Affiliate Disclosure: Turtle Wax 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.
Longer days and warmer temperatures are always welcome here in Michigan. We had a nice few days after all the snow melted, but our hopes were dashed by a stretch of rain and frigid temperatures. Turtle Wax sent us a large number of their products to put to the test while we waited for the weather to clear. Below is a quick review of everything they sent us.
Ice: Snow Foam Wash (Hybrid)
Ice is a long-established line of Turtle Wax featuring “synthetic interlocking polymers,” a fascinating aspect of chemical science. This liquid pink potion is just what the doctor ordered for a bad case of road grime, and like the infamous pink cough syrup, it smells exactly like bubble gum. (which made my day when I opened the lid).
Turtle Wax infuses special cleansers with a precise pH balance, which is where the “Hybrid” designation comes from. Hybrid products combine foam conditioners and biodegradable detergents to better protect your car for the long term. Proper pH balance is important to preserving paint as it is less susceptible to “spotting” caused by lower quality soaps. Snow Foam Wash creates a large amount of lubrication as it sponges cleanly across the surface of your car, making it ideal for removing stubborn dirt.
As of this writing, a 48-fluid-ounce bottle of the pink substance is available on amazon for around $32. Use in a bucket by hand or with a spray washer. And you don’t need much. If you’re working with a pail or pail, you only need one fluid ounce per gallon of water. With a 48 fl oz bottle, it should last you a while.
Ideal for: Wash your car in the driveway by hand.
Favorite part: The smell of gum.
Ice: Seal N Shine (hybrid)
Like Snow Foam Wash, this liquid spray combines synthetic sealers with carnauba wax for a quick but noticeable shine (hence the “Hybrid” designation again). Turtle Wax employs a “superhydrophobic formula” that helps repel water, forcing it to form beads instead of spreading out.
It is easy to apply when you are near the end of your vehicle wash. Sprinkle a little on it and wipe it off with a soft towel. Emphasis on little: I used about three or four sprays per section (chest, side panel, etc.), and that was plenty.
Seal N Shine is also good if you’re short on time but still need your vehicle to look good for an occasion (job interview, important meeting, hot date, etc.). Run it through the automatic wash and by the time you get home it should be dry enough. Grab a bottle of Seal N Shine and go section by section for the next 10 minutes. Your car may not be as pristine as you’d like if you had more time, but it will still look good and have a good shine.
As of this writing, a 16 fluid ounce bottle of Seal N Shine is available on amazon for between $13 and $14.
Ideal for: Providing that last shine after a good wash.
Favorite part: Perfect for when you don’t have much time.
Scratch: repair and renew
This is meant to remove minor scratches, swirl marks, and paint transfers. It is a traditional Turtle Wax product that works in non-traditional places. Earlier this year, I was cleaning out my storage unit. While unloading the rear of our 500X, I hit the top inside of the liftgate with a black bin. When I removed it, it caught on the inside of the rear door and left a noticeable mark on the cream panel.
I put some Repair & Renew on one of the soft towels Turtle Wax sent me, and it worked. I tried a few other cleaners and nothing removed it so I thought it was a long shot. I was surprised but happy. He took some force on the elbow, but the mark came off.
As of this writing, a seven fluid ounce bottle is available on amazon for about $13.
Ideal for: Minor but annoying scratches.
Favorite part: Eliminates even the most unexpected blemishes.
Spray & Wipe (assorted varieties)
Turtle Wax sent me four of their Spray and cleaning line: Interior detailer, protectant, glass cleaner, and leather cleaner and conditioner. Interior Detailer is a cleaner and deodorizer for most interior surfaces, and Protectant is similar but minimizes interior discoloration. Ammonia-Free Glass Cleaner will kill bugs and Leather Cleaner protects and deodorizes leather seats.
Each one has a different scent, with Interior Detailer being my favorite; the little logo says it’s a “Simply Fresh” scent. Granted, it’s not quite as adventurous as bubblegum foam or the “Caribbean Crush” scent of glass cleaner, but it’s my favorite nonetheless. It is not overwhelming, nor is it imperceptible. It’s a good balance.
I have bought interior wipes in the past, just to make them dry because I need so few at a time. This Turtle Wax Spray & Wipe line differs in that the wipes are already dry. Rather than use already-damp wipes and risk drying them out, Turtle Wax includes an eight-fluid-ounce sprayer under each bottle of wipes.
Rotate the bottom quarter of the main bottle to reveal the smaller spray. Take out the dry wipes on top, spray them once or twice, and you’re good to go. Simple and much more effective. You can store them without worrying about the wipes drying out over time.
Ideal for: Give your interior a makeover.
Favorite part: Wipes never dry out.
If you leave fast food wrappers behind your seat, spill things frequently, or travel with pets, a bottle of this will be your best friend. You can treat or use the air conditioner to clean your entire car.
To do this, start your vehicle and set your AC to recirculate. Place the bowl in your cup holder and press down on the top for your desired amount of sprays (a good one or two should do the trick). Then get out of your vehicle with the air conditioner still set to recirculate and wait 10-15 minutes.
Turtle Wax says that Odor-X will eliminate cigarette smoke, but we imagine they mean an occasional passenger having a cigarette in their car vs. a full-time smoker.
As of this writing, Odor-X is available on amazon for about $16.
Ideal for: Get rid of that musty and suffocating smell.
Favorite part: It works much better than an air freshener.
Should You Buy Turtle Wax Products?
Turtle Wax is a brand we use, recommend and trust, but not exclusively. We have had good luck with Armor All, Meguiars and mothers in the past. Ultimately, we recommend trying a few different brands and seeing which one you like best.
Keeping your vehicle clean is a essential part of regular maintenance, as are 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. Wash (or not wash) your vehicle may 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.