$29.99 Armor All gift pack
If you know someone who has just purchased or otherwise obtained a vehicle for the first time, here’s a neat “welcome to car ownership” gift suggestion. Armor All has packaged a variety of car care products into a ”Gift Pack”.
Anyone who washes or cleans a vehicle on occasion will already have things like glass cleaner, sponges and cloths. All of which are included in the 10-piece kit. But, it will set up a first time owner, or someone with a second or seasonal home, with the essentials at $29.99.
The Armor All kit contains:
Ultra Shine Wash & Wax 473 ml
Protectant 300 ml
Extreme Tire Shine 650 ml
Glass Cleaner Spray 650 ml
Multipurpose Cleaner 473 ml
Liquid Cleaner Wax 473 ml
Bonus: cloth and wax applicator
The essentials as I see it are the UltraShine Wash and Wax, Protectant, Multipurpose Cleaner, Liquid Cleaner Wax, and applicator. The bottle of Extreme Tire Shine might also be included, if tire dressing is to your liking.
Shade is the key to a good job
With the kit in hand, let’s wash the vehicle. There is a process to follow, in properly cleaning and protecting the surface of a vehicle.
First, find a suitable location out of direct sunlight, Second, use a hose and plenty of water to thoroughly spray the vehicle from the top, down to dislodge any dirt or other particles lying on the surface. Third, mix a product like Ultrashine Wash and Wax mixed with water (preferably warm) in a clean container. While it is tempting to use regular dish or laundry detergent, that’s a no-no. These products are too strong and will remove any wax on the paint and might even damage or dull the protective clear coat on the paint.
With a clean wash mitt or sponge, wash the vehicle, one small area at a time, from the top down, rinsing thoroughly each step of the way. I break the process into six distinct areas: top and glass, hood and trunk, one side, the other, front and back. Don’t forget to rinse the wash mitt or sponge thoroughly after each step with clear water from a hose or second container of water to avoid scratching the paint with dirt picked up by the mitt or sponge.
Don’t forget the wheels. But it is very important to use a separate mitt or sponge, and source of water/soap. Do this last. The wheels will be coated with brake dust, which does not get along well with wax, paint or soap. Here is a case for lots and lots of fresh, clear water and frequent rinsing. I keep a separate bucket and wash mitt for this work, as well as a small soft brush to get into the tight confines of some alloy wheels.
After drying the surface of the vehicle with a clean towel (my favourite), chamois or cloth, you can apply the Liquid Cleaner Wax with the provided applicator. Applied and removed in the shade, according to the directions, this will not only leave the vehicle looking like new, but also protect the paint from all the chemicals and nasty things in the air around us.
Time to move inside
This is also the time when you can put the Armor All Multipurpose cleaner to work in a variety of locations inside the vehicle. Then you can then apply the Armor All protectant to keep them looking good. This step is more about protection than appearance. Exposure to bright sunlight and heat will damage plastic, vinyl or rubber surfaces. This specially formulated protectant will penetrate these surfaces, providing a layer of protection.
A tip here. Too much protectant can leave a slippery surface. Use a fresh cloth, like that provided in the kit, to wipe the surfaces after applying the protectant. It will remove any extra surface coating, but not the freshly cleaned look and all-important protectant component.
Now, Break out the vacuum. Do the seats, floors and all those little gaps where stuff tends to hide, like under the seats. If needed, now is the time for shampoo or leather treatment.
Next, the windows – all of them – inside and out. The adhesives and plastics used in modern vehicle manufacturing leave a thin and all-but-invisible coating on the glass as they age and/or evaporate. While you may not see it during the day, you will at night in the glare of approaching headlights.
Now you can spray those freshly cleaned and now dry tires with the Extreme Tire Shine. Some will advise against the use of tire treatments in the belief it might harm the rubber. That might be the case if the tire was being put into storage for a lengthy period of time. But, I do not subscribe to that belief for general use. The tire is subjected to such extreme conditions that the surface is quickly cleansed of anything on the surface.
A clean, tire to me is the finishing touch to a proper detailing. Designers refer to wheels as the jewellery of a vehicle. They are now commonly 17 – 21 inches in diameter making them a major component in the look. It seems shame to have those fancy wheels nice and clean, but wrapped in dull grey rubber.
The 10 piece Armor All® gift pack is available only at Canadian Tire at $29.99.
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