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CAR WASH BLOG

Featured blog Post:

If you own a car wash business, you know sometimes things do not go as planned. Equipment breaks down, it stops working, there's a leak, or something else is wrong. Sometimes these issues are a quick fix and other times, not so much!

It is important for your car wash business to know how to handle repair situations as sometimes they can be time-sensitive (or financially sensitive) matters that you should look to handle as efficiently as possible to reduce the amount of downtime you face.

Things break down - Expect to Encounter Repairs

No matter the type of car wash equipment you have, there will a day when something goes wrong. It could be something minor that you can fix yourself or it may be something larger where you will need help from some factory trained technicians.

All machinery, including your existing car wash equipment has a lifespan as well where things may just need to be replaced entirely. It is important to see the warning signs so your business won't be left closed for too long.

It is also a great idea for your car wash to know what those warning signs might be, as well as what kind of issues are easily fixed and others that may not be.

Car wash equipment

Car Wash Equipment Warning Signs

Most of the time when something goes wrong with your equipment, there will be some sort of warning sign. For example, if you start to notice any leaks, it is probably an indication that there is a bigger problem.

Another common sign that something is wrong is strange noises coming from your equipment. If you notice any grinding sounds, hissing, or something that just doesn't sound right, it is important to take a closer listen and see if you can identify the source of the noise.

If your equipment isn't working as efficiently as it used to, this could also be an indication that there is a problem. If you notice any decrease in performance, it is important to take a look and see if there is anything that could be causing the issue.

Identifying the warning signs can save your car wash system a lot of potential down time.

Repairs for Car Wash Systems

Car wash equipment accessories and their machinery can break in lots of different ways. For example, the rollers that help move the car through the wash may become worn down and need to be replaced which can be seen as a quick replacement.

But things can be more extreme, such as a pump breaking or hybrid car wash equipment not working as it should. These types of issues will require more time, money, and effort to fix and may even warrant a call to the manufacturer or someone who is factory trained.  

Some car washes even employ an in house mechanic to aid in their own maintenance, this will keep your wash running through most minor work.

Car wash equipment

Don't Forget About Maintenance!

Car wash maintenance will help ensure that your equipment lasts as long as possible and runs as efficiently as possible.

It is important to follow the manufacturer's guidelines for preventive maintenance and care. For example, many car wash systems will need to be descaled on a regular basis to prevent build-up of minerals that can damage the equipment. Factory training can be another useful tool if the manufacturer offers it.

You should also develop a regular cleaning schedule for all of your car wash equipment. This will help remove any dirt, grime, or other build-up that could potentially cause problems.

By following these simple tips, you can help keep your car wash running smoothly and avoid costly repairs.

If you do encounter a problem that you can't fix yourself, it is important to have a reliable car wash repair solution or supplier nearby that can help you through those issues and give you a variety of profitable solutions.

The Importance of Training

Having the right training will help your car wash and its employees know the ins and outs of all your car wash equipment. That can be especially useful when things encounter fixable problems and you have someone in house who knows how to take care of it.

In the car wash industry, its tough to stand out but with the right training, many aspects of your business can improve and help you separate yourself within the market. In the case of equipment repairs, the right training will help you stay running for longer and avoid that devastating downtime that may turn away customers in the future, it could also help your business save money from repairs that can then be used to improve your wash in another way.

Long-standing service customers appreciate quality service, so you will want to have a fine reputation by prioritizing car wash training.

Turtle Wax Pro Learning Center

Rely on your Supplier (or Distributor) - Transchem Group

That is also why it is important to have a great car wash supplier or car wash equipment distributor to take the time to properly train your car wash on your equipment, chemicals, and wash processes.

This is a big focus for Transchem and Turtle Wax Pro who strive to establish confidence in our car wash operators on how they service car wash systems. We routinely hold both traditional service (in-person) training sessions for our clients and operators as well as online sessions. Turtle Wax Pro even has an online learning center where users can log on and start training modules at any moment!

Transchem Alberta Warehouse
Transchem's new facility in Calgary, AB

A Supplier Close to Home - Direct to Market in Alberta

Having your car wash supplier nearby your car wash is a huge advantage for your business! We are proud to say that Transchem is direct to market in Alberta, meaning we can support your car wash from top to bottom!

We have a state-of-the-art facility in Calgary and have the means to support your Alberta-based car wash to the greatest ability. Being close by ensures products arrive faster, training can be done more effectively, and if problems ever do arise, you can lean on us being there quickly to ensure your car wash can get back to business in a flash! You can learn more about our Alberta offerings here.

Transchem and Turtle Wax Pro at CARWACS 2022

Have Concerns about your Repair Options? Contact Transchem and Turtle Wax Pro

If your car wash is ever in need of repairs or you have questions about the best options for your business, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! We would be happy to chat with you about your specific needs and help you find a solution that makes the most sense for your business, whether that is finding you the right person to take care of your issue or supporting you in the future with preventive maintenance measures.

With decades of experience supporting car wash businesses of all types, we know a thing or two about problems that arise with car wash equipment. You can rely on us to support you through your issue and help your business shine in anyway we can!

