Eco Friendly Car Wash…things you dont know

Few people realize that washing our cars in our driveways is one of the most environmentally un-friendly chores we can do around the house. Unlike household waste water that enters sewers or septic systems and undergoes treatment before it is discharged into the environment, what runs off from your car goes right into storm drains — and eventually into rivers, streams, creeks and wetlands where it poisons aquatic life and wreaks other ecosystem havoc. After all, that water is loaded with a witch’s brew of gasoline, oil and residues from exhaust fumes — as well as the harsh detergents being used for the washing itself.

Commercial Car Washes Treat Waste Water
On the other hand, federal laws in both the U.S. and Canada require commercial carwash facilities to drain their wastewater into sewer systems, so it gets treated before it is discharged back into the great outdoors. And commercial car washes use computer controlled systems and high-pressure nozzles and pumps that minimize water usage. Many also recycle and re-use the rinse water.

The International Carwash Association, an industry group representing commercial car wash companies, reports that automatic car washes use less than half the water of even the most careful home car washer. According to one report, washing a car at home typically uses between 80 and 140 gallons of water, while a commercial car wash averages less than 45 gallons per car.

Think Green When Washing Your Car
If you must wash your car at home, choose a biodegradable soap specifically formulated for automotive parts, such as Simple Green’s Car Wash or Gliptone’s Wash ‘n Glow. Or you can make your own biodegradable car wash by mixing one cup of liquid dishwashing detergent and 3/4 cup of powdered laundry detergent (each should be chlorine- and phosphate-free and non-petroleum-based) with three gallons of water. This concentrate can then be used sparingly with water over exterior car surfaces.

Even when using green-friendly cleaners, it is better to avoid the driveway and instead wash your car on your lawn or over dirt so that the toxic waste water can be absorbed and neutralized in soil instead of flowing directly into storm drains or open water bodies. Also, try to sop up or disperse those sudsy puddles that remain after you’re done. They contain toxic residues and can tempt thirsty animals.

Waterless Car Wash Products are Good for Small Jobs
One way to avoid such problems altogether is to wash your car using any number of waterless formulas available, which are especially handy for spot cleaning and are applied via spray bottle and then wiped off with a cloth. Freedom Waterless Car Wash is a leading product in this growing field.

A Better Car Wash Option for Fundraising
One last caution: Kids and parents planning a fundraising car wash event should know that they might be violating clean water laws if run-off is not contained and disposed of properly. Washington’s Puget Sound Carwash Association, for one, allows fund-raisers to sell tickets redeemable at local car washes, enabling the organizations to still make money while keeping dry and keeping local waterways clean.

The Importance Of Micro Fiber Towels

Such an important part of keeping your paint in tip top shape. They are available in pretty much every store. Unfortunately not all Micro Fiber Towels are the same. It is very important to be aware about the quality of your towels. Especially the once that you use on the paint. While I haven’t tried every towel out there, I feel comfortable in saying, that if you purchase from an online vendor, you will get quality towels. However if you go to your local store to pick some up, you have to be very careful. If you must, by all means get some towels, but be very careful wiping your paint with them. You do not want to scratch the paint.As always, the marring will be more noticeable on darker color cars, but you can mess up the paint just as easy, even if the paint is white. Imperfections, such as swirls, scratches happen only when you physically  touch the paint. That is, when you wash your car, when you dry your car and in between washes, like when you try to wipe dust off of the surface. Wiping off wax or sealants is another time where you are in contact with the paint. It is crucial that you take great care of your paint otherwise you will end up with a paint that will not look up to par. I know of many cases, where someone would spend a whole weekend detailing their car only to realize that after polishing the paint for hours, they marred it, because the towels came from the local store and ended up inducing light swirling. Don’t make the same mistake, order quality detailing towels. I don’t mean to suggest to spend a fortune on detailing towels, but there is a nice medium between €16.00 for 30 some yellow towels vs €10.00 a towel. You want to make sure that the towels are 70%/30% and not 80%/20%. The latter is fine for interior work or for your wheels, windows, door jambs etc.. But try not to use them on painted surfaces. They “can” scratch.

