-on insects and bug residue as you wash the vehicle.
One touch is all it takes to discern that the Meguiar’s Lamb’s Wool Wash Mitt is one of the best car wash mitts that money can buy.
However, I have a couple of caveats about this product. First off, it requires special care since genuine lamb’s wool is not exactly known for its durability or longevity. The Meguiar’s wash mitt is NOT machine-washable and should NOT be wrung out. The trick is to rinse the wash mitt in warm water and simply hang to dry.
Next up is the inherent quality of the product. As I said, lamb’s wool is the best material for car wash mitts, but they have a tendency to fall apart sooner than expected. And while the Meguiar’s wash mitt produced the best results, I did notice early deterioration on the deep piles of wool after about five or six washes.
This is the reason why professional auto detailers prefer synthetic lamb’s wool. It can last longer than genuine lamb’s wool while producing almost the same results. We’ll dive deeper into this topic later.
Microfibre wash mitts are also popular in the world of auto detailing. However, I can attest that lamb’s wool is more absorbent than microfiber. But it seems the Gtechniq WM2 Microfibre Wash Mitt is turning me into a believer.
Unlike other chenille microfibre wash mitts with longer and thicker strands of material, the Gtechniq WM2 is constructed from 100% split varied length polyester strands. This enables the wash mitts to easily pick up dirt as you wash and release the contaminants when rinsing.
The best way to wash a vehicle is to use the two-bucket technique. I know this sounds boring and conventional, but it is the most effective way towards a scratch-free and swirl-free wash! Chenille microfibre wash mitts are great for picking up dirt, but it needs to be rinsed heavily and repeatedly to release the contaminants. But with the unique texture of the Gtechniq WM2 microfibre wash mitt, it can still pick up vast amounts of dirt. It can also quickly release the contaminants by simply dipping the wash mitt in a bucket of clean water.
I’m not sure if those attributes are enough to justify the higher price tag of the Gtechniq WM2 wash mitt. But in terms of cleaning performance, this is still one of the best car wash mitts you to use on your vehicle.
Let me be clear on this. The Adam’s Polishes Professional Car Wash Pad is the costliest in this list, and there’s a reason for that. This wash mitt is constructed using the softest and plushest synthetic wool material.
With that being said, Adam’s car wash pad can absorb 20-percent more sudsy water than genuine wool or microfibre wash mitts. And as you know, more suds means more lubrication, which ultimately means lesser chances of scratching, swirling, or marring the paint.
This wash mitt is also more durable than genuine wool. It comes with longer and thicker piles of synthetic wool material that actually feels like the real thing! However, the long piles of material can withstand repeated washings without deteriorating into a heaping mess.
But this car wash mitt is far from perfect. While I did find it readily more absorbent, it requires thorough rinsing to release the dirt and contaminants from the material. Whereas the Gtechniq WM2 can rinse off easily, the Adam’s Professional Car Wash Pad will require more rinsing to release the trapped dirt and contaminants buried deep into the material.
I may be nitpicking here, but rinsing the wash mitt is important. As you very well know, it’s one thing to safely lift off dirt from the paint, but preventing the contaminants from being swiped all over the surface is another thing altogether.
But still, the inherent softness, absorbency, and durability of the Adam’s Polishes Professional Car Wash Pad still merits a high score. If you don’t mind forking over 15 quid, this is the best car wash mitt you can buy today.
Do I really need a car wash mitt?
Absolutely! The problem with using terry cloth or sponge is the fact that both materials are unable to safely lift off dirt and particles on the paint. What they do is to simply push around the dirt floating in the surface, even when using the best car shampoos that can encapsulate and dissolve particulate matter. The result is a myriad of scratches and swirl marks after washing, and most of them occurred without you even knowing it.
When washing any type of vehicle, you’ll need a wash mitt that can absorb vast amounts of cleaning solution to provide the necessary lubrication. A high-quality wash mitt will also trap dirt and particles into the piles of material and release the dirt as you rinse the wash mitt in clean water. These attributes alone will significantly reduce the risk of harming the delicate finish as you wash the surface.