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17
Jan
Car Washing at a Dealership

With a vast selection of services, car dealerships are the go-to for any vehicle need: from buying and selling cars to trading in old models and servicing them. But, one service that is not always thought of when it comes to dealers is car washing.

Car washing can be a huge asset to many dealers as it adds value to your customers and will keep them coming back because you went the extra mile.

Washing Cars at a Dealership

An increasingly popular service that vehicle dealerships have started offering is a car wash.

Cars dealers have dozens, sometimes even hundreds of cars for large dealerships, in their inventory that need washing as they sit outside, are test driven, and accumulate dust.

Not only do they have their inventories, but many dealerships also have service centers that take care of consumers' vehicles.

Customers who come in for a service visit, such as an oil change, can have their cars washed as well, which will help ensure that the same person comes back to your dealership in the future.

Having a car wash to use for all of these vehicles in and around the facility can be an extremely valuable asset to your business.

Why your Dealership should have a Car Wash

There are numerous unique benefits to having a car wash at your dealership.

Customer Satisfaction

It leaves your customers with a better feeling about their vehicle, and ultimately about your dealership.

When customers bring their cars in to be serviced, they expect to receive them back complete.

But when they see their car clean, bright, and shiny, it adds another level to their experience.

In House Washing

As mentioned, car dealerships have many cars in their inventory that they need to look their best when it comes time for potential buyers to come see and drive their prospective vehicle.

Usually, car dealers will have to hire contractors to come and clean the vehicles on a need-be or regular basis but over time, this can end up costing a lot more than doing it in-house.

Having a car wash at your dealership means the bulk of the regular cleaning of your cars from dirt and rain evaporating into water spots can be done at your convenience for less.

Leveraging a Free Car Wash

Once you have a car wash to utilize, you can leverage free car washes to add value to your consumers.

Whether it's a package of free car washes with a purchase of a vehicle or your car getting cleaned when you get it serviced, this is a great tool to separate your business within the market.

At first, you may think that a simple car wash may not make that much of a difference but consumers seeing their car clean brings immense value as cars are one of the most valuable things a person owns.

This is especially true when it's a free car wash and customers are not expecting their car washed. A free wash is a small step that will put smiles on your customer's faces and build their loyalty.

Car Washing for Dealerships Made Easy

Opening a car wash at a car dealership is much like opening a car wash anywhere else. But dealerships can get away with operating with a much more simple and less extravagant car wash setup.

Since customers typically will never see the car wash process, the need for marketing materials, signage, fancy colors, and scents is diminished and a basic wash can be done instead.

You will still want to be sure that you have a premium car wash to produce a great-looking vehicle that is washed safely.

How to open a car wash at your dealership

These are some of the aspects you will need to consider when opening a car wash at your dealership.

Find a Supplier for Car Washes

You will want to find an experienced and reliable car wash supplier to help you run your car wash within your dealership.

A great car wash supplier such as Turtle Wax Pro and Transchem will help guide you on the right equipment and chemical options for your vehicle market and location. Along with the necessary training, tuning, and general knowledge to help you find success while operating that end of your business.

This will prove to be one of the most important aspects of opening your car wash.

Car Wash Chemistry

It is important to understand the chemistry behind car washing and what right combination of chemicals will be optimal for your situation.

As mentioned, you can primarily focus your chemistry efforts on achieving the best-looking clean car you can, rather than searching for the best sensory experience that regular car washes aim to satisfy.

As far as chemical types go, the basics will cover the majority of what a dealer car wash will need. Being a presoak, car wash detergent, wax or another surface protectant, and a drying agent.

This would classify as a basic car wash setup and each step will have an important role to play in cleaning and protecting the car's paint and body.

Car Wash Equipment

The type of equipment you will need to open a car wash at your dealership depends on the size and scale of vehicles you are planning to service.

A standard in-bay automatic car wash will work and be most suitable for most dealerships but your exact situation may differ.

Some car dealerships may choose to use a hand wash with self-serve equipment but the washing process will take longer and will demand more employee effort.

In general, you may want to consider equipment that has a lower profile, size wise and potentially even noise levels.

Training

Having trained staff is paramount in achieving a successful operation for all car washers. You may want to hire new workers just for the car wash space or train your service advisors.

They will need to understand the chemistry, safety protocols, and general maintenance of the car wash.

They must also be able to diagnose problems quickly should they arise to minimize any downtime while servicing customers' vehicles.

Interior Cleaning for Car Dealerships

We've focused on the exterior cleaning of vehicles as that is more practical for car dealerships because they can use auto car washes.

But the interior of vehicles will also need to be cleaned, especially when it comes to accepting trade-ins from customers.

It may be smart to continue to outsource the interior cleaning as you will need to have dedicated staff and time to clean it in-house but for the dealerships with a high enough trade-in volume, doing it in-house can prove to be a great decision.

Considering Opening a Wash at your Dealership? Contact Turtle Wax Pro and Transchem

Turtle Wax has been the leading car care brand for over 75 years, speaking to its quality and ability to produce results. That combined with our experience in supporting car washes from dealership car washes to tunnel systems makes us the car wash supplier you will want to speak with if you're considering opening up your car wash.

Opening a car wash within a dealership is slightly different than doing so regularly and you will want expert assistance in deciding your best course of action.