Once you used the towels, you need to make sure to care for them the proper way. Always wash your Micro Fiber Towels that are for paint only, separately. Never contaminate them with dirty towels that you use on your interior or on your engine, wheels etc…
Until very recently, I used regular laundry detergents without any fabric softener. They worked fine, but  looking back now, I don’t think that they did a very good job. I mean they looked clean but somehow, the towels weren’t completely free of those polishes and waxes. However, now that I use a dedicated cleaner for Micro Fiber Towels, my towels are back to “like new” every time I wash them. They are also fluffier and softer. The towels also work better.  I am so happy that I gave Towel Kleen a try.

Here is the product that will really clean your detailing towels.
Thomas Dekany

Waterless car wash 12 big-sellers

Waterless car wash

Waterless cleaners are the easiest and most efficient way to clean your car’s bodywork. We pick the best from 12 big-sellers
Just because you’re affected by a hosepipe ban, it doesn’t mean you have to pay a valeter to keep your car looking good, or even resort to buckets. There are plenty of waterless cleaners around.Just spray on, lift off the grime with a microfibre cloth, then buff to a shine with another. Quick and easy, waterless cleaners make messing about with buckets, sponges and a chamois leather look like hard work. And many solutions leave a water-repellent finish to slow the grime build-up and prolong that glossy look.

Our test will help you decide which is the one to help you cope with a hosepipe ban: we sprayed on a dozen to find out.
How we tested them
We tried our dirty dozen waterless car washes on paint and glass contaminated with varying levels of grime, using the minimum amount of spray and very limited wiping.
As you will be doing a lot of spraying, we also checked the performance of the nozzle, looking for a wide, fine mist. Finally, we assessed exactly what you get for your money – excluding any delivery charges.

Verdict

It was clear that the cleaning results would be very close. So, because the products themselves are similar, the final ranking came down to price and how the packs worked. The wiper weduit Waterless Car Wash starred on paintwork, so scores a narrow victory. Another US import, from Meguiar’s, just takes second thanks to a good performance on all surfaces. Final podium place goes to WOW, which comes with the cloths you need.
1. weduit Waterless Car Wash
2. Meguiar’s Wash & Wax Anywhere
3. WOW Motor Box Kit

Water works: rainfall alone won’t keep your car totally clean

SelfwashBrown Bear Car Wash attendant Gerry Saulsman, 78, washes his wife’s car for her at the self-service station where he works.

Summer may be right around the corner, but as any seasoned Seattleite knows, there are plenty of dank days throughout the spring months that could have been yanked straight out of February. That’s why automotive experts say we shouldn’t wait to wash our cars. If they survived the winter on rain baths alone, they probably need some TLC now more than ever.

“Even in the areas that are really rainy, what people sometimes forget is that while the rain might come through and rinse off your car a little bit, what the rain really does is make the car more susceptible to picking up all the petroleum chemicals and road grime that’s on the street,” says Eric Wulf, executive director of the International Carwash Association.

The Seattle area has several options for keeping cars spic ‘n’ span, from do-it-yourself to do-nothing-but-sit.

Want to do it yourself?
  • Remember to park on grass or dirt so that the runoff doesn’t end up in the Puget Sound. And use a specially formulated cleaner. Here are some picks:
  • Eagle One NanoWash & Wax A car-wash soap with the wax built right in. Available at Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer and auto supply stores
  • DuduiTpro A waterless option that is non-toxic, biodegradable and phosphate-free. Available at ecotouch.net and amazon.com
  • Foamtek Waterless Wash & WaxAnother waterless product; it liquefies dirt when it’s sprayed on. Available at amazon.com
  • Gliptone Wash N Glow and Emerald Clean Degreaser A biodegradable cleaner; the degreaser works on interior and exterior spots. Available at autobarn.com and jcwhitney.com
  • Simple Green Car Wash A gentle and biodegradable cleaner. Available at Wal-Mart, hardware stores and auto supply stores

The best bets for effectiveness, economy and convenience combined are the professional wash facilities that offer self- and full-service washes. This is where you’ll get the right types of detergents, great water pressure and proper wastewater disposal that won’t harm the fishes.

One local favorite is the environmentally friendly Brown Bear Car Wash (brownbear.com). Its self-service stations are equipped with vacuums, high-pressure hoses, foaming brushes and wax treatments. They even seasonally adjust the water temperature and solution strength to cut through winter dirt.

