Eight Tips for Cleaning Car Windows Without Streaks

While cleaning your car windows isn’t exactly the most glamourous part of detailing, it is certainly one of the most important when the rest of your vehicle is shining. To help rid yourself of those unsightly streaks, we’ve put together a list of tips to get your glass sparkling for the upcoming summer season.

1. Clean out of direct sunlight. 

Ever see those little white streaks after you’re done cleaning? That’s probably the cleaning agents from your window cleaning formula which have dried on the surface. Be sure to clean on an overcast day or in the shade. Otherwise, if you clean in direct sunlight, your car windows will be too hot and the formula will evaporate on the surface before you have a chance to wipe clean.

Clean on an overcast day or in a shaded location.

Clean on an overcast day or in a shaded location.

2. Use a low pile microfiber towel. 

Outside of the actual window cleaning product, your selection of a high-quality microfiber towel is perhaps the most important factor in streak-free window cleaning. You’ll want to use a low-pile tight weave microfiber cloth. The tight weave on these towels provide a little extra scrubbing ability which is excellent for glass surfaces.

Low pile microfiber towel.

Low pile microfiber towel.

3. Clean the interior windshield from the passenger seat. 

For easier access to the windshield, sit in the passenger seat. You’ll avoid having to contend with the steering wheel which will ensure that all areas are cleaned.

4. Use the back of your hand for cleaning the windshield. 

To give yourself a bit more leverage and cleaning power, put the microfiber on the back of your hand and press against the glass. This will also allow you to reach those top and bottom corners more easily.

Use the back of your hand for more leverage.

Use the back of your hand for more leverage.

5. For interior windows, spray on the towel first. 

When cleaning interior windows (especially the windshield) be sure to spray your microfiber towel first. This will help avoid overspray onto previously cleaned areas, and keep the cleaner off the dashboard.

For interior windows, spray the towel first then wipe clean.

For interior windows, spray the towel first then wipe clean.

6. Roll down your windows. 

To reach the top sections of glass, be sure to roll down your windows about halfway. This will allow easier access and ensure all sections are cleaned.

roll down windows

Rolling down your windows halfway allows access to top sections of the glass.

7. Work methodically and don’t rush the process.

Many people mistakenly believe they can simply spritz down the glass and quickly buff clean. Unfortunately you will end up rushing the process and most likely end up with poor streaky results. Taking your time to slowly and methodically clean each window will pay dividends at the end of your cleaning process.

8. Use the right product. 

Select a product designed specifically for cleaning automotive glass. Traditional household cleaners can contain ammonia which will damage any coatings or tint on the glass. Eco Touch makes a solvent-free glass cleaner which is safe for cleaning all automotive windows.

Select a glass cleaner safe for automotive windows.

Select a glass cleaner safe for automotive windows.

James Dudra on Google+

The Basics of Performing a Waterless Car Wash

Let’s start by being clear about something - using a waterless wash product is not hard. I know, it can sound intimidating at the start. Where’s the hose? Where are the suds? But trust me, after cleaning just a few panels you’ll be hooked on the process. The speed at which you are able to simultaneously clean and protect your car in one simple step is quite amazing. To help anyone just getting into this method of washing, we’ve assembled a list of best practices.

1. Work from the top of the car down. 

Car’s naturally accumulate dirt along the lower body panels and you’ll want to tackle these areas last. Start with the roof->hood->door panels->trunk->lower body panels. Be sure to pay extra attention near wheel wells where heavy debris t.

Cleaning Sequence

2. Use quality microfiber towels. 

Outside of the waterless product you use, make sure you have a good stock of high quality microfiber towels. We suggest towels with a 300 GSM rating, as they offer the best combination of cleaning and polishing. While many people think that using a higher GSM towel is better, it can surprisingly work against you. We’ve found that those fluffy 400+ GSM  towels do not clean as effectively as their lower 300 GSM counterparts.

3. Fold your towel in half and half again.

You’ll want to maximize the number of sides on your towel. By folding in half twice, you’ll effectively get eight sides to work with. Use at least one side per panel depending on how dirty the vehicle is.

foldedtowel

4. Work in small sections. 

Start with a 2ft x 2ft area for applying and buffing off the waterless formula. If your car is completely cool and relatively clean you may be able to work in larger sections.

2ftcleaningsection

5. Wipe in one direction. 

Follow the contours of the car’s body and wipe in the direction of normal airflow over the panel. This will help prevent re-soiling the areas of the car you’ve already cleaned. You should not use a circular buffing motion as if you were using a wax.

onedirectionwipe

6. Apply light pressure on first stroke to remove contaminants. 

You’ll want to apply light pressure on your first pass over the panel. We suggest using the wipe and ‘lift’ technique where you are simultaneously rotating the towel while wiping across the surface.

wipeandlift

7. Keep your buffing towel separate, clean and dry.

Pick one set of towels for the cleaning and one for buffing. For best results you want to have your buffing towels near 100% dry. Many times we’ve seen detailers use two towel colors so it’s easy to remember which is which.

cleaningpolishing

Eco Touch manufactures a complete line of professional detailing supplies in Dover, NH. We are a family owned and operated company since 2007. Have any other questions? Call us today at 888.375.7970.

James Dudra on Google+

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+