11
Jan
Franchising a Car Wash: What you Need to Know

The car wash industry is a great opportunity to own and operate a profitable business. But there are many factors that go into running a successful car wash business and that can make the task of starting one daunting.

Opening a new car wash franchise location is an option to consider for potential car wash owners to mitigate some of that difficulty and risk instead of starting a wash from scratch.

In this article, we will discuss some pros and cons behind franchising a car wash with the goal of helping you decide if it is the right choice for you.

How to Start a Car Wash Business

There are different ways to open car washing businesses, and we'll briefly cover a few of them here.

From Scratch

Starting a car wash business from scratch involves doing everything from the ground up:

Finding a suitable location and building, getting the permits and legalities sorted, finding a car wash supplier, etc.

All of these variables can be difficult to manage and sometimes carry a high amount of risk.

On the other hand, it gives you ultimate control on your car wash which if done well, can bring great results and profits. We have a great article on how to start a business plan.

Buying a Car Wash

Buying an existing car wash is another option. In this method you can find a car wash already in operation and buy it from the current owners (if willing).

This can be a great way to enter the market quickly with an established business, but it also means you won't have as much flexibility over the operation or potential for growth of the business.

You may have to overcome some mistakes and challenges from the previous owners, but having the business foundation already set can be of very good value, and can make financing easier!

Franchising a Car Wash

A third option is franchising a car washing business.  

Car wash franchises can provide a great way to get your foot in the door of the car wash industry, plus you will be gaining business experience and guidance from an established business.

By franchising, you are essentially entering into an agreement with an existing car wash brand and using their business model, branding, and technology to quickly enter the market, but you will have other expenses such as franchise fees to consider.

That said, navigating challenging details such as finding a car wash supplier, getting your chemicals and equipment combination right, and training become much easier when you are learning from an existing successful car wash.

Turtle Wax Pro operator, Wett Car Wash, in Chicago, IL

Pros and Cons of Car Wash Franchises

A car wash franchise offers a few unique benefits that makes it an attractive option to some investors.

Pros

Operations & Support

Franchising a car wash comes with operations and support from the franchisor. Their existing car washes already have a day-to-day operations strategy and car cleaning processes that lead to results, and is something that will be adopted to the new wash as well.

This support should help you navigate challenges that may arise as you start your business and give you access to proven methods of running a successful car wash.

Branding & Marketing

Another benefit of franchising is the ability to leverage an existing brand identity for marketing purposes.

Since the franchisor already has an existing brand identity and customer base, you can tap into their marketing channels to quickly generate leads for your car wash.

Turnkey Solution

Franchising a business also eliminates many of the up-front challenges and costs associated with starting from scratch.

With franchising, many of the details are taken care of, guiding you through the process of getting started, and you can have a turnkey solution ready to go with the help of the franchisor and their established methods.

Cons

Lack of Flexibility

Since franchising is buying into an existing car washing company, you will have to follow their rules when it comes to business.

This can lead to a lack of creative control and flexibility for the new business owner.

Costs

Franchising also comes with high costs associated with it due to royalty payments, start-up fees, etc.

This is something that needs to be taken into account when evaluating the option.

Should you Franchise a Car Wash?

Car wash franchises offer an attractive option for entrepreneurs looking to get their foot in the door of the industry quickly and with minimum risk.

At the same time, franchising comes with additional costs and less control than starting from scratch. Carefully reviewing the many pros and cons and researching various franchise options, and how they meet or don't meet your needs is critical before making your decision.

Regardless of the option you choose, getting a car wash business off the ground successfully requires research, planning and hard work. But going through a franchise may make the path to success a little easier than other avenues.

How to Choose your Car Wash Franchise

Once you have decided to pursue a car washing franchise, the next step is to pick the right one.

There are many factors to consider when selecting your car wash franchise. Of course, the franchise and the franchise owners may not deem everyone acceptable as there is usually a process to screening franchise buyers.

Existing Clientele

It is important to research the existing customer base of a potential franchisor.

A successful car wash franchise should have solid customer base of car owners and positive reputation in the area where you plan to open your business.

Quality of Services

The quality of the car wash is one of the most important factors you should be considering.

A stellar car wash is what all your future customers will be expecting when coming to your business, thus, you will want to be sure that the franchise you are considering provides a quality car wash.

You can be sure the best car wash franchises utilize quality car wash equipment and chemistry, and have trained their staff well.

Price & Fees

The price and fees associated with a potential franchise should also be evaluated when considering car wash franchise opportunities. Different franchises will have varying amounts of initial and reoccurring costs that you will need to be prepared for. The initial franchise fee and royalty fees are usually set standards by the franchise and you may need to look around before finding the ideal range for you.

Values and Similar Goals

You will want to consider the people-side of the business as well. This entails personal/business values, necessary skills, business goals and expectations. If something does not align, it may be an important sign to look at another franchise opportunity.

Different Types of Car Washes to Franchise

Even when franchising, you will want to consider what type of car wash do you want to operate. That may even help you narrow down which franchise you will like to pursue.

Mobile Car Wash Franchise

Mobile car wash franchises provide services to residential and commercial customers at their own home or desired location.

