Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Croftgate USA Review

I don't remember exactly how I came across Croftgate USA, but I think I Googled 'Eco-friendly car wash'. My first thoughts as I browsed their website were along these lines: the EPA doesn't regulate all chemicals - so their approval does not tell me much; I don't think this would really work on a dirty car; this just looks like some As Seen on TV thing...

I was so wrong! The Croftgate USA waterless car wash passed the ultimate test : my husband. He is a marketing major. He is always skeptical of everything. While I am pretty easy to impress, it would take a miracle to impress him. So yes, these products are a miracle. Croftgate USA was kind enough to send us a sample to try this and you can actually get one too if you check out their website. Personally I would never pay to try something like this, so I thought - hey, it's free, might as well. I knew my husband would not want anything to do with it unless he tried it himself.

EASE OF USE: Drive through car washes are pretty easy I admit, but don't expect jaw dropping results. Not to mention all the water and chemicals that eventually end up in your drinking water supply. No matter If you wash your car in your driveway or you are a faithful drive through car wash visitor, these Croftgate USA products are for you. No more hoses, no more buckets. Just a couple of spray bottles and clean microfiber towels! It is so easy - even I can do it, with a baby in one arm! Well, maybe in an Ergo carrier. You just spray and wipe, that's it. If you can clean a mirror, you can do this.

PERFORMANCE: My husband and I both have a mild case of OCD. So when we go to a car wash we get really annoyed by all the leftover water spots and dirt. You won't get any of that with Croftgate USA because you are in control of how clean you want your car and the product does not limit you in any way!

There are five different products that cover everything you could possibly want to clean outside and inside your car: the Multi-Clean, AQUANIL-X, Tire Shine, QUICK N SLICK, and Leather Cleaner. We tried the first three and didn't get to the last two because it was below freezing, just way to cold to be outside for more than half an hour. In the photos, notice that the mirror effect of the car surface is without using the final step - the QUICK N SLICK Polymer Polish and Paint Protection. The amazing thing is that even without the last step the car looks better than it did when we bought it! It is so fun to see this transformation from a dirty to a 'mirror' car before your very eyes, you'll find yourself looking for dirty cars to wash!

Our salty Accord before being cleaned

Cleaning in progress

Clean door reflecting a Lexus (not ours!)

Our mirror car door cleaned with Croftgate USA

The whole process takes about half an hour, depending on your speed of course. It will take a bit longer if you want to do all three steps and tire shine. This product worked great even in below freezing temperatures. The key is to use clean, reusable microfiber towels to apply the product. I loved the look on my husband's face as he was doing this, priceless! Now I know what to get a man who thinks he has everything or how to get the most bang for your used car.

VALUE: How much money do you spend on washing your car per year? Perhaps I should ask how much money you should be spending? I don't know about you, but sometimes I avoid the car wash just because it is an expense that adds up. I tend to think that the longer I go between car washes, the more cost effective it is. This is obviously not good for the car. With the Croftgate USA waterless car wash system you are adding life to your car in a way. When you use the three steps the Reactive Polymer Technology of the QUICK N SLICK actually creates a hard protective coat on the car's surface. It also repels road dust. So it will lengthen the time between your waterless car washes and be good for the car at the same time.

As an example of the value you receive, the 32 oz spray bottle of AQUANIL-X can clean about 7-10 cars (depending on their size) and it costs $22. If your car has an average amount of dirt and road dust, you can clean it with just this one product and it would look spectacular. An equivalent of 7-10 car washes would cost you about $56 to $80. Even more if you do the optional toxic wax ;)

ENVIRONMENT: For me as EcoMama, the environmental factor is a deal breaker. This is actually the reason I wanted to try this, not the great performance. For me, nothing should have toxic chemicals in it, not even car cleaners. So needless to say, I was excited. My husband gets coveted performance and I get my dose of Eco-friendliness. The amazing thing is, the products don't even smell! That was shocking, I thought that anything made for cleaning cars just has to stink. No, it's not edible if that's what you want to know. There are other 'green' car cleaning products out there, but this is the only one I know that does not require water. Now that is true green!

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