Wintertime with salt, road dirt and grime around is the worst time of year for a car, and the cold weather means keeping it clean can be even more of a chore. So anything to make the task of mid-winter cleaning easier is welcomed and Autoglym have a range called the Polar Series to do just that. Mind you, help during the summer months will also be a bonus. Having seen the product advertised online I did some research and thought I would give the range a try.
The Polar Series from Autoglym consists of 3 products; Polar Blast, Polar Wash and Polar Seal. Polar Blast is a high cling very foamy snow foam as Step One, Polar Wash for Stage Two, a thinner but still clingy wash stage and Polar Seal, a hydrophobic spray on jet wash off sealant as Stage Three.
Ordering: I ordered the Full Polar Set totalling £52.38 directly from Autoglym via their website on Wednesday, qualified for free delivery (order value over £50) and a well packed box of goodies surprisingly rocked up on Friday, delivered by DPD Local courier. I must admit I expected ‘Free Delivery’ to perhaps take a little longer than it did so wash pleasantly surprised. One point to note, DPD do offer text and email alerts to notify you of your delivery progress so it seemed strange that Autoglym did not use that facility. Doing so would improve the whole delivery experience for the customer and not keep you wondering who was undertaking the delivery and when.
The Autoglym website is comprehensive with some good product descriptions, pictures and videos of the range as you would expect from Autoglym. The only small criticism would be that they do not clearly display the pack volumes; so what looks like a 5L container is actually 2.5L. Many other Snow Foam products in similar looking containers are 5L volume. I could only find mention of the volume on one of the three products, namely Polar Blast. Whilst not the end of the world, it is nice to know exactly what you are buying.
Costs and Use:
Polar Blast 2.5L – £17.40 – 1L equivalent £6.96 5L equivalent £34.80
Polar Wash 2.5L – £14.99 – 1L equivalent £6.00 5L equivalent £29.98
Polar Blast 1L – £19.99 – 5L equivalent £99.90
Requirements for use are a pressure washer and suitable snow foam lance. A second or third bottle will make switching between the stages easier, otherwise you will need to rinse out the bottle between each stage.
Polar Blast: Recommended mix ratio 100ml with 500ml water in snow foam lance. Concentration can be adjusted as required.
I used 200ml and added 750ml of water to do 2 cars, so 100ml added to 375ml water equivalent for one car.
Cost per use 70p
Polar Wash: Recommended mix ratio 50:50 maximum in a snow foam lance. 250ml of pre-mix will do an average sized vehicle. I used 200ml added to 500ml water to do 2 cars, so 100ml to 250ml water equivalent for one car.
Cost per use 60p
Polar Seal: Recommended 40ml added to 200ml water in a snow foam lance. 250ml of solution is enough do cover an average sized car.
Cost per use 80p
So once you have your pressure washer and snow foam lance set up, I prefer to wash off loose dirt from wheel arches and lower body first, especially if the car is heavily soiled. I also suggest cleaning the wheels first using a suitable wheel cleaner and wheel brushes so as not to contaminate the bodywork later on.
Now to try the Polar Range. First Polar Blast Snow Foam.
I applied the Polar Blast to the bodywork (ensure you are working out of direct sunlight and the bodywork is cool), working from the bottom up and adjusted the strength on the foam lance as required covering the whole car including wheels and wheel arches. A thick foam was produced which really does cling to the bodywork and have a good dwell time. 10 minutes is the suggested time, so while waiting I went and filled a bucket with warm water for the next step. Polar Blast has to be one of the thickest snow foams I have used and does cling well. The dwell time helps the foam to gently remove dirt and contamination. Once left for 10 minutes I rinsed the bodywork again working from bottom to top.
I had read of others saying how thick the foam was and how it stays on the ground. This is indeed true, however I found that once the other 2 stages and rinsing had been undertaking this clears most of the residue and did not cause me undue concern.
Moving onto the Polar Wash cleaner.
Applied in the same way following the same procedure as Polar Blast, it produced a thinner foam wash solution and was applied to the whole car as before. I then used a microfibre wash mitt to clean the upper bodywork, rinsing it between applications to the paintwork in a wash bucket of clean warm water. I then went round the lower sills and bumpers with a second wash mitt to clean the remaining bodywork, again rinsing the mitt between contact with the surfaces before pressure washing off the bodywork.
Finally the Polar Seal hydrophobic coating.
After the wash stages there was little sign of protection on the paint and no sign of beading on the panels.
With the bodywork still wet the solution was sprayed onto the bodywork. It is recommended to avoid the windscreen. Unlike some clear/translucent spray on coatings Polar Seal is white which means it is very easy to see where you have applied the coating. After a thorough covering I then pressure washed the solution from the bodywork, and you could immediately see the water beading on the surface which was then dried using a couple of heavy duty plush microfibre drying towels.
Polar Blast really does offer a very thick clingy foam which does not run off the surface like some snow foam and did help to remove contamination.
Polar Wash in the main remained on the vehicle surface for enough time to allow it to be used with a wash mitt to remove remaining surface dirt. Washing out the wash mitt after each contact with he paintwork will help remove any dirt from the mitt and reduce the risk of swirl marks.
Polar Seal did exactly what I expected it to do, having used some other hydrophobic coatings in the past. On paintwork that has is in good condition with good surface protect and which has at some point been machined polished to enhance it the Polar Seal offers an easy on easy off sealant application and does give good gloss.
Given the ease of application and use (assuming you have a pressure wash and snow foam lance) this range does make winter (and summer) cleaning much easier, especially on the hands and less of a chore so it is highly recommended.
There are plenty of similar products on the market from various suppliers so it is easy to mix and match from different brands, but Autoglym have cleverly put their products together and marketed them as a range to do the job. This makes purchase easy and convenient.
Depending on vehicle use will depend how dirty the car gets and how often the products need to be used but at £2.10 for products per vehicle wash (based on suggested dilutions) I think this is good value for the convenience offered.
For more information visit the Autoglym website, where you will also find application videos for each product.
Verdict: Highly Recommended.