This eliminates the need for a physical location, allowing you to operate your business anywhere at any time with fewer overhead costs.

This type of business uses more manual labor than automatic options.

Self-Serve Car Wash Franchise

This type of car wash involves wash bays that offer application wands for customers to apply product and rinsing to their own vehicles. The car wash equipment, and start up costs are often cheaper than other systems, but customers will also generally pay less to wash their vehicles as well.

In-bay Automatic Car Wash Franchise

In this type of car wash, everything is done by machines. Cars drive into an available bay, and machines start cleaning around the parked vehicle.

Expect minimal employee involvement in the cleaning process but they will need to help behind the scenes such as loading chemicals, customer service, and ensuring operations run smoothly.

Automatic washes can come in both friction and touchless varieties and are both lucrative options to invest into.

Tunnel Car Wash Franchise

Tunnel car washes involve cars driving through a 'tunnel' of automatic car wash systems, cleaning multiple vehicles at once.

Tunnel car washes can handle the most traffic of any car wash option but usually need a substantial investment compared to other options, due to extensive equipment setups and more land to build the tunnels.

Full Service Car Wash Franchise

Full service car washes are car wash businesses that will not only clean the exterior of vehicles but other car wash services as well, such as detailing services and interior cleaning.

This type of car wash will charge consumers the most but they also are the most time consuming and will need many employees as most of the process will be manual.

Truck Wash Franchise

Truck washes or fleet washes are similar to car washes, only they generally service larger vehicles such as pickup trucks and buses. The chemical and equipment selection for truck washes can be different than for regular vehicles.

These can also be a very lucrative business, with less competitors (but also less customers on the road than standard vehicles).

Considering Joining a Car Wash Franchise?

Turtle Wax Pro and our parent company Transchem Group support car wash businesses of all types around the world. There are many benefits as well as cons to a franchise to consider, but they ultimately can be an opportunity for you and the franchise owners to make high profits!

If you would like to look at options for getting started in the car wash industry, Transchem Group offers consulting services. If you're considering the car wash franchise route, but aren't sure it's right for you, we can support in finding a great choice for your business goals!

4
Jan
How to Set Up a DIY Car Wash

A washed car makes a great looking car. That reason alone should give car owners some incentive to get their vehicles regularly washed. Add to that  dirty vehicles can be an eye sore, experience damage to a car's finish over time from salt and other debris, effect the resale value, or even affect your driving ability.

Normally on this blog, we discuss the benefits of a commercial car washes, and how to make these businesses flourish. Naturally, we think these still provide great quality and convenient wash options for consumers. As consumers, you have lots of different options to get your car washed from self-serve stations and automatic car washes, but sometimes doing it at home is a viable option for those who are particular about their vehicle or want to save some money by doing it themselves.

Let's discuss how you can set up your own car wash at home in DIY fashion and how it compares to going to a car wash to get it done!

What do we mean by A DIY Car Wash?

A DIY car wash is just what it sounds like: a car wash that you do yourself instead of going over to a commercial car wash.

It is a hand wash comprising of a variety of 'home' equipment such as sponges, cloths, and a hose rather than machinery.

Can a DIY Car Wash work just as well as other Car Washes?

Absolutely! With the right supplies and some elbow grease, you can get your vehicle just as clean as a drive through car wash.

Car Wash Chemistry for the Perfect Wash

There are many different products on the market for cleaning cars, we'll mention a few of the more important options you should use to clean your vehicle at home!

As far as brands go, we recommend looking for Turtle Wax products as they are one of the best options you'll find. Turtle Wax has been providing car care for over 75 years with a 97% consumer brand recognition. That speaks to their great quality and ability to produce results. Turtle Wax products are even made without harmful chemicals as they are environmentally conscious.

As always, whatever products you decide to use, be sure to read and follow the directions listed by the manufacturer.

Car Wash Soap

Soap designed for cleaning cars is one of the more important things you must use in your hand wash. It will remove the dirt, grime, bug splatters and bird poop off the vehicle's surface.

Sidebar: Can I use regular household soap to clean my car?

While it will remove the dirt and bird droppings, we would advise against using other types of soap to clean your car other than one that is designed for the job, especially dish soap.  Regular dish soap can negatively affect your car's finish, looking too dry and not shiny; you can trust that car wash soap is better designed for your vehicle.

Wax, Ceramic, or Other Surface Protection

Some type of surface protection is always recommended to protect your vehicle and add a great looking shine. Car wax is one popular option, known for providing the best looking shine. Some wax coatings include additive ceramics or sealants that may add even better protection to your car's paint from direct sunlight UV rays and the elements.

Glass Cleaner

Another important product is a glass cleaner. This will help keep the windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces on your vehicle crystal clear. We recommend pairing this with a microfiber cloth to get great results. Some options include hydrophobic properties which will help rain water bead and roll away when driving.

Wheel Cleaner

Wheels collect a lot of dirt and grime from the roads, while this product is not necessary for every wash, great looking wheels can make a big difference.

Specialty Products

If you have any particular concerns for your vehicle such as scratches, dullness, etc. you can find specialized products that are made to tackle those issues, even when hand washing!

Some examples of specialty products are head light restorers, trim restorers, and bug removers.

