The guys at Play Dead gave us some of their new car-care product to test. We found a perfect situation that we’ve all been in before to give it a good crack.
The guy reckons he’ll be here to check it out at 11.30, with cash in hand. The car’s a f*cking mess. Lucky we have this conveniently placed stash of Play Dead car-care product and 11 minutes to see if it will do what it’s supposed to do.
Wheel Cleaner is applied liberally to the wheels. The trick is to make sure the wheels are cool, with the product allowed time to soak into heavy grime. We give it about half a minute, then use a clean sponge to work the more resilient bits loose, before a quick hose-down. If you’re not strapped for time, you’ll also want to give the wheels a thorough dry to prevent water spotting. Guess who didn’t bother with this step?
Tyre shine is applied. Tyre shine works. Tyres are shiny.
Exterior-wise, the most obvious shortfall is the slight hazing on the plastic headlight lenses. In all honesty, we don’t expect the Headlight Restorer to make a noticeable difference in the tight time we’ve allocated for its use.
The headlight lenses are given a quick rub-down with a clean rag, to work away any loose dirt that may cause scratching. A small amount of Headlight Restorer is applied to a terry cloth sponge and rubbed firmly into the lens in a circular motion.
To do a proper job, you will want to put in a bit of elbow grease — although, after about a good half-minute of rubbing, we are happy enough with the substantially diminished hazing to call it at that. We flip to the clean side of the cloth or sponge, and buff the surface down. We repeat the process for the other headlight.
Mats are taken out and beaten clean. Rubbish is removed. Interior Protectant and Cleaner is put onto a microfibre cloth and applied to the obvious interior surfaces — dashboard, front door cards, steering wheel, and pure ’90s-pimp-spec interior telephone. Worked in thoroughly. When the surfaces are looking presentable, we buff them with the other side. Easy as.
Making good progress. Better try to fix those supermarket scuffs on the wing mirrors. Give ’em a quick wipe-down with a clean, dry rag to ensure that any loose dirt is gone. Scratch Remover is applied to a clean terry cloth sponge, and worked onto the affected area. The same principle as we used with the Headlight Restorer is used here, with the product worked into the surface in a continuous circular motion. In this case, the scuffs are worked out with minimal effort.
With time to kill, we decide to go out on a limb and try to remove some of the dried rubber left over from one-wheeler peelers. Most of it brushes off by hand, then we spray a bunch of Wheel Cleaner onto the affected area and let it soak in. Play Dead does not recommend the Wheel Cleaner for any purpose other than cleaning wheels, but it is acid-free and doesn’t harm paint, so we thought, what the hell? A thorough scrub has the worst of the baked-on rubber gone and the big Ford looking as respectable as it should.
“Yeah, looks good, mate. I’ll take it, long as it will do a fat skid,” the guy reckons.
Turns out Play Dead Wheel Cleaner doesn’t remove rubber marks from concrete, although with quick action and a stiff-bristle brush, it does a pretty good job of reducing the stain.
Yeah, that Play Dead stuff is all right. It does what it says it will, and probably a whole bit more. If we got good results with the bare minimum of effort, well, imagine what we could do with a bit of thoroughness?