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I was asked a while back to do a review on some of Mother's detailing products. I have an extensive detailing background from an amateur standpoint. I also have been involved in the development of some other detailing products for a different company so I've had a LOT of detailing products pass through my hands over the years.

I was presented with a lot of products to review and I decided to break this up into several parts. One reason was because some of the products Ive sent, I cant review them on my own vehicle, like the leather dressing. I have cloth seats in my car. That being said, here is how I have decided to approach this review.

Initially, in this article, I will be covering the products used in an exterior detail. I am doing a more indepth review to cover the various sealants they sent me but I thought to get us started I would cover the foundation of a good exterior detail and how the Mother's products played into it.

For starters, I cleaned the wheels using the new Mother's All Wheel & Tire cleaner accompanied with the Mother's Fenderwell Brush.


I thought that the wheel cleaner did a good job at removing brake dust and grime. I used the fenderwell brush to also scrub the tires and rims however I felt like the bristles of the brush were a little too soft to be effective as a tire/rim cleaner. Using it for fenderwells, it worked very well but I have to question whether a dedicated brush for the fenderwells is needed for anyone except the hardcore detailer. With a little agitation from the brush, the All Wheel & Tire Cleaner worked very well. For an "off the shelf" cleaner, I was impressed with this stuff.


Here's a before shot of the nasty wheels.


And here's an after. This is just with light brushing.​

After cleaning the tires and wheels, I moved on to washing the car. For this, I used the Mother's Car Wash Bucket, the Genuine Lambwool Wash Mitt and Mother's California Gold Car Wash.


Not really a whole lot to say about the bucket. Mother's advertises it as coming with a lid. Mine did not. It would have been nice if it had a grit guard in the bottom but alas, no such luck. So.. its a bucket. It holds water and soap and a sponge.

The Lambswool Wash Mitt I found to be great at holding soap and I did not notice any marring or scratching from using it. Generally I like to use microfiber sponges for washing but I have to say, this mitt did a good job.

The California Gold Car Wash also surprised me. I found it to be very good at removing tar and bug guts. I wasn't real impressed with the lubricity of the soap but I guess that goes to show that there isnt a lot of silicone in the car wash. A lot of companies add silicone to their car washes to enhance lubricity but they usually leave behind a film after you dry the car. I did not notice that with the Mother's Gold Car Wash. Meguiars NXT Wash has always been my "go to" wash for off the shelf stuff. Car wash is one of those things that Ive never really found the boutique brands to be much better than the off the shelf stuff. In this case, given the great job the Mother's wash did with handling tar and bug guts, that will definitely play into my decision next time I'm buying a bottle of car wash.

After finishing up the wash, I left the car wet and moved on to the clay portion of the exterior detail.


For those of you that detail your car and don't use clay, you are doing your car's paint a disservice. Claying removes debris that has embedded itself in the paint that washing and even polishing won't remove. The Mother's kit comes with a microfiber towel, 2 clay bars and a bottle of Showtime Spray Detailer. Even on new cars it's beneficial to clay the paint because it removes rail rust and other contaminants that get on your paint's surface while it's in transit to the dealership. The Mother's kit also comes with 2 clay bars and honestly, you can cut them in half and do a whole car with half a bar. That gives you 4 clayings per box. Claying is a pretty easy process. Spray detailer onto the paint to lubricate the surface and rub the clay over it. Knead the clay bar periodically so all the dirt doesn't end up in one spot. Wipe the spray detailer off with the included microfiber cloth and congratulations, you just clayed your vehicle.

If you're really interested in knowing how good a job you did, you can use the sandwich bag trick to find out. Get a plastic sandwich bag, the thin kind, not the ones with the ziplock strip but the thin, old school ones with the foldable flap. Spray detailer on the surface of the paint, put your hand inside the plastic bag and feel the surface with your fingertips. If you still have paint contaminants, you'll be able to feel them through the plastic. This is exceptionally useful if you've never done any claying. After you clay a few vehicles, you'll get the hang of it and the sandwich bag technique is not really needed any longer.

