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Winter Is Finally Gone: How We’re Getting Our Cars Shining Again

Longer days and warmer temperatures are always a welcome treat here in Michigan. We had a few nice ones after winter ended, but our hopes were dashed by a stretch of rain and cold temperatures. As we waited for the weather to clear, Turtle Wax sent us a bucket-load of their latest products to put through the paces.

When I say bucket-load, I mean that. Literally.

Green Machine

Turtle Wax sent a bright green, five-gallon bucket to our office with their logo on it. It felt like Christmas morning as I opened up and rummaged through the contents. I always like having a clean vehicle – it makes driving all that much more fun, especially if someone pays you a compliment about your car. However, the first wash and detail after a long winter or a bad rain storm is always difficult. It takes some work to get your vehicle back to looking pristine and proper.

Even though I know the end result is worth it, I don’t always look forward to the actual washing. Yet, Turtle Wax made it fun, and it all started with this green five-gallon bucket that looked massive on my tiny desk. Here is what Turtle Wax sent and what I used when the sun finally came out from behind the clouds. Everything on the list below is from the new Turtle Wax exterior and interior car care product range.

Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Turtle Wax. The products outlined below were sent to me at no charge. The views and opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Automoblog. For more information, please review our advertising guidelines

Ice: Snow Foam Wash (Hybrid)

Ice is an established line from Turtle Wax with “interlocking synthetic polymers,” an aspect of chemical science that’s actually really fascinating. This liquid pink potion is just what the doctor ordered for a bad case of road grime, and like the pink cough syrup you may remember, it smells exactly like bubble gum. (which made my day when I opened the cap).

Turtle Wax infuses special cleaners with a precise pH balance, which is where the “Hybrid” designation comes from. The Hybrid products, new this year for Turtle Wax, combine foam conditioners and biodegradable detergents to better protect your car over the long haul. Proper pH balance is important for preserving the finish on your vehicle and preventing the “spotting” that can occur from soaps of lower quality. Snow Foam Wash creates plenty of lubrication as you sweep a clean sponge across the surface of your car, making it ideal for removing stubborn dirt.

Whatever they did back at the Turtle Wax laboratory, it works!

Use it in a bucket by hand, or in a spray washer; either one will work. And you don’t need much. If you work out of a bucket (funny enough, I had one all of a sudden) you just need one fluid ounce per gallon of water. With a 48 fluid-ounce bottle, it should last awhile.

Ideal For: Washing your car in the driveway by hand.

Favorite Part: The bubble gum smell.

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After a round of Snow Foam Wash and an application of Seal N Shine, our 500X looked brand new again.

Ice: Seal N Shine (Hybrid)

Another from the Ice line with the new Hybrid technology, this was my favorite in the bucket. Similar to the Snow Foam Wash, this spray-on liquid combines synthetic sealants with carnauba wax for a quick but noticeable shine. (Hence the “hybrid” designation again). Turtle Wax says they employ a “super hydrophobic formula” which helps repeal water, forcing it to bead versus spread. Only 24 hours after washing our 500X, another sudden downpour hit the Detroit metro. It was interesting to see how water was accumulating on other cars in the parking lot versus ours which was beading.

It’s easy to apply when you are near the end of your washing. Spay a little bit and wipe it clear with a soft terrycloth towel. Emphasis on little – I didn’t use but a couple/three sprays per section and that was enough.

Seal N Shine is good if you are crunched for time but still need your vehicle to look nice for an occasion. For example, meeting a client at the job site on a sunny afternoon; or taking that special somebody out for a night on the town. Run your vehicle through the wash and by the time you get home, it should be dry enough. Grab a bottle of this Seal N Shine, a soft towel, and go. Within 10 to 15 minutes, you’ve got the shine you need for a presentable vehicle.

Ideal For: Providing that last bit of shine after a good wash.

Favorite Part: Perfect for when you don’t have much time.

Seal N Shine is good if you are crunched for time but still need your vehicle to look nice for an occasion.

Scratch: Repair & Renew

This is meant to remove minor scratches, swirl marks, and paint transfers. It’s a traditional Turtle Wax product that actually works in non-traditional places, I found. Earlier this year, I was cleaning out my storage unit and while unloading the back end of our 500X, I bumped the upper interior portion of the liftgate with a black container. As I pulled it out, it caught the inside portion of the lift gate and left a solid black, and clearly noticeable mark on the cream-colored panel.

I put a dab of this Repair & Renew on one of the soft towels Turtle Wax sent me and it worked. I have tried a few other cleaners and nothing removed it, so I thought this was a long shot. I was surprised but really happy. It took a little elbow grease but the mark came out.

Ideal For: Minor yet annoying scratches.

