Five Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Detailing Company

1) Are you insured?

Any competent detailing company will carry what’s known as ‘garage keepers’ insurance. Like in any industry, accidents do unfortunately happen from time to time. Whether it’s from the detailing process itself such as damage to the paint or while moving your vehicle in and out of the shop, it’s important for any professional detailing company to have themselves (and you) covered. 

2) What chemicals/products do you use?

We spend an amazing amount of time in our cars these days. Whether you’re just commuting to work or moving the kids around, it’s important to know what chemicals have been used during the detailing process. Many traditional detailing products contain cheap ingredients which can lead to health problems with prolonged exposure. Make sure you ask your detailer for MSDS sheets so you can confirm for yourself what’s being used around you and your family.

3) Do you have any customer referrals?

Here you could simply start by asking the company directly for customers who’ve received a similar service. Of course, the detailing company will likely just refer you out to satisfied clients, so you may want to go on the web and check out websites such as yelp.com or bbb.org to get a more realistic picture of company’s rating.

4) How long should I expect the protectants and coatings to last?

Depending on the service level you select, most detailing companies will apply sealants and protectants to your vehicle. Get a clear understanding and expectation of how long these should last. Be wary of any company that claims a protectant/sealant will last for 6+ months as the majority of products on the market today will begin to degrade after 2 – 3 months from application.

5) What is included/not included with my service package?

Make sure you fully understand what you’re paying for. Many times a company will have you bring your vehicle to the shop first for a walkthrough to address any areas which will take extra time and incur additional fees. Excessive pet hair, odors, stains, damaged/scratched paint will certainly be addressed prior to starting the work so you’re not left with a surprise bill at the end of your detail.

James Dudra on Google+

Hands-on with Eco Touch Wheel Cleaner

Keeping your car’s wheels clean isn’t just about looks, it also prevents damage from taking place. Every time you drive your vehicle brake dust is created from the friction between the brake pad and the rotor. If left untreated, these tiny particles will accumulate and slowly eat away at the coating and eventually pit your wheels.

Eco Touch Wheel Cleaner was designed to quickly and safely remove all types of brake dust from your wheels. Traditionally, car enthusiasts and detailers would rely on harsh acids (hydrofluoric and sulfuric) to do the job. While these products are effective they have serious health concerns and when used improperly they can actually do more damage to the wheel itself. Eco Touch Wheel Cleaner uses a proprietary mix of plant-based cleaning agents and natural citric acid to effectively clean car wheels. For 2013 we also changed out the sprayer head which creates a generous amount of foam when the product is applied.

Dirty Wheel

Start by spraying down the wheel completely and letting it dwell on the surface for a minimum of 30 seconds. You can also use Wheel Cleaner on the rubber tire if it needs cleaned.Wheel Cleaner Spray

After the product has been allowed to work on the surface, take a towel (microfiber or terry) and wipe clean. Quick tip – some detailers prefer using a soft wheel brush as this aids the cleaning process and removes heavily soiled areas more effectively.

While many traditional products state the wheel should be ‘rinsed’ clean, we do not recommend this practice! The highly toxic brake-dust mixture is a complete hazard for the environment and should never be directly released. Alternatively, we suggest wiping the wheel clean and laundering as normal.IMG_4038

That’s it, you’re done with the cleaning process! If you wish to add a protectant to help prevent future build-up, we suggest applying either Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash or Quick Wax. Both contain polymers that are safe for wheel finishes and will give a nice shine.

Eco Touch makes a full range of wheel cleaning products available in 24 oz. and 1-gallon re-fills. Purchase online at ecotouch.net.
Wheel Cleaner Clean

The Best Uses of Eco Touch All Purpose

Eco Touch All Purpose  is one of our most versatile products for interior and exterior auto cleaning. Many times we get asked where specifically the product is best used. Whether you are a detailer or DIY consumer, we’ve put together a short pictorial outlining the product.

engine degreaser using eco touch

Engine degreasing.

