Living in Michigan is a challenge, especially during the winter, but summer isn’t any better. The weather lately in Detroit has been unpredictable, warm and sunny one day, then rainy and cool the next. Many of the roads I frequent here in the Detroit metro – Woodward Avenue, Southfield Freeway, Interstate 94, M10, and Fort Street – are loaded with traffic, and my daily drives take me through industrial areas and patches of road construction.
You can wash a vehicle here, and by the time you get home, there is a layer of dust on the paint.
Recently, the team at Mothers asked if I would evaluate a few of their most popular products. I obliged, putting them through the paces during my latest wash outing. Mothers has over 70 car care products in their portfolio but the ones below will work regardless of what type of vehicle you own.
Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Mothers. All views and opinions expressed here are my own. Check out our advertising guidelines to see why we’d never steer you wrong.
Polishing Cloths & Quick Detail Towel
Mothers sent me one of each and both are very specific in their uses. The polishing cloth is “edgeless” and lighter, and is best suited for removing leftover glazes and waxes. The cloth is soft, lint free, and glides nicely across the paint. By contrast, the Quick Detail Towel is more robust and acted like a vacuum when I used it, removing any leftover particles, dirt, and grime following the initial wash.
The Mothers Quick Detail Towel has two “naps”: the long one is best for wiping down the vehicle immediately after washing it, whereas the shorter nap will help with that final buff and polish.
I really liked the longer nap. I always wipe down my vehicles after washing and before applying any other products. The long nap gave me that ability.
After a few minutes of use, I would shake out both cloths.
This was my favorite in the Mothers package because my wash jobs are not complete until I apply something like this. It comes from my early years in the automotive business when I sold cars at a dealership. When you put a car on the showfloor, a good shine is essential. The nasty pink stuff we had in our desks was referred to as “showroom shine,” and we would wipe down the vehicles when we had spare time.
Nice thing is, the Mothers Instant Detailer gave me the shine without the terrible smell (it actually smells pleasant).
Spray it on, spread evenly with a soft cloth, and then wipe away/buff the excess with another towel, like the short nap of the Quick Detail Towel.
If you don’t have a lot of time, a bottle of this will do the trick. It took me ten minutes using the two towels Mothers provided. The Instant Detailer comes from the Mothers “Speed” line, a series of products designed to work quicker than their counterparts.
Word of caution: don’t apply it when it’s too hot out because it evaporates quickly.
Carnauba Wash & Wax
This was quite useful on my lower quarter panels where grime, especially from these recent rainstorms, builds up. Hitting it with a high pressure hose is not enough to remove it either. You can opt for the scrub brush at the car wash, but I understand if you are hesitant – they are often dirty from frequent prior use and I’ve known them to cause a scratch or two.
The Mothers Carnauba Wash & Wax can be a good substitute. Add a little to a bucket of water and “shampoo” accordingly with a sponge or mitt. You can use this between your regular waxing too – in this case, I applied it to the “problem areas” on my vehicle, but it can be used on the entire exterior.
Carnauba, native to Brazil, is known for its heat tolerance.
The photos below are of the three biggest “problem areas” on my 500X – areas that, no matter what, always collect dirt and grime. They include the rear window, lower quarter panels, and the section behind my rear wheels. A normal spray gun won’t get these areas clean, neither will an automatic wash. It always takes me giving these areas some extra attention and care, and the Mothers Carnauba Wash & Wax was a huge help.
I award Mothers some serious cool points here. Attach this little guy to the end of any variable speed drill and you have a built-in polisher. Mothers says it can be used on just about everything, from taillight lenses and wheels, to tile and marble.
These items were given to me by Mothers to raise awareness for their #PristinePolish campaign. Still, I enjoyed using them considering I made a New Year’s resolution to wash my vehicle more. And up until they sent me this package, I didn’t have any nice cleaning supplies to really act on that resolution.
Mothers has products for those that detail vehicles for a living, but these “ordinary” ones are still professional grade. Prior to this, I had never used a Mothers product. I always assumed they were for the higher-end types of cars you see at auto shows, or again, for those making a living as a detailer.
I was, however, glad to have this misconception corrected, especially by things like the Instant Detailer. Mothers is still ideal for that dream exotic or ultra-powerful muscle car, but for those of us who drive ordinary everyday cars, trucks, and crossovers, Mothers will work nicely.
For those of us who live in colder climates, it takes some extra work when it comes to keeping a vehicle clean, but I will be excited to try these items Mothers sent me when winter hits.
Wish List For Next Time
(Mothers Products I Would Like To Try)
Mothers Bug & Tar Remover: From the Speed product line. Bugs and tar are always hard to remove and very few products on the market are actually up to this task. I’ve been let down by other brands.
Back to Black Tire Cleaner/Shine: From the Classic product line. Like the Instant Detailer, no wash job is complete without some type of tire cleaner or shine.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.