What’s the Difference Between a Quick Detailer and Waterless Car Wash?

One of the most common misconceptions in the car care industry is equating a Quick Detailer/Spray Detailer with a Waterless Car Wash. Let’s be clear, these are two completely different products with two different functions in the detailing world.

Quick Detailers were created to give users a fast and effective way to restore a car’s gloss without the hassle of a paste or liquid wax. These products are mainly used on cars that are in ‘showroom’ condition with no visible contaminants on the surface of the paint. They have excellent gloss, protection and lubricity, but lack the cleaning power to go beyond cleaning fingerprints or dust.

Waterless Car Wash products are intended to replace a hose and bucket wash. They do share many of the same characteristics of a Quick Detailer, but also are formulated with cleaning agents (surfactants) that can more safely and effectively emulsify contaminants on the surface of the paint. Waterless Car Wash products such as Eco Touch, are safe to use on light-moderately soiled vehicles. Heavy mud, salt or sand needs to be addressed with a pre-rinse before using this method.

In summary, here’s a quick comparison between the two products:

Quick Detailer
Cleaning Ability – Fingerprints or dust only
Gloss – Excellent
Protection – Good

Waterless Car Wash
Cleaning Ability – Daily driving road grime.
Gloss – Good
Protection – Good

Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash is excellent for cleaning light to moderately soiled vehicles.

James Dudra on Google+

Tips for Washing Your Car in the Winter

astonwinter

For those of us who live in colder climates, the winter time is brutal for keeping your car cleaned. It only takes one drive down the road to completely spoil a freshly washed and waxed vehicle. Adding to the difficulty is the perpetual cold weather which can restrict how frequently you can wash your car at home. Although, any auto enthusiast will tell you that not even the most brutally cold and snowy winter will stop them from keeping their car in its best shape. So, we’ve put together a list of our top tips for washing your car during the winter months.

1. Wait for a sunny and calm day

The majority of car care products on the market today are optimized to work at temperatures of 50 degrees and above. We all know that 50 degree temps can be a rarity during the winter, so your next best option is to wait for a sunny day. This will allow the car panels to warm up and enable the active ingredients to be most effective during the cleaning process. It also lessens the chance of having a formula freeze on contact with the paint.

2. Grab a Waterless Car Wash and find some shelter

Waterless Car Washes enables anyone to clean their car without a hose and bucket. Again, these formulas can be affected by very cold weather (sub 32F), so it’s best to find a location where the temperature is more evenly regulated. You may want to consider heading to your local mall or shopping center where they have a covered parking garage. This will get you out of the wind and the temperature should be a few degrees warmer inside. 

Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash is a spray and wipe cleaner which can be used during the winter time.

3. Head to your car wash…at the right time

Here is New England it’s not an uncommon sight to see cars lined up at the automatic car wash after a big storm. The sad reality is that the minute these people drive away, their cars will be covered in the same mud, salt and sand they went in with. You see, during the storm, crews have been out for hours covering the roads with salt and sand. Once it’s all over the snow starts melting and creates a big slushy mess of contaminants just waiting to cling to your vehicle. Typically it’s better to wait a few days after a storm to go through the car wash. By that time the majority of contaminants have already left the road and you’ll have a lesser chance to picking them up on your vehicle.

4. Apply a high quality wax to make washing easier

After your car has been cleaned, be sure to apply a wax for even greater protection from the elements. Not only will it give your vehicle a brilliant shine, but it will also keep your car cleaner longer. Durable polymers and natural waxes such as carnauba will form a protective barrier on the car’s paint which will last for at least a month. You may even notice that water will literally bead right off the paint. In the wintertime, a spray wax would be your best bet since they are much faster and more convenient to apply.

Eco Touch Quick Wax takes only 15 minutes to apply. Safe for all exterior surfaces.

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+

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

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+

Detailer Showcase – Eco Green Mobile Detailing, Tulsa, OK

EcoGreen Header

One thing we enjoy here at Eco Touch is seeing how companies use our products and achieve professional results. Since 2011 we have worked with Eco Green Mobile Detailing in Tulsa, OK. DJ Patterson owns and operates Eco Green and does some incredible work using the Eco Touch line. Not only does he use them on his client’s cars, but he is also an authorized dealer for us.

As a detailer, what’s been your experience so far working with the Eco Touch product line?

