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Croftgate Aquanil-X (Handout)
Croftgate Aquanil-X (Handout)

Car gizmos

Waterless car wash is pretty in pink Add to ...

The summer is a good time to use a bucket of water with soap to drench your ride in a nice bath, or failing that, giving it some TLC after you’ve gone to the car wash. Waterless car washes are now becoming more common as alternatives, but what happens when you use one like Croftgate’s Aquanil-X, which is meant to get rid or dirt and leave a wax-like lustre to boot?

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Croftgate Aquanil-X

  • $23.95 for 32-ounce spray bottle
  • $49.95 for one-gallon jug
  • Available at: CroftgateUSACanada.com, PartSource, some independent retailers

The colour of the Aquanil-X liquid is pink, which doesn’t matter in the grand scheme, but appears to be one way to differentiate between the varying cleaners that Croftgate offers.

This concoction is a blend of detergents, advanced waxes and multiple macro polymers. The mixture is said to be totally environmentally-friendly, since it doesn't use harmful chemicals, a factor Croftgate demonstrates openly at auto shows across North America.

Showmanship aside, how does the actual product work? Like the GoClean that was reviewed earlier, the idea is to spray the substance onto the vehicle, spray some on to a micro-fibre cloth to dampen it, and then wipe away the dirt with little effort. Since it also adds a waxing component, the car’s body should shine without having to reapply repeatedly.

The concern with a product like this, of course, is that rubbing away dirt only succeeds in smearing it into the paint job. That didn’t look to be the case after using it on a couple of vehicles, as it was clear from just the first few applications that scratches and smears were nowhere to be found. It also proved adept at cleaning non-metallic surfaces around the car without leaving any residue behind.

Using Aquanil-X liberally certainly doesn’t hurt, especially if you use enough to ‘lift’ dirt and make it easier to just wipe away. Using multiple micro-fibre cloths is a good idea, too, primarily because they’re so gentle with a paint job. Except there is a caveat to getting the most out of the product – use it in the shade or in a parking garage because the sun can affect the shine it leaves behind.

Despite “wax” being part of the product’s moniker, this isn’t going to act as a replacement for a detailing wax or buff. When applied away from the sun, you will definitely notice a sheen, though it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to use your preferred wax or detailing agent afterward.

Croftgate claims that a 32-ounce bottle is good enough for seven full washes for average-sized vehicles, but applying it liberally could cut that down to five. If you have a larger vehicle, the jug offers better value.

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