Best heavy-duty cleaning wipes 2018
Which of ten packs of heavy-duty cleaning wipes leaves your car looking the best?
Keeping a pack of moist wipes handy is one of the easiest ways to maintain reasonable cleanliness. It makes sense, too. Statistics show we spend on average nearly three-and-a-half years of our lives at the wheel. But some wipes offer better performance, durability and value than others. So we put ten packs of heavy-duty wipes to the test.
How we tested them
We challenged an array of wipes over a mix of paint (car door), plastic (matt and gloss) and fabric (carpet and upholstery) surfaces. Grease, chocolate and biro were introduced to give a typical everyday environment, then we considered the effort required to shift them, and the finish the wipes left behind. Also considered was price, from a range of sources as we went to press.
All our products impressed, and the best performer was the Grime Boss, but Wonder Wipes served up the strongest blend of performance and price.
- 1. Everbuild Wonder Wipes WIPE80
- 2. Grime Boss Heavy Duty Hand Wipes
- 3. Big Wipes Heavy-Duty Wipes
Everbuild Wonder Wipes WIPE80
Price: Around £7.50 Contact: www.everbuild.co.ukRating: ★★★★★
The Wonder Wipes had no textured surface like their nearest rivals, and that slowed them down. This was most noticeable on the paint drying test, where we had to work harder to get deep down due to the lack of abrasion. Overall, they performed well across our tests, although when cleaning the door panel, there was just the slightest hint of greasiness left behind.
They’re cut somewhere between the Grime Boss and Big Wipes’ Heavy-Duty and were noticeably lighter. This meant they tended not to soak up so much dirt and grease, but the big price advantage they had over their main rivals here meant you could double up occasionally and still come out on top.
Grime Boss Heavy Duty Hand Wipes
Price: Around £5Contact: www.grimeboss.co.ukRating: ★★★★☆
It’s a pity the Grime Boss wipes aren’t available in bigger tubs, and weren’t anti-bacterial. The wipes were larger, heavier and wetter than the others, the textured side ripping out grime as the smooth side soaked it up. They beat rivals in all tests bar one; sometimes one wipe did two tests. But once the paint began to dry, we had to scrub to get it all off.
Big Wipes Heavy-Duty
Price: Around £7 Contact: www.saxon-shop.comRating: ★★★★☆
Like the Grime Boss, each wipe had a textured and a smooth side; they just weren’t as large or heavy, so the texture was worked harder on the ingrained dirt. The blue, lemon-scented wipes were strong on grease, oil and Waxoyl, if not quite up to the best, but matched the Wonder Wipes at getting off the drying paint. Price was the biggest drawback.
CarPlan Upholstery Wipes
Price: Around £1.50Contact: www.carplan.co.uk Rating: ★★★★☆
A previous test winner, these CarPlan wipes are really effective on upholstery and carpet, shifting grime and biro with ease. They made light work of our ground-in chocolate. Unfortunately, they’re not a one-stop solution, and lose a star as a result. The wider CarPlan range includes dash, screen and leather wipes to suit your requirements. Even so, these Upholstery Wipes are top value, and also come in a convenient cup-holder-sized tub (around £3).
Big Wipes Multi-Purpose Wipes
Price: Around £10Contact: www.bigwipes.co.uk Rating: ★★★★☆
Changes to the Big Wipes line-up mean Interior Wipes are now known as Multi-Purpose Wipes, but they retain their four-star rating. They’re versatile and deliver on their promise to be “tough on grime, food, drinks and stains”. Biro needed more effort to shift, though. As with all Big Wipes, they’re also dermatologically tested. The 40-wipe plastic tub is a bit chunky, but is well designed with a stopper, so you don’t need to fiddle to find the next clean-smelling wipe.
Armor All All-round Wipes
Price: Around £3Contact: www.armorall.eu Rating: ★★★☆☆
The resealable lid of this 30-wipe value tub is good in concept, but proves a bit fiddly. Although they can be used on their own, the wipes are actually intended to act as part of a two-step process, with gloss wipes – sold separately – as a follow-up to leave your interior sparkling. They struggled to shift the grease on fabrics, but worked brilliantly on sticky marks and grime on plastic surfaces. The car polish smell is pleasant enough, albeit not quite as nice as the fresh linen fragrance of the CarPlan wipes.
Simoniz Matt Dash Wipes
Price: Around £2Contact: www.holtsauto.com Rating: ★★★☆☆
These Simoniz wipes may be slightly more expensive than the cheapest rivals, but are perhaps worth a punt given that they come with a money-back guarantee. They weren’t able to completely shift the biro and merely smeared the ink before making it faint. However, they managed to lift the grime and grease without any issues and left an excellent smear-free finish, plus a new smell to boot. These are a fair investment if there’s no other choice on the shelf. Yet they’re limited as they can’t be applied to fabric – for that you need Simoniz Upholstery Wipes.
Tesco Dashboard Wipes
Price: Around £1.50Contact: www.tesco.com Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Claimed antibacterial properties make these Tesco wipes a cheap solution for cleaning up after sticky fingers and wiping down surfaces touched by tiny tots. The instructions say it’s best to leave the cleaning solution for five minutes, but doing so didn’t seem to bring about any improvement in performance. They also made chocolate stains worse and needed some serious elbow grease on biro across the plastic surfaces we tried. Finally, we weren’t impressed by unsightly watermarks left behind after drying, either.
Simoniz Upholstery Wipes
Price: Around £2.50Contact: www.holtsauto.comRating: ★★☆☆☆
These Simoniz Upholstery Wipes foam to work more quickly on spills and stains. They come in a 20-pack resealable sachet with strong glue to keep the pack sealed and the wipes moist. Two wipes is all it took to give a chocolate-free finish on the fabric, although there was a greasy mark the next day after drying. They didn’t perform that well on grime, although they got the job done. Biro and ink proved a doddle to shift, but the foam leaves a mild stickiness behind and the new car fragrance is a little bit weak.
Turtle Wax Cockpit Wipes
Price: Around £3.50Contact: www.turtlewax.co.uk Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Turtle Wax’s Cockpit Wipes were decidedly disappointing. The lemon smell was pleasant enough and they were able to shift the worst of our self-inflicted grime without too much elbow grease. However, the wipes’ gloss properties seem to prevent the solution having any effect on ink, grease or stickiness. This was in contradiction to the pack’s claim that they “instantly clean”. In order to get the gloss finish, you ideally need to buff with a microfibre cloth afterwards. And all that for a price that’s somewhere in the middle of the pack in our test.