Best car wash mitts 2019

Get a grip on grit with a wash mitt. We tested a range to find the best car-care essential…

If you’re planning to tackle that winter grime on your car,  you will need one of these. Wash mitts don’t just minimise the risk of scratching the paint, but they also make the job easier on the hands. Use hot wash and rinse water, plus slip your hands into workshop gloves before putting on the mitt, to avoid frozen fingers, painful knocks on grilles and the like.

Even in better weather a mitt is the answer; the fibres hold lots of water to lift grime off bodywork and retain grit, releasing it when you rinse. There’s a choice of designs and materials, so which of these 10 will make your winter wash scratch and pain free?

How we tested them

We checked cleaning but, as we’ve seen before, the results were difficult to separate. So we concentrated instead on how much water our test wash mitts retained after being soaked and drained for 30 seconds.

We also checked fit and ease of use, as well as useful factors like mesh panels, washing and instructions. Our final factor was price, taken from makers and online sources.

Verdict

Multiple winner Kent’s 2in1 takes a clear victory yet again. No surprise, then, that Halfords’ very similar mitt secures the runner-up spot, while Dodo Juice’s Tribble Mitt is our pick of the natural products.

  • 1. Kent 2in1 Wash Mitt
  • 2. Halfords Wash Mitt
  • 3. Dodo Juice Tribble Mitt 
  • ReviewsKent 2in1 Wash Mitt

    Price: Around £4
    Absorption: 510g
    Rating: 5 stars

    Kent’s mitt ticks just about all our boxes, and it’s no surprise that it secures yet another win here. It has super-absorbent microfibre noodles which, despite a prodigious thirst, are easy to handle thanks to a tight cuff and stitched palm to improve grip. On the flip side is a soft mesh for removing bugs and more stubborn grime from non-painted surfaces; that’s why it’s called 2in1. It’s machine washable and will take the strain out of washing your car.

    Halfords Wash Mitt

    Price: Around £3
    Absorption: 580g
    Rating: 4.5 stars

    No prizes for guessing the inspiration for the Halfords mitt, which has the same microfibre noodle and mesh combination as the Kent. But there are differences. This wash mitt’s pouch is longer and wider, which helped it top our winner in the absorption test. But that pouch lacks the stitch between the middle fingers, so when the mitt is heavy it’s a touch harder to keep a grip of. It still works well and, at this cracking price, is worth considering. 

    Dodo Juice Tribble Mitt

    Price: Around £13
    Absorption: 500g
    Rating: 4 stars 

    This is our pick of the mitts with natural materials. Sheepskin is used in Dodo Juice’s tribute to the cuddly Star Trek creatures, and it’s a joy to work with. The thumb hole makes it easy to grip and control the leather pouch, plus there’s a tight cuff. The pile is thick and hoovers up water. If you hate the idea of a mesh anywhere near your paint, this is a great choice, although it does take some looking after and is unlikely to last as long as man-made materials. 

    Angelwax SUB-MITT

    Price: Around £12
    Absorption: 690g
    Rating: 3.5 stars

    Massive thirst for water helps this microfibre mitt from detailing specialist Angelwax into our top four on its test debut. It cleans easily, too, but the pouch is a bit big and something a little more compact would be easier to handle. The cuff could be tighter as well. It may work well on the car, but the instructions are non-existent on the packaging, and you need to go to the website for washing info and product details.

    Bilt-Hamber auto-mitt

    Price: Around £12
    Absorption: 300g
    Rating: 3 stars

    Another from the Dodo Juice school of mitt design, with a similar sheepskin pouch and thumb hole. You can also feel the sheepskin inside the mitt. Unsurprisingly it was as good to use as the Tribble Mitt, but its pile looks shorter and it didn’t gain as much water in our absorption test. Bilt-Hamber traditionally has minimal on-pack instructions, but this doesn’t even feature a label, and you need to go to the website for product information.

    Meguiar’s Lambswool Wash Mitt

    Price: Around £13
    Absorption: 250g
    Rating: 3 stars 

    If you want a natural cleaning face plus a bug mesh, then this Meguiar’s mitt is a decent option. It lacks the handy thumb grip of the Dodo Juice or Bilt-Hamber, and the pile seems shorter and less soft, which is perhaps reflected in the absorption test result. The pouch is lined and dries more quickly than them, too. It is snug, though, with a tight cuff making it easy to control even when heavy with water. On-pack instructions are handy. 

    Meguiar’s Microfibre Wash Mitt

    Price: Around £10
    Absorption: 410g
    Rating: 3 stars

    Price puts this Meguiar’s mitt ahead of a tightly packed midfield. Despite the short microfibre pile, it retained a decent amount of water in the absorption test, but we still have the same problems we’ve always had with this Meguiar’s product. The cuff is loose and the pouch too big to control easily once it’s heavy. A nip here and a tuck there would help this mitt no end.

    Gtechniq WM2 Microfibre Wash Mitt

    Price: Around £12
    Absorption: 490g
    Rating: 3 stars 

    Mottled red-and-white short-pile microfibre and a white cuff would suggest this is a dead ringer for the Angelwax, but we found a major difference in our absorption test. There was 200g between them, and we repeated the test several times to check it. That explains the half-star difference here. Otherwise the mitts performed the same, with an oversize cuff and pouch, although the WM2 has better instructions.

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