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First of all I must admit to being a bit of a heathen when it comes to automotive shampoos. After buying "expensive" shampoo in the past I have always been disappointed by the claimed dilution ratios and haven't really ever seen the point of paying a little more than necessary. With that in mind I have generally bought larger amounts to keep costs down which limits my choice a little however there are still enough shampoos on the market in larger bottles.

Before I start I must explain that I do not have a pressure washer or even access to a hose! Therefore I need a shampoo which cleans well and glides over the paint whilst also rinsing easily.....and yes I have many many buckets!!

This weekend I managed to test my Lather sample from Auto Finesse.



Initial thoughts: 50ml bottle with a clear liquid in it, turning the bottle upside down it was apparent that the liquid is quite thick. Opening the bottle reveals a sort of citrus smell, the Auto Finesse site says tangerines, but I couldn't quite put my finger on the actual aroma then I realised it actually smells a bit like a gin and tonic!

Auto Finesse says it can be diluted at up to 1:2000, in my experience shampoos don't usually work well enough for me at the lowest of their dilution ratios. For example my current shampoo goes down to 1:500 which is 26ml of product in the bucket I use. However to get a comfortable clean I tend to use between 60ml and 90ml! Anything else just doesn't seem to clean/glide well enough. With my cynical mind in overdrive, I used just under half of the bottle to 13l of water which gives a ratio of approximately 1:650. At this ratio it foamed beautifully and the bubbles stayed in the bucket for ages. Dipping my Megs lambswool mitt into the bucket it covered nicely in bubbles and they clung to the mitt.



I sprayed my wife's Audi A4 Convertible with a mixture of Valet Pro shampoo and water from a hand pressure sprayer as usual, left it for a few minutes and then got to washing. I must admit I was pretty surprised, even at what I consider to be a small amount of product the cleaning power is very impressive, the mitt glides across the paint and the car was pretty dirty having covered about 250 miles on wet motorways and town roads. Plus you get the lovely Tangerine (Gin and Tonic) smell whilst cleaning. The bubbles seemed to cling to the paint as well making cleaning easy. Even when the bucket was low there was still bubbles left in it as well which I thought was quite impressive.

I rinsed the car as usual using buckets of water....no hose remember! The car rinsed easily with no water marks and it was easy to dry leaving a clean surface. I think I could probably have used much less of the shampoo in the bucket as it cleaned easily and rinsed well.

So what do I think to this shampoo? I'm really impressed, nice smell, due to the thickness it is easy to measure with much less wastage. Plus if I'm able to use 15ml of product per wash the 5l bottle gets 333 washes so which works out at 10.5p per wash. To put this into perspective my current "cheap" 5l shampoo costs me 20p per wash!!!!!

So Auto Finesse seems to have done the impossible in my eyes, created an expensive shampoo that works really well with the cleaning power I need that rinses well and is actually quite cheap!

I will definitely by buying this shampoo, especially as the retail bottles look really cool in black as well............I just need to finish my cheap shampoo first!
 
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