When it comes to car cleaning and detailing, most people tend to focus on the outside of the car.
From the right car wash and wax products, through to more advanced tools like paint thickness gauges to measure the quality of your car’s paint finish, there’s a whole world of possible expenditure for keeping the paint on your car looking great.
However, when it comes to keeping interior surfaces clean and tidy, many are just content to grab a cloth and dust off the dashboard, door cards and other surfaces (and – if the car is lucky – the vacuum might even come out to play).
This ignores the world of interior surface detailing products, such as the subject of today’s review – Armor All’s “Original” Protectant spray.
In this Armor All Protectant Spray review, I’m going to go into a bit more detail about my experiences with this product.
What Is It?
Armor All “Original Protectant” is a protectant spray designed to help you clean and protect interior surfaces in your car.
In particular, it works to make removing dust, dirt and grime easier and more effective, and then also protect the interior surfaces of your car from fading, discoloration and cracking due to the sun’s UV rays.
This product is meant to be used on plastic and vinyl surfaces on the interior of your car (e.g. dashboard or door cards) but you can also use it on exterior surfaces as well.
You simply spray the product on to the surface (or spray first onto a cloth) and then wipe down the surface in question, and wipe away any excess. Job done, as they say.
Basically, for no extra effort over cleaning the interior surfaces of your car with water, you can enjoy a superior clean and help to protect against premature aging of the plastic/vinyl/rubber surfaces of your car.
What’s not to love?
Where Can You Buy It?
Armor All isn’t exactly a “boujee” brand.
Just like Turtle Wax, it is a ‘salt of the earth’ automotive brand that stands for decent products at fair prices (at least in my experience).
What this means is that you should be able to pick up a bottle of Armor All Original Protectant from any credible auto retailer, big box store with an automotive department, or online.
For example, you can buy it here on Amazon.com for a good price
Depending on where you are based, you can also purchase in different sizes. I’ve got a small sized bottle that I bought from my local auto store, and it has lasted a long time (and there is still plenty left … I won’t be running out any time soon).
However, if you are a fastidious car interior detailer – or you have a lot of cars to clean – then a larger size might be more appropriate.
One thing to note is that you can also buy this product as a packet of protectant wipes. I’ve had a few packs in the past (as part of car cleaning gift sets, gifts with purchase at auto stores etc) and to be honest although they are more convenient – especially as you can just keep a packet in the car – I never found them anywhere near as effective as the spray-based product. You also pay a premium for the convenience of the wipes, so they aren’t worth the extra in my view.
- Easy to use – Just point at where you want to clean, spray, and then wipe down to clean and protect your interior surfaces. This is such an easy and fast product to use.
- Affordable – Armor All products are typically good value for money, and there are no exceptions here. As I mentioned above, I’m not so sold on the protectant wipes (they are more expensive per use, and also not as good) but the spray really is strong value for money.
- Cleans better than water alone – I’ve definitely found that the interior surfaces of my car are cleaned better using this product than just using a damp microfiber cloth. This protectant does a nice job at rejuvenating the interior surface trim of my car.
- Protective properties – Cleaning is one thing, but one of the best bits about using a protectant product like this one from Armor All is that it is meant to protect (funny that) your car trim from deterioration due to UV rays. Diligent use of Armor All Protectant Spray should mean less risk of interior trim discoloration, cracking, fading and premature aging.
What’s Not So Good?
- Not sure how protective it really is – The only downside I can see to using this particular product (when you factor in its affordable pricing and the fact that it works well as a cleaner) is the extent to which it actually protects your car’s trim from UV light and other “environmental” factors that might prematurely wear and age plastic/vinyl/rubber. I’m not aware of any robust scientific studies that show truly how effective this product (or any similar type of protectant) is, and my sneaking suspicion, as with most car detailing products, is that the protective benefits are somewhat overhyped – but at the same time I’m confident it must be better than just using water.
- You can’t use it on all surfaces – While you can use this product on many surfaces, there are some materials it isn’t suitable for (e.g. clear plastic, glass or fabric) and you also aren’t supposed to use it to clean surfaces such as the steering wheel, pedals or gear selector as it can make them slippery and therefore potentially cause an accident risk. I’m sure plenty of people clean these surfaces with protectant products, but it is worth bearing this in mind, so as to avoid disappointment.
Armor All Protectant Spray – Review Conclusion
Overall, Armor All’s ‘Original’ protectant spray does a decent job at cleaning and rejuvenating plastic interior surfaces/trim in your car.
I’m sure there are superior products out there that will yield longer-lasting, more impressive results.
However, considering just how cheap this product is – and its generally excellent availability – it’s worthy of your consideration.
If you want to upgrade from simply “damp dusting” the interior trim of your car, then Armor Protectant Spray would be a good option. It’s fast, it’s easy to use, and seems to work well.
I can’t comment to how well the “UV protection” component works in the real world … but overall I’m happy with the results I get from using this product.
If you want the absolute best for your car, then you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you’re like me and just want good value for money with your car detailing products, then Armor All’s solution is worthy of your hard-earned money.
I’m more than happy with it, and will keep purchasing this product into the future; provided it remains such good value for money.
What is your experience with this product? Feel free to leave a comment below – it would be great to hear from you (including if you have any recommended alternatives).
Don’t forget to check out our other product reviews and articles as well. Garage Dreams has a growing collection of reviews of various car products, from the best paint thickness gauges, to car inspection cameras, detailing products and more.