Although I appreciate a clean, shiny car, I’m not really worried about how dirty my car is, as long as it doesn’t leave me stranded anywhere! My husband, on the other hand, loves to keep the cars clean, and has done the 8,000 step (OK, I may be exaggerating, but still) systems and all. I tried that once about 10 years ago and my muscles were sore for a week! Anyhoo, I heard from Eco Touch Premium Car Care, and I knew the hubs would want to try it.
Eco Touch products do not contain harmful solvents, additives or VOCs. They use non-toxic and earth friendly cleaning agents that work better than the “traditional” products. Many of their solvents are derived from a soybean base, while their surfactants derive from palm kernel oil. They actually reveal both the functional and scientific ingredients on their packaging and website! Eco Touch was approved by Green America as a certified green business and is the only manufacturer of care care products in their network! Even their bottles and sprayers are 100% recyclable.
Obviously, the waterless car wash we tried helps keep your car clean, while conserving water. We’ve had periods of drought where car washing was forbidden entirely, and while we have a well now, we had city water for many years. In our last house, we were outside of the city limits, so our rates were outrageous! I’d rather have a dirty car than pay for water! The ready to use waterless car wash spray is non toxic, biodegradable and phosphate free. The ingredients (all of them!) are: Filtered water, plant-derived surfactants (for cleaning: alkyl polyglycosides), polymer emulsion (for shine: dimethicone), soda ash, preservative (less than .05%).
Since the car stuff is hubby’s domain, he’s written the remainder of this review (other than a few interjections and a closing from me!)
When it comes to automotive finish care products I have seen almost every wash, wax, sponge, polish, clay, towel, compound, sealer, cleaner, protectant, restorer and gimmick out there and have tried most of them in one form or another. When it comes to washes I have only strayed from the old go-to sponge and bucket when applying the wash directly to the car through a power washer, either at home or a drive through pay n spray type commercial car wash (never with good results). Their number one rule to keeping paint shining is to avoid scratches. This is the reason I had never given any type of waterless car wash a chance. I had always thought that the process of cleaning this way would result in grinding the grit and grime into the paint thus causing scratches, swirl marks, and/or dulling the finish. (Note from Maria: check out Eco Touch’s great article on Myths of Waterless Car Wash.)
After reviewing the literature and reviews on the Eco Touch website it seemed that these products were worth a second look. I was unaware of any “Green” auto products, in fact most car care products tend to be the exact opposite; toxic chemicals whose labels contain special handling and disposal instructions and warnings providing guidance on the induction of vomiting upon ingestion. While it may be plant derived, responsible and all that I’m more interested in whether or not it actually works. (Ha ha, typical hubby! Green, responsible, blah blah, show me results!)
One thing that surprised me upon receiving the product was the minimal instruction on the bottle. Normal car care products I have used contain enough instructions and fine print to fill the bottle, the box the bottle comes in, and sometimes an additional insert. The Eco Touch waterless car wash had only 4 simple instructions (which is great because I generally don’t read all that stuff on the bottle / box / insert anyway).
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.
Our “family car” is pushing 12 years old now and is starting to show it, especially since it has black paint. It was most recently waxed in the very early spring using cheap paste wax whose chalky residue still remained in cracks and crevices and on textured trim. Prior to the last waxing I had used a clay bar on the surface, these work great by the way. I’ve washed it a couple times since with a bucket and sponge and its been run through a touchless car wash or two as well. (Interjection by Maria: Yes, my daughter wrote “I Love Mom” in the filth, LOL!)
The product went on easily and did not require a lot of pressure to wipe or buff. All that was required was two microfiber towels; one for initial application and wipe and a second for final buff. Following their suggestion of working one panel at a time it worked out well and the wiped product had dried just enough for it to buff easily without smearing or having the product dried on. When I applied this our car was only lightly soiled and the towels I used seemed to pickup the dirt and wash thoroughly so the rubbing of contaminants into the paint was not an issue at all. One thing I noticed which Ive not seen with other washes or waxes is that water spots seem to disappear before your eyes as you wipe back and forth over the panel. The waterless car wash also did an excellent job picking up the left over wax residue. (Didn’t get the scuffs, scratches and paint off of course. My car is a magnet for dummies in the parking lot to hit it with stuff, no matter where I park, *sigh*)
The bottle also claims the wash can be used on glass and wheels in addition to the painted surfaces. I used it on the windows while doing the rest of the car and it worked well, leaving them streak free. I took my normal approach of doing the wheels last since they tend to be caked in brake dust and road grime. I also worked cleanest to dirtiest on the wheels to avoid smearing the dirt around from a dirty cloth. It worked well and the brake dust came off with little effort.
(I found this amazing! The wheels are so clean!)
From start to finish the process took about 45 minutes for a mid sized 4 door sedan. This included the wheels (and stopping to take pictures). In the end the finish was nearly as clean as after I last used the clay bar and running my fingernails across the finish showed the finish to be nearly as smooth, so much so that the bottle slid off the trunk when attempting to take pictures. Normally a wash and dry with absorber towel would take about the same amount of time and the added benefit with this product is that the polymers have either rejuvenated the previous waxing or replaced what was lost over time. I was curious as to the protection that was present after using the product and so pulled out the hose and sprayed a small section. The water beaded as well as after the prior waxing.
The amount of total product used was about 1/3 of the bottle. The only thing the surfactants couldn’t handle was the massive amounts of smashed dried bugs on the front of the car (there was literally an entire dragonfly almost completely adhered to the surface in one spot). A normal wash would not lift this either and a bug/tar remover or the Eco Touch all purpose cleaner would probably be best for this type of contaminant buildup.
(It still did a pretty good job, even on the bug guts!)
One thing I learned from the process is that it is easiest to spray the product into a towel then wipe the surface. I initially misread step 2 and thought this was the way they intended. Further reading and review of the images on the Eco Touch website made it clear that the product can be applied directly to a cool surface. However, due to over-spray onto previously completed panels it is most efficient to spray onto a towel (away from the car) then wipe thus avoiding spray on other areas and the need for redoing sections.
Several years ago there were water restrictions where we lived and the only way to wash a car was at a “recirculating” car wash. The problem with these is that many are poorly maintained and in an area where “mud bogging” is considered a sport (from Maria: yes, seriously), who wants to share a stall that was previously used on a vehicle with all that grit? We do not currently have any water issues, although I know that is a problem in many parts of the country right now. For those that cannot wash their car in the normal way this is a no brainer. Even if you can use a bucket and hose this is a product that provides superior results in about the same amount of time and with the same amount of effort. After my experience with their waterless car wash I am anxious to try the Quick Wax!
(Back to Maria again!)
The Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash retails for $12.99 for a 24 ounce spray bottle, or $45 for a 1-gallon jug, and it’s also available as a concentrate. They have tons of products for exterior auto detailing as well as interior detailing supplies, accessories and car care kits. They even have a fundraiser package! How cool would that be? I want to try the carpet and upholstery cleaner and leather care!
You can find Eco Touch products, including the waterless car wash, on Amazon.com.
To quote Eco Touch, “Eco Touch will leave your car — and your conscience — clean.”
FTC compliance: Although I received the pictured item in order to review it, I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. The bold sentence contains Amazon affiliate links.