The Great British Cleanoff
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A simple Tweet resulted in a challenge… which is the best cleaning product? Vulcanet or Regal Magpie?

by Matt Cook. TVR lover and wannabe biker.

Le Mans is quite rightly regarded as a ‘must-do’ for any motoring enthusiast and the ‘Classic’ version, well is, just classic…
I was attending the bi-yearly Le Mans Classic meet this year with my long-standing mate Clive from this esteemed motorcycling website; I have more of an interest in four wheels and him in two – but we both adore the ‘old tech’ and relish any opportunity to admire the results of enthusiastic “Men and their Machines”; both of which are in abundance at the Le Mans Classic and so a 6-day leisurely road trip was organised in the glorious French summer sun.

Just as we were leaving to wind our way home, Clive presented me with a tub of Vulcanet cleaning wipes as a ‘thank-you’ for organising the trip (and allowing him to drive my “pride and joy”, a 2003 TVR Tuscan). A delightful surprise and we took it upon ourselves to Tweet a picture of the tub on the bonnet of the TVR that had 800 miles of British and French grime on it.

The Great British CleanupThe Great British CleanupAlmost instantly, another of @biker47 ‘s Twitter followers, Regal Magpie, who make a competing product had responded to the Tweet, promising their cleaner was every bit as good as Vulcanet and threw down the gauntlet (dirty dishcloth?) to see who was best… the Great British Cleanoff was on!

Both products were originally created to help remove stubborn stains, like tar splashes and the manufacturers have realised the potential for marketing their respective brand as a full valet product.

On a dry, sunny Saturday morning, I set about cleaning the TVR – one product for each half of the car.

Regal Magpie is an aerosol based cleaner that comes in a 500ml can. Shake the can vigorously and spray onto the bodywork to create a foam. This is then be wiped off using a clean cloth, lifting away dirt and muck (you have to supply your own cloth, or buy one of theirs).

The Great British CleanoffVulcanet works differently; the tub contains wet wipes which are impregnated with their proprietary cleaning agent – tear off a wipe, rub over the bodywork to remove the dirt and debris, then polish with the supplied microfibre cloth tucked in the tub’s lid.

The Great British Cleanup

Both products were very easy to use and did exactly what was expected of them. Vulcanet was better at removing squashed bugs on the front of the car, whilst Regal Magpie seemed to buff off quicker. Vulcanet’s wipes are compact and handy for getting into small crevices, but that can also be a drawback; I managed to drop one through a small opening into the engine compartment of the TVR – as it is a sealed unit (yes, I’ve never seen my own engine), a fishing expedition with a bramble from the garden became necessary, to retrieve the offending item…

The Great British Cleanup

Upon completion, the TVR was gleaming in the midday sun and in credit to them both, I felt I could not see a discernible difference in finish between the two brands.

Whilst I was working, I mused that could be as quite costly to use either product as a regular cleaning agent. I would have used over half a can of Regal Magpie for a full car clean and twelve wipes (from a tub of 80) with Vulcanet. Vulcanet claims eight wipes is sufficient for one car, but on a hot day, I think the wipes were drying out faster than expected…

Regal Magpie Spray Polish and Degreaser sells for £8.50 with their bespoke, multi use Cleaning Cloth retailing at £5.99

Vulcanet sells for £30 and comes with their own multi-use cloth.

So, as a rough and not very scientific approximation, for the same “number of cleans”* per product, and I recognise this is very much an ‘individual interpretation’, Vulcanet has it…

So which is better? In my opinion, there’s little between them, they’re both very effective. The way they deliver the agent differs, the way they buff out is different but the end result is difficult to discern. Without a doubt, both excellent at what they were initially designed to tackle – removing stubborn dirt and grime on smaller sections of bodywork. Also, in terms of portability, both can easily be carried in the boot of a car for impromptu cleaning duties (remembering that you need a cloth for the Regal Magpie and Vulcanet already comes with one).
It would be fair to say that on my mountain bikes with all the inherent ‘nooks and crannies’ that these vehicles have, either methodology was better than soap and water.

*Qualification of ‘number of cleans’
12 Vulcanet wipes per clean. 80 wipes in a tub equals 6½ ‘cleans’ (rounded down) per tub.
At £30 per tub that’s £4.60 each clean. Delivery is included.

½ a can of Regal Magpie per ‘clean’. 6½ ‘cleans’ equals 3½ cans, at £8.50 each that’s £29.75. Factor in their cloth at £5.99 and £5.51 courier charge (no delivery charge on orders over £25!) over those 6½ ‘cleans’ and you have single ‘clean’ at £6.34 per single ‘clean’… Plainly the cloth will last many, many ‘cleans’ but the price difference per ‘clean’ is noticeable.
There. I said it wasn’t very scientific (or possibly relevant :-))

You can read a review of Vulcanet being used on a motorcycle here.
Check out Biker47’s other PRODUCT LISTINGS and REVIEWS.

REGAL MAGPIE’s online shop
VULCANET’s online shop
Vulcanet degreasing
Regal Magpie degreasing
Vulcanet polish
Regal Magpie polish
Vulcanet cost
Regal Magpie cost
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