Everything you need to know about Autoglym

Autoglym is a top seller for a reason. We've broken the brand down so you know which Autoglym products you should buy and the ones to avoid.

The Autoglym logo on a blue background

by Ryan Gilmore |

Autoglym is one of the best-known car cleaning companies in the UK, and it has a solid reputation for quality car cleaning. The Autoglym lineup can best be described as simple and conservative, so don't expect flashy names and bottle designs or exotic scents. The flip side of this no-nonsense approach to branding means everything is simple to understand and there's no whiff of snake oil about what the bottle promises.

RELATED: Autoglym launch Instant Ceramic Coating

Still, Autoglym has a large and varied line-up of shampoos, polishes and cleaners that are easier to digest when broken down and ranked. So that's what we've done: we've selected our favourite products from Autoglym, as well as the products that are best left out of your basket.

Jump to:

History

Autoglym dates back to 1965 and was founded with the intention of improving the look of the paint on old cars. It wasn't until 1984 that the products made the jump from the forecourt to the shops where the brand garnered a reputation for quality and nailing the basics of car care.

It's also worth mentioning that Autoglym holds three Royal Warrants for car cleaning products. Whether or not the Royal Family spend their Sunday snow foaming their fleet of Range Rovers, Bentleys and Jag X-Types remain to be seen.

Products

Unsurprisingly, there are an awful lot of products available. So, we've chosen to discuss our top picks and compare them to similar Autoglym products wherever possible. We've also broken them down into three categories; wheels, exterior and interior.

Wheels:

Autoglym Clean Wheels

Autoglym Clean Wheels
Amazon

View offer

This basic wheel cleaner is a simple to use and effective way of removing brake dust and road grime from lacquered alloys, painted wheels and plastic wheel trims. It's not as strong as a proper iron fallout remover which means it's no good for heavily soiled wheels (look at Autoglym's Magma for that) and can't be used on fragile wheels (Autoglym has you covered with the kinder Custom Wheel Cleaner), but for regular cleaning it's solid.

Autoglym High Performance Tyre Gel

Autoglym High Performance Tyre Gel
Amazon

View offer

Tyre dressing is that final flourish that can make your tyres pop visually. Autoglym sells two kinds of tyre dressing; a gel and an instant spray-on. We're championing the gel because it's made with anti-fling technology (so no black splatters on your paintwork to worry about) and because it's easier to apply without wasting product (you'll need an applicator though). Both options let you choose between satin and glossy finish which is something we really like.

Autoglym Wheel Protector

Autoglym Wheel Protector
Amazon

View offer

Autoglym is also renowned for its simple-to-apply sealants, and it's no different when it comes to wheels. This is a spray-on hydrophobic coating that'll make future cleaning a lot easier and should keep most brake dust from sticking to your wheels. There are no alternative options offered by Autoglym which is a pity as this spray cannot be used on dark painted or mirror finished wheels.

Exterior

Autoglym Polar Blast

Autoglym Polar Blast
Amazon

View offer

Part of Autoglym's popular Polar collection, Polar Blast is a nice thick snow foam that's designed to lift away any heavy contaminants that may scratch your paintwork if you attack them with a wash mitt. A little goes a long way, and the foam clings to the paintwork really well. It's pH neutral, which means it won't lift any sealant or wax applied to your paintwork. The Polar Blaster foam cannon looks really promising too.

Autoglym Polar Wash

Autoglym Polar Wash
Amazon

View offer

Autoglym offers no less than four shampoos, all designed to lather up nicely and help clean your car without leaving any unsightly streaks. Our top choice is Polar Wash because it's designed to be applied with a pressure washer and is incredibly effective on traffic film and grime.

If you don't have access to a pressure washer, Autoglym Ultra High Definition Shampoo is a really good alternative that's sure to leave a rich glossy finish. For a tighter budget, we recommend either Pure Shampoo or Shampoo Conditioner, both will give good results even if they're not as impressive as Polar Wash or UHD Shampoo.

