I like free stuff. It makes me happy when I can get something useful and I don't have to pay for it. The key here, though, is usefulness. You can give me all the free stuff in the world but if it isn't useful to me then all you've done is made my garage more cluttered than it was in the first place. Simply Wow's new car cleaning product, Tuff Buff, falls squarely into the second category.
Recommend this product?
Tuff Buff comes in a 22oz. trigger spray bottle that is easy to handle and squirt. The nozzle dials, as nozzles often do, from a narrow 'stream' spray to a more wide-angle 'misting' spray so you can put the liquid either in a small crevice or over a large area depending on what you're cleaning. For me, I find the wide-angle spray more useful and can't imagine using the stream spray for much of anything. But that's me. Someone might want it and it's there if you need it.
The label for Tuff Buff says it's a Waterless Wash-N-Wax. But, oddly, the instructions indicate that, "Heavy soiled or muddy vehicles must be rinsed first." So much for 'waterless', and also for good grammar. (Shouldn't that have been 'heavily' soiled?)
Simply Wow makes a bunch of claims on the Tuff Buff label which I'll get to in a minute. But one thing that is noticeably absent from the back of the bottle is the word Caution or Warning or the phrase Consult physician immediately. That's because Tuff Buff is an organic, non-caustic, safe-to-use product. That's saying something in our chemically altered age. Unfortunately, while I appreciate that the only first aid advice required is, "Wash with soap & water," I like things that actually work in addition to being safe. Here's where Tuff Buff falls short.
The claims on the packaging are pretty impressive. I'd be thrilled if this stuff actually cleaned up the smashed bugs and restored the factory shine on my 100,000 mi. station wagon. Aside from a few scratches and dings, my paint is actually in pretty good shape without that white, chalky look or peeling clear coat that some cars suffer from. Unfortunately, my car does have a mild, but apparently permanent, case of water spots. The dark green (almost black) metallic paint never really looks clean and smooth and shiny - even following a professional detailing job. I was excited about the prospect of buffing out those spots and being able to feel proud about my 8-year-old grocery hauler.
Alas, this is not to be.
I haven't washed my car much this year due to drought conditions and water restrictions in North Texas. But because of a good downpour last week my car actually looks fairly clean at the moment. There's a bit of road dust, but nothing major. I chose a section of my hood, sprayed it with the Tuff Buff, and wiped it off according to the directions. Hmmm. The dust is gone, but there's no real change aside from that. Maybe I need to use more... let's give this another try. Spray again... this time I'll use more product to see if that helps. Rub with a towel, wipe it dry, and...? no real change to the paint. Bummer. OK... maybe I need to let it sit for a bit longer. Spray again... this time I got it good and wet and left it sitting. And dripping. Hmmm. Oh, and evaporating. That doesn't look good, I'll go ahead and buff and dry now. And... again, no real change.
OK, enough of that - let's move on to the wheels. I'm a bad person and don't spend enough time making sure my wheels are free from brake dust and dirt. They look pretty disgusting. I shot one with a few sprays of Tuff Buff and ... (simply) Wow! They wiped clean easily. A few more squirts, a few more wipes, and I have a very clean front right wheel. Not bad at all. But to test if the Tuff Buff is really the factor here, I decided to compare the results from a different product. I had a can of foaming degreaser - one of those orange based cleaners - handy and thought that would work as well as anything. I stepped around the car to my front left wheel and sprayed it. Using a clean towel I wiped at the foam only to discover that it didn't completely eliminate the brake dust. In this particular instance, Tuff Buff is a clear winner.
I could not test the Tuff Buff on chrome since neither of my cars has any chrome on them.
Simply Wow Tuff Buff For Paint, Wheels and Chrome claims on it's packaging to be all that and a bag of chips for cleaning and polishing your car, promising to restore your paint to it's factory shine. Don't hold your breath. As far as I can tell, this worked about as well as Windex for cleaning the car itself. It easily wiped off surface dirt, but didn't do much of anything for the finish. I was more impressed with how Tuff Buff handled the brake dust on my wheels and will continue to use this product for that purpose until I run out. However, because of the complete lack of impressiveness for polishing the car I'll probably skip buying this again and just drive my car through the $5 carwash at the gas station when it gets cruddy looking.
Tuff Buff may be safe and organic, but it left me with the overwhelming feeling of 'who cares'. Oh well.
Tuff Buff is available for Paint, Wheels & Chrome or for Wheels, Chrome & Plexiglass. I tested the paint formulation.
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My thanks goes to Source Direct - Simply WoW for offering me the opportunity to test this product in exchange for my honest review.
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