We’ve been on the lookout for “environmentally friendly” products that might replace some of the motorcycle cleaning chemicals that fill our garage shelves.
Eco Touch (or “eco touch”, in lowercase, as it’s officially called) was brought to our attention by a local purveyor of…chemicals for cleaning cars and motorcycles.
We’ve reviewed similar “waterless” car wash products before, like Glare Sahara and Dri Wash ‘n Guard (review), and some “Quick Detailer” products (see links on right) that can also be used to remove light dust without having to wash the motorcycle.
But all of those contain various amounts of who-knows-what chemicals.
Now a “green” product that can replace a chemical stew is a great idea — in theory — but it must be equal to the task, and that’s not easy. After all, chemicals are specifically designed to do things that nature doesn’t do, won’t do, or takes her own sweet time to do.
Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash (or Car Care) smells vaguely like a mild coconut and soap mixture and, in fact, coconut is used with soy beans to create the surfactant, which reduces the surface tension of the dirt.
It’s always slightly disturbing to spray one of these waterless cleaners on a dirty motorcycle and start wiping away, because we’re programmed to first rinse the bike then slop it with a soapy water mixture to do the same thing
But we have to trust modern technology, and hope that mixtures like Eco Touch will loosen the dirt without damage to the paint.
It’s always important, by the way, to use a clean microfiber towel with waterless wash products. Microfiber somehow lifts the dirt without grinding it back in to the paint — in theory anyway.
Eco Touch is easy to use — spray it on, and make sure everything is soaked, one small panel at a time. They recommend spraying the surface of the towel also, a good idea to ensure a slippery engagement.
Wipe it off, flipping the towel frequently. A haze will appear, and we found that it’s best to use a clean towel to buff it out.
Eco Touch works about as well as the other waterless cleaners, but it does seem to leave a slight film that takes longer to buff out than other products we’ve tried.
The 22 oz. container of Eco Touch shown here is supposed to last for 4-6 car washes; 4 is probably accurate, depending upon how much dirt is on the surface.
It takes about 20-25 pumps of the sprayer to clean a large motorcycle fuel tank and front fender; perhaps about 1.5-2.0 oz. per motorcycle.
Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash works about as well as other waterless products, and in some ways it’s easier to use. It does clean light dirt from the painted surfaces of motorcycles — we wouldn’t want to use it on heavy dirt, grease or mud — and it leaves your conscience feeling a bit better.
It does save a lot of water — Eco Touch estimates as much as 600 gallons per bottle, when regular water washing (probably leaving the hose run?) is considered.
Recommended for any motorcycle owner, but probably especially helpful for owners in dry climates or locations with water restrictions. Actually, this type of product is useful also in locations where it might be difficult to access a hose and water supply
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From “B” (10/08): “I have been looking for a good waterless bike cleaner for some time. In the Atlanta, Georgia area we are under severe drought conditions and have been for the past year and there’s no relief in sight. Therefore, I am not able to wash my bike regularly as I am used to doing. I have been having to give the bike a “sponge bath” inside the garage due to the water use restrictions.
I have been using Kit Bike Cleaner to clean the bike. That product has become nearly impossible to find locally, so I read the review of the Eco Touch cleaner with great interest. It is available at a local grocery store chain in the Atlanta area, so I purchased a bottle.
I found that the product works very well. It is particularly good at removing bug guts from the windshield and fairing of my Electra Glide, much better than other products I have tried. It is the best thing I have found to remove wax from the flat black plastic parts such as the dashboard and the surround of the tail lights.
To that end, it does remove the wax from the paint, unlike the Kit Bike Cleaner that leaves a wax film on the paint. This is not a problem to me, as I usually wax the bike after a wash.
I did find that the use of the microfiber towel is a requirement to get the film off the bike without leaving streaks. A regular towel or diaper doesn’t do the job. It should also be noted, that the eco touch is available as a “starter kit” which includes the spray bottle of cleaner and two green (but of course!) microfiber towels.