At this point, you have a prepared paint surface for either buffing or waxing. Normally I would buff the paint next however my car really didnt need it. That being the case, I decided to move on to the wax portion of the detail. I took a unique approach here. I decided to do everything on the car except the hood with Mother's FX Spray Wax.


I'm a huge fan of one step systems and have been waiting for a quality spray wax to hit the over the counter market. Compared to the other 1 steppers I've used, this aint it. Duragloss Aqua Wax is the same kind of product and IMO lasts longer. I got about 3 weeks of beading out of the FX Spray Wax before I noticed the tightness of the water beads fading. Aqua Wax gives about twice that amount of time on a properly prepped car. That's not to say the Mother's stuff is bad, it's not. It looks good, it beads well for a few weeks and it adds some slickness to the paint surface after application. For something quick and easy, it's tough to beat. For long lasting protection, like something for over the winter, this isn't going to cut it, however.

I also decided to test the durablity of the the FX line of waxes. Mother's sent me the paste and liquid versions of their FX SynWax. This is ongoing and hopefully I will have a report on this in a couple of weeks. What I did is split the hood of the vehicle into 3 parts. One part I did with my control wax, Collinite 476. Collinite 476 is my "go to" wax for over the winter detailing. It does't pop quite like most other waxes but it has incredible durability. It will be interesting to see how the two SynWax products hold up against the Collinite.

After finishing up the exterior (for now), I went ahead and put the finishing touches on with Mother's FX Tire Shine.


This is another product that I was very impressed with. It leaves your tires looking dripping wet but has minimal sling if you follow the instructions. Spray the tire down as evenly as possible, leave the stuff on the tire for 10 minutes or so and wipe the tire down. This tire shine leaves an exceptionally glossy appearance, which I happen to like. I found the tire to stay GREAT looking for about 3 days and GOOD looking for a couple of weeks. For tire shine, I think this is about on par with everyone else. I always hear about tire shine that lasts for months but those people must have lower standards for tire shine than I do because a couple of weeks is usually about average.

One thing I would like to point out about the tire shine, store it somewhere warm. Everything has an "optiumum storing temperature" on the label but with this stuff, its really something to pay attention to. I left a bottle in my car and it basically coagulated into a gel.

Here's a couple of shots of the completed detail. Im going to have an interior detail forthcoming as well as the wax comparison.




Dont badmouth my test vehicle ;) I would have gladly used a Challenger if one was available to me. Course, the Mazda is much smaller and for a product comparison like I have in the works, smaller is better.
 

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Nice write-up Jay. Sounds like we have similar thoughts on the subject. I find some folks will readily dismiss OTC products thinking that the only good ones are obtained through boutique sources (and at boutique prices). While I do use many products that you can typically only find online, I also use others that can be obtained through local B&M/retail stores. Collinite and Duragloss are just two great examples you provided that have several notable products in their line that perform well enough to be compared to their more exclusive, costly counterparts. Mothers (like others) also have some good products I have tried and liked.

Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with these products.
 

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Thanks.. Some of the OTC stuff is alright. Ive never really seen an OTC sealant that I thought could hold a candle to the boutique stuff but you never know.

I worked with a small company in Texas for a while developing and testing new products so Ive got some experience in the detailing biz but not very much.

Im going to do an interior detail as well as touch on their Back To Back product. After that, Im going to do a more in depth sealant comparison.
 

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Hands down i have to give it to liquid wax ICE by Turtle Wax it is the best liquid polish there is it leaves my challenger looking better than a mirror. i wouldnt be able to say anything on the wheel cleaners and the rest of the stuff i havnt used it.
 

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Thanks.. Some of the OTC stuff is alright. Ive never really seen an OTC sealant that I thought could hold a candle to the boutique stuff but you never know.

I worked with a small company in Texas for a while developing and testing new products so Ive got some experience in the detailing biz but not very much.