One area where All Purpose excels is as an engine degreaser. Granted, unless you are doing car shows the average person really doesn’t have much use for engine cleaning/degreasing, unless you just like keeping things tidy. Before you start spraying down the engine components make sure the car has been turned off and everything is cool to the touch. To help avoid overspray you can apply All Purpose directly onto a microfiber towel and wipe. However, some spots may require you spraying the formula and letting it dwell for 30 – 60 seconds for maximum effectiveness.

all purpose car cleaner

Door jamb cleaning.

Cleaning door jambs is one spot where All Purpose excels. Since it is safe for metal, vinyl and plastic you will have complete peace of mind when spraying down this section.

all purpose car cleaner

Removing old protectants using All Purpose

Removing old dashboard protectants is another specialty of All Purpose. Use in conjunction with a q-tip for those vents so you don’t miss a spot. Once you’ve cleaned make sure you follow-up with Dashboard Protect to restore the finish.

Leather cleaning (spot test first to ensure compatibility)

Leather cleaning (spot test first to ensure compatibility)

Yes, you can apply All Purpose onto leather. This is typically done when you have a very aggressive stain that won’t come out with Eco Touch Leather Care. However, we always suggest spot testing on an inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility.

Are there other uses for All Purpose you’ve found work well? If so, let us know!

James Dudra on Google+

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Car

Spring is almost here, and you know what that means…cleaning. Your car has probably accumulated its fair share of dirt on the inside and outside. We’ve put together some of our most popular tips to help get your vehicle back in shape for the warm days ahead!

Exterior Cleaning

  1. Keep the dish soap under the sink! Dish soap should never ever be used to clean your car’s paint as it strips waxes and other protectants from your vehicle’s finish. This will leave your car completely unprotected and exposed to the elements. Instead, opt for a Waterless Car Wash such as Eco Touch that safely cleans and protects your paint in one easy step.
  2. Avoid washing your car in direct sunlight. Car wash products need time to work on the surface and remove contaminants. Otherwise you’ll end up with unsightly streaks. Try washing in the shade, early morning, or evening hours when the sun isn’t at its peak.
  3. Ditch the old t-shirts and cotton terry towels as they can damage your vehicle’s finish. Instead, go for microfiber towels. These cutting-edge towels contain thousands of tiny ‘scoops’ that safely lift dirt from the surface and help ensure a scratch-free finish. One example is the Eco Touch Microfiber Towel Pack for $6.99.
  4. Avoid the ammonia and alcohol-based window cleaners as they can damage tinted windows and leave you gasping for breath. There are many solvent-free cleaners on the market today engineered specifically for cars. Eco Touch Window Clear is a sovlent-free formula which retails for $7.49.

Interior Cleaning

  1. Give your console a little love. If you’ve neglected the dashboard start by cleaning with an all purpose cleaner to remove dirt and grime. Once the surface has been wiped and dried, you need to re-nourish it with a protectant. Make sure you spray the product on a towel first to avoid splatter on the inner-windshield. Try Eco Touch All Purpose and Dashboard Protect.
  2. Opt for a low-gloss protectant to help reduce glare while driving. The last thing you want is your dashboard acting like a mirror while driving down the highway.
  3. Don’t forget those vents! Dip a q-tip in a bit of protectant and apply to the vents to help reduce dust build-up.
  4. Not all carpet cleaners are created the same. Some contain nasty chemicals such as nonylphenol ethoxylates , glycol ethers and petroleum solvents. Spray these in your car and you now have a car full of toxins waiting to be inhaled. Instead, try a natural carpet cleaner such as Eco Touch Carpet + Upholstery – powered by a soy-based solvent.

James Dudra on Google+

Is a Waterless Car Wash Right for Your Detailing Business?

While waterless car washing has been taking off in recent years, many detailers (both veteran and newcomers) are not always certain if it is the right fit for their business. The following is a list of ways to know if using this exciting new technology is a good fit for your business.

1. Municipal regulations restrict detailers from openly discharing water into storm drains. 

This is a big one many new detailers forget about. It’s vital you check with your local/state government to see what regulations are in-place regarding water run-off. We’ve received numerous calls from detailers who have been levied hefty fines from environmental agencies. Many states on the West Coast (California, Oregon, Washington) have implemented strict guidelines which prohibit detailers from washing cars and openly discharing soapy wastewater.

