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Old 13-12-2009, 03:51 PM   #1
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Autoglym HD Cleanser

The Product:
Autoglym High Definition Cleanser

Image Source:

From the Autoglym website:
For perfect results when waxing, it is important to ensure the surface of the paintwork is “deep cleaned” to remove all traces of road grime, bug splatter, old waxes, etc. As regular shampoos and clay don’t always remove old films of polish, High Definition Cleanser will effectively remove all surface residues as well as general dust and grime. This will leave a fresh clean surface, ideal for ensuring you get the best possible result, especially if you choose Autoglym High Definition Wax for the final protective finish.

Price and Availability:
RRP Unknown - provided in a 500ml quantity
As part of Autoglym's Retail Range, this product will be available from the usual outletters.

Used on:
1992 SAAB 900 Convertible - single stage black paint.

From the back of the bottle:
For perfect results when waxing, it is important to ensure the surface of the paintwork is “deep cleaned” to remove all traces of road grime, bug splatter, old waxes, etc. As regular shampoos and clay don’t always remove old films of polish, High Definition Cleanser will effectively remove all surface residues as well as general dust and grime. This will leave a fresh clean surface, ideal for ensuring you get the best possible result, especially if you choose Autoglym High Definition Wax for the final protective finish.

INSTRUCTIONS: Gently run your fingertips over the vehicle to check if it feels smooth, ready for cleansing. If not it should be clayed first using the Autoglym Surface Detailing Kit as per the product instructions. This will remove irregularities embedded in the surface of the paint.

SHAKE WELL. Ensure the vehicle has been thoroughly washed and dried. Its surface should be cool to the touch and out of direct sunlight. Apply a generous amount of High Definition Cleanser to a damp High Definition applicator sponge and work onto the paintwork using a circular motion. Clean only one panel at a time. Buff product off using microfibre cloth before moving to clean another panel.

IMPORTANT: Do not allow product to "dry on".

For the ultimate finish use Autoglym High Definition Wax to achieve outstanding high gloss results, offering exceptional resistance to environmental attack.
From the plastic bag containing the pads:
Sponge must be damp before use. If it has dried out, immerse in water until the sponge has softened.
The product is supplied in a high quality printed box, black with embossed Autoglym logo. The 'blurb' is printed on box sides and the instructions on the back, along with the 'Selected by Aston Martin Lagonda, Jaguar Cars and Morgan Motor Company' accolade on the top and the Royal Warrants upon the face of the box.

Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture.

The box contains 1x 500ml of the High Definition Cleanser, 2x High Definition Applicators and 1x Hi-Tech Finishing Cloth.

Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture.

In summary, the box set is of a high standard with all the information you would need written onto the box itself as well as on the packaging of each item internally.

Appearance & Fragrance:
The product is a non-viscous white liquid that foams lightly when shaken. The appearance is almost like a thicker version of Extra Gloss Protection.

My immediate comments on fragrance were that there was a faint scent of something very similar to Extra Gloss Protection in there and a very subtle scent of something that can be found in Ultra Deep Shine.

Not unpleasant, but not something you'd want to sniff at a lot ... in fact, I got a little headache from spending too long with my nose over the top of the bottle!

The included Hi-Tech Finishing Cloth is simply a red microfibre towel and the two High Definition Applicators are a very dense, almost rubbery foam. The applicators are supplied in a sealed plastic bag, already moistened and then in a further zip lock bag allowing the owner to keep them moistened and protected.

Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture.

Cutting/cleaning Power:
The instructions say to use a "generous amount":

This kind of amount was plenty to cover a good 3' square area and could have been stretched out further - possibly even over the whole bonnet in this case. I decided to cover the main central section, then each side, going over the central section again with each side. Next time, I would simply undertake this panel in two sections.

The cleaning power is good - the paint felt "creaking clean" afterwards and the wax application that I made afterwards went on with incredible ease and felt to bond very rapidly.