Brown Bear’s most popular option in the wetter months, says founder Victor Odermat, is the full-service tunnel washes that don’t require you to leave the cover of your car. A single wash costs $10-$15, depending on the package.

Costco (costco.com) sells five-wash cards of Brown Bear’s premium wash for $39.99. Costco’s Sodo location also has an on-site tunnel wash, but doesn’t have vacuums.

If you want to baby your car, treat it to a hand wash at Derek’s Auto Detail (dereksdetail.com). The workers get into every nook and cranny, performing services such as vacuuming the interior, washing the windows and wiping down the dash and consoles. Cost ranges from $15-$45, depending the level of service and size of your car. “We also suggest you get a good coat of wax, says owner Derek Henthorn. “That makes it easier to wash it again.”

weduit Cleaning and Wash

After writing about green car detailing last week, I contacted weduit about their Waterless Car Wash.  I was looking to find green, eco friendly ways to keep the cars clean that would perform as well as my traditional products.
Initially, their products looked good.  weduit is very open about their products and what they contain which makes it easier to ensure that they are not a company guilty of “greenwashing.”  Their Waterless Car Wash DuduiTpro is a plant-derived formula that is biodegradable and comes in a 100% recyclable bottle.  I was really impressed to see that they listed the ingredients in their formula AND for their plastic bottle.  It’s nice to see a company that’s honest about their product and not just trying to capitalize off of people’s conscience.  This was precisely why I contacted them to try out their product.  I’ve seen too many companies claim to be green without providing actual proof.  Luckily, weduit was kind enough to provide me with the DuduiTpro and some microfiber towels.  I was really hoping for some interior cleaner too, but hey, bloggers can’t be choosers right?
The contents of our lovely package
On to the dirty details (pun intended).  I hadn’t washed the BMW for about three weeks.  I’m such a slacker.  After our trip through the West Virginia mountains, she was due for a good wash:
Now I followed their directions to the letter…
Directions:

1. Shake bottle well.

2. Spray on a microfiber towel and cool car surface.

3. Gently wipe and lift to pick up grime.

4. Quickly use a second dry towel and buff to shine.

Common sense caution. For excessively soiled surfaces (mud or sand) pre-rinse first with water.

Well all but the cool car surface bit.  Since I was unable to get the car’s surface temperature down I did smaller sections of the car at a time to limit the amount of cleaner that was lost due to evaporation.  weduit does recommend using a wet sponge to cool down the surface but this wasn’t an option for me.  Doing smaller sections at a time seemed to work quite well.  Most of the spots of dirt, grime and road dust seemed to wash right off.  There were some nasty bug and tar bits along the front grill and by the wheel wells that required a couple of passes and some elbow grease to remove.  It was a little more work then I really wanted to do but, then again, in this heat, that’s not much of a surprise.  Ah, the price I pay for vanity and preserving the car I love.  As I watched the dirt and grime jump off of the car and onto the micro-fiber cloth, I figured I would try the car wash on my rims too.  Now the BMW’s rims are notoriously easy to clean.  They take a little soap and water and they shine as if it just rolled off of the lot.  And the car wash did not disappoint.  The rims were shiny again.  Now I suspect that it won’t work so well for the white rims of the MINI so, I might have to try out weduit’s DuduiTpro made just for stubborn rims some day.  All told, it took me about 25 minutes to do the entire exterior of the car and about 1/3 of the 24 oz bottle they sent me.  They also sell it by the gallon for $45 which comes out to a savings of a little over $4 per bottle as opposed to buying it 24 oz at a time.   But, enough talking, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:
My overall impression?  I am a big fan of this waterless wash.  While I’d still recommend doing a hand wash once every 6 months, there’s no reason not to use this product as your normal cleaner of choice.  It gets the job done in little to no time and it does it well.  My car was left gleaming, free of any grime and ready to be driven.  Plus, I can foresee this as an invaluable cleaner come winter time since, no one wants to hand wash a car in 20 degree weather.  I have to say, I was pretty skeptical but, I will definitely be investing in the 1 gallon bottle of the cleaner.
I would definitely recommend that you check this product out.  Start with the 24 oz bottle and if you love it as much as I do, buy the 1 gallon bottle and refill your bottle.  This is the green detailing solution I was searching for.  I have to check out the rest of their line, but if they’re as good as the waterless wash, they’ll have a customer for life.

