ShinyCar UK Premium Eight Piece Car Wash Kit review: nailing the basics

Does this car cleaning kit contain all you need to wash your car?

The ShinyCar UK valeting pack

by Ryan Gilmore |

When you start to take car cleaning more seriously, it can be incredibly easy to become overwhelmed by all the equipment you’ll need to buy. And it’s not just the various polishes, wheel cleaners and shampoos you’ll read about, even the fundamentals are important to get right if you want the very best results.

ShinyCar is a UK based company dedicated to producing the best quality car cleaning products on sale and its Premium Car Wash Kit looks like it includes all the essentials you could ever need for car cleaning. To see if it’s the perfect valeting kit, we’re putting it to the test.

What's included?

The ShinyCar UK kit
©ShinyCar UK

At a glance, this kit contains all the right equipment for properly washing your car while keeping it protected. First and foremost are two wash mitts for washing your car’s bodywork. One is entirely covered in chenille, the other is coral fleece and polymesh. The chenille is ideal for shampooing bodywork as the long noodles are designed to lather shampoo nicely while the coral fleece and polymesh are perfect for shampooing hard-to-reach areas and shifting embedded dirt (like bird poo) without being too abrasive. You should choose a wash mitt over a sponge because a wash mitt pulls grit and mud away from your car as you wash. A sponge will trap dirt on its surface which can lead to bodywork scratches as you pull it across your car.

Also included are three microfibre drying towels, two 300gsm waffle-weave towels that are perfect for streak-free glass and a thick 800gsm coral fleece example that’s designed for drying your car quickly and effectively. Microfibres are a great inclusion because they’re the best choice for drying your car quickly and safely. While it may be tempting to use a chamois, a microfibre is more absorbent and far softer on your paintwork.

Finally, the kit contains three brushes, one for the wheels and two detailing bushes. All three are nice little upgrades to your car cleaning routine and are designed to help shift dirt without being too abrasive.

Quality and effectiveness

To best test this kit, each product needs to be assessed independently before a more general picture can be reached. So with a mucky car, a few bottles of car shampoo and our camera ready it's time to see what it's like in the real world.

The wash mitts

The first thing we tested was the chenille wash mitt. Initial impressions were positive; the microfibre noodles are roughly 3cm long, which aids in lathering the shampoo and ensures that dirt doesn't become trapped, causing damage. The cuff is comfortable and the mitt is a good size (for my hands at least) which makes cleaning easy and effective.

To be pedantic, the 26JPN Wash Mitt is better thanks to its central split for easier control and added foam for extra absorbency. However, it's also more expensive and most people won't notice the difference in its cleaning abilities.

The inclusion of a second wash mitt is welcome, as it unlocks even better cleaning. Like the chenille example, the cuff is comfortable, and the quality is clear to see. The difference comes in the finish; this wash mitt features a polymesh side (ideal for removing embedded ex-insects without harming your paintwork) and a soft coral fleece side (perfect for cleaning nooks and awkward areas). While this won't be your main wash mitt, it's a useful addition.

The brushes

Up first are the two detailing brushes, both of which feature soft, synthetic bristles that can agitate the dirt on a smaller scale and be used on both the exterior and interior. And while some scoff at the idea of using synthetic bristles on paintwork, these are soft enough to not be an issue. What's nice about these brushes is that they lack metal in the construction, reassuring you won't scratch anything if you drop it or are too aggressive in your brushing. They're also comfortable to hold and are nice and light, perfect for cleaning in other words.

The wheel brush makes use of nylon brushes to remove dirt without being too harsh on your wheels and features an ergonomic rubber-coated handle that remains grippy even when wet. Unfortunately, it's far from the best wheel brush we've tested. The looped design of the brush means cleaning intricate alloy wheels a little difficult, especially with the ever-present threat of the metal spine catching the wheel and scratching it. If there was a weak link in this kit it's this wheel brush, at least the coral fleece wash mitt can be used to clean the wheels instead.

The microfibre towels

Arguably the most important part of the cleaning process, it doesn't matter how good your chosen shampoo is, if you fail to properly dry your car you'll end up with nasty water spots. Microfibres can be a complex affair and this set comes with two essential types, a large drying towel for bodywork and two waffle-weave examples for windows.

The 800gsm coral fleece drying towel is incredibly soft and of very good quality. The wrapped edges minimise the chances of scratching, while the split-twist fibres are ideal for soaking up water. At 50 x 50cm, it's got the surface area to properly clean a car and the natural weight of the towel makes collecting water easy. It's very absorbent too, although a second would come in handy for drying a larger car.

The two waffle-weave towels are equally impressive. Both are again 50 x 50cm and the perfect way of drying your windows without leaving any streaks. The waffle-weave is perfect for drying glass as the structure adds to the surface area while remaining highly absorbent.

Verdict

The two wash mitts
©Photo: ShinyCar UK

The best way to view this car care kit is through the lens of someone who's never dipped their toe into the world of car detailing. Here, it makes perfect sense because it includes all the right stuff and is made to a high standard. In fact, the kit continues to make sense even if you have a couple of basic items already and want a nice upgrade.

While it is possible to source better products for cleaning your car, this can be a time consuming and costly affair. If you’re wanting quality equipment at a reasonable cost, this convenient car cleaning kit really is rather good.

4.5/5

Pros Cons
• Overall quality • Need to be careful with the wheel brush
• Contains all the essentials • A second 800gsm microfibre towel would be nice
• Storage bag is a nice touch

How we tested it:

To properly test this kit we cleaned a car and made sure to use each item as intended. We followed our washing guide and made sure to use 26JPN products as we all have plenty of experience with these products and the results they'd offer, which made evaluating the ShinyCar UK kit easier.

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