I picked up one today, filled it with the detergent and had
a mess on my hands (literally). The flimsy cover for the
detergent reservoir didn't prevent spillage of the expensive
and messy concentrated detergent. I returned it to the
store for a refund, after first ascertaining that another
unit suffered from the same problem.
I know the thing will leave a spotless finish, but after
buying the unit, extra detergent and deionizer cartridge, I
expect more quality for my money and less hassle from it's
usage. I'll stick to conventional methods of wet, soap,
rinse, towel dry. With my luck, I'd most likely drop the
thing on the driveway and watch it burst into 500 pieces.
Maybe Mr. Clean Auto Dry is a solution looking for a problem.
If you have smallish hands, the handle will be
uncomfortable. I wear extra large gloves, so for me it's
not an issue, but folks with small to medium sized hands
should give Auto Dry a "test drive" before wasting their money.
BTW, they suggest you wash in the shade, and don't use any
detergent but their super expensive concoction. AND you
will not get much water flow when you use the deionized
water for rinsing. If you are short and have a tall vehicle
like a van or SUV, forget about getting the wimpy stream to
reach the roof unless you are standing on a ladder.
I've never had much luck with any of those car wash gimmicks. Water
powered spinning brushes or spinning felt pads, static brushes that
attach to hoses, etc. All of which waste water (unless you don't attach
the hose). Like you, I always go back to the basics. Wet down, wash with
car wash soap and towel (or brush), rinse, and dry with chamois. I am
still using a 10 year old chamois that is made by Speedo, and used by
swimmers to dry off after swimming competitions.
I still use the old Simonize paste car wax, which shine actually does
last a whole year.
Bill, I didn't know that people used chamois's on themselves!
I like "KISS" methods too. Simoniz takes a lot of elbow
grease; I use NuFinish and other easy to apply waxes. Most
don't last long though.
Bill Schnakenberg wrote:
My daughter was on the swim team in HS. We bought it at a local sports
store that specialized in competitive swimming attire and equipment.
After she graduated, the Speedo went into the garage with the other car
care stuff. Maybe it wasn't chamois, but it looked, acted, and felt like
it. Not like that imitation crap that is sold in auto parts stores that
sheds after a few uses, and you then have to dust off all those orange
That's why I use Simonize. Applied once a year, rather than 2 or 3 times
a year with the other quick stuff.
I Simonized my truck last summer, and a quick summer shower just passed
through here. The water on the hood on my truck (which is the first
place for the wax to disappear) is still beading and running off.
I'm having some luck with adding baking soda to the wash bucket
before adding any detergent. I had expected it to only soften
the water (exchange potassium- and calcium- junk for sodium- junk).
I thought it would only help the detergent work a little better,
but it seems to help lower the surface tension of the rinse
water also, causing it to sheen a little more and form less
I don't think it will. I'm adding it for the purpose of
softening the hard water here.
I find I have to wax with 3M automotive wax about every
3 or 4 months without adding the baking soda. I haven't
been using it long enough to know by experience if it
affects the wax. Mostly, I think my wax is rubbed off
during the weekly wash and dry anyway.
Another thing I like is the microfiber towels. They sell
them at Costco now. Use one to do the first pass when drying,
and a second one to follow right after the first one.
Ring the first one out when it leaves water behind.
I can dry two cars with just the two towels.
It used to take me about eight cotton bar towels.
I have bought all of the piece of shit "car wash" items over the yrs
trying to make the job easier...Bottom line...Hand wash your car (if you
care about it) hand dry with soft cloths or towels and hand wax.
Ok, to wax with a buffer if you know what you are doing.....orbitals are
the best....They are cheap at Sears, come in a bucket with carwash, wax,
It didn't leak detergent from the reservoir? I looked at a
couple of them and can say that the lids wouldn't stay on
either. If you Google on the subject you'll see plenty of
other complaints along the same line.
We bought two of them..One for us, loved it and bought one for my
mom..Neither one of them have the problem you mention..It doesn't replace
the action of washing the car, just the tedious job of drying..We have two
dark colored cars and they both come out perfect...Maybe yours was from a
bad batch? I too have tried a lot of those "gimmicky" washers in the past
and they all ended up in the trash but I think the Mr. Clean one is
good..Even though you have to replace the filter and use the soap they sell,
I find the soap works very well...
I bought one and haven't had the problem with the detergent cover
I agree with the fine mist. Consumer Reports did a review on it:
A spotless car wash without hand-drying
HANDS OFF The Mr. Clean AutoDry system, which attaches to a garden
hose, includes a detergent dispenser and a cartridge to filter and
deionize the water.
We tested the Mr. Clean AutoDry and found it to be an effective aid in
preventing water spots and eliminating the chore of hand-drying your
vehicle after a wash.
Water spots form when droplets evaporate from a vehicle's exterior and
leave behind mineral deposits. Those spots are worse in hard-water
areas. To prevent them after hand-washing, the vehicle should be
meticulously dried with a cloth or chamois.
Eliminating hand-drying does more than save labor: Hairline scratches,
or swirl marks, can be introduced by small pieces of dirt caught in
How it works
The AutoDry attaches to a garden hose and has a built-in detergent
dispenser, a water filter/deionizer cartridge, and a dial that
switches washing modes. You start by removing loose dirt using plain
water. Switching to the detergent mode lets you wash the car with suds
without a soap bucket; there's no need to rinse your cloth or sponge
in dirty wash water, which can also result in paint scratches. Use
plain water again to rinse. Switch to the final-rinse mode, which
filters the water and deionizes it, removing dissolved minerals. The
deionization and the proprietary detergent, which the company says
leaves a polymeric film on the vehicle, combine to sheet off the water
quickly. The remaining water should then evaporate without leaving
What we found
We purchased and tested several of the AutoDry devices and had 10
staffers use them to wash 19 vehicles. Most reported very few or no
water spots after use, even in areas with hard water. Six of the 10
said it did a better or much better job than their normal washing
method, while 3 said it was about the same. It removed both light and
heavy road dirt, but dried-on bugs required scrubbing. As is typical
with conventional hand-washing, road tar was hard to remove and needed
treatment with tar remover.
Minor gripes focused on the AutoDry's handle, which is a bit large for
smaller hands, and the mode-selector valve, which is stiff to turn. In
deionizing mode, the spray is very fine, so it's most effective when
held about a foot from the vehicle.
We paid an average of $24 for the AutoDry. Replacement
filter/deionizer cartridges and detergent bottles cost us an average
of $7.66 and $6.66 per unit, respectively. The deionizer has a visual
indicator that alerts you when the cartridge needs replacement. The
company says a cartridge will last about 10 washes, which we verified;
some users will get more washes, others fewer, depending on the
hardness of the water and how they use the AutoDry. The cost of using
it is about $1.40 per wash.
If your vehicle's appearance isn't a concern or you don't mind
hand-drying, you might not find the AutoDry worth the cost. But if you
want to save some elbow grease without worrying about water spots, the
AutoDry is an effective addition to your car-washing kit.
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