Optimum No Rinse Wash and Shine Quick Detailer: Real World Test And Review

Optimum No Rinse is a detailing product like no other I have used. It has a variety of functions, such as cleaning the exterior of a car using only one bucket, a wash mitt, and a drying towel.

It can be used as a quick detailer and as a clay lubricant. The product is sold concentrated and is then diluted with water.  

I must admit I was sceptical at first about Optimum No Rinse (ONR), I was fairly sure that not carrying out a proper safe wash as I knew it would result in an abundance of swirl marks being inflicted.

When I used ONR I was pleasantly surprised. The product gives so much lubrication between the paint and the mitt I was very confident it would not harm the paint.

Read on to hear all the details on how it performs.

Prepmycar Rating: 8.2 / 10

Optimum No Rinse Wash and Shine NR2010Q 32 Ounce

Optimum No Rinse Wash and Shine

  • 8.0 Cleaning ability
  • 8.5  Safety
  • 8.0 Value for money


  • Removes dirt easily
  • Contains polymers that encapsulate dirt and protect the paint from damage
  • Can be used as a quick detailer which can be sprayed on and wiped with a microfibre towel


  • Nothing really

Testing Process

I decided to test ONR on a car that I have washed regularly since new. I knew that the paint on this car was in near perfect condition, making it perfect to assess if ONR caused any damage. The car was moderately dirty, with a small amount of road film and dust. 

Optimum recommend adding between 1-2 fl. oz. of ONR to 1 US gallon of water. This equates to 30-60 ml of ONR to 3.8 litres of water. As the car I was cleaning was not extremely dirty, I added 30 ml of ONR to approximately 3.8 litres of water in a bucket. I agitated the solution in the bucket which did not produce any suds as a shampoo would. 

I used a chenille microfibre mitt to wash the car. I started with the roof and tried to soak as much ONR solution into the mitt as possible. Then I pulled the mitt along the roof in straight lines, flipping the mitt over to use a clean side. As I had a hosepipe on hand, I used this to rinse the mitt out before getting more ONR solution and continuing to clean the car. If I did not have access to running water, I would ensure I had a clean bucket of water on hand to rinse the mitt out.   

With all the panels on the paint washed, I grabbed a drying towel and soaked up any liquid that was left on the car. It was a cool dry day and there was no direct sunlight, so nothing had dried into the paint, if I were using ONR on a very hot day, I would probably wash and dry sections one at a time. 

Test Results

Cleaning ability (8.0/10)

The combination of ONR and a high-quality wash mitt saw all dirt on the car easily removed. There were no sections that needed rewashed, even when I was using the lowest recommended dilution. If a car were covered in more dirt, I would probably increase the concentration of the solution for more cleaning power and lubrication.  

Safety (8.5/10)

Using ONR is very different to a normal wash process, it contains polymers that encapsulate dirt and protect the paint from damage. The amount of lubrication given by the solution is better than many shampoos I have used, however the user still needs to take every step to minimise the risk that damage is caused to the paint. Rinsing the wash mitt with either running water or a rinse bucket is a good way to do this. After washing and drying the car I inspected the paint with an inspection light and was pleased to see that no swirl marks or marring were inflicted on the paint. 

Additional uses

ONR has uses beyond rinse-less washing of vehicles, it can also be used to clean boats and aircraft. ONR can be used as a clay lubricant, which requires a dilution of 15 ml of ONR to 1 litre of water, this gives the clay suitable lubrication as it removes contaminates, helping to reduce marring. 

ONR can also be used as a quick detailer which can be sprayed on and wiped with a microfibre towel. For this task, Optimum recommends a dilution of 50 ml to 1 litre of water. This can not only be used to clean paint but also interior plastics and even glass. 

Value for money (8.0/10)

An 8 oz.  (237 ml) bottle of ONR costs around £9.00 ($10.08 USD). This small bottle will only give eight washes at the lowest dilution rate. It is also worth remembering that 3.8 litres will only fill most buckets to ¼ full, which is much less than we are used to using. As a clay lubricant, ONR is excellent value compared to ready to use lubricants. Even a small 8 oz. bottle will produce an impressive 15 litres of clay lubricant for just £9.00 ($10.08 USD). Another manufacturer sells 500 ml of clay lubricant for £8.00 ($8.96 USD). As a quick detailer, ONR costs £1.89 ($2.11 USD) per litre. Another manufacturer sells 500 ml of quick detailer for £10.00 ($11.20 USD).

It is worth remembering that the prices above are based on the small 8 oz. bottle. ONR is also sold in 32 oz. (950 ml) and 1 US gallon (3.78 litres). Buying a larger bottle represents extremely good value for money.  

About Optimum

Optimum Polymer Technologies are based in Memphis, Tennessee and were founded by Dr. David Ghodoussi, a specialist in polymer technologies. They manufacture a wide range of detailing products, which are becoming increasingly popular. 

Final thoughts

I admit it took me a while to try ONR, I thought it must be a bit of a novelty product that would not work well in practice. I am happy to admit that I was wrong on this matter, as ONR has really impressed me. The cleaning ability is excellent, with the advanced polymer technology giving me confidence that I can wash cars using ONR without inflicting wash damage. 

Where I live, there are no water usage restrictions, so I will continue to perform a full wash process, but ONR will likely become my go-to clay lubricant and quick detailer. For those in areas where there are limits on water or where water simply is not accessible, ONR is a must-have product. 


Is Optimum No Rinse safe?

Optimum No Rinse is the result of a great deal of polymer research, it is an extremely safe way to wash your vehicle. It also saves water and is biodegradable.

Does ONR have wax?

The standard ONR does not have any wax in it, Optimum do manufacture Optimum No Rinse Wash and Wax, which adds a layer of carnauba wax to the paint.

Does ONR remove water spots?

Yes, it can be used as a quick detailer to remove water spots. ONR can be added to a normal wash bucket in areas with hard water to reduce the chances of water spots forming.

Does ONR remove wax or sealant?

No, it will not strip any waxes or sealants.

Get it Now

Optimum No Rinse Wash and Shine NR2010Q 32 Ounce
  • Optimum No Rinse Wash and Shine contains exclusive blend of high lubricating polymers that bond to
  • Optimum No Rinse Wash and Shine allows car washing virtually anywhere, anytime
  • Get a brilliant shine using only one or two gallons of water

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