2. Keeping startup costs low.

Traditional pressure washing businesses require a large investment in equipment such as: truck/van, trailer, water tank, pressure washer and reclaim mat. You can literally spend thousands of dollars before you detail your first vehicle. We’ve broken down below what a theoretical detailing business would cost using traditional methods:

Van – $15,000 – $25,000
Detailing Trailer (pressure washer and tank) – $2,000 – $5,000
Reclaim System – $1,500 – $3,000
Chemicals – $50 – $500
Drying Towels – $50

Total Investment Using Traditional Methods- $18,600 – $33,600

Alternatively, starting up a detailing business with a waterless car wash product can cost less than $100. Seriously. The fact that you don’t need to haul around a large water tank immediately opens up possibilities. Live in an urban area? You wouldn’t even need a vehicle to haul around all that water.

2 x Waterless Car Wash 16 oz Concentrate – $40
24 x Microfiber Towels – $40
3 x Empty Spray Bottles – $11.25

Total Investment Using Waterless Car Washing – $91.25

3. Meeting consumer demands for green products.

When ‘green’ automotive products first came on the scene in 2007 many traditionalists in the automotive industry immediately wrote them off. “Oh it’s just a fad, wait a few years and it will go away”. Well, here we are in 2013 and we continue to see strong demand from consumers for these types of products. Consumers want to feel that they are making a difference, whether that’s in the products they buy or the services they offer. They key here is not making them pay more for it. When we get asked “how much should I price my detailing services at” we always suggest looking at local competition and doing a quick survey of potential consumers. Many times you’ll find that consumers expect to pay the same as what a traditional detail would cost.

These are just a few ways you’ll know whether using a Waterless Car Wash is right for your business. Have some other ideas? Let us know!

James Dudra on Google+

Come join Eco Touch at Autogeek’s 2013 Detail Fest

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 4.25.28 PM

Eco Touch is heading down to Stuart, FL for the 8th annual Autogeek Detail Fest. We’ll be giving out samples, literature and doing demos with the line. If you haven’t been before, Detail Fest is an excellent way to connect with the vendors in the automotive car care industry.

Hope you can join us!

March 22 – 23, 2013
9am – 4pm
Autogeek Detail Fest
7744 SW Jack James Dr.
Stuart, FL 34997

detailfest

Starting a Mobile Detailing Business? Check out Eco Touch’s new Detailer’s Starter Kit!

For anyone just getting started in the detailing business, you’ll quickly realize just how many different products are on the market today. While it’s great to have a variety of choices, it can become overwhelming and frustrating trying to figure out exactly what you need to get up and running quickly and efficiently.

Since Eco Touch launched back in 2007, we’ve spoken with thousands of new detailers getting into the business and helped them select just the right amount of product they need to begin operations. Based on our experience, we are pleased to announce the Eco Touch Detailer’s Starter Kit!

Detailer’s Starter Kit – Level 1
This kit was designed for a fixed or mobile detailer who wants to get into the industry, without committing to a large inventory of product. We’ve included enough Eco Touch to perform upwards of 250 waterless car washes. In addition, you’ll have product for waxing, protecting, cleaning and degreasing every other part of the vehicle’s exterior and interior surfaces.

The Detailer’s Starter Kit retails for $499 with FREE Shipping throughout the continental United States. This is an incredible savings of over $70 versus buying each product individually!

Click here to learn more about our Detailer’s Starter Kit. 

What’s included:

Exterior
1 x Waterless Car Wash Concentrate 1-gallon
1 x All Purpose 1-gallon
1 x Tire Shine 1-gallon
1 x Quick Wax 1-gallon
1 x Wheel Cleaner 1-gallon
1 x Window Clear 1-gallon 

Interior
1 x Carpet + Upholstery 1-gallon
1 x Dashboard Protect 1-gallon
1 x Leather Care 1-gallon
1 x Odor Eliminator 1-gallon

Accessories
1 x Microfiber Towel 12-pack
1 x Glass Towel 12-pack
3 x Tire Dressing Applicators
7 x Empty Spray Bottles 24 oz.
2 x Empty Spray Bottles 16 oz.
1 x Empty Spray Bottle 8 oz.

Detailer's Starter Kit by Eco Touch

James Dudra on Google+