Why It’s Time To Ditch Your Sponge For A Wash Mitt

For ages, man has used the yellow sponge as an essential tool to wash his car…..I’m here to tell you that this is primitive technology!….well kinda.


— What is a Wash Mitt? 

Wash Mitt

A wash mitt, like a sponge, is a just another form of media used to remove dirt from the surface of your car. However unlike one of those yellow sponges you get from the supermarket, wash mitts can range from £5 – £20 and sometimes even more!

They come in a variety of different materials such as lambswool, microfibre and synthetic wool, different styles and a mix of colours, so you can pick whatever washmitt is right for you.

— Why Would I Care, They Both get the Job Done? 

This is correct in the fact that they both remove dirt from the surface of your car, however not quite in the same way.

Think of dirt on your car as tiny little rocks, in order to remove the rocks you need to physically move them out the way.  If they are not removed carefully this will result in the dreaded wash scratch!

Wash Scratch

Now if this is something you don’t care about then go ahead, use a sponge, a rag or your t-shirt, lets face it it’s not the end of the world.  However, if you want to preserve and maintain the quality of your paint as well as whatever wax, sealant or coating, you have protecting your car, then learning how to correctly wash your car is probably the most important step.

— Whats Wrong with my Yellow Sponge 

Wash Car, sponge vs wash mitt

Unlike a wash mitt, a sponge doesn’t have the ability to safely carry dirt away when washing your car.

A wash mitt is generally plush and fibrous.  As it passes over the panel, the dirt is able to lodge itself safely into the mitt, allowing for less contact with the paint and thus causing much less wash scratch.

A sponge however, will not accept the dirt and so will push the dirt into the paint rather than safely encapsulating it. (See Diagram)

— Irony… 

Now that you’ve read that, forget everything you’ve just learned, as sponges are back in fashion!  The old faithful sponge seems to be making a comeback despite having such a negative reputation within the detailing community for so many years.

Sponges such as the Optimum Big Red Wash Spongeand the Kamikaze Collection Ultra-soft Black Wash Sponge seem to be gaining a lot of positive attention. Though unlike that cheap yellow sponge, these appear to be much softer and have a more advanced design, they are also much more expensive, coming in at as much as £32!

— What You Should Use 

For me personally, I’m sticking with the wash mitt, the one I personally use is Adam’s Professional Car Wash Pad, it’s synthetic, durable, and won’t scratch, I can also chuck it in the wash with my microfiber cloths and it comes out looking brand new.

The main reason I choose a mitt over a sponge is because of the safety factor. I believe you can use a sponge safely although it is essential that your vehicle is appropriately pre rinsed to ensure all that remains is traffic film  (stuff you can’t rinse off)  and not dirt  (tiny little rocks). Whilst this should still be the case when using a wash mitt there is a safety net in that the wash mitt can glide the dirt over the paint safely.

Ultimately it’s down to you and your car, what you feel more comfortable with and what your paint responds better to, because believe it or not, every cars paint is different.

Either way….avoid using the cheap yellow sponge!

Thanks for reading!

The links above may take you to the Amazon website where the items can be purchased. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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