Tools you'll need to Wash Cars at Home

Buckets

A couple of buckets to hold water, your cleaning solution, and to clean off dirty sponges is a must to wash your car.

Sponges or Wash Mitt

A soft sponge or wash mitt is the best way to apply car wash products and clean a dirty car safely in a hand wash.

Wheel Brushes

Wheel brushes are important for getting into those tight crevices and removing dirt, grease, and brake dust from the wheels and brake pads.

Microfiber Towels

Microfiber cloths are ideal in hand washes, for wiping off your vehicle or applying product as they are extra soft and won't scratch the surface while making your car clean.

Drying Towels

A drying towel is another tool you should have to dry the car from all the water that will be on the surface. This is an essential step to prevent any water spots as the residual water will dry onto the car.

Garden Hose or Pressure Washer

Using a pressure washer can make the car wash process much faster and easier. But a hose will do the trick in case you don't have access to one. Try to limit your water usage when spraying down your car as it may flow form your own driveway into your storm drain or sewer system. Note that hard water from a hose can leave unwanted spots, so it can be important to wipe your vehicle dry when home washing.

How to Wash Your Vehicle at Home

Now that you know what products and tools you need, lets get started on the process to cleaning cars at a home wash.

Pre Rinse

The first step to a successful hand washing is to give your vehicle a good rinse with just water.

This will help remove all the dirt and debris on the surface and prepare it for washing. To do this, use a garden hose or a pressure washer if you have one available.

Wash your Wheels and Tires

Next, it’s time to tackle hand washing those wheels and tires. Start by applying a wheel cleaner of your choice and use it per the manufacturers instructions.

After that, use a wheel brush to agitate the dirt and then rinse it off.

Wash the Body of the Car

Now that the wheels and tires are clean, it’s time to move on to hand washing the body of the car.

Fill a bucket with warm soapy water and use a car wash sponge or microfiber mitt to lather your vehicle in suds.

Rinse and Dry

Once you’ve finished hand washing the car, give it one final rinse with clean water and then dry it off using a drying towel. This will help remove any remaining dirt and water spots on the surface of your vehicle.  

Surface Protectant

Finally, you can apply a wax or surface protectant to add an extra layer of protection and shine to your vehicle. This will help keep it looking clean for longer and make future hand washing even easier.

At Home Car Washing vs an Automatic Car Wash

Even though the objective between going to an automatic car wash and doing washing your car at home is the same - achieving a great looking, clean car, there are some differences to them.

At Home Car Wash

At-home car washes allow you to control the cleaning process and work with a variety of soaps and other products.

You also don’t have to worry about the car being touched by moving brushes and parts that you may encounter at non-touchless wash options.

However, washing your car yourself will require you to have all the products, cleaning equipment, access to water, and a good amount of time to devote to the task. But that time and effort may help you save money in the long run.

Automatic Car Washes

Automatic washes uses machinery and equipment that will do all the work as you sit in your vehicle. This will make for a much easier and quicker experience than washing your car yourself but that convenience comes at a cost.

Also, if you go to a quality car wash, you can trust that they have tested their car wash chemicals to achieve the best clean possible which is something that is hard to perfect as a home washer as you probably will not be trying every product in the car care aisle.

Discover More Great Car Washing Articles with Turtle Wax Pro

Turtle Wax Pro is the commercial line for Turtle Wax, the industry leader in car care and we have been supporting car wash businesses of all types for decades.

Be sure to check out our other car wash articles for everything there is to know about car washing!

22
Dec
The Benefits of Fleet Car Washes

Many commercial businesses rely on their fleets for their business to operate. Whether it's large trucks, delivery vans, snow plows, or taxis, they need to be cleaned like all other types of vehicles.

Clean vehicles mean better presentation on the road and when interacting with customers and clients, which is exactly why it is a priority for all businesses that use fleet vehicles to ensure that they are washed consistently.

Your car wash can serve those consumers for large increases in revenue to you as that can mean dozens, if not hundreds, of washes to your facility on a monthly basis.

What are Fleet Car Washes?

Fleet washes are ordinary car washes but they serve fleet vehicles as some sort of fleet washing program.

These fleets could be large cargo trucks, delivery vans, or even smaller businesses with multiple cars. Fleet vehicle washes are designed to be fast and effective so that large numbers of vehicles can be efficiently washed in a short amount of time.

For example, a company with a ford fleet may be interested in setting up a program where their vehicles can be washed weekly. Instead of having their vehicles pay per wash, they will use a fleet vehicle wash to create an agreement where their fleet can be washed with a variety of incentives. The number of vehicles and washes included in such an agreement will depend on the business, customer, agreement model, and any fleet managers.

The Benefits to Offering Fleet Programs

Source of Revenue

The primary benefit of offering a fleet program is that it brings in extra income and can bring in more customers.

Every new client you can gain will have many vehicles that will need washing on a regular basis. Large fleets will be a huge boost but even a small fleet can be a welcome addition to your car wash.

Creating Relationships

Offering your services through fleet programs can also help to establish a relationship with your clients that can lead to long-term loyalty and repeat business when they add new vehicles.

Not only can this lead to referrals, but other organizations will be astounded by the quality of work you do as a vendor or admire the cars that your contacts drive. This may encourage them to come and collaborate with you too!

