Meguiar’s Gold Class vs Mother’s California Gold Car Wash – JRR #1

JRR #1: Car Wash (Mother's vs Meguiar's)

Well, today we launch with our first ever Just Right Review (#JustRightReviews) with two companies that are probably a staple in almost everyone’s garage. We’re talking about Meguiar’s and Mother’s. Both these companies have a long history in the automotive detailing industry and both have solid reputations. Today we are going to be looking at two car wash products; Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash Shampoo & Conditioner and Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash & Wax. Let’s get started!

Full Disclosure: We bought both of these products with our own money from retailer Canadian Tire.


Meguiar’s Gold Class retails typically for $19.99 CAD. The bottle contains 1.89L (64oz) of soap. This means that you are getting 94.5mL/$.

Mother’s California Gold typically retails for $17.99 CAD. The bottle also contains 1.89L (64oz) of soap, which means that you get 105mL/$. This difference of 10mL may seem pretty small, but as you’ll see later, it doesn’t take too much soap from either of these soaps to clean your car.

Based on mL/$, and the lower price overall, we are giving the edge to Mother’s California Gold.


User Experience

Here we will be diving in to the user experience of each product. This is our opinion from our use.
Remember, User Experience is 3 sub-categories: Ease of Use, Experience, and Results.

Ease of Use

When we turned both bottles around the read the instructions, we were greeted by two different takes on how to convey information:

On the Meguiar’s bottle, the text is super small. There is no clear formatting for the instructions, and so we were forced to skim the entire bottle until you reach the lower quarter of the label. It’s only there where we finally came across the instructions, in both English and French, crammed together.

The Mother’s bottle takes a ‘cleaner’ approach to instructions. The steps are clearly laid out in numerical bullet points, spread apart nicely to keep readability to a maximum. At first we were surprised that there were no French instructions, until we noticed the inconspicuous arrow at the bottom right corner. A quick peel and we were happy to see a full French product description and instruction set, albeit without any colour on the label.

In both cases, the instructions told us to add 30mL (1 oz) of soap to 3.8L (1 Gallon) of water.

The Meguiar’s bottle also listed 3 more of its products within the instructions. This is also what caused some word density issues on their label. (As a side note, both front labels of the products seem to show cars from 2006; Mother’s the Ford GT and Meguiar’s the Mercedes CLS with a Pontiac grill. While the Ford GT is timeless, the “Pontiac CLS” is not and really dates the Meguiar’s Label. In addition, there is an extra space between words on the French description. Very disappointing from a company at this level).

Ease of Use goes to Mother’s.

Gold Class car wash instructions
The crammed label of the Meguiar's Gold Class
Mother's california gold french car wash instructions
Clever hidden French section of the Mother's bottle


We ended up putting only 1 capful of liquid (instead of the suggested 4!) in our buckets. Mother’s seemed to be much thinner (or less viscous) than Meguiar’s. Meguiar’s comes out much more like a gel. We thought this would play into how they would dissolve in the water, but upon filling our buckets, we were hard pressed to tell any difference. Both products gave an equal amount of foam on top of the surface of the water, and the suds were equally as dense.

For washing, we used a wash mitt; no foam spraying.

First up, we used Mother’s on the left side of our car. We noted that it took more than one pass to get an area completely free of dirt. However, when we had completed an area, and rinsed it off, the water sheeted off nicely.

Meguiar’s seemed to clean the light dirt off in fewer passes, but still required more than one pass. We noted that there were some bits of sap (or something sticky) that didn’t come up with simple wiping. We aren’t sure if the Mother’s would have cleaned this either, as it was only on one side.

In this case, the experience was pretty similar. We give it a tie here, with maybe a slight edge to Meguiar’s.


You’ll see a good example here where the Mother’s (right side of the photograph) cleaned the hood and had the water sheet right off. The Meguiar’s beaded the water, which left a significant portion on the car’s hood (in the middle we left some dirt on to show their cleaning differences). What this means is that it makes drying the car much easier and faster with the Mother’s soap since less water remains on the car.

Other than that, neither product gave a significantly better result. Considering that Mother’s car wash stated that has carnauba wax in it, we were hoping for more of a pop.

Again, both products produced similar results, but we will give the slight edge to Mother’s. This car wash sheeted the water off to allow for easier drying, which saves tons of time and microfibre towels!

Can you tell a difference?

The Awards


Both these products do what they say on the label; they are a car wash and are pretty good ones at that. The end result is that they both get your car clean. We recommend these products.

You can purchase either of them by clicking the links below (Amazon):



Bang For Your Buck

Although these products are super similar in price, volume, and results, we have to give this award to Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash & Wax. It simply comes in at a more economical price point, delivers similar, if not better results, and seems to be more of a ‘polished’ products.

To view a full list of our overall “Bang For Your Buck” category winners, and to see if this product is still reigning champion, check out our Leader Board!

Let us know your experience with either of these products. We love to hear feed back from you!

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