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Review: Optimum Opti-Mitt

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Review: Optimum Opti-Mitt

 

Introduction:

I have been hearing about the release of this new wash mitt by Optimum for some time and have been looking forward to its release as I’ve been more then happy with all the products I’ve tried so far from Optimum. As this new product was being discussed on the forums I voiced a couple of my thoughts and asked a few questions of Optimum. As always, Dr. G and Chris were very responsive and detailed in their explanations. Those questions and answers along with some further info from Optimum have been added to the end of this review. On top of answering all my questions they offered to send me an Opti-Mitt to review. Thank you Chris and Dr. G! I received the mitt this Thanksgiving weekend and had an opportunity to try it this afternoon. Optimum describes the mitt as being “Especially designed and tested with rinseless washing in mind”. Therefore I decided I would test it with Optimum No Rinse. I would have liked to test it both ways for the review but I didn’t have time and that would have meant the review wouldn’t be up for another week.

 

 

Product Description (from Optimum website):

"Especially designed and tested with rinseless washing in mind, Opti-Mitt is your new choice for washing without marring. The porous foam along with the waffle texture ensure dirt is lifted away from your paint during the wash process. With more than 90 pores per inch you'll have plenty of lubrication for a safe wash. The backside of the Opti-Mitt doubles as a scrubber for stuck on debris while still remaining safe."

 

 

 

Initial Product Observations:

1.- Packaging: Sealed in plastic bag

2.- Consistency: Foam

3.- Color: Grey and Yellow

4.- Size: 8” Dia.

5.- Current Price: $13.99 to $15.99

6.- Manufacturer: Optimum Polymer Technologies, Inc.

7.- Made in: USA

 

 

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

1.- (2) buckets with Grit Guards

2.- Optimum No Rinse

3.- Waffle Weave Towels

 

Condition of Vehicle:

I took some “before” pictures in the garage and although the car looks pretty clean it has been 2 weeks since I washed it and in that time it has been driven to work and back (20 miles each way) about 8 or 9 times along with a little weekend joy riding. You have to love this Florida weather right now! J At one point I dipped a towel in ONR solution and swiped the paint in order to show it was dirty for the pictures portion of this review. Of course the front bumper was clean as it gets a waterless wash after every drive but it got the ONR/Opti-Mitt treatment as well. The paint hasn’t been polished or had any paint cleaner used on it in about 8 months but it still looks pretty good.

 

Method of Preparation, Application, and noted Observations:

I started by filling one bucket with water for rinsing and another bucket with 2 gallons of water and ONR. I mixed the ONR with my hand and placed the Grit Guard back in its place. Next I took the Opti-Mitt and squeezed it a couple times in the solution to get it fully loaded. One section at a time I completed the hood. Then I threw a ww towel over the hood and dragged it back slowly until the hood was dry. Next I completed the rear lid in the same manner. The first major difference in function I noticed with the Opti-Mitt as compared with the Edge Mitt was that the Opti-Mitt releases a uniform stream of water out of the tips of the “mitt peaks” without squeezing the mitt. I found that on the horizontal surfaces this was very helpful and I actually started using this as a timer for when it was near time to rinse my mitt and reload. I really loved the texture of the foam against my paint and felt great about its ability to clean. The only thing I would say is that I felt like I needed to push on the mitt a little harder then I wanted to due to the peaks of the mitt. I would prefer the peaks and valleys were a little less pronounced. That’s just my opinion so I feel I should state it. I’m sure a whole lot of testing and research went into this design that would prove my opinion wrong.

 

When I moved onto the first vertical surface I ran into an interesting situation. When the mitt was turned sideways some of the solution was no longer released where I would have preferred. Instead I would lose a lot of solution down the side of the mitt. This would seem to be the case with any foam mitt used with a rinseless wash. One of the videos below will show me holding a mitt vertical so you can see what I mean. With a regular car wash I don’t believe this would be as much of an issue for me due to the suds etc. With a rinseless wash I decided I would rotate the mitt as I dragged it across the vertical surface so that I could get a higher percentage of the solution onto the paint.

 

There is an attached chord, which can be guided through the hole in the back of the mitt. Then you can slide this chord over your finger if you prefer to hold the Mitt this way.

 

Please see the visual media and rejoin me afterwards to see the Pros, Cons, and Summary.

 

My apologies on a couple of the videos... They may have you reaching for the ginger if you are prone to seasickness. It’s not easy to tape and throw a towel flat over the lid at the same time!

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VIDEOS:

 

 

Video 1: Opti-Mitt Water release rate

 

 

 

 

Video 2: Opti-Mitt vs. Edge Water release

 

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Video 7: Foam Mitt on Vertical Panel

 

 

 

Video 8: Clean Sky

 

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PICTURES:

 

 

01.- Opti-Mitt and ONR

 

01-OM_and_ONR.JPG

 

 

 

02.- Opti-Mitt Front Face

 

02-Opti_Mitt_Front_Face.JPG

 

 

 

03.- Opti-Mitt another option

 

 

03-Opti_Mitt_another_option.JPG

 

04.- Side by Side Close up

 

04-Side_by_Side_Closeup.JPG

 

 

05.- Opti-Mitt Close up

 

05-Opti_Mitt_Close_up.JPG

 

 

06.- Edge Schmitt Close up

 

06-Edge_Schmitt_Close_up.JPG

 

 

 

