Hands-On with the AutoSpa Car Wash Mop
The final verdict on whether you need some extra leverage from this wash mop.
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BY Austin Fracchia / LAST UPDATED ON July 17, 2019
- Absorbent, high-density chenille microfiber that leaves scratch-free, lint-free, and swirl-free results on the body.
- Long reach in the handle.
- Effective results using the cloth with the hands.
- Microfiber cloth is difficult to place and secure onto the head of the handle using the elastic cuff.
- Cloth shape makes it difficult to cover large sections effectively, much like traditional car wash sponges.
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How to wash a car is a very personal preference. Some people simply take a hose to the car or let those fancy automatic machines at the local car wash handle the task for them. Others, however, understand that a DIY approach will often lead to better results. It’s these people that the AutoSpa wants to cater to with its Car Wash Mop. These are the people who obsess over the tools and products they use to get the perfect shine on the vehicle.
The AutoSpa Car Mop, sometimes listed under the brand “Carrand,” promises a lot. A high-quality car wash mitt combined with an extended pole offers a lot of potential for a premium wash. Here’s how it lives up to that potential as the "ultimate car wash mitt and mop."
The AutoSpa Car Wash Mop follows a popular design trend of cramming as much functionality into a tool as possible. Granted, you won’t be finding radios, lights, or smartphone apps on this thing, but it’s easy to get concerned when a seemingly simple tool goes all Chuck Norris in its design.
Thankfully, this one does a pretty good job at combining a traditional, soft microfiber mitt and mop. The washcloth uses a “chenille microfiber” fabric, which admittedly is a better marketing term than “floppy noodle” fabric. The microfiber strands are designed to absorb water/soap and collect dirt as the fabric slides along with the surface panels of a car.
On paper, this cloth has a lot to offer when hand-washing a car. Its circular profile means there is the same amount of surface coverage in any direction, which is a good thing for anyone who religiously follows the “wax on, wax off” mantra of hand-washing, polishing, and waxing. On the top surface, the cloth has a slit for the head of the extension pole and plastic straps for the hand. The ability to use the cloth this way is great for covering hard-to-reach spots quickly.
The extension pole itself is nothing special. The handle expands up to 48 inches in length and locks via a plastic twist grip in the center. For the most part, the lock stays in place, but the design doesn’t offer the most amount of resistance for keeping the pole extended as you push and pull the cloth along a vehicle’s surface.
The head of the pole is simply a chunk of plastic that fits into the glove of the washcloth. The head is designed to slide into the washcloth “gracefully,” but as I discovered while using the wash mop, graceful it is not.
Using the Mop
I took the AutoSpa Wash Mop to my truck to test its capabilities of reaching those near-impossible spots that larger vehicles often have. I’m talking about the centerline of the roof/hood, the undercarriage, wheel wells, etc. These are the spots that will have you doing gymnastics and yoga at the same time just to reach them by hand.
Outside of a few specialized tools and supplies, the AutoSpa Wash Mop should be the only thing you need to get a good wash on any vehicle (in addition to a bucket or two of water/soap)... that is, in theory. In reality, you’ll get the best results if you follow the advice of successful pole dancers: Use the pole or your hands as much as you want, just don’t switch too often.
Getting the washcloth onto the extension pole is where the real challenge is. The cloth has no markings to indicate which direction is up, yet its shape is designed to fit onto the pole’s head in one specific way. Without any visual roadmap, getting the cloth on correctly is a matter of guessing and rotating the cloth around until it “feels” right. Guess wrong and you’re left with a lopsided washcloth that won’t hesitate to drown you in a soapy, watery spray.
If you can avoid taking the cloth on and off repeatedly, the car wash mop is actually pleasant and effective to use. First and foremost, it gets the job done in terms of successfully delivering water and soap to a vehicle’s surface for a scratch-free wash. The microfiber fabric is very absorbent, and the noodles do a good job of collecting loose dirt. For more encrusted debris like bug splatters, however, the fabric tends to just glide over these trouble spots.
The handle can unlock every now and then, but the lock retains the desired length for the most part. As a microfiber wash mitt, the cloth is comfortable and easy to use. Between the hands and pole, the wash mop can truly reach the most difficult spots on a vehicle. Washing my truck, I had no problem washing spots, like the roof, that are normally a literal stretch to reach.
There are a couple of other perks to highlight as well. The cloth is machine-washable, so it’s easy to keep the cloth clean for the next use. The handle, fully retracted, makes the mop small enough to store in a corner or on the wall with the included accessory hook on the end. Finally, the overall durability is impressive for something this inexpensive. It should survive the occasional fall or younger hands that may see an extendable decent lightsaber instead of a wash mop.
Is it the best wash mitt and mop out there? Not quite. But it will definitely give you a great car washing experience. Bottom line: If you avoid taking the washcloth on and off of the pole a lot, this wash mop is pretty straightforward to use. When it comes to the basics of a hand wash, the chenille microfiber wash mitt excels in its ability to retain a lot of soap and water, collect loose dirt, and navigate around hard-to-reach areas found on larger vehicles. The cloth itself could be bigger and certainly easier to fit onto the pole, but it will get the job done if you work with its shortcomings.
Taking the hybrid approach of “more is more” in its design, the AutoSpa Car Wash Mop does a good job of being a decent mop and mitt in one. It's not the best car wash mitt or mop. You can definitely find better premium car wash mitts and mops on the market, but the combination of performance and convenience, along with a great price tag, may be hard to pass up if you value a quick car wash over the perfect shine.
Final Verdict: It’s hard to go wrong with this decent mop/mitt hybrid if you want one that works for most washing, polishing, and waxing tasks.