I’ve seen a lot of hype over this stuff, and Chemical Guys are feeding the fire by claiming that it’s a new invention. Not a ceramic spray, and not a wax. The Chemical Guys have created a new category called Hyperwax.
On occasion, clients have come into the shop wanting to know if I recommend Hydroslick, whether it’s more in line with a wax or a ceramic coating, and why it’s not listed as a hybrid solution. To be honest, I wasn’t able to answer all of their questions. Until recently, I didn’t know much more than they did. Of course, That isn’t an acceptable stance from someone you go to for detailing services and advice.
I decided to take a deep dive into Chemical Guys HydroSlick. I studied the formula, dived into customer compliments and complaints, spoke with a representative from the company, and best of all, I tested it out to see how it stood up to various torture tests.
Who are the Chemical Guys?
The Chemical Guys consider themselves to be a world leader in the care car industry. Based in California, the company started with two auto detailing enthusiasts in the late 1960’s. Since then, the company has expanded its sales force to several countries. When it comes to auto detailing The Chemical Guys seem to have a product for everything, and those products are easy to find in many brick-and-mortar stores.
What is Chemical Guys HydroSlick?
Chemical Guys refer to it as a Hyperwax because it is a SiO2 ceramic suspension gel. Chemical Guys have a video online where the representative claims that the hyperwax offers the same shine and durability as a true ceramic while still being easy to use like wax is. That’s a pretty bold statement. If this holds true, I’ll be a customer for life. So, let’s go ahead and break this formula down to test it out.
Is it a ceramic coating or a wax?
Chemical Guys markets their Hydroslick formula in a way that I consider to be a bit deceptive. To be clear, Chemical Guys WAC22916 HydroSlick is a wax. If tested against a spray ceramic coating, Hydroslick wouldn’t stand a chance. We’ll get into how it stands up against other detailing waxes shortly.
So what exactly is the confusion around this Hydroslick concoction? It’s the SiO2 ceramic suspension gel. One might consider this to be a hybrid solution between wax and ceramic, but ultimately, it’s wax with a little bit of a fancy additive most likely included only for marketing purposes.
Here’s a quick and simple breakdown of why all that matters:
Pro: Application is the same as a ceramic spray
Pro: Has the potential to be just as hydrophobic as the average ceramic spray
Con: Won’t last as long as a ceramic spray
Con: Won’t have the same level of gloss as a ceramic spray
Con: Won’t protect nearly as well as a ceramic spray
When I look at the overall strength of a product, I’m charting out how well it repels contaminants, the hydrophobic properties, if it helps prevent scuffs and knicks, and how long these features take to dissipate.
Hydrslick ranks at a 7, making it weaker than the average wax. While there were fewer bugs on my car during the first week, it wasn’t enough of a difference to view this product as useful, especially when considering the price. The hydrophobic properties left a lot to be desired. The beading was there, but it wasn’t as tight as expected.
With a lower-than-average rank of 7, and a price of $39.99, you would be better off buying an actual ceramic spray. For example, a high-end product like Nexgens Ceramic Spray will last 5-7 months and will cost you $34.95.
HydroSlick is marketed to last a full year. However, it ranks a 7 out of 10 on the longevity scale, meaning it dies off faster than the average wax coating. If you have a sports car that’s mostly kept in a garage you’d probably get that full year of coverage, but that isn’t realistic for most of us. Your commuter car will get not only short lived, but minimal protection from this product.
I only saw a few weeks of productivity out of Hydroslick. The beading was a little lazy from the start and was gone by week three. The shine was visibly duller after the first rainstorm. After two days of rain, the shine was gone entirely. So, at just under $40 you’re looking at reapplication at least once a month.
Chemical Guys Most Significant Claims so far:
Hydroslick will provide one year of protection.
False: We found this to be a stretch since the only way you’ll get a year out of it is if your car is kept in storage away from the elements and rarely if ever sees the light of day.
Hyperwax provides the same level of durability as a true ceramic.
False: We found that the durability ranked lower than average for other waxes. Considering ceramics are significantly stronger than wax, this statement doesn’t hold up.
When price-checking similar products, this one seemed pretty much in line with the competition, so we’ve ranked it a 5. There are a few factors that go into our method of ranking value. We look at the size and weight of a product, how many applications you should get per bottle, and of course how much it costs against similar products from the competitors. Given the factors, Hydroslick is pretty average.
I called Customer Service and was a bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, the representative I spoke to was friendly, knowledgeable, and did a great job of recommending products based on the scenarios I’d given him.
Here is the issue I ran into, Chemical Guys lists what I would consider pretty important information as “proprietary”, meaning the customer service agents aren’t allowed to answer some of your questions even though they have the information.
An example of this is the amount of SiO2 contained in their Hydroslick formula. No one in the company is permitted to give even a hint as to how much SiO2 their product contains.
When you look at a company like Nexgen, you’ll see that they make a big deal out of their ceramic spray containing 13% SiO2. That percentage is one of the key factors in making their product high-end. So, if Chemical Guys doesn’t want us to know how much SiO2 you’re paying for, my guess is that it’s probably such a minuscule amount that it doesn’t make a difference whether it’s there or not. However, we’ll never truly know the answer to that since it’s top secret.
Overall, I’d rank their customer service a 5 out of 10. Not because the employees aren’t great, but because the company policies limit the effectiveness of their customer support.
I should mention that I like Chemical Guys. For the most part, they’re pretty consistent so buyers know what to expect from the brand. However, in some cases, they’ve cranked out some products that fall below the standards set by competitors.
In my opinion, the most impressive aspect of Hydroslick was the marketing. It was clever and grabbed at everything a consumer would want out of this type of product. Unfortunately, a lot of the claims fell apart. If you enjoy detailing your cars and want something that requires monthly application, you might enjoy this one. However, I would still view Hydroslick to be subpar given the information I’ve gathered as well as my personal experience with the product.
I was a little disappointed in how this one turned out. To be honest, I was hoping for something innovative and exciting. When clients come in all hyped up asking what I think about a cool new product they saw online, it’s fun to get excited with them. It’s a real downer to have to tell them that it’s just not worth the hype.
Product Quality Score