As I was coming to the end of my shampoo supply, it was time to consider options, enter CarChem with their group buy offer. With their shampoo gaining the runner up in the Best Wash Product category in Detailing World 2013 Awards, the choice was simple with a 5L bottle being delivered next day. When decanting this shampoo it was patently clear that it has a highly concentrated formula as it was like pouring treacle...
What does it bring to the marketplace..? Bespoke choice and value for money do not often go hand in hand, usually meaning great expense. Not so with the Car-Chem Shampoo. The buyer can have a custom scented & named car shampoo to their own preference. Plus a truly economic dilution ratio.
How much & quantity available..? Price is volume dependent. Car-Chem quote £10.99 for 500ML with standard colour and scent. As well as 500ml, 1L, 5L and even bigger quantities are available. Dilution time, the amount specified dwarfed by the volume of the buckets!
How does it perform..? Quite simply, very well indeed. The test vehicle hadn't been washed for two weeks so was quite dirty with a lot of Autumn road grime present. I only rinsed the car in preparation, no pre-wash or snow foam used prior, so quite a test for the shampoo. Two bucket method employed, using a Microfiber Madness Incredimitt. The shampoo initially suds up really well, the bubbly froth lasting the duration of the car wash with ease. Quite slick in feel and no 'drag' felt when the mitt was in contact with the panel. The shampoo cleaned well, requiring the minimum of wash mitt pressure and no repeat passes required. It also efficiently released dirt from the mitt into the rinse bucket. To a point, this product also seemed to resist leaving 'shampoo marks' where shampoo foam residue dries in bright sunshine before rinsing. Quite simply, a pleasure to use. Ready for action....
How does it compare to the competition..?
Bespoke colour and scent applied to the choice of shampoo are not readily available by many manufacturers, so Car-Chem have a unique approach. Although the big advantage comes with the dilution ratio, which Car-Chem state at a generous 1900:1. I used a 12L Polished Bliss clear plastic bucket filled with 10L of water, so if my maths is correct this gives...
10L Bucket = 10,000ML water. 1900:1 Dilution Ratio. 10,000ML divided by 1900 = 5.3ML of shampoo per wash bucket.
These figures represent superb value for money, especially for the five litre quantity. I tried doubling the volume of shampoo used (for the wheel wash bucket) and it did make the mix feel a little more slick & sudsy - and even if trebling the volume to an indulgent 15ML per 10L bucket, it still remains good value.
Would I buy it again..?
Yes. But, I don't think I'd buy 5L again even though it represents superb value for money. Instead I'd probably buy a couple of 500ML / 1L bottles - just to alternate the colours & scents - simply not to get bored!
The dilution ratio is nothing short of excellent and of course bespoke customisation at this price is a definite plus point. Personally I found the 10ML or 15ML used in a 10L bucket preferably as it offered that bit more lubricity. Car-Chem are already building a solid reputation for customer service too, with next day UK delivery as standard terms, so that is also a big plus in their favour. Even though I'm new to the product, I can see why it did so well in the 2013 Detailing World Awards.
For the people who like to change their detailing products often, a large 5L quantity may prove too long lasting - hardly a problem though! The shampoo is pretty slick, but doesn't quite have the lubricity I prefer at the 1900:1 ratio using 5ML in a 10L water mix, but its still very good! The coconut scent was more of hybrid coconut / vanilla, plus another undefinable fragrance? Not quite as pure smelling as hoped for, but certainly not offensive in any way - just a little different to what was expected. Opted for the red colour, but it came as more of a light pink / orange and not as deep / bright red as expected. These are minor aesthetic observations which do not affect performance in any way.
CarChem should be awarded full marks alone for bringing a semi bespoke product to the marketplace and for employing a sense of humour where the scent and name can be chosen by the customer - Inspired! CarChem 1900:1 TailorMade just also happens to be an excellent car shampoo irrespective of personalisation, that performs exactly as designed and available at a very competitive price. Highly recommended.