Over the past 4 years I’ve become a very “green” detailer so I’m extremely cautious of the methods and products that I use. I have tested countless other car care products that claimed to be eco friendly and safe but I was never completely satisfied. When I ran across Eco Touch from a web search I requested samples of each product. After using them I could not believe that I hadn’t found them sooner. These products are phenomenal! Read more about our experience with the Eco Touch line in my blog post, “Eco Touch Premium Car Care”. http://www.ecogreenmobiledetailing.blogspot.com/2012/07/eco-touch-premium-car-care.html

BMW glossScreen Shot 2013-02-01 at 12.41.43 PM

Have your clients embraced the Waterless Car Wash concept? Why or why not?

Absolutely, humbly, I am the pioneer of Waterless Car Washing in Oklahoma. My clients are completely sold on the Waterless concept. Not just because it cleans better than conventional car washes but because I take the time to demonstrate and educate. Education is crucial when introducing a “new” method of anything. I’ve made believers out of some of the biggest skeptics.

What’s the dirtiest car you’ve ever detailed?

Oh man, any detailer that has been in the industry for a long time knows that eventually all of the cars you clean become a blur. If I had to think of one, it would be a Nissan Murano we tackled late last year. It literally looked like a murder scene! There is no way that it had been cleaned since the day he drove it off the show room floor in ’05. There were dark red stains covering half of headliner, 75% of the interior was dark but was originally a light color and the exterior looked as if someone took a scratch pad to the entire thing. It was horrible!

Are there are particular cars/brands you enjoy cleaning more than others?

I am a huge fan of Ferrari. My favorite is the 599 GTB that happens to owned by one of my clients which I have the pleasure of maintaining weekly. It’s by far the “sexiest” car I clean. I’ve got my eye on the F12berlinetta though!

Ferrari

Ferrari Interior

Ferrari ExteriorWhere do you see the detailing/car wash industry heading in the next 5 years?

With the help of companies like Eco Touch and green detailing companies like my own, spreading the word of the benefits of waterless washing, I believe that the industry will become more eco conscious. Droughts are becoming more prevalent in America and our water supply isn’t endless. Also, people are becoming busier so convenience is extremely important. We will see a lot more “mobile- based car wash/detailing” operations using the Waterless Car Wash methods catering to office buildings, shopping malls, hospitals etc.

To learn more about Eco Green Mobile Detailing, visit them at:
http://ecogreenmobiledetailing.com/

Interested in having your business featured on our blog? If you’re a detailer using Eco Touch products be sure to contact us!

James Dudra on Google+

Can I use a Waterless Car Wash in the winter?

One of the most frequent questions we get asked during the chilly winter season, is if Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash can be used. The answer is both yes and no…and here’s why.

There are a few factors which will determine whether or not it’s appropriate to use Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash in the winter.

1) Outside temperature.

2) Temperature of car panels.

3) Condition of vehicle.

Let’s start with the outdoor temperature. If it’s below freezing you’ll want to proceed with caution. Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash does not contain any alcohol, petroleum distillates, or other chemicals which would lower its freezing point. From an environmental and safety standpoint this is obviously a great thing. Unfortunately, when it gets below freezing you may find that the formula does not work as effectively, or may actually freeze on the panel. If this happens simply pull your car into a sunny location/heated garage, let it thaw out and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.

Our preferred method of performing a waterless car wash during the winter is waiting for a sunny day and letting the car panels warm up. Before spraying the formula, do a quick check of the panel by putting the back of your hand to feel if it’s warm. If so, you’re good to continue with the waterless wash.

Acura TSX with moderate soiling. Suitable for a waterless car wash.

Acura TSX with moderate soiling. Suitable for a waterless car wash.

One other factor to consider is the dirt-level on the vehicle. Here in New England during winter, we get some very dirty cars. If you see contaminants such as heavy salt or clumps of mud/sand, be sure to pre-rinse these areas first. Then follow-up with the waterless car wash. We always recommend “common sense caution”. If you think a car is simply too dirty, pre-rinse it. It’s okay to use a little water now to assist in the cleaning process. If your car has a light-moderate coating of contaminants you can go right ahead with a normal waterless wash.

So that covers using our waterless car wash during the winter. Have a question for us? Email it to info[at]ecotouch[dot]net.