Favorite Part: Takes off even the most unexpected blemishes.

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The center touchscreen is a magnet for fingerprints. The Spray & Wipe products from Turtle Wax (listed below) will make short work of them, however.

Spray & Wipe (Assorted Varieties)

Turtle Wax sent me four from their Spray & Wipe line: Interior Detailer, Protectant, Glass Cleaner, and Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. Interior Detailer is a cleaner and deodorizer for most interior surfaces; Protectant is similar but minimizes interior fading; the ammonia-free Glass Cleaner gets rid of bugs or fingerprints on the windows; and the Leather Cleaner protects and deodorizes leather seats.

Each one has a different scent with the Interior Detailer being my favorite; the little logo just says “Simply Fresh” scent. Granted, it’s not as adventurous as the bubble gum foam wash, or the “Caribbean Crush” scent of the Glass Cleaner, but it’s my favorite nonetheless. It’s not overpowering nor is it unnoticeable. It’s a nice balance.

Everything in this assortment is straight forward except for one unique difference.

Interior Detailer is a cleaner and deodorizer for most interior surfaces. It even worked on our touchscreen.

Spray & Wipe: My Favorite Part

In the past, I have purchased interior or leather wipes, only to have them dry out in my garage because I only needed a few at a time. I end up tossing them at that point. This Spray & Wipe line from Turtle Wax differs in how the wipes are already dry. Instead of using moist wipes and risk having them dry out, Turtle Wax includes an 8 fluid-ounce spay under every bottle.

Twist the lower quarter of the main bottle to reveal the smaller one of spray. Pull the dry wipes from the top and you are ready to go. When finished, tuck the remaining cloths back in and snap the little spray bottle back. Simple and much more effective. You can store them and not have to worry about the wipes drying out, which is something I really will appreciate about these in the long run.

Ideal For: Giving your interior a makeover.

Favorite Part: The wipes never dry out.

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The Spray & Wipe line from Turtle Wax includes the Interior Detailer. Night and day difference between when I started and when I finished.


If you leave fast food wrappers in your car, or spill things frequently (like me), a bottle of this will be your best friend. You can spot treat or use the recirculation feature on your AC to cleanse your entire cabin. Rather than spot treat, I used the AC option since I had just concluded a weekend of heavy driving with friends and family. Between the stops for lunch and the rainy weather, my interior was a bit stale.

To do this, turn your vehicle on and set your AC to recirculate. Place the canister in your cup holder and press the top for the desired number of sprays (one or two good ones should do it). Then exit your vehicle with the AC still set to recirculate and wait 10 to 15 minutes.

Ideal For: Getting rid of that musty, stuffy smell.

Favorite Part: Works far better than an air freshener.

An Inflatable Turtle

I said the Seal N Shine was my favorite – I may have lied. It was the inflatable turtle. Because when a man is cleaning his car, he should have an inflatable Turtle Wax turtle to keep him company.

Ideal For: Sitting on your desk.

Favorite Part: Everything.

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Our Fiat 500X finally looked blue again!

Protecting Your Investment

Keeping your car clean is an important part of regular maintenance; consider it as essential as oil changes and tire rotations. Americans are keeping their cars for longer, based on the latest research from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The department’s 2017 National Household Travel Survey finds the average vehicle age has increased from 9.3 years in 2009 to 10.5 years in 2017. Based on the data, vehicles in the average American household are being driven for longer; meaning they are increasingly subjected to more miles and, for those of us in places like Michigan, more harsh winters.

Consider washing your vehicle as often as possible, and especially after a blizzard or rain storm. It’s a good strategy when it comes to keeping your car’s body and chassis in good shape as the miles pile up. When you do finally get something new, you will be glad you invested the elbow grease. Washing (or not washing) your vehicle can affect its resale value in the long run. Granted, there are a lot factors that impact resale value and some are beyond your control. However, if you designate one day a week to wash your vehicle, and hit it with these Turtle Wax items, I’m confident it will be beneficial for you down the road.

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The new Turtle Wax products are effective and easy to use. We were happy with our summer shine and went for a drive immediately afterwards.

Easy To Use

With that in mind: one advantage these Turtle Wax products have is how they can be used anywhere. For example, at our office we don’t have direct access to a hose or spray gun, but filling up the bucket with some Snow Foam Wash is still easy. Those who live in an apartment complex, or farther away from a traditional car wash can still readily use any of these Turtle Wax products. In other words, you can live almost anywhere and still protect your car. As an added bonus it will look really nice for the miles ahead.

I would recommend any of the above items and, if you can find one, an inflatable Turtle Wax turtle as well.

Carl Anthony 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. Before going back to school, he simultaneously held product development and experiential marketing roles in the automotive industry.