It is for the same reason that you should never use brushes or soft pile towels to wash or wipe the paint. Any type of abrasive cloth (including sponges) will inflict damage on clearcoat paint.
What are the different types of wash mitts?
There are three general types of car wash mitts:
- Genuine sheep or lamb’s wool. Lambs’ wool is soft and extremely delicate on automotive paint. This makes them the best material for car wash mitts. Wool can effectively trap dirt and contaminants while preventing scratches and swirls. However, this material is not a good choice for cleaning extremely dirty or grimy surfaces. Wool car wash mitts are also known for having a shorter lifespan compared to other materials.
- Microfibre. Microfibre wash mitts are one of the most common and most popular choices today. It consists of longer and thicker strands of microfibre material that hold many times its own weight in water. Microfibre can easily lift off and trap large amounts of dirt and particles to prevent marring the paint. However, this material is not recommended for vehicles with softer and more delicate paintwork. The length of the fibres may cause micro-swirls that are more evident on dark or black paint.
- Synthetic wool. This material will combine the merits of genuine lamb’s wool and microfibre. It still has the same soft and plush texture as lamb’s wool but is constructed to last longer for repeated washes. Due to the varying nature of synthetic wash mitts, it can come in a variety of shapes, fibre length, and sizes.
For general cleaning and maintenance, you can’t go wrong with either a genuine or synthetic wool wash mitt. But for tougher cleaning and detailing jobs, a microfibre wash mitt is the best choice.
What size of wash mitts do I need?
Since car wash mitts can come in an array of sizes, it may be puzzling to choose the right one. I generally stay away from bigger wash mitts with extra-long fibres.
The right size can be accurately determined if you hold the wash mitt in your hand. If you can hold it easily with one hand, then it’s the right size. Remember that wash mitts will tend to get heavier and harder to manipulate when fully soaked with cleaning solution.
When choosing the right size of wash mitt, remember that bigger is not always better.
How do I clean my wash mitt after using?
It really depends on the type of wash mitt. As an example, the Meguiar’s lamb’s wool wash mitt should only be rinsed in warm water after use. The wash mitt should be allowed to drip-dry and should not be wrung out. This is due to the fact that strong detergents and violent wringing will only serve to damage the wool fibres in the wash mitt.
In most cases, wash mitts can be easily cleaned using plain water only. In the case of filthy wash mitts, simply dissolve a small amount of mild liquid detergent in two or three litres of clean water. Allow the wash mitt to soak before in the soapy mixture before rinsing and drying. It is also a good idea to avoid using fabric softeners or bleach when cleaning your car wash mitts.
But there’s a cheaper and gentler solution. Mix a quarter cup of white vinegar in a small bucket filled with clean water. Allow the wash mitt to soak in the vinegar and water solution to remove all traces of dirt and contaminants. Give the wash mitt a final rinse in clean water and hang to dry.
Handy Car Wash Tips
After choosing the best car wash mitt, here are a couple of car wash tips you need to keep in mind:
- Never wash a hot vehicle. Allow the surfaces to cool before washing with car shampoo.
- If you can avoid it, do not wash a vehicle when exposed to the hot sun. It is easier and more comfortable to wash the vehicle in the shade.
- Only use the best quality car shampoo when washing your car.
- Rinse the entire vehicle with water before washing. This will help remove standing dirt and particles on all exterior surfaces.
- Start washing the car from top to bottom. This will prevent cross-contamination of dirt and particles.
- Use a separate wash mitt or washcloth for the wheels and tyres. Never use a dirty wash mitt over paint unless you find scratches or swirl marks appealing.
- The two-bucket method is still the best way to wash a vehicle using a wash mitt. The first bucket should contain the cleaning solution. The next bucket should be filled with clean water. Always dip or rinse the wash mitt in clean water after cleaning a particular section of the vehicle. This will further prevent dirt from scratching or harming the finish.
- Rinse the vehicle well using a garden hose or pressurized jet. Make sure to rinse the vehicle before the car shampoo gets a chance to dry on the surface. This will prevent water spots on the paint.