Disclosure: I received free review samples from Muc-Off for the purpose of this review. I received no payment and was not required to submit a positive review. Links marked with (eBay⇒) or (Amazon⇒) are affiliate links. This means I get paid a small commission if you buy something after clicking on the links. This money helps to pay for the running of the website.
My recent review of Mantis Instant Shine (waterless car cleaner) must have started a trend – a few days ago, I took delivery of a box of car cleaning goodies from cleaning specialists Muc-Off. Muc-Off may not be as well known on the high street as some other brands but their pedigree is pretty solid – companies who use their products include the Force India Formula One team and Bugatti UK.
The box that landed on my desk contained four brightly-coloured bottles:
- Bug & Tar Remover
- Ubershine Luxury Car Shampoo
- Split Second Detailer Wax
- Nano-Tech Wheel Cleaner
As luck would have it, my own vehicle was unusually dirty, with about 1,000 miles of dirt on it. The reason for this is that I haven’t cleaned it since I did the Mantis Instant Shine review – almost a month ago. That’s quite unusual for me but turned out to be very convenient, as I had a nice, dirty vehicle on which to test the Muc-Off products.
I’m happy to report that my paintwork is now cleaner and shinier than it has been for some time – here’s how it went.
Ubershine Luxury Car Shampoo (£7.99, 1l)
I was really looking forward to seeing how Muc-Off’s Ubershine Luxury Car Shampoo performed – it’s aimed at the top end of the market and promised to provide an excellent finish. It’s also biodegradable – meaning that wherever your car washing water ends up, it shouldn’t cause any problems.
Things started well. The shampoo comes in a sensible 1 litre bottle with a pump dispenser. Even better, the instructions for use specify how many pumps are needed to get the right amount of shampoo into the bucket. This is much more useful than just specifying “40ml” and leaving you to pour and guess – with the inevitable result that you use more than you need.
I prefer to use warm (not hot) water for washing cars and so, it seems, does Muc-Off. The instructions specified 40ml (or 20 pumps) mixed with 4 litres of warm water. This only filled half of my bucket so I doubled the amounts to get a full bucket, which I knew I’d need.
The Ubershine shampoo is bright pink and smells pleasantly of fresh apples. There was plenty of thick foam and the paintwork, windows and plastic came clean easily. Once rinsed and dried, the paintwork had an impressive shine, living up to Muc-Off’s claims of a “spot-free finish” and a “deep luxurious shine”.
My wash used 80ml of Ubershine Shampoo (a double measure of shampoo and water was needed to get a full bucket). This means that I would get 12 washes from a one litre bottle of Ubershine, assuming I only need one bucket each time. A one litre bottle costs £7.99, giving me a cost per wash of about 67p. If you have a small car, you will use less.
By way of comparison, a one litre bottle of Autoglym car shampoo costs £9.79 on Halfords’ website at the time of writing. Autoglym advises using 20ml of its shampoo with 10 litres of water – giving a theoretical 50 washes from a 1 litre bottle.
Final Thoughts: I was really impressed with Ubershine and loved the finish it gave. It isn’t the cheapest shampoo out there but it does do an excellent job.
Split Second Detailer Wax (£9.99, 1l)
I usually only polish my vehicle a couple of times a year – in between, regular washing with a decent shampoo keeps up an acceptable level of shininess. However, Muc-Off’s Split Second Detailer Wax promised to deliver a “high gloss ‘wet look’ shine in seconds” – an offer that was too good to turn down!
This product isn’t a polish, it’s a detailing spray. It’s designed to give a good shine and a protective finish quickly and easily, but the level of protection and lasting shine it provides is much less than that provided by a proper polish (Muc-Off’s polish is called Miracle Shine).
On the other hand, this product is much quicker and easier to apply than polish. This makes it ideal as a more regular treatment between polishing sessions. It can also be used to clean light dirt off vehicles without washing them first – pretty useful for those times when your car has been standing for a while and has got dusty without getting dirty.
Split Second Detailer Wax comes in a 1 litre bottle with a trigger-action spray that has an adjustable nozzle. Using it is simple – adjust the nozzle to give a fine spray, then spray it on evenly, one panel at a time. Wipe off the excess liquid with a microfibre cloth and then use another (dry) microfibre cloth to buff to a shine. Don’t leave this product to dry to a haze before buffing – it isn’t required (or recommended).
The results are impressive. With very little time or effort you get an excellent, deep shine and, Muc-Off promises, a protective layer that will cause water to bead off rather than drying onto your paintwork. It hasn’t rained yet, so I can’t comment on this claim, but the shine is seriously impressive, especially considering how little time and effort it required.
Take a look at the reflections of nearby houses on my bodywork in the pictures below, which I took after I’d finished using this product:
Update: It has now rained and my paintwork still looks as good as it did after I’d finished waxing it. Although there are some drops of water left on the flatter areas (e.g. bonnet), the sides of the vehicle are completely dry and have no dried water marks. Impressive.
Final Thoughts: Muc-Off Split Second Detailer Wax is a great product that works really well. Even though I have a large vehicle, the 1l bottle was still almost full once I’d finished. Very little extra time is required to use this to give your car a great shine after washing – it’s well worth the extra effort and I will definitely continue using it.
Bug & Tar Remover (£4.99)
For anyone who hasn’t used a product like this before, the idea is that they make it easier to remove the residue left by the insects that get splatted and dried onto the front of all vehicles, especially in summer. These products will also remove tar spots and (in this case) tree sap.
I usually use a 99p tar and insect removal spray from a budget brand, so I was interested to see how this more expensive alternative matched up.
First impressions were good – the spray is dark green so you can easily see where it has gone when spraying it onto light coloured vehicles. On the other hand, it didn’t seem to work much differently to the usual cheap spray I use – it worked well, but some firm rubbing was needed to get everything off (something the instructions warn against doing…).
The instructions for use on Bug & Tar Remover bottle said that after leaving the spray to soak for about 30 seconds, the bugs and tar spots should just wipe off with a dry microfibre cloth. I tried this, but as usual with these sprays, I got better results with a damp dish cloth (the white woven kind with red edges – use at your own risk). More than one application was needed for some spots, as you would expect.
Final thoughts: An effective product, but I’m not sure that it is worth the extra cost over cheaper alternatives.
Muc-Off’s bottles and dispensers are well designed and the company’s branding is modern and environmentally focused. The products are pleasant and easy to use and their eco credentials are an added attraction.
Those amongst you with good memories will remember that Muc-Off also sent me a bottle of wheel cleaner. I didn’t use this as my vehicle has steel wheels which don’t suffer from the brake dust/ingrained dirt problems that plague alloy wheels. I will try the wheel cleaner on a car with alloy wheels in the next few weeks and write a separate review on it.
Here are my conclusions about the three products in this review:
Split Second Detailer Wax
I loved this product and was very impressed with both the finish it provided and its ease of use. It’s one that I will use and use and would be happy to buy for myself.
Ubershine Luxury Car Shampoo
I was very impressed with the finish given by the Ubershine shampoo. Anyone who washes a large vehicle regularly will find that bottles of Ubershine empty quite fast – but at 67p per wash, it isn’t going to break the bank for most people.
Bug & Tar Remover
I was less impressed by the Bug & Tar Remover – although it worked well, it didn’t seem any better than the budget product I usually use. I wouldn’t buy this one myself because it didn’t seem to justify its price tag.
To find out more about Muc-Off products or to buy them online, visit www.muc-off.com