A question we get asked fairly often is whether or not a waterless car wash can be used in direct sunlight. Yes, it is possible to perform a waterless wash in these types of conditions, however as a manufacturer we have engineered our product to work best on cool car panels.
The Eco Touch formula contains plant-derived surfactants (soaps) which help lift dirt away from the surface of the vehicle. In order for the formula to perform properly you need to ensure the car panel is cool so that these surfactants can get to work loosening up the dirt. Otherwise, the formula will evaporate quickly which can leave behind white residue or streaking. This will make your job tougher as you'll need to re-spray the surface and buff away any of these spots. Unfortunately this problem occurs with any washing method available today: hose and bucket, rinseless or waterless. If the car is hot and you apply a liquid it will evaporate leaving residues behind.
So let's face it. Some of us don't have the convenience of finding a shaded spot all the time. Maybe you live in a hot climate. Maybe you live in the city. We understand that there are instances where you'll have to perform a waterless wash in direct sunlight.
Tips for working in direct sunlight.
1) Work in smaller sections. Try doing a half panel at a time versus a full panel.
2) Use a two-step waterless wash technique. First spray and wipe gently to remove contaminants. Then re-spray and buff the panel with more pressure to remove any residues left behind.
3) Work as a team. First person sprays and second person quickly buffs away.
4) Keep plenty of dry towels handy. You'll need to ensure all formula is completely wiped off the surface.
5) Bring a 1-gallon bucket of water along. While this may defeat the purpose of a 'waterless' wash, you can try this hybrid washing method. First, soak the cleaning microfiber towel in the water to cool it down. Then spray the vehicle surface with waterless wash. Take your wet towel and gently wipe the surface clean. Follow-up with a dry microfiber towel. Repeat. This method helps cool the surface of the vehicle and helps lengthen the drying time.
Be wary that if a manufacturer claims their product works excellent in direct sunlight it is most likely an oil-based formula which relies heavily on mineral spirits, petroleum distillates or other chemicals which won't be listed on the packaging. While you might be saving water, you are trading off for dumping petroleum-based cleaners right into the environment. Trading off one for the other just doesn't cut it for us.
Be sure to view our full line of waterless car wash products for both DIY consumers and professinal detailers.