Im going to do an interior detail as well as touch on their Back To Back product. After that, Im going to do a more in depth sealant comparison.
....I would say there are a couple of stand-out OTC waxes/sealants/hybrids available that will hold their own against others but as always, it really depends on what a user is looking for. In fact, the Collinte 425 you spoke of earlier is one of those I would consider (along with their 845IW and 915). ….a very popular and widely used line of products used by enthusiasts and professionals alike. Heck, products like Autoglym HD (which has had favorable reviews in the detailing community) can now be found at Wal-Mart. Having said that, I agree that for the most part, retail equivalents in this category seem few and far between. Even consumer favorites like Meguiars NXT (while “decent”) simply lack in some characteristics (resilience in this case (IMO/IME)) compared to other solutions available. The only problem with some of the good OTC lines (like Collinite and Duragloss) is that they can be hard to find in some areas. I have to order mine online.


I’ve used Back to Black on and off for quite a few years for some exterior applications. I always seem to have a bottle of it laying around in one of my cabinets. ….not something I would consider for interior though (personal taste) but I would still like to hear your take on it. I am also interested to see your comparison of sealants. ….any idea what you will be choosing to use in your test?
 

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Love some of Mothers products and bang for the buck yah cant beat it
Two of my favorites from Mothers the showtime QD and the clay bar kit
Have agree with Kean on sealants.. my go to sealant"Poorboys World EX-P pure sealant,heres my trick let the sealant fully cure then I topcoat it with a high end pure carnuba wax..on a dark car you wil get the wet look your after.My go to wax its cdn made and its under 2 names same company "Worlds Best Wax or Victoria Wax :thumbsup:both have web pages,well worth the money.wait to you check out the level of carnuba in this wax:bigthumb:
 

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Ive also used Poorboys World stuff. Steve up there is a nice guy. Unfortunately his sealant wrecked the trim on one of my vehicles and Steve did nothing to stand behind it, even after verifying the problem on the same make/model vehicle.

I dont really consider Duragloss or Collinite OTC products. Duragloss is made about 40 minutes from me and I cant hardly the find the stuff around here. I havent used their line in a couple of years but I wasnt real impressed with their sealants either. The Aquawax is nice tho and seems to be on par with the Mother's offering.

The best stuff Ive ever used from a longevity standpoint is Ultima. That stuff just seems to last forever. It doesnt have the pop of a lot of products but its some tough stuff.
 

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Hands down i have to give it to liquid wax ICE by Turtle Wax it is the best liquid polish there is it leaves my challenger looking better than a mirror. i wouldnt be able to say anything on the wheel cleaners and the rest of the stuff i havnt used it.
A couple of years ago, Turtle Wax sent me a bunch of their ICE products to evaluate. Needless to say, the stuff was so bad I didnt write an article about it because I couldnt find anything nice to say about it.
 

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Thanks for the product review. Most major brands of waxes, like Mothers, will do a quality job. However, I have found that the "secret" to an outstanding high gloss shine is a good detail spray. Have you evaluated Mothers detail spray?
 

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Nice Job. I would like to put my 2 cents in about the fender brush. On some newer cars your right you don't need them but on the older 60's 70's 80's cars and most of the SUV's you do need them and you should always clean the undersides of the inner fender wells. This is where mud and dirt lay. It stays wet must of the times and that's how you get rust at the bottom of your car or truck. When it rains or snows this can stay wet for days just like a plants dirt would stay after watering it. The moisture lays up against the metal and make it turn into rust. Washing away the dirt and mud helps it dry out much faster. You should also take the time to clean out the leaves and dirt from under your hood and trunk. On older cars you should also remove the window moldings and clean and blow them out at least once a year .
 

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What pissed me off is that Mothers had a great tire shine product that they cancelled. It did not go on oily like the rest and dried to a semi gloss. It also did not collect dust. I think it was called Dura Shine.
 

