Exterior Detailer, Fast Wax, Glass Cleaner & Waterless Car Wash (2023)

Affiliate Disclosure: Rain-X sent us the products described below free of charge. Automoblog earns from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate, including the cleaning products shown here. These commissions come to us at no additional cost to you.

Although famous for its windshield wiper blades, Rain-X has a full line of cleaning products for your car. The Rain-X team sent us four of their most popular to try, including an exterior detailer, quick wax, glass cleaner, and a waterless car wash.

We tested each one in our 2022 Ford Escape after several rainy days in the Detroit metro in early May. During that time, we drove on I-96 and the M10, two very busy highways with heavy traffic here in the Motor City. This caused a lot of grime and grime to accumulate on the lower quarter panels over those few days, and we were excited to see if anything Rain-X sent us could help.

Here’s our quick but detailed (see what we did there) review of everything Rain-X sent us.

Exterior details and water repellent

Exterior details Rain-X and water repellent.

our take

Exterior details add that extra touch after washing your vehicle. They’re also super convenient if you need a quick touch up between washes. Over the years, we’ve had excellent luck with Meguiar’s Quik Detailer, but Rain-X also gave us that nice post-wash shine. Rain-X Detailer looks like skim milk in the bottle, but it gives your paint a much-needed dose of caffeine!

The Rain-X formula is easy to apply with a clean microfiber towel and helps repel rain or other water you encounter while driving. Rain-X classifies it as a “2-in-1” product, which means it has an exterior detail with a raindrop effect. For best results, avoid using it in direct sunlight, as hot paint will cause it to evaporate.

Where to buy

As of this writing, a four-pack of Rain-X Exterior Detailer and Water Repellent is available on Amazon for around $50.

quick wax

Rain-X Quick Wax

our take

Rain-X Fast Wax gives you the benefits of a complete wax job in a fraction of the time. While you can apply it to dry paintwork after washing, you can also use Fast Wax while your car is still wet, which is the preferred method for us.

Rain-X Fast Wax is quite sticky and can be awkward to buff off with dry paint. Instead, try applying it to your car immediately after washing. This way you can combine drying and waxing in one step, and the water in your vehicle will make the liquid Fast Wax (sort of) much more cooperative.

Where to buy

If you’re a purist, there’s no substitute for a proper, traditional wax job. But if you’re short on time, Rain-X Fast Wax will do the trick. As of this writing, you can get a four-pack on Amazon for around $28.

Glass and interior detail cleaner

Rain-X Glass Cleaner & Interior Detailer.

our take

We’ve gotten used to having a separate bottle of glass cleaner and a separate bottle of interior cleaner, but Rain-X goes for the two-in-one approach here. The big selling point is the convenience of not having to change bottles while working on your car, and the blended fluid provides the same quality shine as a glass cleaner and interior detailer.

While interior detailing has its obvious benefits, we sometimes feel like glass cleaners get overlooked. Window cleaners will increase your visibility, especially at night. And do both the outer and inner side of your windshield. You may be surprised at all the dirt that comes out.

Where to buy

As of this writing, you can get a bottle on Amazon for around $5.30.

Waterless car wash and rain repellent

Rain-X waterless car wash and rain repellent.

our take

In 2019, Rain-X received Product of the Year in the Car Care category for its waterless car wash and rain repellent. The Product of the Year award originated in France more than 30 years ago and now spans 40 countries. They accept annual entries of packaged goods that demonstrate consumer innovation, with one winner named in each category through an online study conducted by Kantar of 40,000 consumers.

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Based on our experience, the award was well deserved for Rain-X.

If your vehicle isn’t too dirty, a bottle of this will save you from the quarters at the wash area. It’s ideal for the weekend warrior who likes to park in the driveway, roll up his sleeves, and show off his car to the neighborhood. Waterless Car Wash & Rain Repellent is the “complete package” of Rain-X. You can use it as a waterless liquid car wash, or for an on-the-go touch-up. It’s even safe to use on glass.

We use it on the “problem areas” of our Ford Escape, including the lower quarter panels. Even after a proper wash with the scrub brush and all, our lower quarter panels always need a little extra TLC. The photos below will be enlarged so you can see exactly what we mean.

  • Prewash photo: This is right before we park at the car wash.
  • Photo after washing: Immediately after using the spray gun and soap brush. You can see the remains of stubborn road grime on our bottom quarter panel.

And finally, this third photo is after hitting the lower quarter panel with some Rain-X waterless car wash. We were pleasantly surprised at how well it worked to remove excess dirt, grime, and tar from our front wheels.

Where to buy

As of this writing, a three-pack is available on Amazon for $25.

Should you buy Rain-X products?

Rain X 4

our take

Rain-X will always be our first choice for wiper blades, as they have never let us down during Michigan’s typically harsh winters. Now, through the summer months, we’re happy to continue using the Rain-X products described here, and we feel confident recommending them to you, too.

However, we also recommend trying a few different brands and seeing which one you like best. We have used products from Armor All, Meguiars, Mothers, and Turtle Wax in the past, all with positive results.

A bottle of Armor All Tire Foam has been sitting in our garage since we bought our first truck in 2001. We’ve been using Turtle Wax even longer, going back to our high school years in the late ’90s, but I think their new line of products “Hybrids” is fantastic. Meguiars that we started using in 2011 for our then-new EcoBoost F-150. We tested Mothers in 2018 for the first time in our Fiat 500X. And now Rain-X for the first time in 2022.

Each brand has advantages and disadvantages, so try a few and see what you like. The four links above, one for each brand, will help you decide which one is best for your vehicle.

Keeping your vehicle clean is an essential part of regular maintenance, just like oil changes and tire rotations. Consider washing your vehicle as often as possible, especially after a snow or rain storm. It’s a good strategy to keep your car’s body and chassis looking good as the miles add up. When you finally get something new, you’ll be glad you invested in elbow grease. Washing (or not washing) your vehicle can affect its resale value in the long run.

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Society of Automotive Historians. He is a member of the board of directors of the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, a former president of the Detroit Working Writers, and a loyal fan of the Detroit Lions.

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