Autoglym Super Resin Polish

Autoglym Super Resin Polish
Amazon

View offer

Autoglym started with paint renovation; that's why its polishes are so highly revered. Like all other Autoglym products, Super Resin Polish is easy and effective to hand-apply. If you're brand new to hand polishing, Autoglym also sells it as a complete kit with a towel and applicator. Darker cars may benefit from Ultra Deep Shine. Finally, Autoglym also offers metal polish, perfect for keeping a classic sparkling.

Autoglym Ultra High Definition Ceramic Coating

Autoglym Ultra High Definition Ceramic Coating
Amazon

View offer

The final stage of a proper car cleaning process is ensuring you go as long as possible before doing it again. Autoglym sells a range of sealants and waxes, all designed to keep your paintwork protected and ensure that water beads straight off your car to help it stay clean.

Our top choice is Autoglym Ultra High Definition Ceramic Coating; a kit that includes all the preparation, applicators and tools needed to provide up to a year of coverage for your car. It's designed to give a nice layer of shine to a car with that all-important year-long hydrophobic protection. For quicker hydrophobic protection, Rapid Ceramic Spray offers three months of protection and only requires buffing.

If the thought of adding a ceramic coating to your car scares you, or you want that deep shine traditional waxes offer, Autoglym has you covered. For the ultimate shine, our top choice is Autoglym Ultra High Definition Wax. It'll give your car a mirror-like finish thanks to the use of refined carnauba wax and comes with a handy applicator and buffing towel. Alternatively, there's Rapid Aqua Wax, a budget carnauba wax that can be applied to all exterior surfaces, including glass and rubber.

But for easy application, nothing can get close to the awesome Polar Seal. No more breaking your back with an applicator, you simply spray this sealant onto your bodywork with a pressure washer (avoid the windows), wait a few minutes and rinse it away for hydrophobic protection.

Interior:

Autoglym Interior Shampoo

Autoglym Interior Shampoo
Amazon

View offer

Fabric and carpets require care too, and Autoglym offers you two ways to keep them clean. The standard Interior Shampoo is effective and only requires wiping away. For even more stubborn stains, Hi-Foam Interior Shampoo will make light work of them. Finally, for a nice refreshed scent, Autofresh is always handy to keep in the car (or home).

What is the must-have product?

Autoglym Polar Collection

The best Autoglym kit
Autoglym Polar Collection
Amazon

View offer

The Polar Series is a real highlight from Autoglym for a few key reasons. For a start, the fact that all three products in the range can be applied via a pressure washer is outstanding. Not only does it make cleaning easy, but it also speeds up the entire cleaning process too (invaluable when it's cold out and you want quick results). Add in that if you dilute it according to Autoglym's instructions, each wash is good value. Frankly, we conclude that if you're to try anything from the range, give this Autoglym kit a go.

What should you avoid?

In our experience, while the actual cleaning products are top-notch, Autoglym cleaning tools (i.e. brushes and towels) aren't worth the money. They're not bad in any regard, the wheel brush is well-made and the range of microfibre towels are very absorbent, but in our experience, there's a raft of towels and brushes of the same quality available for less money.

It's also worth mentioning that the Professional range of products is best left to, well, the professionals.

What is Autoglym's main competition?

As a mid-range brand, there are plenty of brands both large and small that offer similarly priced products. Meguiar's is arguably the largest direct competitor, operating in a similar price range but with a wider selection of products (sometimes to a fault) and greater emphasis on accessories. Both are very similar quality-wise and the only real distinctions are whether you want simple products in Autoglym or the glitz and colour of Meguiar's.

If you're looking for even more variety and an abundance of different flavours and scents for a similar cost, Chemical Guys offer some really good products, but you'll easily become overwhelmed by the options if you're not careful.

READ NEXT:

The best environmentally-friendly car shampoos on the market

The best car pressure washers

The best car polish

For verdicts, scoops, news and analysis from the team, delivered direct to your inbox, subscribe to the CAR newsletter.

You can enjoy CAR in its traditional print format, or one of the swelling number of digital editions, optimised for Apple iPhones, Android devices, iPads, tablets and desktop computers.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us