Mobile Fleet Washes

In addition to the benefits of fleet programs, you can also offer mobile fleet washes.

This is where a trained employee will come to your customer's location and provide a full car wash service with all necessary supplies and support. Generally, mobile pressure washing and fleet washing services include a variety of packages and options that appeal to different customers.

This is a great option for those who don't have the time, team or resources to bring their fleet to you, or if they simply want the convenience of having someone come to them.

This is also a great way to expand your services and reach potential customers that may not have otherwise known about you.

How to Start your Own Fleet Program?

You can either start your own car wash as a fleet wash or if you have an existing car wash, you can add it as a service you offer business!

Starting a Fleet Program at your Existing Car Wash

If you already own a car wash, adding a fleet program can be relatively easy, given you have the right supplies.

You'll need to decide what services your car wash will offer, what kind of vehicles you will serve, up to how many vehicles, and the process on how workers will get their cars washed, along with ironing out any details.

One example of a barrier can be your current wash isn't equipped to handle large trucks, and if you want to serve companies with trucks you will need to get suitable truck washing equipment and the right chemicals for the job.

We recommend contacting your car wash supplier and let them know about your potential new clientele and adjust your chemistry and equipment accordingly.

After you have mapped out the logistics, it is time to announce your service and advertise it so interested companies with fleets can contact you.

Starting a Fleet Program from Scratch

If you are planning to start a fleet washing service from scratch, you will need to create your car wash. That means finding a location, finalizing legalities, buying the necessary equipment, finding the right chemistry and everything in between.

Reach out to car wash suppliers (like Transchem and Turtle Wax Pro) on what you envision your fleet wash to look like so they can guide you through the process and help you get running!

Considering Running a Fleet Car Wash? Reach out to Turtle Wax Pro and Transchem to see how we can help!

With decades of supporting truck washes and automatic car washes of all types, Transchem along with Turtle Wax Pro has just what you need to get your fleet washing business up and running.

Whether you are a new wash just starting out or an existing car wash adding a fleet program, we can help guide you to see not only your best equipment and chemistry options, but also how to market your service effectively to help you reach those commercial consumers you need.

14
Dec
Car Wash Ideas to Help you Get New Business

The car wash industry is great space to be in. With no single car wash company owning more than 5% of the market share, there is lots of room for local car washes to operate.

But with so many car washes around, how can you stand out? That is the topic we will be discussing today, how your car wash can be different, attract new consumers, and retain old ones!

Car Wash Competition is Fierce - Be Prepared

Competition in the car wash industry is fierce and car wash owners need to come up with creative ways to stand out from the crowd. While traditional car washes are still popular, there are also plenty of innovative car wash ideas that can help you attract new customers and keep your business running smoothly.

Car Wash Ideas: How to Stand Out

Offer Specialty Services

One of the best car wash ideas is to offer specialty services that are not typically offered at a car wash, like auto detailing services. These services can help you attract new customers and increase your revenue.

Go Mobile

Going mobile is becoming a more and more common service for car washes. It allows you to serve a completely different and 'new age' market as you take your services to them.

Technology

Technology is getting better and better, and your car wash can implement that into its operations.

Whether it's making payment faster or easier, offering free wi-fi or developing an app for customers to view their washing history/sign up for subscriptions, there are many ways you can add technology to improve your business.

Reward Programs (Also called a Loyalty Program)

Rewarding loyal customers with discounts or free washes is a great way to get repeat business!

A free car wash is a popular example of a reward customers can receive. It is effective, not many people can walk away from free services.

Marketing

Marketing your car wash business is essential to getting new customers and getting your name out there. Implementing your own marketing strategies can seem difficult but it will pay off with the influx of new and old customers coming to your car wash. Alternatively, you can lean on your car wash supplier for marketing help as they may have signs, banners, arches, and more available that can do the work for you!

Car Wash Marketing Ideas

Your marketing strategy can differ in many ways, these are just some ideas you can focus on.

Attractive Car Wash Signage

Attractive, eye catching, informative signage can really draw consumers into your car wash. Whether you build your signage or order them from your supplier, the right signage can make a large difference to the outside public. Best part is, its low maintenance!

Modern and Functional Website

A website is one of the first things consumers expect to see once they look up your car wash. Not having one can deter customers from going to your car wash as they might have trouble finding key information such as your locations, services, or hours of operations.

An ancient looking or non functional website can also deter potential consumers from visiting your car wash.

Social Media

Digital marketing in the form of social media is an opportunity to showcase yourself. Whether you use it as a news platform for business changes, new promotions, or you upload content for people to see, it is an opportunity for potential customers to see what your business is and then become a customer.

You can have social media accounts across different platforms to help you reach a wide range of people, social media is also a great way to launch a marketing campaign.

Promotions

Everyone loves a good deal, so your car wash business running some promotions on its services is a great way to encourage customers to return or find new ones.

Partner with Local Business

Talk to your fellow local businesses in the area!

This is an opportunity to put your minds together on how you can help each other.

A local business based in your area (even if it is a completely different type of business) will understand and experience similar challenges as you are.

