Autoglym Polar Range review: The winter takes it all

Autoglym's icy car cleaning range gets a warm reception from us.

Applying snow foam to the VW

by Ryan Gilmore |

Think of Autoglym and you'll probably think of premium and competent car cleaning products in white bottles. A safe, but rather conservative pair of hands. Not the sort to offer pun-filled car shampoo names or break the mould with wacky but game-changing products.

The Polar Range is therefore a little different from the usual Autoglym offering. It's almost touchless for a start, the snow foam and sealant parts require no contact with the car whatsoever, just a microfibre towel to dry everything afterwards. That's quite innovative. It also steps away from the normal conventions of Autoglym by having a theme. Not only does the artic language give us a rich treasure trove of subheading puns, but it's also interesting and something of a clear marketing strategy.

Each can also be purchased separately or as part of a collection with three one-litre bottles. We're testing the collection and ensuring we follow Autoglym's instructions. The only thing we're missing is the Polar Cannon, a snow foam lance designed explicitly for this collection.

Autoglym Polar Blast: An aptly named snow foam

Snow foaming the front of a VW
©Photo: William Lobley/CAR

Snow foam and pressure washers go together like Rolls and Royce so it's the perfect starting point for the Polar Range. It's an impressively thick foam, even with an entry-level pressure washer the foam was thick enough to remove larger bits of debris from the car. It wasn't shaving foam thick by any means but that also meant it was really simple to rinse away with the pressure washer after dwelling.

Following Autoglym's instructions to the letter will also give you 25 washes from this bottle, not a bad value for the price of the bottle. It's worth noting that in this price range there are several excellent five-litre snow foams for sale that'll do roughly the same job. Bilt Hamber Auto Foam is a good example of this. That's not to say that Polar Blast is bad value for money, it's just worth remembering that you can get more for your money.

It's neutral in terms of both colour and scent, something that may put some off but does at least keep everything simple. Fancy colours and scents are purely decorative elements anyway and mostly subjective. What is undeniable is that this is an excellent starting point for the Polar Range and a really good simple snow foam.

4.5/5

Pros Cons
• Really thick • Not the most most affordable snow foam
• Excellent prewash
• Will not strip waxes

Autoglym Polar Wash: Fuss-free cleaning

©Photo: Chris Williams/CAR

Once the foam is washed away the bodywork of your car will be ready for cleaning with car shampoo. This is normally where you crack the buckets out and spend a few minutes dipping your hand into cold water before washing each panel with a wash mitt. Polar Wash is different though, this biodegradable shampoo is designed to be applied with a snow foam lance where it produces a thinner foam that's full of lubricants so you can safely wash it with a wash mitt.

The foam sticks reasonably well to the bodywork and provides a really slick surface to help shift any remaining debris safely. It's convenient too, the foam sticks well so it can just be a case of covering the entire car with the shampoo and using the foam to agitate it. The benefit to this too is that it clearly shows any areas you may have missed to ensure the car is as clean as possible. It's also easy to rinse off with a pressure washer once you're finished.

There aren't too many shampoos specifically designed for pressure washers and the closest thing we've found in terms of performance is Bilt Hamber's Surfex HD, an excellent biodegradable APC that got our seal of approval earlier this year. That being said, Polar Wash is more pleasant to use and produces a slicker surface for cleaning.

5/5

Pros Cons
• Effective shampoo • Still requires agitation
• Lathers up well

Autoglym Polar Seal: The Ice Man to your Maverick

The VW bodywork beading water after being treated with Autoglym Polar Seal
©Photo: Chris Williams/CAR

Who was the wingman, Maverick or Ice Man? No matter your opinions, Polar Seal will be the perfect wingman for a car's paintwork. The final stage in the arctic-themed kit, Polar Seal is a paint sealant that should offer up to eight weeks of protection from a single application via a pressure washer.

Ensure your car is still damp before applying Polar Seal and allowing it to dwell on the bodywork for up to three minutes before singing off. You should see an immediate hydrophobic layer of protection, evident with some truly gorgeous water beading. It's an incredibly easy way to get some extra protection, the only downside being that you can't apply Polar Seal to a windscreen, which means some careful trigger action.

It's really clever and innovative. The only direct alternative we've found is Duel Autocare's Flex, another pressure washer applied paint sealant that offers a couple of weeks of protection, and one that can be used on a car's windscreen too. At least you get more product with Polar Wash.

4.5/5

Pros Cons
• Cool beading • Avoid the windscreen
• Mostly easy to apply

Verdict

The three Autoglym Polar bottle lined up
©Photo: Chris Williams/CAR

Autoglym's Polar Range is an excellent kit for anyone with a pressure washer and a car to clean. There's nothing quite like it on the market and to get everything you could need for less than £25 makes it all exceedingly good value for money. There's no poor performer in the entire range and it'll help improve the look of your car while being incredibly easy to do with minimal effort required.

4.5/5

Pros Cons
• Overall excellent cleaning • A few caveats
• Easy to use
• Fun

More items to consider

How we tested it:

Using a daily driven VW Arteon as the starting point we applied each product as directed by the instructions from Autoglym. Having used the pressure washer before we were able to directly compare the performance against other detailing products we'd previously used.

Other items used in this review: Nilfisk Core 140 Pressure Washer | Detailers United Car Wash Pad | Duel Autocare Drying Towel

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