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 Toronto. 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, Hi Def 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 Toronto 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 Canada. 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!