Maybe it will be as simple as putting each other's business cards or flyers at reception, or some type of event can be collaborated on. These are some examples that can attract customers for both of you.

Advertisements

Local radio, tv, online ads can also be a great car wash idea to draw in new customers and bring back old ones.

Advertisements can be information, catchy, funny, eye catching, and differ in many more ways. It gives you the chance to showcase how unique your car wash is over another, and could be the difference maker in someone choosing your business.

How to Retain Customers

Once you get new car wash customers, the next step is to retain them. To do this, car washes should have a friendly and knowledgeable staff, quality car wash services, and excellent customer service. Existing customers want to feel valued and receive a great wash for a price they like.

Don't Forget the Basics for Car Washes

While implementing new ideas, initiatives, and marketing might help you grab the attention of your consumer base, you still need to have a great service to be successful.

Your car wash equipment and chemistry both need to be tuned effectively to get the results both you and your customers want. Clean, shiny, and dry vehicles is what we're all looking for and to achieve that you will want to ensure your car wash is offering the best quality it can. Ensure you are happy with your wash quality by talking with your car wash supplier.

Got Car Wash Ideas of your own? Need a Supplier? Contact Turtle Wax Pro

Planning and implementing ideas such as these can affect your car wash greatly! But doing so is sometimes difficult without the right kind of support. That's why we've got your back!

Get in touch with Turtle Wax Pro who have been supporting car wash business of all kinds for decades! With a 97% brand recognition and some of the best car wash chemistry on the market, we have the tools that can help your business achieve the 'perfect' wash.

6
Dec
The Best Chemicals for Truck Washes

While there's certainly overlap, Truck washes face different challenges to car washes as they serve a different market. Trucks are bigger, can get much dirtier, and are often harder to clean, which is why you will want to be sure your chemical selection is the best it can be to tackle the job. Optimal chemicals will make the process easier, more cost efficient, and will leave you with better results.

In this article, we will introduce you to some considerations surrounding truck wash chemistry, and solutions you should look for!

What is a Commercial Truck Wash?

A truck wash supplies a great clean to large vehicles such as trucks, buses and industrial fleets who accumulate all types of dirty grime, debris, and road film.

The process involves applying specialized products and rinsing to remove dirt, salt, oil, grease, mud, and other contaminants from the vehicle's exterior and even those hard-to-clean fifth wheels!  

What makes a Truck Wash different than a Regular Car Wash?

Ultimately, even though both types of washes will use chemicals and equipment in a wash bay, they can differ greatly.  

While automatic truck wash facilities do exist, you're more likely to see manual (or self-serve) wash bays or mobile wash solutions with pressure washing wands to apply chemistry and rinsing.

Automatic truck washes on the other hand have machinery applying chemical and rinsing that moves around the truck (or alternatively, the truck slowly drives through it). Standard car wash facilities could not service trucks as they are not designed to handing the scale of these big vehicles, needing specially sized equipment including pressure washers and brushes that will deliver great results all around the large truck.


Truck Wash Chemicals: What you need to know

Truck wash chemicals are largely the same as chemicals for other vehicles, but they may have  differences in pH, as well as their strength in cleaning. Trucks handle some tough, dirty work, and truck washes are primarily focused getting a squeaky clean truck, more so than the shiniest, spot-free finish that is the goal of most car washes (though many truck washes add these features too with drying agents and sealants as part of the wash package).

There are some some chemicals a truck wash will want have for its business. At Turtle Wax Pro, we focus on premium chemistry for car washes, yet we'd like to mention that our parent company, Transchem Group, develops other chemistry lines as well. Today, we will be recommending some solutions from the AutoLux line, which makes a full line of powerful chemicals for cleaning powerhouse vehicles, like trucks, buses and other industrial and fleet vehicles.  

Presoaks

These truck wash supplies are designed to loosen the dirt and grit from your truck's exterior. They are usually applied at the start of the wash process, removing tough grime and allowing the other chemicals to do their job effectively.

Recommended Presoak:

ALCS-410/Discovery - Discovery is an extra-strength presoak that penetrates and removes the toughest dirt and grease from painted surfaces without scrubbing. As a bonus, at high concentrations, it can be used as a degreaser, engine cleaner, and even remove diesel exhaust stains.

Truck Wash Soaps and Detergents

Truck wash soaps are designed to cut through grease, oil and road grime, bugs and more. They can produce a lot of suds which help to lubricate the vehicle’s surfaces and carry dirt particles away with rinsing.

Recommended Products:

ALCS-14/Maxiclean Plus - This high pH cleaner that is designed to remove the toughest of road film and diesel tracking. This cleaner is so strong that it can even work if you have hard water present!

ALCS-440/PURPLE PLUS - This multi-purpose cleaner/degreaser is designed to clean engines, carpets, tires and vinyl siding.

Surface Protectants

Surface protectants are used to add protection and shine to vehicles. Protection from UV rays, swirl marks, and other elements will keep the surface looking great by adding a thin barrier from the outside world. Surface protectants come in a variety of forms such as waxes, ceramic coatings, and sealants.

Recommended Protectant:

ALCS-485/Cherry Sealant - Cherry Sealant is a scented paint sealant that enhances surface shine and protection.  

