Is it Safe to Use ONR on a Black Car?


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The makers of ONR – Optimum No Rinse claim it’s a miracle product.  They say it will remove dirt while protecting paint from scratching.  And you only need one bucket of water.  I put ONR to the test.

ONR is safe to use on black cars!  That is of course only if you use it properly – and with the correct towels.  Read below to find the best microfiber towels that don’t scratch.

Click here to see Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine on Amazon.

What is ONR and how does it work?

Optimum No Rinse has become hugely popular over the last 10 years.   It’s especially useful to people who live in apartments or anyone who doesn’t have access to a water hose.  But I use it regularly because it saves me so much time and money.

It’s a rinseless wash.  But what does that mean?  Well, it doesn’t produce any suds when mixed in water.  So you don’t need to rinse anything off. A hose isn’t needed!  In fact you can wash a whole car with less than two gallons of water (about 7.5 Litres).  

I recently saw a limo driver cleaning his black Mercedes S Class while he waited for his client.  I was going to ask him what he was cleaning it with when I noticed it had ONR 16:1 written on it’s side.  

He said the company he works for keeps this in all their cars and drivers are asked to use it to remove dust and bird droppings and to clean up dust and stains inside the car too.

To me this is a testament to the greatness of the product.  These cars are worth a fortune and they need to be kept looking good at all times.

ONR is one of the most versatile products I’ve ever used.

Advantages of Using ONR

  • Dirt particles get wrapped in a polymer coating which prevents scratching.
  • You use so much less water because you don’t need to rinse the vehicle.
  • Fantastic if you don’t have access to a water hose.
  • Brilliant if you have water usage restrictions in your area.
  • Great for sprucing up the inside of your car.
  • Incredibly cheap.  Dilute at 256:1 with water to wash a car.
  • Use all over your car including glass, plastic or rubber.

ONR Tips for Black Car Owners 

Don’t use more of the product than recommended.  You could end up with streaks on your paint which means you may have to wash it again. 

  1. Use the correct ratio, (usually 256:1 for washing).
  2. Don’t put too much pressure on the towel.
  3. Use high quality plush towels.
  4. Use lots of towels if the car is dirty.
  5. Wipe in straight lines.
  6. Don’t let it sit for too long before buffing off.
  7. If the car is extremely dirty consider using a power washer first.

Best towels to use with ONR

I’ve discovered that using good quality towels helps to protect your paint.  It also makes ONR far more effective because it will gather all the dirt up with a single wipe.  

So if you have a perfect shine and you want to keep it that way for as long as possible, I highly recommend you get some premium towels.  To me, it’s worth the investment.  

These are the BEST towels on Amazon for use with ONR… The Rag Company (3-Pack) 16 in. x 16 in. Everest 1100 White Ultra-Plush Korean 70/30 Professional Microfiber Detailing Towels

Other ways I like to use ONR

  • After a two bucket wash I usually use ONR to clean the door sills.
  • I sometimes use it to clean plastic wheel wells.
  • I wipe down the inside of my car weekly with a microfibre towel soaked in ONR to keep dust at bay.
  • I use it to get the parts I missed.

How to use ONR as a detailer spray

A detailer spray is a must have product for all black car owners or for anyone who cares about their car.  There are some extremely good detailer sprays on the market such as Adams Detail Spray but that stuff sure is expensive, especially if you use a lot.

To mix ONR detailer spray use the recommended rate which is 16:1.  That will save you a fortune.

I have seen people buy some distilled or deionized water to make a detailer spray with ONR.  But I think tap water is fine. You can pick up some good quality hand sprayers on Amazon like these. Airbee Plastic Spray Bottle (4 Pack,16 Oz).

Use the home ONR detailer spray to quickly remove bird poop or dust from your car.

Is it a good idea to add ONR to your wash bucket?

I have seen some YouTubers mix ONR with their regular car shampoo because they believe it will protect their paint even more.

This is an interesting idea but from what I understand this does not have the desired effect and is just a waste of product.  This is because the soap actually breaks down the ONR chemistry. So to effectively use ONR, just follow the instructions and dilute it with water.

Using ONR as a clay lubricant 

This is a common use for ONR. The ONR website recommends a dilution ratio of 32 to 1 with clean water. 8ve noticed a lot of people use it with the popular nanoskin clay sponge as the way it is less likely to scratch. As ever, use plenty of lubrication when claying and very little pressure. 

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