Opti-clean as a rinseless wash?


Recommended Posts

Ron, I know what you are thinking;

"Sigh..... What is it with these weird questions? Just follow the recomendations already"

And I'm sorry for that, but hear me out.

I've read on several instances, that OOC contains more of the polymers that ONR contains, as well as certain polymers ONR does not contain.

So I was wondering if OOC could be used like a rinseless wash, at a high dilution ratio, and maybe even do a better job?

And also, is OOC actually saver than ONR? Since you use OOC at a far higher concentration than ONR. Of course there is the possibillity of dry wiping dirt, but aside from that?

I used to believe that there would be no possibillity that a waterless wash could be in any way safe for the paint. Boy was I wrong, and surely, I'm beginning to really like the thought of using OOC, as being the absolute fastest way of safely washing a car. ONR wouldn't be far off though, and of course you can't beat the cost effectiveness of ONR.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This may come as a surprise, but Optimum staff do not sit around the office thinking of different ways to test products (they are hard pressed to get stuff out the door).  Dr G creates product for specific purposes and makes them as efficient, effective, and affordable as possible...then moves on.  So, can Opti-Clean be used as a rinseless wash, I'm sure it can?  Will it do a better job or be safer, we don't know?  Is it more affordable, no? 

My suggestion, do some testing yourself - mix different ratios and evaluate cleaning power, appearance, safety, etc, and please report back to the Forum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I might give this test a go. My ussual wash consists of 2 gallons of water and 30ml (2 caps) of ONR...so I might compare Opti clean to ONR.

Ill compare Opti clean mixed at:

- 15ml (1cap) in 2 gallons of water

- 30ml (2 caps) in 2 gallons of water

- 45ml (3 caps) in 2 gallons of water...

...and see how effective it is! Ill report here!

BTW Ron if OPT needs a man to do some crazy testing I wouldnt mind a new job and employer 😉


Link to comment
Share on other sites

look forward to hearing your report.  A&J, I've let Dr G know how helpful  you are on this forum.  I find myself going back and forth with Opti-Clean - I keep some mixed up along with quick detailer mix of ONR and use for all kinds of projects.  I like OC better for most cleaning, but prefer ONR on glass....but that's just  me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@A&J Please do! Seems like a nice way to test it! Maybe you could test how scratch-safe it is? And maybe Opti-clean isn't a water softener like ONR?

@Ron@Ron@Optimum I figured OPT probably wouldn't have tested it that way. But maybe you would have been able to give some insight as to why it would(n't) work. All I have read up to now, suggest Opti-Clean contains more of the polymers ONR contains, and then some extra ones ONR doesn't, hence why I thought of this. Or does this statement count when both used at recommended dilution ratio's, but not in concentrated form?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I actually did it and tried to use Opti-clean in a bucket of water like I do use ONR and long story short its not that bad...but lets start this at the beginning shall we!



I used a 1 bucket and 2 gallons (7,4L) of water for each wash. Each bucket had a grit guard and a sponge...same exact sponge (one is just older and more used up then the other one), later I also tried to use a microfiber noodle wash mitt. As for pre-spray I used the mix in the buckets.

So ONR was diluted at its standard 1:256 so 30ml in 2 gallons and with Opti clean I varied. I started with 15ml then tested it, then added another 15ml, tested it and another 15ml so total 45ml. I also emptied the pre-spray bottle and filled up accordingly to what was mixed in the buckets.


I used it on my Renault Grand Scenic which being my car is very well maintained as you can imagine. It gets its no-rinse wash almost every week. It wasn’t dirty but the rain from the last couple of days got it lightly soiled.

I also partially washed my wifes car which is a Renault Clio which gets washed and waxed about once a month. It too was lightly soiled from the rain…both cars got washed at the same time (4 days ago) its just my wife driver further to get to her job then I do.


Using Opti clean as a rinseless wash:

-          At 15ml the mixed solution feels like washing with water or similar to ONR. I did pre spray the solution on the panel and then used the wash solution soaked sponge to clean the panel. I used those cheap short nap mf towel to dry and check for dirt but I didn’t find any.

o   + it cleaned well with no apparent dirt left behind

o   – it doesn’t feel lubricated


-          At 30ml the mixed solution feels kinda still the same and not overly lubricated but it is similar to ONR now (now even ONR isn’t the most lubricated product to begin with compared to other companies rinseless washes like Feynlab pure rinseless or Carpro Echo for example). I did wash a part of my wifes car which was on the sun and found it left behind some sort of hazing (see picture bellow) which was later removed with the ONR solution. Note that that hazing was very minor and hard to notice. I did however notice the paint felt very slick once I washed the residue with ONR so clearly the polymers from Opti clean were left behind. That’s awesome. BTW I did not notice any residue or smearing on my car so maybe it was just left on my wifes car (to tell you the truth that paint is finicky and hard to finish perfectly without something showing behind like wax residue, polish or something else…)

o   + slick and protected finish

o   – still not lubricated enough.

