Greased Lightning product line-up tested

Greased Lightning waterless car cleaning products are designed to be convenient and effective. We put them to the test to find out.

Greased Lightning products lined up

by Chris Williams |

Greased Lightning is a slightly unusual car cleaning brand because it doesn’t market itself to car detailing enthusiasts. Instead, it aims its sights on the average joe, that is, the sort of person that likes to keep their car clean but has little interest in the procedure.

As such, you won’t find Greased Lightning bottles on the shelves of Halfords or auto parts stores, but rather places like your local garden centre.

The number of people after convenient and effective car cleaning products far outnumber the clan of car detailing enthusiasts. Greased Lightning may therefore be onto a winning philosophy. But the inevitable question is: are its products any good?

Tested Greased Lightning product line-up

More on each to follow, but let's have a look at what we test first, and where to get them.

Showroom Shine 1L

Showroom Shine 1L
Amazon

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The companyu2019s flagship product. A waterless wash that claims to give eight to 10 washes per bottle and saves up to 2,000 litres of water in the process. Also comes in a two pack or two pack with microfibre towels.

Bug Buster 1L

Bug Buster 1L
Amazon

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Designed for removing splattered bugs, solidified bird deposits, and other such mess. Can be used on glass too.

One Minute Wheels 1L

One Minute Wheels 1L
Amazon

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The fastest wheel cleaner in the west, or something. Designed to be a quick detailer-type wheel cleaner.

World Class Wheels 1L

World Class Wheels 1L
Amazon

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A more serious wheel cleaner that is more like 26JPNu2019s Fallout.

Greased Lightning Brilliant Black 1L

Greased Lightning Brilliant Black 1L
Amazon

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A tyre shine and exterior trim restorer.

Crystal Glass 1L

Crystal Glass 1L
Amazon

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Have a guess - it's for glass.

Stain Shifter 1L

Stain Shifter 1L
Amazon

View offer

A stain remover and refresher for upholstery and interior fabrics.

Lightning Dash Devil 1L

Lightning Dash Devil 1L
Amazon

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Degreases and cleans plastic, vinyl, and rubber trim, and screens.

Lovely Leather 1L

Lovely Leather 1L
Amazon

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Our test car did not have leather, so we will test this another time.

How we tested

The car to be cleaned was an old Honda Civic Type R that spent most of its time idle. The Honda was in the condition that a car is in if it's been denied a clean for about six months.

Dirty rear bumper of Honda test car
©Photo: Parkers

It was chosen for its need to be cleaned over its photogenic-ness (for photographing a cleaning test, silver or white cars are not great). We used the Greased Lightning products for each of their intended purposes, testing how each of them performed in the real world.

Wheels

Let’s begin with the wheels. Greased Lighting has two products: a quick detailer-type option (One Minute Wheels) and one for deeper cleans (World Class Wheels). Greased Lightning told us that it brought out World Class wheels partly in response to some people’s unrealistic expectations of One Minute Wheels.

According to Greased Lightning, One Minute Wheels is a quick cleaner, not a deep cleaner, meant for fast and frequent touch-ups to keep wheels fairly clean and presentable.

Indeed, our efforts with One Minute Wheels proved it is exactly that. Testing on one of the dirtier front wheels, One Minute Wheels easily and quickly removed the light dirt when sprayed on and wiped off. Paired with Brilliant Black, the wheel and tyre scrubbed up rather well.

One Minute Wheels and Brilliant Black result
©Photo: Parkers

To remove the persistent muck like brake dust, World Class Wheels works much better. It sprays on too but left for a little while as it breaks up the grime. We then scrubbed it with a wheel brush before removing the solution.

In the image below you will see how clean the wheels are. But the eagle-eyed amongst you will notice there is grime in between the spokes and that sparks an important tip from us: if your car’s wheels have intricate spoke designs with tight gaps, you’ll likely want to consider and suitable detailing brush that can reach those areas for cleaning.

World Class Wheels result
©Photo: Parkers

Bodywork and windows

Before using the Showroom Shine, we applied the Bug Buster to some areas of the bodywork to get rid of the stubborn spots and much that had been glued to the Honda for some time.