The product does have at least some capability to lessen the appearance of swirls and before everyone rises up, burning torch in one hand, clenched fist the other, shouting "Witch!!!" ... I mean "Fillers!!!", I consider this to be a good thing with this product and not uncommon amongst its peers.

First, let me show you what I mean - first, following a wash and dry I am left with very light swirling on this Prima Donna paintwork. Without the sun and without looking closely, this would not be noticeable:

... and after one application of the HD Cleanser, buffed off:

Intended for cleansing the surface prior to their own High Definition Wax, this product should be formulated to provide the very best look to accept the wax - this is where some gentle swirl lessening technology is very welcome.

Often, a glaze might be used in this circumstance since perfecting with a machine polish before every waxing is simply not feasible. In many respects, this could easily be considered a glazing cleanser in the way that Dodo Juice Lime Prime Lite or Swissvax Cleaner Fluid is, and I think that is the key to understanding the any swirl lessening that this product is doing.

Ease of use:
Very easy indeed to use.

The car was washed with Autoglym Body Shampoo and Conditioner. With a "generous amount" on the supplied pad, the product spread very easily without clumping into the immediate area that it was applied. The product could be worked over and over to ensure that good cleansing had taking place and could be worked for a very sufficient amount of time without drying out. The instructions do say that product should NOT be allowed to dry on and I had to leave it a good long time to actually dry - longer than necessary to work the product as long as you would want to.

The applicator is easy to use. I worried it might be a little small for an adult, but the slightly rubbery consistency of the applicator provided a sound grip for use.

If the product does actually dry, it cannot be buffed off - simply go over with fresh product on the moistened applicator and the dried product will lift off. This is unlikely to happen - there is no rush at all in putting the applicator down and folding up the cloth to buff off.

Buffing is easy enough - it does require more than a simple wipe, so wipe once to get the most off and re-fold the cloth to a fresh part to buff any remaining product. The product does not clog up the cloth and with careful folding can be used quite efficiently. My only comment here is that one Hi-Tech Finishing Cloth is not enough, even for a car without a roof.

Again, practically a fool-proof product from Autoglym - I guess the target market is people who are used to using this kind of product, but if a "Sunday Car Washer" was to pick up this retail box, I doubt they would have any problem understanding the instructions and using it.

Clear and bright ... as expected.

I followed on with a layer of High Definition Wax, as recommended by Autoglym and was very pleased to be met with a deep, glossy and shimmering finish. The cleanser contributed certainly brightness to the overall effect.

Without knowing the RRP this is difficult to say but coming from Autoglym, the retail box will be competitively priced no doubt. The box has all the gear in that is needed to cleanse a car prior to waxing and it does that with great ease, to a great effect. Simply put, "it just works" and so the value can be considered good.

Overall DW Rating:
I cannot really fault this product: 95%

I think the inclusion of two Hi-Tech Finishing Cloths would be welcome since one cloth to cleanser a whole car, especially one with a roof, would be stretching it a little thin.

If anything a boutique bottle and perhaps a scent to mask some of the chemical would be nice. I normally use Serious Performance Paint Cleanser or Dodo Juice Lime Prime Lite for this purpose. I also like to keep product manufacturers together and since I will certainly be using High Definition Wax again, I will pre-cleanse with this product.

Many thanks indeed to Autoglym for providing this retail box for me to try. If you like the sound of this product, do look out for it in the usual outlets.

Last edited by Orca; 13-12-2009 at 11:09 PM. Reason: Correcting spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
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Old 17-03-2010, 01:16 PM   #2
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Price & Availability: As above

Used on: Renault Clio

Instructions: As above

Packaging: As above

Appearance & Fragrance:
Pleasant smelling fairly thin cream/liquid - sort of a halfway house between Super Resin and Extra Gloss in terms of viscosity. Retains its consistancy when left standing for any period and doesn't seperate in the bottle, although it's good practice with anything to give a shake prior to use.