o   – may leave behind some residue but probably only on finicky paint




-          At 45 ml the mixed solution instantly feels slick slick under the sponge. The polymers quickly disperse water on the protected paint and washing with it feels really satisfying and safe. The after washed panels actually look shiny and very clean and I cannot say anything bad with this mix. The only difference now is that we need to use 50% more product then with ONR. The paint afterwards feels quite slick to the touch. I also think that if I sprayed water on it it would sheet much faster due to the leftover polymers. I didn’t notice any major streaking even on my wifes car.

o   + it feels very lubricated and safe while washing

o   + it leaves behind a slick and protected surface due to the leftover polymers

o   + it leaves behind a glossy surface

o   – you use 50% more product to get these awesome results compared to say ONRWW


-          And at the end I just dumped all that 45ml leftover mixed solution to the ONR mix and washed the rest and that was the most lubricated and slick feel till now (duh…obviously). Everything (polymers) just added up and the wash really felt super and slick and lubricated and safe and awesome and all those superlatives we love to hear…


Can Opti-clean be used as a rinseless wash??? I say YES without a doubt. It works OK at 1:256 ratio but its great at 1:165. It feels really slick and safe to use and I wouldn’t mind using it that way. But cost wise it is more expensive to use Opti clean that way since both products (950ml bottles of ONR and Opti-clean at the Rag company) are similarly priced. If nothing else you could use Opti-clean at a 1:165 mix for a pre-spray and then do a ONR wash. That way you get a stronger pre-spray for more soiled cars while still not using up too much product and still a cheaper ONR wash. Dry with opti-seal and the car will be beading like crazy.


Link to comment
Share on other sites



And ohh...I forgot to talk about the dirt capturing and releasing properties that ONR has...I dont know for sure if Opti-clean has them too so its a small possibility that the wash media might get more and more soiled over time...that can be by-passed by using mf towels to wash the car instead of mitts or sponges.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

your final approach is my current one - pre-spray with Opti-Clean at normal ratio and wash with ONRWW.  I like the cleaning power of OC but the shine left by ONRWW (and prefer ONR on glass).  Of course I cheat and dry with Hyper Seal, so who really knows how much gloss the wash adds?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@A&J Thanks so much for the thorough testing! Glad to hear that it feels like it's working fine as a rinseless wash. That final wash solution must have felt amazing indeed. Very clear streaking on the clio, also noticeable on the window. Seems like OOC feels similar to ONR when at equal dilution. Good point on the dirt-releasing properties, didn't think of that.

I'm awaiting Ron's answer if OOC contains more polymers than ONR in concentrated forms. If so, maybe this is a safer Rinseless wash, but more difficult to use? (smearing) Maybe we will be able to test if it is safer at some point. I hope to aquire my desired polishing equipment within a month or 2. I really want to try out Opti-Clean as well, especially on bugs. (and all the other OPT products....)

However... I have since figured out (hold on, this will be genius......), If safety is key, that both products used together, in their intented and researched way, would be the safest (pre-)rinseless wash. Yes, an absolutely astonishing thought, I know. So a pre-spray with OOC, and ONR wash as you normally do.

That scenic looked dirty to begin with, but cleaned up very nice. Nice amount of gloss and reflection.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

found some info I stole from Dr G several years ago (I'm a packrat with info):

ONR vs Opti-Clean –

No Rinse used as a quick detailer works fine for a car with light dust while Opti-Clean can be used on a car with several days of build up. The reason is that Opti-Clean contains the same polymers in No Rinse that encapsulate dirt but at a much higher concentration than No Rinse QD as well as other polymers not used in No rinse that offer more lubricity and gloss.
Based on the chemistry of these products (Opti-Clean, No rinse, Instant Detailer), there should be no bonding issues or affects on the longevity of waxes or sealants when you use these products before or after application of waxes or sealants. The protective film these products leave behind is dissolved and removed by the chemical solvents and abrasives used in waxes or sealants. None of these products contain detergents or solvents to remove waxes or sealants and therefore they only add protection not remove them.  While both of these products are pH neutral, Opti-Clean contains much higher levels of polymers than No Rinse as well as some new polymers that we developed for this type of application. The added polymers are necessary to compensate for using a fraction of the water as compared to a regular No Rinse wash.  You do get some level of UV protection from the reflection effects as well as some sacrificial UV protection (the polymers breaking down rather than the paint). But for UV protection, you need specific compounds designed to block UV light. The main product we offer for exterior application that provides the most UV protection is Optimum Car Wax which contains these specific chemicals to block UV light.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/17/2020 at 6:41 AM, A&J said:

BTW Ron if OPT needs a man to do some crazy testing I wouldnt mind a new job and employer 😉



I fully support any application by A&J.  For many years across different forums he has provided support and advice to many people on OPT products.  Additionally, his willingness to test all sorts of OPT products in different combinations and publish the results is always impressive.  If there was such a thing as a brand ambassador, A&J would do a great job.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.