How many times have you put off washing your car, from not being able to face untangling the twisting mess of dirty hosepipe lying in the shed? Or maybe you don’t have access to a tap. Up until now the only alternative was continually refilling buckets of water – not exactly an enticing prospect if you happen to live on the eighth floor of a block of flats. Luckily, help is at hand in the form of the WashMatik Cleaning System.
The secret to its operation is the clever one-way valve, which defies gravity by allowing water to travel up the tube piping. The blurb in the leaflet states that it is possible to clean your car with just one bucket of water. I decided to put this to the test and chose a particularly dirty Vauxhall Astra to clean.
Using the WashMatik cleaning system was relatively straightforward, thanks largely to the clear step-by-step instructions that guide you logically through the assembly of the kit. Most of the initial connecting of attachments is self explanatory. However once this is done I was glad of Selkin’s clear step-by-step instructions to guide me.
The hose has to be primed by holding about three feet above the bucket and bouncing the valve up and down when immersed in water. It is this bouncing action that makes the water rise up into the hose.
Once the water is in the hose, you have to hold the pipe above the bucket – again by about three feet. Then it is necessary to clip the hose onto the rim of the bucket and lay the hose on the ground until water flows from the brush head. Once this happens you know that the WashMatik is primed and ready for use.
Now to begin with the cleaning. Understandably, the flow of soapy water is by no means continuous, as with a mains hose. To get the flow of water going a vigorous up and down action was necessary, and then a fairly controlled circular movement was required to keeping the soapsuds flowing. This did feel a bit strange at first and certainly gave my arm a good workout. The quicker the movement, the faster the flow. As expected, when movement stops, so did the water.
Rinsing is more conventional and straightforward, as gravity is now doing the work. All that is required is to position the bucket on the roof, not forgetting to place a cloth under this first, to prevent any scratches. As the water level in the bucket is higher than the tube, the water now flows through the tube in a manner more akin to a conventional hosepipe.
So what’s the verdict? Well, it certainly works, although despite the manufacturer’s claims of needing only one bucket of water, I found that it actually took closer to three buckets to completely wash and rinse the Vauxhall.
Despite this, the Washmatik impressed with its ability to be so frugal with water – thanks to that clever one-way valve system. The quality of the hosepipe was brought into question after it kinked on occasion, although this could be due to using hotter water than was advised – stick to cold or lukewarm. The brush also looked like it would have a rather short lifespan. The only other concern was of the physical effort required to operate this system. It would not be ideal if you suffer from artheritis or a frozen shoulder. Naturally, it is not as effective as using a good conventional mains-based hose pipe, although there are situations where its portability will prove invaluable. Added to this its versatility – you can clean your boat, caravan and even water your plants with it.
I can also envisage it being rather handy during a hosepipe ban!
When purchased from their website www.selkin.co.uk, the standard kit comprises of brush head, handle, one-way valve, bucket clip and a three metre length of tubing. However when bought from an exhibition, such as the recent British International Motorshow, you may also get a few extra goodies thrown in for the same price of £19.95. My Motorshow purchase included the 21 inch Extension Pole, Aqua Blade and WashMatik SupaChammy, altogether saving a grand total of £15.85.