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I dont really consider Duragloss or Collinite OTC products. Duragloss is made about 40 minutes from me and I cant hardly the find the stuff around here. I havent used their line in a couple of years but I wasnt real impressed with their sealants either. The Aquawax is nice tho and seems to be on par with the Mother's offering.

The best stuff Ive ever used from a longevity standpoint is Ultima. That stuff just seems to last forever. It doesnt have the pop of a lot of products but its some tough stuff.
....yeah, that's why I mentioned that they can be hard to find through B&M stores. Even chains that do carry products such as these (Napa, Harbor Freight, Car Quest, Parts Plus, etc.), it still seems to vary by store. The good news is that you can easily find them online if folks are looking for a source and inclined to try them out for themselves.

I've never tried the DG sealants myself but it is common to see those that have, compare them to the Zaino line. I like and use DG Aqua Wax as well. Personally, I think it’s superior to other OTC choices out there and it is a very popular among professionals and enthusiasts alike. I’m glad to see folks like Autogeek are now carrying it in gallon sizes. It’s not often that I dry traditionally (I use DI water) but when I do, I like to use DG AW. I actually use it more regularly for trim pieces. Other notable DG products I have used and like are 253 (tire dressing) & 901/902 (car wash concentrate). However, I wasn’t impressed with their 481 (wax eraser) nor their 755 (glass polish) to be honest.


While I never tried Ultima PGP, I have tried and use Optimum OS which is quite similar. It doesn’t get much quicker or easier than a “wipe on, walk away” product. Heck, I’ve even used it via an airbrush with great results. OS is also very compatible with most products. ….I’ve never had a problem topping it over sealants/waxes as a follow up solution. My wife’s car currently has FinishKare 1000p on it and I have Wolfgang Fuzion on my Challenger. I tried to stop buying new waxes/sealants about a year ago since I realized I had more stuff in my cabinets than I can actually try/use. :lol:
 

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What pissed me off is that Mothers had a great tire shine product that they cancelled. It did not go on oily like the rest and dried to a semi gloss. It also did not collect dust. I think it was called Dura Shine.
Sorry to hear you have been upset about that product, which was actually called Duration.

As I recall, it was a tad on the pricey side and did not sell well even though it had a strong following to enthusiasts like you who really liked it. I've actually been pushing to bring it back, but I lost another round.

If you prefer shiny tires, we will have a new Back-to-Black Tire Shine spray by about February, and it will be available in most stores. If you like a rich natural look, our Reflections Tire Care spray is really my favorite, and it is available widely online.
 

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If you prefer shiny tires, we will have a new Back-to-Black Tire Shine spray by about February, and it will be available in most stores. If you like a rich natural look, our Reflections Tire Care spray is really my favorite, and it is available widely online.
....I actually used the regular Back to Black on my tires years ago in a pinch and was pretty impressed with the satin-like finish it left (I hate shiny tires). I used it regularly from then on while I was in between dedicated tire dressings. Although I use several other types of products for some trim (i.e. 303 AP, Black Wow, Meg UP, etc.), I still keep a bottle of B2B in my cabinets that I use from time to time. It's a good product IMO/IME.
 

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A couple of years ago, Turtle Wax sent me a bunch of their ICE products to evaluate. Needless to say, the stuff was so bad I didnt write an article about it because I couldnt find anything nice to say about it.
thats wierd, i guess it was there old stuff, i have no complaints? whoe knows..
 

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thats wierd, i guess it was there old stuff, i have no complaints? whoe knows..
....take into account that it is all relative. Opinions will vary in part as a result of individual experience with other products. One man's "sliced bread" discovery could be looked upon as "ho hum" by someone else that had a better experience with something else.
 

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nice write up JayC...Dang!
 

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....yeah, that's why I mentioned that they can be hard to find through B&M stores. Even chains that do carry products such as these (Napa, Harbor Freight, Car Quest, Parts Plus, etc.), it still seems to vary by store. The good news is that you can easily find them online if folks are looking for a source and inclined to try them out for themselves.

