Monday, December 7, 2009

9 Ingredients to Avoid in Car Care Products

1. Synthetic fragrances/scents - used to mask the smell of the chemicals used in the product. Manufacturers typically opt for the synthetic version of a chemical because it is far less expensive than their natural counterpart. Essential oils are a much better alternative than synthetics.

2. Synthetic dyes/colorants - change the appearance of a formula so it is more pleasing for the consumer. The majority of dyes derive from coal tars or petroleum. Coal tar contains various toxins and carcinogens.

3. Teflons, Fluropolymers - used by car care manufacturers as a gloss/protective agent for car surfaces. Traditionally found in quick detailers, car waxes and car wash products. During the production of teflons and fluropolymers, a hazardous chemical known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is used. PFOA is a toxicant and carcinogen in animals. In people, it has been linked to birth defects, increased cancer rates and changes to the immune system.

4. Kerosene - a synthetic distillate which is used as a grease cutter. Kerosene can damage lung tissues and dissolve the fatty tissue that surrounds nerve cells. Found in all purpose cleaners and degreasers. [1]

5. Methanol - a solvent derived from wood and petroleum. It is acutely toxic and can cause blindness. Found in window cleaners and windshield wash.

6. Sodium Hydroxide (lye, caustic soda, white caustic, soda lye) - extremely strong caustic substance that damages skin, eyes and mucous membranes. Blindness is reported in animals exposed to as little as 2% dilution for just one minute.

7. Ammonia - a corrosive substance which causes burning of the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract and can result in blindness, lung damage or death. Boosts the nitrogen levels in soil and water which adversely affect marine and animal life.

8. Phosphates - phosphorus occurs naturally in rock formations in the earth's crust, usually as phosphate. They are of high nutritive value to plants and animals at normal levels in the environment. However, phosphates are also used as detergent builders in some car care products, which causes aquatic plant life to flourish, thus decreasing oxygen levels for other organisms. Found in car wash soaps.

9. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) - Polyvinyl Chloride is recognized by the recycling symbol #3. PVC is highly toxic because during its production, it is mixed with softening chemicals known as plasticizers, the most common variety being phalates. Exposure to PVC and plasticizers have been linked to an increased risk of the following: hormonal imbalance, reproductive problems, allergies in children, brain cancer and tumors. PVC is used in packaging for several major car care manufacturers. The sensible alternative would be to switch to #1 PET or #2 HDPE.

Want to avoid the ingredients listed above? Check out Eco Touch's line of Waterless Car Wash & Detailing Products.

[1] -

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The 5 Myths of Waterless Car Washing

Myth #1: A Waterless Car Wash will scratch my car's paint.

Avoiding scratching and marring comes down to technique and common sense.

First, make sure you are using quality microfiber towels. My personal preference is to use towels with a minimum weight of 300 GSM (grams per square meter). Either look on the tag or ask the manufacturer for the weight of the towels.

Next, when wiping the Waterless Car Wash formula from the surface of the vehicle, use light strokes to pick up dirt. There is no need to aggressively rub the formula on the car's surface. I typically take the approach of "wipe and lift" so that the contaminants are not dragging on the surface of the vehicle.

Lastly, use common sense. If you are dealing with a surface that is muddy or sandy, you will obviously need a pre-rinse. Many people will argue that a pre-rinse defeats the purpose of a "waterless" car wash. Not in my opinion. With any method of washing your vehicle, whether it's waterless, rinseless or a hose and'll need to somehow removes those heavy contaminants before cleaning the car. Otherwise you will definately run into problems.

Myth #2: It's not really "waterless", you have to clean the microfiber towels in water.

To tackle this myth, we need to first clarify what "waterless" means. When people first hear the term they automatically think it means using absolutely no water at all. While this would be nice, it's not realistic. In my personal opinion, it means using significantly LESS water than the other methods available to consumers. What are those methods? See Myth #5.

So yes, you will need to clean the microfiber towels. The towels can easily be washed by letting them soak in a 1-gallon bucket of hot water with a little dish detergent. If you have a bunch of towels, save them all up and do one full load versus cleaning individually. There is also the misconception people have that the towels are disposed of after one use. Not true. The average microfiber towel can be wash and re-used up to 50 times. Considering that the average person cleans their cars once ever two weeks, the towels will last you for about two years before disposal.

If you want to truly be "waterless" then perhaps you should not clean your car at all. But, for most of us who want to keep our vehicles looking nice and increase their longevity, a Waterless Car Wash is a great option.

Myth #3: A quick Detailing product and Waterless Car Wash product are the exact same thing.

I can't speak for all brands on this point, but will do my best to address this myth. Typically Waterless Car Wash products have greater cleaning power than quick detailers. Waterless car wash products combine surfactants, lubricants and pH builders to help break down surface grime more effectively. Quick detailers on the other hand are primarily used to add an instant shine/gloss to a car's paint and are not specifically engineered for cleaning purposes.

Myth #4: All Waterless Car Wash products are the same.

