Here I used this striking Blu Mirabeau Ferrari F430 to test out a new waterless wash product I had recently been sent.
The waterless wash from Smart Polish Pro is designed to clean, enhance and protect the exterior surfaces of your vehicle leaving what they call ‘professional grade results’ from a few simple steps.
Although there’s no ingredients to refer to on the bottle the website featured on it does say it contains natural carnauba wax which is a good sign, with other active ingredients presumably being things like wetting agents and surfactants designed to lubricate the surface while encapsulating dirt particles ready for transfer on to one of two microfibre towels which came with the wash.
Shaking the product first to activate it’s ingredients, I liberally sprayed it onto the Ferrari’s dusty paintwork in the direct summer sun (as I had no other choice) before lightly wiping over the area with the first towel, followed by a thorough buff with the second dry towel to leave a noticeably shinier, slicker feeling smear-free finish.
Employing the same methodology as you would when washing a car with water and soap, I worked methodically from top to bottom, cleaning either a panel or section at a time, spraying directly onto the surface, gently wiping over and then buffing off with the two separate towels.
I did have some issues with the waterless wash smearing on the windows which meant I had to follow up with a separate glass cleaner but to be fair I was applying it to baking hot glass which even the most robust of glass cleaning products would struggle to obtain a crystal clear finish on. I’m sure in more favourable conditions the Smart Polish Pro would have finished the glass off a treat.
For me, it’s areas like these around detailed badges and trim that waterless washes fall short as they simply haven’t got that all-encompassing cleaning action that suds and a stream of water have to access accumulated dirt from intricate areas.
The product was however giving excellent results elsewhere on smooth panels like the bonnet lifting away the light dirt with ease and buffing to a high shine under the summer sun.
I continued to work my way around the Ferrari doing my best to work the Smart Polish Pro into the headlights, badges, vents and trim to showcase Pininfarina’s design features in all their glory.
It’s worth noting that with trigger spray applied waterless wash products like this there will inevitably be some overspray contaminating previously cleaned panels meaning a quick re-buff will probably be necessary at the end to give a true uncontaminated finish which isn’t a big deal but does add an extra few minutes on to the overall wash time.
Again, despite the excellent finish the smart polish pro seemed to be achieving, you can see how not just this but any waterless wash product will struggle to fully remove dirt from tight or deeply recessed areas like underneath this F430’s rear lamps.
Still, the flip side is that you aren’t going to be chasing rinse water drips during the drying process.
Although they weren’t picked up on camera there was a number of bug splats inflicting the front end of the Ferrari which, with some gentle persuasion seemed to lift off relatively easily with the wash.
One benefit of using a waterless wash product to clean a car like this is that you wont be left with frustrating puddles of standing water inside air intakes which can be difficult to fully expel after using a hosepipe or pressure washer.
I finished off the exterior paintwork by cleaning the lower sills as I would if washing the car using the traditional medium…
… before attending to the rear diffuser which, on a car like this, aside from the wheels, tends to accumulate the most dirt.
The door shuts were also given a thorough wipe down with the Smart Polish Pro before being buffed off to a high shine to match the surrounding paintwork.
And lastly, the wheels were attended to and being a satin finish they thankfully didn’t require the extra buffing the rest of the car did.
Obviously waterless wash products like this aren’t really designed for fully detailing the painted calipers of a super car and so I just did what I could with the microfibre towel to remove as much as the surface brake dust as possible but this does illustrate yet another limitation of this kind of product.
If you were considering starting a waterless wash regimen it would probably be wise to purchase another pair of towels to use exclusively on the lower areas of the vehicle to prevent cross contamination with the ones being used exclusively on the upper painted panels.
And once I’d given all areas a final buff over to remove any overspray or remaining smears this is the finish I was left with.
Admittedly the car was relatively clean to begin with but the smart polish pro did do an excellent job at lifting off what light dirt there was while noticeably improving the finish.
The Blu Mirabeau paintwork now looked much brighter, felt far slicker and most importantly there didn’t appear to be a swirl mark in sight.
Does this then mean we should all switch to waterless washing and hang up our hosepipes? No, of course not but this product could effectively be used to compliment your existing wash regimen.
For example, it could be employed to safely maintain a previously fully detailed vehicle, to quickly remove unwanted contaminants like bird droppings or to renovate the finish of a well maintained vehicle where access to water is limited or restricted such as at a car show.
So long as you exercise a little common sense there’s no reason why you couldn’t use this product on a regular basis to at least maintain your vehicle without damaging it if traditional washing with soap and water was not a viable option.
Remember, washing in the traditional manner still results in dirt being drawn over the surface no matter how careful you are so why not maintain using a product specifically designed to encapsulate and suspend that dirt away from the surface?