When it comes to buying car products I do have a tendency to buy Autoglym products. I find that not only are they a great brand for buying just about any cleaning product I need for my car, but that their products also perform excellently. One such item that really is a necessity for achieving a near streak free clean car is a good chamois. We actually purchased our Autoglym chamois around two years ago but having spotted one in Halfords recently I was reminded to write a review of my thoughts.
Unlike other chamois which are purchased on their own, this chamois comes presented in a translucent plastic tube with a black base and lid. Not only is this a lovely way to package a cloth in my opinion as it suggests a certain quality but it also means that it would be a lovely gift for someone and one which I may consider buying my husband for his Christmas stocking. On the front of the tube we are told that this is a hi-tech synthetic chamois leather and that it provides four key qualities which are as follows:
* Super absorbent
* Easier to rinse
* Faster to use
* Longer lasting
The tube can be opened by simply pulling out the black lid at the top of the tube and shaking the cloth out. My first impressions of this chamois were good. It looks typical of a chamois being a light yellow-beige in colour and has a soft feel which feels very like a soft calf leather. Although this chamois is not the real deal it still feels very true to leather and I was impressed with this. This cloth is a very good size to liberally wipe my car from top to bottom and these measurements are 49 cm x 49cm square or 0.24 m² to be precise.
The purpose of any good chamois is to wipe down the body of the car after washing and remove the majority of water either to prepare the car for polishing or just to ensure that the car dries without any irritating specks of water. For this job this chamois performs very well and is large enough to sweep over the bodywork quickly and remove the pools of water with little effort.
To use this chamois I first like to ensure that the car is immaculately clean and I do this by washing it thoroughly, paying particular attention to the small crevices and alloys. It is important, in my opinion, to ensure that the car is totally clean else the chamois will pick up the dirt residue and become stained or pick up particles or dirt and scratch the paintwork. Once I am satisfied that every last drop of shampoo has been rinsed off, I start to run this chamois over the car starting with the roof and working my way down doing each side (left, right, front, back) separately. I find it best to swirl this cloth over the paintwork and watch as it absorbs the water, a task that it does do rather well in my experience. The chamois does get saturated quite quickly and this is not particularly pleasant as the water is inevitably cold on my hands, however I wring out the excess water from the chamois and start again on the next wet area.
This chamois does not remove every drop of water and, as this is not the point of using it, I am not particularly bothered. However, on areas where water has a tendency to pool I generally go over it twice with the chamois. In my opinion it is best to wash the car on a windy clear day as this ensures that as I wipe each side down and then return to the first side I wiped, it is nearly dry without too much effort. It is important to note that this chamois can be used on both bodywork and windows and I use it for both, as there is nothing worse in my mind than a streaky window.
Once I have finished wiping every droplet of water from the car I generally like to finish it off with a quick buff of a clean cloth just to make sure it is entirely dry. To some this may be overkill, but when you have a husband who hates a dirty car it really is a must.
In my opinion it is important to look after this chamois in between uses so it is good for the next time I use it. Therefore I like to rinse my chamois after use with some warm water and air it out to let it dry. After the first time I used this chamois and dried it out, I found it amusing that the soft flexible cloth that I had started with had turned to a stiff and immoveable object. Therefore before every use I do have to rinse it in water to make the cloth flexible enough to rub over the car.
Having now owned this chamois for over two years, I have been very pleased with this product and it has served its purpose well and with relatively little wear or tear. The only clue as to the age of my chamois is the slightly brown shade that it has now turned and the stiff feel to its once soft supple one. However despite age, it still does it job quite well and I am very pleased with its results. I am so please with the absorbency of this chamois that I often use it inside the house, particularly on colder mornings when condensation pools on my windows. It continues to absorb the majority of water and allow each surface to dry out more quickly.
This chamois can be purchased through a number of retailers including Halfords where it retails for £8.99. Considering the length of time that I have owned my chamois I consider this to be good value for money and will certainly be buying one again in the future.
As a result of the above, this product scores an excellent five stars from me.
I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading! x
Those who have read my previous reviews on Autoglym products will know I am a fan and regular Autoglym product user. Moving away from reviewing the usual products associated with Autoglym, i.e. polishes, shampoos and interior cleaners this review looks at the Autoglym Aqua-Dry synthetic chamois leather.
The Hi-Tech Aqua-dry synthetic leather can be found in most reputable car accessory shops, as yet I have not seen this in any supermarkets where the other products can be found. It is normally located near the Autoglym polishes etc and costs approximately £8.99 from Halfords, which is pretty expensive when you consider Halfords do their own synthetic version for £2.99 and a large real leather chamois for £8.49 or extra large for £10.49.
The Aqua-dry synthetic leather comes in a plastic square tube very similar to the wheel brush one. It is clear plastic so you can see the product within. The familiar Autoglym square logo is on the front and it is labelled AQUA-DRY. The plastic tube is capped at both ends with solid plastic square caps. The top one also has a small plastic carrying loop. The Aqua-dry is rolled up within the tube.
When you open it and remove the Aqua-dry, you notice how smooth and soft it feels. This gives you the impression that it will not cause any scratches or damage to your bodywork. Once opened out flat, the Aqua-dry is approximately 410mm x 500mm big which seems to fit in with most chamois leathers described as large in size. As you introduce the Aqua-dry to water, you immediately notice it soaks water up very well. As you wring the chamois out, it feels like it is good quality and will not tear or rip.
Wash your vehicle and remove all traces of shampoo. Before using the Aqua-dry, soak the Aqua-dry in fresh clean water until it is saturated then squeeze tightly to remove most of the water. The Aqua-dry should appear damp and floppy in appearance. Now proceed to wipe over the vehicle to dry it.
TIP: Start on the roof by pushing the beads of water to one end of the car and let them naturally run down the side. Only when most of the excess water (beads) have run off the vehicle should you begin to attempt to dry it. Now merely wipe over the panels until all traces of water have gone, periodically squeezing the Aqua-dry to remove excess water.
TIP: Always hold tightly to one corner of your chamois in one hand and wipe over the body work with your other hand. That way you are less likely to drop it and contaminate it with dirt which can then scratch your vehicle.
How does it compare?
"Autoglym Aqua-Dry is a synthetic leather with a unique structure which actually outperforms natural chamois leathers."
From first hand experience, I do not fully agree with this statement. If they are saying that the Aqua-dry will do so by lasting longer than a real leather chamois, then may be this is true as the chamois does have a quality feel about it, however as for water displacement it does not beat a real leather chamois leather.
Yes it is very good at soaking up large pools of water and quickly removing excess water from your bodywork and yes it is easy to wring out the excess water from the Aqua-dry, though in comparison you can equally say the same for a real leather chamois.
What let's this particular Chamois down is the ability to completely dry the panels. I tend to chamois dry my car to prepare for a coat of wax, the car needs to be completely dry for this. In using the Aqua-dry, when the majority of excess water is gone, it struggles to completely dry the car. Instead it seems to produce very very (yes there is purposely a 2nd very in there!!) fine streaks of water which no matter how hard you try don't seem to completely soak away. With a real leather one, the car is bone dry. TIP: Once you have finished with your chamois, wring out as much excess water as possible then store it flat and fully opened to dry out till next required.
I have kept it in my car kit as yes it is very useful at removing volumes of water quickly, however there will always be a real leather one at it's side to finish off the job. Good quality, but over priced and fails at the last hurdle.
AutoGlym, stick to what you know best, polishes, shampoos and interior cleaning products.