Recommended advice from Greased Lightning was that for the tougher grime, let the Bug Buster sit for a short while before wiping off. We tried it on the Honda's collection of bugs and sap. It worked very nicely.

Showroom Shine is Greased Lightning’s main product. We were excited to try this, curious to see if it generated as much shine as the No-H2O waterless wash we’d previously tested and if it was more economical.

Greased Lightning test result
©Photo: Parkers

The idea with the Showroom Shine is to spray just enough of it on to cover a surface, where it lifts the dirt; you then wipe it with a microfibre to remove said dirt; you then buff the surface with another microfibre to bring up the shine. We were very impressed with the results, not least because Showroom Shine managed to clean effectively without going through half the bottle.

Does that make Greased Lightning’s claim of eight to 10 washes from a bottle accurate? It depends very much on the size of your car and how dirty it is. We believe a one-litre bottle of Showroom Shine could achieve this for a lightly dirty family saloon or estate, but perhaps not quite for heavily soiled vehicles or large SUVs.

In addressing a fundamental concern with waterless car wash, the Showroom Shine did not scratch the bodywork at all. True to its word, it lifted the dirt, to allow for quick and scratch-free cleaning. Greased Lightning says Showroom Shine protects as well as cleans, thanks to the incorporated carnauba wax.

Water beading on side of Honda Civic
©Photo: Parkers

After cleaning, we poured some water down the side of the car to see how hydrophobic the Showroom Shine is, and it did a reasonable job. You can brush the bodywork with your fingertips to feel the improvement too; the Honda’s panels felt smooth and silky.

We finished off the exterior with Crystal Glass and trim touch-ups using Brilliant Black. The former did a stellar job in removing specks of dirt without smearing; and on the initial application to the grille, window seals, and other bits, Brilliant Black works well. We checked back on it a week after application and it still looks good.

Applying Brilliant Black to Honda
©Photo: Parkers

Interior

The main things you want from an interior cleaner are to leave a non-greasy, matte finish on surfaces and able to be applied to screens. We found the Dash Devil achieves both.

Following this success, we tried the Stain Shifter on an old mark on one of the seats but didn’t find any luck there. However, Stain Shifter isn’t alone and we have yet to find an upholstery cleaner that can deal with ancient stains.

And we have since tried the Stain Shifter elsewhere, including around the house, and found it to be pretty effective on new stains.

Applying Dash Devil to Honda dashboard
©Photo: Parkers

What we will say for both is that the one-litre bottles are a bit big to wield inside a car. This can be addressed by either spraying the solution onto a cloth before stepping inside, or buying the smaller 500ml bottles instead – the trade-off there being they won’t last as long.

Additional thoughts

Showroom Shine aside, all the Greased Lightning products are pretty conventional. The packaging looks different to other car cleaning products because you can actually see the solution inside the bottle, which you don’t get with other car cleaning bottles. As a marketing exercise, it works well in distilling a bit more user confidence. They smell nice too, except for the World Class Wheels.

While we do really like the one-litre bottles, which are larger than what you’ll find elsewhere, the triggers could be more ergonomic.

Showroom Shine certainly does what it’s designed to do. It’s quick to apply and effective as a light cleaner. You really can have a car cleaned in about 15 minutes.

If you use several of Greased Lightning's products at once, we did notice that you do need quite a few cloths and applicators: you need two for Showroom Shine, two for Crystal Glass, a brush or cloth for wheels, an applicator or pad for Brilliant Black, and a cloth for interior cleaning. By contrast, a conventional car clean with water only demands a couple of microfibres, a wheel brush, and a drying cloth.

Verdict

Overall, we liked the Greased Lightning products because they do exactly what they’re meant to. They don’t overpromise or underdeliver.

Having tried and tested Showroom Shine, we recommend it to those after a quick and effective cleaner. If it’s a deep clean you’re after, we suggest sticking to the conventional method of snow foam, car shampoo, polish, and wax.

Of the two wheel cleaners, we prefer World Class Wheels. It’s noticeably more effective and doesn’t take that much longer to use than One Minute Wheels. It’s a pity Greased Lightning don’t do a Showroom Shine-World Class Wheels two pack - it does one with One Minute Wheels.

Read next:

How to properly wash your car

Parkers' paint protection guide for DIYers

Best waterless car wash products to slash water use

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