2 things the detailing industry would rather you didn't know when it comes to winter car cleaning!
Firstly, let's just clear one thing up. You as well as I am here because we care about our vehicle. But there are a few things you might want to know when it comes to removing the winter grime from your car BEFORE committing to buying any pre-wash product.
But why listen to me? What do I know about anything?
Well here is as good a reason as any.
This is me, Michael Cipriani back in 2012, working for Statoil in Norway (yes it was windy).
Having been involved with upstream and downstream petrochemicals for nearly 6 years and one of those was working on Europe's largest surfactant plant in The Netherlands amongst other projects, you could say I know the fundamentals quite intimately. What do I mean by surfactant? Well in layman's terms these are the building blocks of detergents or end-user cleaning products.
But there is a problem..
When I took the massive life-changing decision to walk away from a very well paid and comfortable job in this industry it was not for financial gain. Getting close to where I was before was going to be a battle!
It was for something much more important. When you feel so strongly about the way something is done and know you can genuinely make a significant difference it has to be something worth doing?
You see the problem is this..
Car cleaning chemicals did and still do generally fall into 1 of 2 categories
- Retail strength products that are pre-diluted and generally a bit disappointing (but still expensive).
- Professional strength products that in many cases are dangerous not only for you the end user but the environment.
My idea was actually mind-bogglingly simple.
Make a professional strength product range, using SAFE surfactants and sell everything concentrated. That way the retail buyer is getting 10x the value for money and the professional user is still happy, only now with safe products that do the job!
Clean is clean. Right??
Well no, so take your pre-diluted retail strength product and put it to the side for a minute. Let's focus on professional strength products.
There are other brands out there selling products that seem to be pretty good at cleaning and have a more high-end market presence. I can think of 2 that immediately spring to mind. But that's only part of the issue.
What the 99% do is fundamentally the issue in this industry!
Have you ever heard the expression, there's more than 1 way to skin a cat? Well when it comes to pre-washing products such as citrus and snowfoam, yes there most certainly is! For example, take a well-regarded snowfoam which does a great job at cleaning, people rate it, and it's popular. And compare this to Powerfoam, which is our "active" snowfoam.
Both clean well, both are good value and both are readily available in the UK.
But that's half the story.
Powerfoam, under the surface, is incredibly simple, but it holds a very important secret. Sugar.
Yes, I said sugar!
The thing is the 99% use surfactants that are based on sodium, and for those who missed chemistry in high school that's essentially salt! The one thing you would certainly avoid getting on your car let alone spraying into every hidden area or crevice. To be more specific, these surfactants are also fundamentally corrosive.
Why? Well, the cost is the answer, these dangerous and environmentally disastrous detergents are cheap and readily available. its kind of like building a car to go round the Nurburgring faster by strapping a massive turbo on there and hoping nobody hets gurt.
The difference is when we decided to manufacture our prewashes (Citrus) and (Powerfoam) from a sugar-based surfactant, we knew that it was going to be a little more expensive, we knew it was going to be a hard sell to professionals who have used the same thing for years, but in the long term making a product that is safe, powerful and readily biodegradable will mean more to us and to our customers.
But if that doesn't sell it to you, maybe you should look closer at what this means in terms of dilution.
Take a popular snowfoam, most of these sodium-based foams are designed to work at up to 1:10 dilution. Whereas our sugar-based surfactant only requires 1:100 at its maximum dilution.
Snowfoam 1 = 100ml detergent x 900ml water
powerfoam = 10ml detergent x 990ml water
On the face of it 90ml of product is not much, but imagine that spaced out over a year. Especially if you use these products professionally!
Based on rough calculations of washing just 1 car a day professionally that's a saving of potentially £587.61 every year..
So what have we learned from this?
Don't buy "ready to use" pre-wash. You are paying someone for water!
Avoid or at least consider what you are using for your snowfoam. Would you rub road salt under your arches? I know I wouldn't. And that is why Infinity Wax is here, why we exist. Because there is always a way to do something better.
If you have come this far, thank you!
I know time is valuable so hopefully, you have taken something away from this. If you would like to upgrade your pre-wash then I would love to offer you a discount. Simply use the code XMAS5 and it will give you 5% off the above pre washes in all sizes.
Once again, Thanks for your time.