You may have encountered them already.
Excessively friendly guys in fluoro vests and matching hats, inhabiting service station forecourts and shopping centre carparks. They will approach you with a can of this FW1 spray and a shitty looking rag.
At this point those who are particular about their vehicle will want to utter some quiet words to warn them off- they are as persistent as window washers, though somewhat less likely to be on crack.
After a quick introduction they will proceed to demonstrate by cleaning a small area of your paintwork, while you stare in amazement, not at the product but at their chutzpah. It won’t last very long; they are never generous enough to clean your entire vehicle, though if you are lucky they will finish an entire mirror.
But it’s not over yet. When you go in to pay for your juice you must walk right by their little red desk, complete with FW1 signage and a credit card merchant terminal, where they have inevitably put together a special package just for you. There will be around 6 cans of various products, a range of cleaning implements and a hat, all in a natty branded bag.
Whether you buy some or not, you will drive away with a shiny clean patch.
I caved in to their relentless shtick, but I only got the basic wax in a can. Frankly the rest of the package just seems like expensive padding, though if you bargain with them you should get some microfiber rags thrown in.
So is the stuff any good?
I tried it on a Vespa GTS, in Midnight Blue. Dark metallic colours are a good test of any wash and wax, as any dirt or streaks show up well. There’s also lots of chrome.
To start with, it is not really a waterless car wash, if such a thing really exists. If there is only a little dust, some rain spots and a few bug splats, as per the instructions go right ahead. But “excess” dirt, mud or chunky bird poo will still need to be washed off with water, or you will scratch your paint. It is quite easy to apply, spray a few spots and gently work it in with a terry towel, then buff it off with the microfiber rag. The shine comes easy, but it is also easy to leave streaks- wax in a well lit area to spot these, and another gentle buff with the microfiber will see them off.
The results are definitely not concourse standard or even equal to a traditional wax, but they’re more than comparable with your typical liquid sealant type product. It’s not actually any less effort than the typical liquid either, though if you can do without the wash stage obviously you save that much effort and water. It definitely does what it says on the can, but is not the miracle that the exuberant forecourt marketing seems to suggest.
And that is the problem with this product. It stands on its own as a can of wash & wax, but add direct marketing and suddenly it is weighed down with the baggage of expectation and scepticism. If I had found it online or sitting on a store shelf I would be satisfied that I had discovered something for myself that was new and delightful. Unfortunately, even though it works, I can’t shake the feeling that it’s a rip off, simply because of the way it is sold.
This stuff could have been delightful, but the experience has been ruined for me by the dodgy direct marketing. The product itself I rate Acceptable, simply for doing what it says on the can. The marketing however I rate as Fully Shit.