Not quite. There are actually many differences between the various waterless car wash products out there. Here are some questions to ask when viewing the vast array of products:

• Water-based or petroleum-distillate based formula?
• Full ingredient disclosure on packaging and all CAS numbers on MSDS sheets?
• Does formula contain protective agents (e.g. silicone emulsion, carnauba wax, teflon, PEG, etc)
• Is there isopropyl alcohol used in the formula?
• Are bottles and sprayers 100% recyclable?
• Can the formula be used on both paint & windows?
• Is the product a private-label brand?
• Is the product made in the USA?
• Are there fragrances or dyes? Are they synthetic or natural?
• Aerosol or pump sprayer?

If you need any help answering the questions above, shoot me an email jdudra[at]ecotouch[dot]net and I will do my best to answer.

Ultimately in the end it will come down to trying different products and finding the one which suits your needs best.

Myth #5: Using a Waterless Car Wash product doesn't really help the environment.

The best method of analysis is to compare Waterless Car Washing to the other options available on the market today for consumers.

Environmental impact by method:

Hose and bucket wash
Production and transportation of chemicals -> distributor -> retail store -> consumer
80 - 140 gallons of water per wash (data from the International Car Wash Association)
Discharge of soapy suds, brake dust and car oils into environment
Water sanitation costs and energy
Disposal of packaging

Commercial car wash
Production and transportation of chemicals -> distributor -> car wash facility
Disposal of packaging (drums)
45 gallons of water per wash
Energy required to run equipment and reclaim water
Fixed sites impact on the land

Waterless car wash
Production and transportation of chemicals -> distributor -> retail store -> consumer
4 - 6 oz of waterless car wash formula used per car
Disposal of packaging

Comparing the three most common methods available to consumers today, Waterless Car Washing has the least environmental impact. The savings in water, energy and chemicals is only compounded as you think of the millions of cars being washed on a daily basis.

In the future, it would be great to do a full product life cycle analysis on the Waterless Car Wash method and find what our true net impact is.

Have any other myths you think exist for Waterless Car Wash products? Have a question on one of the points above? Shoot me an email - jdudra[at]ecotouch[dot]net and we can discuss.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quick and Easy Dilutions for Eco Touch Portable Waterless Wash System

The Eco Touch Portable Waterless Wash System holds 3.5 gallons of formula. Listed below are quick dilution ratios depending on the vehicle you are working with.

Light cleaning (dust, pollen, pre-rinsing)
Pour 20 oz Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash Concentrate into tank and fill remainder with water

Moderate cleaning (normal driving, road grime, heavy dust)
Pour 40 oz Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash Concentrate into tank and fill remainder with water

What we have found is that Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash Concentrate is very forgiving in terms of dilution ratios. The figures shown above are approximate. So, if you scale upwards or downwards the formula will still work correctly.

Click here for a full dilution chart

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Win 1 Gallon Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash Concentrate

We have launched our newest contest at the
Eco Touch Online Forums. You have a chance to win 1 gallon Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash Concentrate - valued at $149! That's enough product to clean 250 cars!

Entry into our contest is simple.

Choose from one of two options below

• Post a relevant new topic in our forums.
• Respond to an existing post thoughtfully.

Every new new post and/or topic counts as an entry towards winning the gallon of concentrate. Maximum of 10 entries per user.

Contest runs until September 17, 2009.

Click here to enter!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Eco Touch My Ride 2 Contest!

Is your ride in desperate need of an Eco Touch? We are giving away one lucky winner an Eco Touch Car Care Kit valued at $50!

Entry is quite easy.

• Log onto Twitter
• RT "Just entered to win an Eco Touch Car Care Kit. Just follow @ecotouch and retweet."

We will select a random winner on July 24th. Good luck!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Eco Touch How To Videos

We are in the process of posting a new series of how to videos for the Eco Touch product line. Window Clear & Dashboard Protect have now been launched!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Eco Touch Reviews

Summer is definately here now and people are busy trying the Eco Touch products. We've put together a recap of some of the latest Eco Touch reviews. More to come, stay tuned!

Eco Touch Review List

Girl a Whirl
Green & Chic - Waterless Car Wash

Monday, June 8, 2009

Take Off and Grow!

Last weekend the Eco Touch team had the opportunity to partner with a local group called Take Off and Grow through our Waterless Car Wash Fundraiser Program.

Take-Off & Grow is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing high school students with an opportunity to learn how to fly, or to acquire other aviation career-related skills. In exchange for community service, high school students earn credit that they can apply to flight training, training as an aircraft mechanic, air traffic controller or other aviation specialties.

This was no ordinary fundraising event. Instead of cleaning cars to raise money for a good cause, we waterless washed airplanes! The formula cleaned exceptionally well, even on the underbelly where heavy oil and grease accumulate. Check out the pics below for a recap.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Win an Eco Touch Father's Day Kit!