I've never tried the DG sealants myself but it is common to see those that have, compare them to the Zaino line. I like and use DG Aqua Wax as well. Personally, I think it’s superior to other OTC choices out there and it is a very popular among professionals and enthusiasts alike. I’m glad to see folks like Autogeek are now carrying it in gallon sizes. It’s not often that I dry traditionally (I use DI water) but when I do, I like to use DG AW. I actually use it more regularly for trim pieces. Other notable DG products I have used and like are 253 (tire dressing) & 901/902 (car wash concentrate). However, I wasn’t impressed with their 481 (wax eraser) nor their 755 (glass polish) to be honest.

While I never tried Ultima PGP, I have tried and use Optimum OS which is quite similar. It doesn’t get much quicker or easier than a “wipe on, walk away” product. Heck, I’ve even used it via an airbrush with great results. OS is also very compatible with most products. ….I’ve never had a problem topping it over sealants/waxes as a follow up solution. My wife’s car currently has FinishKare 1000p on it and I have Wolfgang Fuzion on my Challenger. I tried to stop buying new waxes/sealants about a year ago since I realized I had more stuff in my cabinets than I can actually try/use. :lol:
I'm in the same position, too many detailing products that I can use. Guess I should know better, I've been an Autopia member since '01. That being said, my pot of Fuzion was delivered this past Friday, purchased on sale for $99 from Autogeek. What are your thoughts on Fuzion?
 

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I'm in the same position, too many detailing products that I can use. Guess I should know better, I've been an Autopia member since '01. That being said, my pot of Fuzion was delivered this past Friday, purchased on sale for $99 from Autogeek. What are your thoughts on Fuzion?
....cool. A fellow Autopian. :pimp: I've been a member there since '03 myself.

I received a free sample of Fuzion a few months ago (the $50 size jar) when I ordered a Flex 3401 to replace my aging PC as my main DA. First impression is that the product is so simple to use. Being a wipe on, wipe off wax, there is no waiting for it to haze and it comes off with little effort. I had no problem with smearing/residue and found it actually worked quite well on most of the Challenger's trim (since it doesn't stain). In fact, that is what I have been using the rest of the jar on after applying two coats on the paint.

As for looks, I'll have to be honest and say that I've never been one that could notice some of the little nuances that others could between some waxes/sealants. I get far more noticeable results from prep. I think it has a decent look on the Brilliant Black though. ....I simply haven't tried too many other products on this particular paint yet, so I don't have much to compare it to.

It has a nice slickness to it that doesn't seem to have diminished too much from the few washes so far. My car is garaged and mainly used just on weekends so I expect Fuzion will last me at least 2-3 more months. I also have a sample of Wolfgang PS 3.0 that I still have to try so that might be the next thing that goes on the car. I originally wanted to apply the WGPS first and then the Fuzion over that but I was curious to see how well Fuzion performed by itself.

I missed the sale AutoGeek had on Fuzion (I was debating on whether I would buy a jar). I'm really reluctant to spend the full $175 for the 8 ounces (incld. 1 free refill). I do like it though and might consider it again once another sale rolls around.
 

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A couple of years ago, Turtle Wax sent me a bunch of their ICE products to evaluate. Needless to say, the stuff was so bad I didnt write an article about it because I couldnt find anything nice to say about it.
Once you try out their total interior spray on your Challenger you'll say differently..ICE wax is designed to be a quick wax job, it leaves no haze, and is totally clear, and it doesn't matter if you get it on black plastic parts as it has no white residue, the ease of putting it on and taking it off comes at a cost, it's only good for protection at best for 30 days, but it does give your vehicle a fantastic shine for few weeks.
Personally I'd rather take 5-7 more minutes and use NXT 2.0 (Mequiars) because to me it's an even deeper reflective black finish to me, and that NXT 2.0 lasts about 3-5x as long as ICE.

IMO The best i've seen from Turtle Wax is their interior spray as mentioned above, it made my Challenger's dash look brand new, and you can use it on literally everything.
 
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