07.- Front Face Side by Side

 

07-Front_Side_by_Side.JPG

 

 

 

08.- Rear Face Side by Side

 

08-Rear_Side_by_Side.JPG

 

 

09.-Dirty

 

09-Dirty.JPG

 

 

10.- Dirty

 

10-Dirty.JPG

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11.- Dirty

 

11-Dirty.JPG

 

 

12.- Dirty

 

12-Dirty.JPG

 

 

 

13.- Dirty

 

13-Dirty.JPG

 

 

 

14.- Dirty

 

 

14-Dirty.JPG

 

 

 

15.- Opti-Mitt Floats

 

 

15-Floating_Opti_Mitt.JPG

 

 

 

 

16.- Here I used a towel with ONR to take a swipe just to show the car is indeed dirty

 

16-See_Dirty.JPG

 

 

 

17.- Clean

 

17-Clean.JPG

 

 

 

18.- Clean

 

18-Clean.JPG

 

 

 

19.- Clean

 

19-Clean.JPG

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20.- Clean

 

20-Clean.JPG

 

 

 

21.- Clean

 

21-Clean.JPG

 

 

 

22.- Clean

 

22-Clean.JPG

 

 

 

23.- Clean

 

23-Clean.JPG

 

 

 

24.- Clean

 

24-Clean.JPG

 

 

25.- Clean

 

25-Clean.JPG

 

 

 

26.- Clean

 

26-Clean.JPG

 

 

 

27.- Clean

 

27-Clean.JPG

 

 

 

Pros:

1.- Excellent absorption and release properties

2.- Over 90 pores per inch

3.- Water release of Mitt is consistent over horizontal panels

4.- Very soft foam when wet

5.- Very durable

6.- Paint safe scrubber on the rear side of mitt

7.- Very easy to clean

 

Cons:

1.- I dont care for the way it functions on vertical panels

2.- For me I would prefer the mitt was white or other light color rather than gray

 

Summary:

This is a high quality foam mitt that feels safe. After examining my Sky in the sun I didnt find any marring from its use and everything was clean and glossy! Initially it feels very strange using foam with a rinseless wash but after a little time with the Opti-Mitt I enjoyed using it on the horizontal surfaces. Personally I still prefer using mf towels for a rinseless wash on vertical surfaces. I look forward to any tips or tricks I will hear on how to better utilize the Opti-Mitt on vertical panels. With a conventional wash I am a big fan of mf wash mitts but Im looking forward to using the Opti-Mitt next time around.

 

Previous information gathered from Optimum with regards to the Opti-Mitt:

 

This is what Dr. G said about the Opti-Mitt a few months ago (before it was released)

 

"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."

 

Here are some questions I previously asked:

 

1.-What are the differences between the Opti-Mitt and the Schmitt?

2.-Is there any possibility that there will be an Opti-Mitt released in a lighter color at some point in the future?

 

Response from Chris:

 

The foam and color are different from the Schmitt and exclusive to Opti-Mitt. It is comparable to a finish pad with about 90-100 ppi. I believe the Schmitt is 70-80 ppi. The color was specifically chosen to conceal the staining that naturally occurs over time with any wash media. To my knowledge there are no plans for another version in another color, but nothing is written in stone. Thanks for your compliments on the forum. I've been working very hard to make it the best I can. I'm sure Dr. G will chime in too...he may have more technical specs for you."

 

Response from Dr. G:

 

Chris as always has provided great answers to the questions you brought up. I will also add some of the steps we took in designing Opti-Mitt. Our objective first and foremost was to find a foam that is absolutely safe for all the automotive surfaces and in particular softer automotive paints. Additionally, we wanted this foam to be very durable and last through many wash cycles. Furthermore, we wanted this foam to be very porous so that not only it would have great absorption properties, but also it would have excellent release properties for easy rinsing. The foam formulation that we found fulfills all these requirement and as Chris pointed out, it is exclusively used for making Opti-Mitt.

 

And the Product Link: http://optimumforums.org/index.php?app=nexus&module=payments&section=store&do=item&id=63

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Thanks for the review. I have been using proline grout sponges for ONR wash I may have to try the Mitt

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Thanks for the review. I have been using proline grout sponges for ONR wash I may have to try the Mitt

 

My pleasure Sal. I hope you do and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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Corey, I'm may give you the title: "King of the Demo"...Great job and I love the videos. Only thing I noticed that you may want to try is not washing in circles with a rinseless, but in straight lines. Go over the panel in one direction, top to bottom, rinse the mitt and repeat if necessary. This will fix the problem on your vertical panels as the no rinse will be under the mitt as you move down. Let me know if that helps.

 

Chris, Thanks so much for the compliment and the tips. I do usually use the straight line method. With the peaks in the mitt I did find myself wanting to move circular sometimes to get complete coverage of the paint. In the videos I was trying to show the mitt water release attributes and was kind of learning as I went what would work.

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Hey Corey,

 

Another great review. I'll be watching for further experience with the Opti Mitt before I make the plunge. I have a feeling that the open pores will make it much easier to clean than a MF towel that never quite rinses clean.

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Hey Corey,

 

Another great review. I'll be watching for further experience with the Opti Mitt before I make the plunge. I have a feeling that the open pores will make it much easier to clean than a MF towel that never quite rinses clean.

 

Thank you Kurt. You are correct, it rinses clean very easily.

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