Cutting and Cleaning Power:
There did certainly feel to be a thorough cleansing happening during application and the occasional little 'sqeak' from the application pad on the surface would seem to confirm this. The paint on the test car was fairly 'clean' to begin with in fairness, so all that was being removed was any old protective product on the car - it's not mine, but I do look after it and so know there was Meguiars #16 wax on as the LSP, so this is what was being removed, along with any atmospheric contaminants that may have settled on and permiated that wax layer.

Ease of use:
So, all going well up to this point, but here's where it begins to go downhill for me a little, at least on the test day. This test was done quite a few weeks ago now and was fairly late in the afternoon so was cold (only maybe about 4/5 degrees C at the most) and although not misty or foggy, there was a little dampness in the air.

Working on half the bonnet (only a relatively small bonnet on these) I applied some product to the pad and proceeded to apply in overlapping circular motion, in the same way as I'd apply SRP for example.

I found it quite difficult to get a smooth, even pattern of product on and easing off pressure seemed to result in negligable product being put on the surface and increasing it was putting too much down, and from experience I had a feeling these areas would prove to be difficult to buff off. No amount of variation in application pressure seemed to facilitate what I'd term an even layer, and although we're not talking about an LSP here where as even a layer as possible is desirable, I still knew the buffing off process was going to be tricky. In contrast, SRP if applied in an uneven way buffs off with no issues and just for curiosity's sake I got some out and applied it on a small area of the other side of the bonnet in an deliberately thicker and more uneven layer than I would normally.

So, come the buffing off and out with the supplied red MF ^^ and sure enough I found it hard to remove cleanly. The areas where I'd applied a little more pressure were leaving shadow lines that you might just be able to see in this pic below.

I removed as best I could and then tried experimenting with varying times between application and removal to see if I was either leaving it too long or not long enough but it didn't seem to ease the situation. Leaving longer proved to make it really difficult to remove without using far more pressure with the MF buffing towel than I was comfortable with, and in places I had to go over again with the HDC to remove.
Leaving less time faired little better and meant I was just moving the product around again and turning the buffing off MF into a secondary applicator.

Anyway, considering time was getting on and I knew the 'dew point' was not far off I persevered and managed to get a reasonably acceptable even layer on the whole bonnet and buffed off, but it wasn't easy to accomplish.

In comparison, the small area on the other side where the SRP had been applied 'badly' buffed off with ease and with no shadowing or patchiness where I'd purposely applied unevenly.

Now the atmospheric conditions weren't exactly condusive to detailing and I dare say they contributed in some degree to the difficulty I encountered with this product, due in part, I suspect, to the temperature and high humidity. But that said, in the UK from October to March (ish) we do have cold and damp days and not everyone has the luxury of working indoors, so I'd expect a product to work competently, even if not to the absolute best of its abilty, in less than ideal conditions.

I did have another go with it on a warmer day sometime after this (didn't have my camera with that day so no pics of this second test I'm afraid), and in fairness I did find it easier to apply and remove without the issues encountered on the initial test. I wouldn't go as far as to say I found it as easy and pleasurable to use as Orca did in his review above, but it was definitely better than on the Clio.

Here's where things start to pick up - the resulting finish was very good albeit it had taken some achieving - squeaky clean, slick and running another clean MF over the area in comparison to the uncleansed side, there was a marked difference in how smooth they felt.

Considering what you get in the kit: the 500ml bottle, the 2 foam applicators and the Microfibre towel, I think it's priced correctly and very competitively, and it's nice to see a manufacturer providing everything you need to get the job done in the one box.

Overall DW rating: 70%

As I'd got visions and expectations of this being pretty much identical to SRP in terms of its use (but without the slight cut and the protective qualities obviously), I have to say I was a little disappointed with HDC after the initial test, and this was only marginally improved after the second test in better conditions. If it had been 'bombproof' in its ease of application like SRP is then considering the cleaning power and the overall finish, which were very good as I've said, I would have been awarding a very high score and singing its praises. But unfortunately the difficulty I encountered marks it down for me and so affects the overall score I can award.
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