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Although I do take my car to the car wash occasionally and also to a local hand wash I do like to wash it myself at home. I actually find it quite therapeutic and I am also burning off a few extra calories which is always a bonus. I bought this new sponge as my husband had used my other car sponge for cleaning the barbeque which left it stained with a few chunks missing out of it. I have used budget sponges in the past but have found that they squash quite quickly and little bits of the sponge break off when I am using them, so I do like to buy one which is a bit more substantial.
I bought this U care super absorbent jumbo sponge from a local hardware store for £1.99 which I didn't think was a bad price and I did the squeeze test and it felt quite dense to the touch but still soft. You can currently get this sponge online on Amazon and other online sites and the prices range from £1.30 to £2.54.
It is bright yellow in colour and measures approximately 20cm by 6cm which is probably an average size for a sponge like this. I washed the car a few days later and was really pleased with the results from the sponge. After filling a bucket up with water and car shampoo I swirled the sponge round in the water to soak up the lather and then started to clean my car. It seemed to retain the bubbles for quite some time and even seemed to create more as I was using it. The sponge seemed to glide over the paintwork and glass effortlessly but it was also strong enough to rub more vigorously over the windscreen where there were quite a few dead flies and insects.
When I was happy that the car was clean I changed the water in the bucket and removed some of the lather using the sponge and as it seemed to hold quite a lot of water this made the job much easier. I then finished it off by throwing the bucket of water over the car and ringing the sponge out which sprang back into shape almost immediately.
I have used this sponge numerous times and it has not got any holes or chunks missing and is still exactly the same shape as it was when I bought it. When the time comes when I do need to replace it I would definitely buy another one of these sponges as they are well made and do a good job of cleaning the car - or is that me?
With the weather being so cold and the amount of water, ice, sleet, snow, sludge and general muck on the roads rising everyday it seems only right that you need to get yourself a sponge as with everything else washing your car is costing more and more.
For a quick run through an automatic wash-system it's £2.50 generally for a basic package, this is never good as they use little water knowing that you've gone for the lowest option possible and then there's the thought of those wonderful spinning, streaky sponges doing their upmost to scratch your newly washed car. Have you ever got out your car and felt those sponge sticks attached to the spinners at a car wash? They are by no means soft.
You could opt for a pressure washer at a local petrol station or such like; these are naturally a rip off. £2.50 will generally get you about three minutes worth of wash-time; those three minutes disappear very quickly. Considering you'll generally have a power-shampoo, hot-brush, rinse, gloss wax, mineral water rinse, settings that's six different settings, so thirty seconds per setting to go around your car, the hot brush being the worst as you obviously want to really scrub your car down and get all the dirt off the body. To get enough time you'd be looking to spend £5-£7 in all reality.
Then there's the hand car washes where-by you drop your car off and let someone else wash it. Again the basic packages start from £5, but again in my experience not worth it for the simple fact that they care very little for what they're doing when they know someone's gone for the basic package. Shell out £20 for the full valet and you'll find the guys doing your car going through every nock and cranny and you're car will look sparkling. £20 a month for 12 months, that's two hundred and forty pounds that is no doubt better, spent elsewhere.
So we come to the old fashioned sponge. The one here is available most anywhere be it Tesco's, local garages or Halfords. They are generally quite cheap, you're looking at between £0.50-£2.00 for one and they are a big and a god send for the car owner looking to spend a good ten minutes scrubbing their car down and a quick rinse and you're looking at a brand new car. It's not only cheaper for your wallet but there's nothing better than stepping back and admiring your sparkling car after a good scrub. Why spend up to and in excess of £240 a year when you can get a sponge for fifty pence and crack on?
I almost always wash my own car. It just makes perfect financial sense. The same job at an auto wash would cost around £4 a pop. I drive an average of about 14,000 miles a year, and the car needs a good wash every month. Twelve times four equals £48 quid. It's not the greatest of savings, I won't be going all expenses paid with the missus to St. Lucia off of the proceeds, but I could take her out to dinner. Or justify buying myself that single cask Bourbon. Or two expensive bottles of wine. At the end of the proverbial day, people have switched energy suppliers for smaller savings.
But, I hear you cry. What about all that time you're spending? Think of all that lost time! The answer to this one is simple. When you factor in driving to the car wash, queuing up to buy a car wash ticket, (assuming the damn thing is working), waiting in line to go through and the wash cycle itself, there IS no lost time.
To wash your car, you need an absolute minimum of soap, a bucket and a decent absorbent sponge. In terms of soap, you can buy all sorts of car wash soap from Halfords, your local petrol station or supermarket. The truth is that Fairy liquid will do almost as well as the most sophisticated car wash.
Nice to haves include a chamois cloth, some vinegar and some black and white newspaper. I'll explain why a little later. This sponge costs £2. I've found it to be long lasting. It absorbs a large amount of water at a single squeeze, which is useful whether spreading suds on, or taking them off. It will not damage your paintwork and is a useful size for your hand to grab. It is strong enough to take off the stubbornest insect remnants or bird poo with a little perseverance.
Begin by wiping in little circles, expanding as you go. This helps ensure that you are removing as much dirt, dust and grime as possible. Take your time around problem areas. Leave the worst of these areas, always the alloys, to the last moment. It gets really mucky. You'll need to spend some time rinsing the sponge and bucket with clean water afterwards. Always use warm water.
Washing the suds off can be started "man stylie" by throwing a bucket of water over the car, hoping that this time it doesn't bounce off and drench your jeans. Use plenty of water and the same concentric technique. Once done, use your chamois to ensure your are not left with streaks all over the car once it's all dried. A damp, but not sodden Chammy is always best.
Remember that black and white newspaper? Scrunch some up, and use it to dry the glass with. The carbon in the newspaper will give you a brilliant finish. That vinegar can be used with some spare newspaper for a quick wipe up and down your wiper blades to keep the rubber clean and supple.
Now step back and admire your handiwork. Ignore the wife loudly suggesting that as you are there, you might as well wash hers as well.
Super Absorbant Jumbo Sponge