Our friends over at are running The Ultimate Father's Day Gift Guide. You can enter to win the Eco Touch Father's Day kit which includes the following:

Waterless Car Wash
• Dashboard Protect
• Window Clear
• All Purpose
• Metal Polish
• Carpet + Upholstery
• Microfiber Towel Pack

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Six tips for holding a successful waterless car wash fundraiser

For groups looking to raise money, the days of hose and bucket washing are long gone. Water restrictions, stricter EPA regulations and the limitations of having a water hookup nearby have all but ended this traditional fundraising method.

Enter the era of Waterless Car Wash Fundraisers.

Armed with a 22 oz bottle and several microfiber towels your non-profit, charity or school can easily raise money for its cause without infringing upon the environment or relying upon a commercial carwash facility.

Over the past month, Eco Touch has sponsored several of these Waterless Car Wash Fundraisers, with great results. If you are considering holding one of these events, we have put together a top tip list to help get you started.

Tip #1 - Advertise, advertise, advertise

Posters, flyers and press releases are a great way to get the word out. Begin your campaign at least a week in advance by coordinating with local newspapers and media outlets. Offer coupons, discounts or other incentives to help draw people to your event. On the day of the event strategically place team members roadside to bring more customers to the waterless car wash.

Tip #2 - Assemble your team

Both kids and adults will need to participate in order to make your fundraising event a success. We recommend having three teams: sales/marketing (pitching your services to customers), washing/drying (physical labor), and support (cash transactions, food, etc).

Also note than some areas of the car are difficult for smaller children to reach, so have taller team members focus on these areas.

Tip #3 - Optimize your location

Make sure the lot you choose has enough space to support multiple cars and does not interfere with regular traffic. You will need to queue cars, so plan accordingly. Also be sure to check with your local municipality before the event to see if a permit is required.

Tip #4 - Divide and conquer

Split responsibilities of applying formula and drying between team members. This will ensure a quicker and easier cleaning process. Be sure to have one team member who is solely devoted to changing microfiber towels and cleaning them in a separate bucket of wash water.

Tip #5 - Keep it shady

For optimal results with your Waterless Car Wash, work under a shaded location. When car panels are too hot the formula can evaporate quickly. Be wary of Waterless Car Wash products which claim they can be used in direct sunlight. They are most likely contain high concentrations of petroleum-based solvents, alcohols and other nasty chemicals (some of which are listed on California's Prop 65).

Look for water-based products that openly disclose all ingredients.

Tip #6 - Stay energized

All that Waterless Car Washing takes work. Keep your team members energized with a nice spread of food and refreshments.

These are just a few tips to help you get started. For more detailed information visit:

Eco Touch's Waterless Car Wash Fundraiser Program.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cleaning heavily soiled microfiber towels.

Because microfiber towels consist of thousands of tiny 'scoops' they can become heavily soiled with stains from grease and oils. Here's a quick tip for helping clean your towels more effectively.

1) Squirt Eco Touch Carpet + Upholstery onto the stained area of the towel.

2) Take a second clean Eco Touch Microfiber Towel and agitate. You'll begin to notice foaming.

3) Blot the foam dry and let air-dry.

4) Re launder*, and your towel will be much cleaner than before.

*To clean microfiber towels, place in washing machine with regular detergent. Do not use bleach or fabric softener. Line dry or place in dryer (air or low heat only) and voila, your towels will be clean!

Have some tips of your own? Please share with us!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ten tips for a commercial waterless car wash.

  1. Create a system for applying and drying each vehicle. Many detailers who use Eco Touch's products on a commercial-level, work in teams. One member applies the product while the second one dries, working their way from the top of the vehicle down.

  2. Use a garden-style/backpack sprayer to ensure consistent application. You can find many of these at a local home & garden center.

  3. Know your product dilutions! Eco Touch's newly released dilution chart (pdf) shows how versatile product can be.

  4. Work out of the sun if possible. This can be tough if you are on-site, but aim to clean on cool vehicle panels. If you can't avoid the sun, then see tip five.

  5. For hot car panels or heavily soiled vehicles try a pre-rinse first. Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash + Polish can be diluted 1:20 ratio to help cool the panels first or rinse off tough heavily soiled area.

  6. If you encounter streaking, make sure the product is applied and then quickly toweled off within 10 seconds. Leaving the formula on the car's surface for longer than 15 - 30 seconds can lead to streaking/hazing.

  7. Have multiple dilutions ready to help expedite the cleaning process. For the exterior Waterless Car wash try having a 1:5 (heavy), 1:10 (moderate) and 1:20 (pre-rinse) available at all times.

  8. For large surfaces have a variety of microfiber cleaning tools available. Microfiber mops with extensions work great for taller car panels. Also include mitts and extra towels in your arsenal.

  9. To eliminate runoff concerns, such as drips from the Waterless Car Wash, lay a towel underneath each section of the car you clean to catch excess formula.

  10. Check with your municipality first on their regulations for cleaning vehicles, especially if you are a mobile washer. And always be sure to abide by the Clean Water Act.