Review: Optimum No Rinse


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This product really needs no introduction and probably doesn't need a review either but I told David Ghodoussi of Optimum that I was going to try it and write a review. I never thought I would use this product as a no rinse wash as I have access to a hose and driveway. I especially thought I would never wash Sky with it. However, when I was talking with David at Detail Fest he convinced me of it's safety. Today I tried it for the first time and am looking forward to writing this. See "Method of Application and noted Observations" for details.


Note 1: This is the ONR sold in 2009 (Not the new formula)

Note 2: ONR is all I ever use as a clay lube (It's perfect for this) and I usually put a bit in my wash water when I do a regular wash.


Product(s) used previously:



Initial Product Observations:

1.- Manufacturer Claims: True

2.- Packaging: Clear plastic bottle with screw off cap and 13/16" opening

3.- Label: Functional and instructive (yellow/blue 180 degree wrap)

4.- Directions: Clear and concise (directions for all 3 of it's recommended uses)

5.- Consistency: A thin liquid with a fluidity just barely thicker then water

6.- Color: Blue (If using as a QD or Clay lube it turns a very light pink if mixed with water and allowed to sit for awhile. Don't worry it still works fine. Only the color has changed)

7.- Scent: Fresh soapy scent

8.- Size: 32 oz.

9.- Regular Price: 15.99$

10.-Price Per oz: $0.50 (based on 32 oz. bottle)

11.-Price Per App (After dilution) Based on 32 oz. price

11A.- $0.50 per bucket for rinseless wash

11B.- 1$ per gallon for clay lube

11C.- 4$ per gallon for quick detailer

12.-Additional sizes available: 8 oz. (7.99) 128 oz. (39.99)

13.-Manufacturer: Optimum Polymer Technologies, Inc.

14.-Made in: USA


Ingredients posted on label of bottle:



Additional products used for prep, during application, or removal:

1.- (2) waffle weave MF towels

2.- Wash mitt (MF towel worked better then Mitt)

3.- (1) 5 gallon bucket with NO grit guard

4.- (1) 5 gallon bucket with (2) grit guards


Method of Prep:

1.- Rinse bucket: Place 2 clean grit guards in a clean 5 gallon bucket and fill with 3.7 gallons of water.

2.- Wash Solution: Fill other bucket up to the 2 gallon line and mix 1 oz of ONR with the 2 gallons of water. (I used 2 oz for this review which is an error according to the instructions)

Method of Application and noted Observations:

I actually started by taking a permanent marker and marking off lines in one of my buckets to signify the depths at 1, 2, 3, and 4 gallons. Mike Phillips mentions this in an article and I appreciate the tip. I won't have to measure the bucket next time. Probably the best thing about ONR is the amount of time it saves throughout your process starting from the very beginning. I did not have to pull my car out of the garage, or setup up my shade canopy, etc.


I did not wash the fabric top of my convertible so I started on the hood. I took a folded MF waffle weave towel and soaked it in the wash bucket for a moment. Then I placed the towel on the top of my hood and just ran it back and forth a couple times. The weight of the soaked towel is more then enough so I didn't add pressure. Then I flipped the towel and did a little more. One of the benefits of using a towel is that you can refold the towel to a fresh face every few swipes and complete the full hood panel with an extra precaution in place. After I had wiped the entire hood I dropped the wash towel in the rinse bucket and pulled out my drying WW. Threw it across the hood from the drivers side and slowly dragged it back towards me. Then I folded the towel and finished off by lightly wiping the rest of the hood. Next I rinsed the wash towel and repeated the process doing the upper portion of the drivers side of the car. Wash, dry, rinse, repeat. The entire process was very simple and not at all messy.


Optimum instructs that you use a high quality MF towel. I went back and forth at first between using a wash mitt and using the towel. In the end I tried both but I preferred the towel and so only used the mitt around the bottom of the car. One benefit of the Mitt is you can rinse it in the bucket easier. A couple benefits of the towel is you can refold it as you are doing a panel and can also easily see when there is an accumulation of dirt on it. For the finer points on the benefits of using a towel see the 4th post of this thread for Dr G's explanation.


After I finished the paint I poured the remainder (about 1 gallon) of wash water into my tires and wheels bucket and used my wheel mitt to wash the rims and dry them with a dedicated wheel towel (1) at a time. Please see the pictures below and then continue on to the remainder of the review. The before pictures really don't look like the car was dirty but look at the wash towel picture.









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Bucket Setup




Washing the Lid




Told you it was dirty (this is from about a 1' x 3' area before I refolded)




Gallon mark lines in bucket




Poured remainder of ONR mix into wheel bucket.


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No scratches


























1.- Faster then a normal wash

2.- Easier then a normal wash

3.- No water spots with less effort

4.- Scratch safe

5.- Smooth and glossy finish

6.- Saves water

7.- Obviously ONR is a versatile product




1.- N/A



1.- Why didn't I try this sooner?

2.- I have to go ONR my dog now (j/k)


Additional Observations and/or Summary:

I'm pretty sure if you're reading this you care a bit more about your car then whether or not you get a little car soap in the storm drains but as I mentioned earlier this product certainly has it's place even for people who have the option. It saves a ton of time. This will become part of my regular schedule. Previous to this experience I washed basically every other week. From now on I plan to use my regular wash once a month and use this system in between. 2 weeks-regular wash, 2 weeks ONR etc.


Obviously as has been noted by others you wouldn't use this product after you just went mudding. However this product definitely has it's place and is the best option if you want to save time with a car that is lightly soiled.

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Another great review Corey, and thanks for sharing! One point to note is in your calculations for cost per wash: One once per 2 gallons would be $0.50 per wash because you don't need no rinse in your rinse bucket...nor would you need more than two gallons for almost any vehicle smaller than a Hummer. And if you can spurge for the gallon size of ONR, you can get the cost down to $0.31


Thank you! Also, sorry for the mistake! I stand corrected. I used 2 oz and 2 gallons in the review but it should have been 1 ounce in 2 gallons. I'll correct it.

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Dr G's explanation of the benefits of using a towel to wash with ONR.


Here is my question and his reply:


What are the finer points of reasoning on the ONR directions stating to use a MF towel rather then a wash mitt or other media? I prefer using an MF towel but would like to know the reasoning behind that being specifically stated.


The reason we recommend Microfiber towels is that there are anywhere from 50,000 pores per square inch for an average microfiber to 200,000 pores per square inch for a very plush Microfiber towel. These pores are active sites to trap dirt and remove it from the surface. Therefore you get a much greater cleaning and protecting effect from a microfiber towel than a wool mitt, etc. The towels we offer are on the upper end of the range I mentioned. The only draw back when using a Microfiber towel as the wash media is that it is hard to remove the dirt that is trapped by No Rinse from the towel unless you use a strong detergent like Power Clean.


Another great wash media is a soft sponge (minimum 80 PPI) that works great for washing with No Rinse. The advantages of sponge over Microfiber is that dirt particles can get adsorbed into the sponge and away from the surface. We are working with a foam manufacturer to develop a mitt that not only is safe and gentle for the automotive paint but also has good cleaning and dirt release properties. Once we complete all the testing and development, we will make this new foam mitt available to help make the wash process with Optimum No Rinse easier.

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  • 1 month later...


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