Benz Softwash Services offer professional soft washing for hotels, factories, offices, warehouses, schools, community centres and private properties in a 50 mile radius around Midleton, Co.Cork, Ireland.
Benz Softwash Ltd is a family business co-owned and run by a son & father team: Ben and Leo Hawkins. We are supported now by Fiona our admin manager, as well as Stevie and Anthony who do everything from packing products to hands-on soft washing, jet washing and window cleaning.
Ben's first business was window cleaning, which became a full-time occupation inside three months. He then expanded into power and soft washing, then into softwash product sales.
In the beginning ...
Prior to starting his own business Ben worked for 12 years as a high-steel construction contractor in the petrochemical industry .
A qualified welding inspector and highly skilled and sought-after steel fabricator, he held "hands-on" and management positions. He was responsible for the construction, repair, demolition and maintenance of huge petroleum storage tanks and associated chemical process systems.
Ben gained City & Guilds qualifications in Health and Safety (including awareness of today's increasingly important environmental issues), Process Plant, Plant Services and Processing Fluids.
As time went on Ben saw the need for more powerful and cost-effective softwash products for his soft washing business. But as there was nothing on the market that satisfied the need for high quality combined with the lowest possible price, he sourced his own.
As the concept of Benz Softwash grew, Ben invited his father, Leo, to join him to help promote his products throughout Ireland and the UK.
Already a qualified electronics engineer, Leo started a window cleaning business 1986 to support his studies of psychology, coaching and writing.
He then spent another 10 years working as a freelance management development trainer, He specialised in teaching oral and written communication skills along with stress reduction methods for business executives.
Leo's corporate clients include the Meteorological Office, Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency, UK Ministry of Defence, Hewlett-Packard and the UK Environment Agency.
Since 1994, Leo has coached several hundred individual clients, including many successful small business owners, corporate managers and at least one multi-millionaire.
He brings his knowledge of sales and marketing, along with website development and copywriting, to Benz Softwash.
We are passionate about caring for our planet. Indeed, Leo was a member of the UK Ecology Party back in the early '70s way before it was renamed The Green Party. He also supports the Worldwide Fund for Nature and several other ecological and community organisations.
We continually strive to find more ecological and socially responsible ways to operate a soft washing business, thus protecting the health of our customers and the environment upon which we all depend for our survival.
The idea for using Benz Bio Cleanze as a post-treatment following jet washing originally came from Ben’s embarrassment.
He noticed that algae rapidly re-grew after he had jet washed a customer’s property. (Jet washing – aka power or pressure washing – was his first attempt at solving his customer's problems).
His customers soon began drawing his attention to this fact in no uncertain manner.
Ben realised that his customers wanted a better way to keep their patios, drives, walls and roofs clean. In particular they wanted their pre-coloured render – which had been stained by unsightly red, green, yellow and black biological growths – cleaned without damaging the render through high pressure power washing.
So he set out to find a solution that was cost-effective for both contractors and their customers.
Ben embarked on an in-depth trial and error exploration to discover the best way to give his customers what they wanted.
His first step was to use the existing softwash products on the market, which worked to some degree albeit at a very high price. But results, although in the long-term could be okay, were very slow in showing up.
Ben also came across problems in removing the heavy black stains left behind where red algae had been growing for a long time. And with black algae and mould growing into the property's surfaces.
He eventually found a product that removed the black – but it was too expensive to be commercially viable.
Then he experimented with raw industrial sodium hypochlorite and soon discovered its inherent dangers and limitations in practical use – including getting badly burned by it.
Eventually he came across the product that he named Benz Lightning Cleanze, which is much safer for surfaces, humans and animals while being more effective – and a lot safer – than crude industrial sodium hypoclorite.
After considerable technical research into the ecologically safe and effective use of softwash cleaning agents, Ben was able to put together the range of softwash products and services you can see today.
These products offer you the possibility of enjoying a permanently clean property – all year round – through Benz "Clean & Maintain" softwash systems.