Thursday, November 23, 2017
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Three Different Levels of pH-Cleaning Power

If you’re serious about hand-washing your car, you actually measure the amount of soap you mix into your two- or three-bucket setup, even when the little voice in your head wants you to dump half the jug of soap into the bucket for an extra-sudsy mix. After all, most car wash formulas do provide specific mixing instructions for a reason—to minimize dilution and waste.

Turtle Wax has taken things a step further with their new car wash formula, Turtle Wax M.A.X.-Power Car Wash ($6/100 oz.).

The first of its kind, Turtle Wax’s new car wash formula is the only car wash that increases its pH-cleaning power based on how much of the soap you pour into your wash bucket (with a maximum ratio, of course). It sounds logical—more soap, more power. But, scientifically speaking, more soap doesn’t change the actual pH balance of a soap. This product does (or claims to), with three levels of cleaning power…

  • 3 oz. Moderate strength – Removes dirt & grime
  • 6 oz. Aggressive strength – Removed bugs, mud and salt
  • 9 oz. Xtreme strength – Removes brake dust and sap

While we’re not scientists, Turtle Wax M.A.X.-Power Car Wash has a [maximum] pH of 10.2, according to the product’s SDS. That’s a bit higher than the ~7 pH found in pH-neutral formulas that won’t strip wax. What we don’t know is what the pH is given the different recommend product-to-water ratio measurements with the Turtle Wax product. Presumably, a 3 oz mix should have a much lower pH than the 9 oz mixture, which should be the max 10.2. But we can’t prove any of it.

Okay, enough pseudo-science. It seems like a cool product for the typical maintenance wash, and it’s cheap. That could be good; it could be bad. The reviews are solid so far. We’ll get some and try it on the Jeep soon.

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About Michael Turner

Forty-something years later, Michael still doesn’t’ know what he wants to do if he grows up. Raised around cars and trained in diesel mechanics, Michael has owned a successful detail shop, developed and sold software, lead a K-9 SAR team, ridden the dot-com wave as a sales/marketing/PR executive, led digital strategy teams at both large and small agencies, and now this. He digs Jeeps, off-road racing, football, photography, flying, trains, making EDM, cranking metal, PC gaming, and a plethora of other contradictory things.

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