This spring, the nice people at Armor All were kind enough to send me some products to try out. Here’s my experience with the stuff they sent me – keep reading, because I also have the opportunity to share a great car care kit with one of my readers, courtesy of Armor All.
I grew up seeing Armor All products on our garage shelves – it’s what my dad always used on his cars. I always stared at that crazy Viking dude on the labels, wondering what his connection to clean tires and cars was. Now that I’m all grown up, I’ve been using certain Armor All products myself for years, and I was excited to get a chance to try out some things I hadn’t used before.
The first thing I unpacked was the Armor All 12V Car Vac. On first glance, I thought “Oh no. A Dustbuster!” Remember those awful, ineffective cordless cans? They’d basically spread around the mess, picking up a small percentage of it, and the battery lasted about 2 minutes. Well, the only thing the Armor All Car Vac has in common with a Dustbuster is the approximate shape. First of all, it’s not a cordless device – it requires you plug into any of your car’s 12V receptacles (the lighter plugs), and so it has constant, consistent power. Add to that the convenience of an attached crevice tool, an included detail brush and squeegee and a bright LED light, and suddenly you’ve got a car vac that makes a lot of sense. The icing on the cake? It’s good for wet and dry messes, and it has a reusable filter. This little puppy is loud, but the noise is worth it because it is a truly effective in-car vac, and it did a great job on our carpets, and in the crevices between seats, etc. I also appreciated that the cord is 15 feet long, making it easy to move around with. It’s definitely not a replacement for a true Shop-Vac or home vacuum, which will do a better job at cleaning your vehicle, but it’s a great, portable way to get the bulk of the mess – even when you’re far from home.
Once the big messes were picked up, I used the Armor All Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner. It’s an easy to use deep-cleaning foam product, and the can comes with a convenient bristle brush built in, so you can scrub your car’s carpet directly with the product’s can. I can attest to the stain removal ability, as it took out a few stains that our children blessed our vehicle with.
From there I moved on to the windows, using Armor All Glass Cleaner. Some folks believe that glass cleaner is glass cleaner, but it’s not. There are better products and not-so-good products. In a car, road grime builds up on the inside if you don’t keep the glass cleaned, and it’s tough to easily clean after a while. I tend to keep our vehicle glass clean, and I’ve used a professional foaming glass cleaner in the past, which does a spectacular job at cutting through grease and leaving no streaks. Armor All’s Glass Cleaner was the one product in this collection that I wasn’t too excited about. While it got rid of grime, it left considerable streaks even after being re-wiped with three sets of towels. That’s too much work for me, and I’d stick to my professional foaming car glass cleaner.
Now that the windows were clean, it was time to move on to some of the dull and discoloured exterior trim. Drive a car long enough, and the elements will munch away at the glossy plastics and trim pieces, making them hazy and leaving the finish dull. I used the Armor All LongLast Trim & Plastic Restorer to perk up parts of the bumper, mirror caps and door trim, bringing them back to an as-new sheen and glossiness. In addition to restoring these parts to a beautiful new glow, the product lasts through many car wash cycles, meaning you don’t have to reapply it very often.
Time to wash the car! I got a sample of Armor All Wash & Wax + Protect. A simple car wash concentrate, it’s mixed with water and then you use it to wash your car from top to bottom, using a sponge or terry mitt. There’s nothing left to do but rinse the vehicle and dry it afterwards, yet it leaves a gorgeous, waxed finish behind, as well as a layer of protection for your paint. Is it the same as when you go through the trouble to apply a buffed wax finish with a separate product? Of course not! But it’s an easy, low-effort way to get a nice finished, glossy waxed look without going through the time and trouble of waxing your ride.
And finally, I went to work on the dash and door panels, using Armor All’s Air Freshening Protectant. It cleaned, left the interior gleaming and even smelled pretty good. Of note, it does leave the trim with a somewhat darker appearance as it protects it. Which means if you overspray accidentally onto another part of the interior, you’ll see what looks like wet, greasy spots there. I found it best to just spray the whole thing down, area by area, and wipe it all evenly, leaving everything looking freshened up and protected. It is scented, by the way, but in a reasonably mild way. Also, I found the fragrance (which wasn’t bad or overpowering to begin with) faded after a few days.
I also got two kinds of wipes for my car’s interior. There are the Armor All Disinfecting Wipes, which kill bacteria and are perfect for a quick clean of messes courtesy of kids that spill milk and various foods around the cabin, or perhaps wives that have an amazing talent for spilling coffee in and around the cupholders every single day. And for little touch-ups, there’s a perfectly-sized container of Armor All Clean-Up Wipes – it holds 15 of them, and easily fits in any glove compartment or centre console bin, making it convenient and handy to have in your car.
Topping it all off, and helping me celebrate my squeaky-clean car, were a couple of Scented Oil Vent Clips from Armor All. You just clip it onto your air vent, and it continuously freshens the vehicle cabin with whichever scent you pick. They sent me Mountain Air, which was a bit medicinal and somewhat like a mild cleaning solution – not my favorite. But the Wild Berry scent was refreshing without being clinical or overpowering, and was a nice addition to the car.
A big thank you to Armor All for giving me an opportunity to knock one out of the park when it came to giving my ride a spring cleaning. The products performed admirably, were all easy to use and the entire line-up is available virtually anywhere.
Comment on my post below, and you’ll be entered to win a sweet gift pack of Armor All products – the one in the pictures below – which would be perfect to give to your dad for Fathers Day or for you to enjoy yourself. Make sure you put in your email address (which won’t be made public), as I will need to contact the winner to get your shipping address. Good luck, happy Armor All-ing and Happy Fathers Day to all the rad dads out there!
Disclosure: All products for my review as well as the give-away products were provided by Armor All.
UPDATE – June 13, 2014
Thank you all for your interest in the giveaway. I used Random.org to choose a winner from the entries – Mr. Ryan Gillen was the lucky one!