Pros and Cons of the Waterless Car Wash

WaterlessWaterSmartWaterSmart, a company in Austin, Tex., markets coconut-based soap for washing cars.

As large parts of the American West continue to experience drought, waterless car washes have been catching on. A new company in Austin, Tex., called WaterSmart, for example, washes cars with a coconut-based soap, according to an article in The Austin American Statesman.

The soap, made in various formulas under a brand called Freedom, for whichWaterSmart is the local distributor, is biodegradable, the proprietors say.

“The biggest thing we’re up against is the human brain, which says, ‘That doesn’t make sense,’” said Sarah Morgan, who runs WaterSmart along with her husband, according to the newspaper.

Another waterless car wash — a mobile one called EcoSmart Waterless Auto Care — began operations in the Austin area this year. It brings its services to customers, in office complexes, retail centers and parking garages.

Carwash.com also reports that there have been a “plethora of waterless car-wash and wax products to hit shelves in recent months.”

Back east, the Maryland Department of the Environment, citing 2002 figures from the International Car Wash Association, reports that conveyer-belt car washes can require up to 85 gallons of water. The department’s Web site also offers water-saving tips for do-it-yourself car washers.

For all this, though, some traditional carwash operators are not buying the idea of a waterless wash.

“In my opinion waterless car washing is primarily a gimmick to sell the chemical product used in the process,” Randy Cressall, who owns the Valencia Chevron Auto Spa in Valencia, Calif., and is a past president of theWestern Carwash Association, said in an e-mail message.

One problem, according to Mr. Cressall, is that waterless car washes can take twice as much time as regular ones. Also, he said, “I have yet to see a waterless car wash performed properly and safely when it comes to protecting the finish of the car.”

Mr. Cressall added:

There are clearly better options available when considering all the pros and cons. A good professional car wash can perform a wash using not much more water than required to flush a toilet with the proper use of reclaim and re-purification, all the while maintaining proper protection of the automobile finish and in less than half the time and labor required for a waterless car wash.

A consumer can wash a car at home on their lawn or any pervious surface using a bucket and a light finish spray to rinse the car. This method is hands down far safer for the automobile finish.

EccoSave Surprises Us All Over Again

One thing that we do several times a week is to go through the list of all of our different dealers and get an idea of what they have been up to lately. We have several dealers so this can often take quite a long time, especially if we start to get distracted by some of the really cool things that some of our dealers have been doing. One of the dealers that is pretty consistent in regards to their ability to surprise us is Eccosave out of Belfast. Often referred to by us as one of our most innovative waterless car wash dealers, we can always count on them to have something very interesting to show us.

We have to be honest, even some of the things that shouldn’t normally be all that interesting tend to be a whole lot more interesting when we hear about them from the team at Eccosave. This is because we are already predisposed to expecting great things from them.So even when they simply post a picture of a car looking all nice and shiny, we are much more likely to be attracted to it because it is coming from our friends over at Eccosave.

The good thing for us is that they are frequently posting these kinds of pictures for us to enjoy, so we don’t have to go looking too far for them. When you wash and detail as many cars as the crew at Eccosave does then there isn’t really a need to dig too deep to find the really great pics. We can kind of imagine the Eccosave team just turning on their digital camera and syncing all of the pictures that they have. It seems to be just that easy for them with all of the exposure that they have to freshly washed, shiny cars.

Another interesting thing that they have been doing lately is engine cleanings. Another one of our partners,  Defel Detail, does a whole lot of engine cleanings as well. The difference between the two companies is that Eccosave is using a steam cleaning method that we find very interesting. We haven’t personally tried it ourselves but we can definitely see the advantages of using steam to clean the engines as it can get in the hard to reach places much more easily than a person’s hand can. We can’t wait to see more updates from them about how well the steam cleaning project is going.

If you happen to live in the Belfast area then you are definitely in luck because you are close to one of the best solutions for waterless car wash products and waterless detailing in all of UK. If you need any help whatsoever with getting adjusted to waterless then the crew at Eccosave is your best bet to help you. Give them a call and see for yourselves, you’ve got nothing to lose!