Car Care World Expo 12-14 May 2010


The first impression on entering the Exhibit Hall for the Car Care Expo is that one has landed on the moon.  Our first vision was a broad variety of huge machines designed to wash your car.  On walking through and chatting with the sales representatives the one major difference between these machines was: a) size; some machines were designed to deal with cars, others with trucks, buses and even a fourth category to wash huge mobile homes.  Other differences quickly came to light:  the amount of water used, for each car washed; the bristles used to wash the car, the type of towels used to dry the car; the footprint required for the physical car wash, and last but certainly not least, the type of soap.

Now I must admit that when, on rare occasions, I go to a car wash none of those issues have even come to mind.  Yet I learned that there are major differences with each of these matters.  The bristles on the brushes can be soft, hard, flexible, and variations in between.  The towels used come in at least six different levels of quality (drying power). The soap that is used comes in as many choices and levels of quality as the towels.

Once one has left the large machines and the gorgeous, expensive cars, trucks and mobile homes used as models one wanders to the simpler products.  There were a few products that will appeal to Seniors.  A product called AUTO SCENTS promises to get rid of all unwanted odors in a car.  The product requires almost overnight use and the car’s owner out of the vehicle.  This would be fun to try out and see if it really works.  The cost is a bit high, but for those who inherit a car with cigarette or cigar odor well worth the expense.

We also saw a machine that would make payment for the car wash simple.  The use of a credit card that eliminates the use of coins, machines that do not handle coins well, and so on.  This is practical for those of us not wishing to be bothered by coin ops.

Microfiber towels are now the rage competing with Green Power for attention.  Both of these were well represented at the Expo.  Almost every product now requires a Green Power tag.  Microfiber towels are advertised as drying quicker and better. It will be fun to test that out some time in the future.  Let us know if you that first!

There were many specialty items on display:   a headlight restoration kit that will allow one to see better at night!  The old standby, Turtle Wax was there with a newly improved line (what else) of car wax products.

A product we had checked out at an earlier show, Fresh Wave, has a line of products that would eliminate odor without having to leave the car vacant for hours.  One of their products would improve the air in the car, another eliminate diaper pail odor, and another just improve air quality in the home.

We live in an age where the cost of water will soon be higher than the cost of gasoline!  There were products on display that promised to deal with that issue.  While this does not impact Seniors directly today, it shall in the future.  Many of us now live in developments that forbid washing cars.  We either survive with the dust mops, or go to the car wash.  While the car washes have Senior Days, Ladies Days, and discount days, there is really no inexpensive way of dealing with that problem.  The day where one could pull out the garden hose and wash away is disappearing quickly.  We now have Car Spas, not car washes.  We are limited, often, to three minutes to clean the car.  For Seniors, that is not enough time.  Hopefully, someone shall come up with a new “invention”:  waterless car washes.

At a small reception after the Expo the speaker extolled the virtues of the staff that put this show together.  They deserved all of this credit and MORE!  It was an awesome show, and we walked away exhausted but with a better understanding of all that went into the “simple car wash” .

By, John Lustig, Senior Reporter