Aluminum Brighteners

Aluminum brighteners are an important chemical for truck washes as they help to restore polished aluminum surfaces. They help remove oxidation, discoloration, and other marks that may have been left on your truck’s polished aluminum wheels or exterior pieces.

Recommended Product to Brighten Aluminum:

ALCS-891/Aluminum Brightener - This is a powerful cleaner formulated to help remove road film, corrosion, rust, fuel stains, and oxidation from aluminum and stainless-steel trailers and tankers.


Looking for a truck wash supplier? Reach out to Transchem Group

Commercial Truck Wash Chemicals that Deliver Results

Discover the best truck wash supplies for commercial vehicles, with AutoLux, from Transchem Group.  The best products will tackle road grime, removing bugs, and unwanted exterior matter from paint, glass, plastic, metal and other surfaces!  Expect exceptionally clean results, reliably.

Contact us Here!

Looking for Premium Car Wash solutions?

You're in the right place with Turtle Wax Pro. Backed by 75 years of experience in the car care industry, Turtle Wax Pro offers some of the best car wash chemicals on the market.

1
Dec
How to Select Your Car Wash Chemical Supplier

If you're in the car wash business, then you know that choosing the right car wash chemical supplier is essential to your success. There are many different suppliers out there, so it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you.

There are many factors you should consider when selecting a car wash supplier and we will help narrow down the decision for you.

What do we mean by a car wash chemical supplier?

A car wash chemical supplier is like a partner in your car wash business endeavors. They supply your business with the car wash products you need to clean, dry, and shine vehicles.

Your supplier will play an instrumental role in your car wash's success as having a strong supplier-operator relationship will keep your business in tip-top operating shape as needs, challenges, and opportunities are always changing in the car wash industry.

What car wash chemicals do you need?

Part of choosing a car wash chemical supplier will involve you having an idea of what type of chemicals your business needs. The chemicals used in car washes vary depending on the situation, with some being common (e.g. soap) while others (detailing supplies, clay bars), or other interior products only being used occasionally.

We will cover some of the more necessary chemical options that any type of car wash will use, whether you are a tunnel wash, truck wash, in-bay automatic, or self serve car wash.

Car Wash Soap

Car wash soap is one of the most important car wash chemicals. These soaps (also called detergents or shampoos) are exterior cleaners, specifically designed to be gentle on car surfaces while still removing dirt, debris, and other contaminants. This separates them from other industrial cleaners.

Presoaks

Presoak agents are car wash chemicals that are used to loosen dirt, dust and debris before the car is washed.

These car wash chemicals can help to remove stubborn dirt and contaminants that regular car wash soaps may not be able to.

Surface Protectants

Surface protectants are car wash chemicals that help to protect car surfaces from damage and may even offer some shine.

These car wash chemicals can help to keep car surfaces free from light marks, UV rays, and other light damage.

Surface protectants come in various forms such as ceramic coatings, waxes, sealants, and metal polishes. They will vary in the amount of protection and shine they can offer.

Tire Cleaners

Tire cleaners are car wash chemicals that are designed to clean the tires of a car. These car wash chemicals can help to remove dirt, debris, and build-up from car tires. Tire cleaners are often used in conjunction with the more specialty product, tire shine, or tire dressings.

Drying Agents

Drying agents are car wash chemicals that help to dry car surfaces after the car has been washed.

These car wash chemicals can help to reduce water spots and ensure that car surfaces are completely dry by helping water wick off the vehicle's surface.

Specialty Products

Specialty products are products that are used in specific instances. They are not used at every car wash and are formulated to work in less common circumstances such as tar removers.

The Impact of Car Wash Chemistry

Car wash chemistry is what drives the industry! It is what so effectively cleans, shines, and dries cars to look as good as they do, making it a routine service that customers get done for their cars.

However, not all car wash chemicals are created equal. Some are formulated with harsh ingredients that not only will leave you with subpar results but may also be bad for the environment. Quality car wash chemicals will be made up of premium ingredients allowing your car wash to produce some of the cleanest and best-looking vehicles around.

The Secret to Effective Car Cleaning

Any car wash can choose random chemicals and clean vehicles with them. But they will likely be left with poor results as their chemical selection has not tuned for their situation.

The secret to effective car cleaning is optimal chemical selection. Specific chemicals can be selected as they perform well during specific weather conditions in that area with precise amounts of product being used.

Great chemistry will also work synergistically to set up the next chemical stage for better performance.

With all of these aspects chosen correctly, you will be left with fantastic results that will be sure to impress your consumer base.

What else can your car wash supplier do for your business?

Chemistry is not the only thing you can expect out of your car wash supplier. Your supplier can help monitor your results, offer suggestions, aid in problem-solving, help with marketing efforts, equipment-related concerns, and more.

You should see your supplier as a partner in your business and select them accordingly.

It takes a level of trust, dedication, and focus for your car wash business to be successful, and having a supplier you cannot rely on can cause issues down the road.

Product Consistency

The car wash market is a competitive one, and customers will often go to the car washes that offer the best results.

This means that car washes must use car wash chemicals consistently in order for them to produce consistent results.

Car wash chemical suppliers can help car washes ensure product consistency with accurate measurements, reliable formulas.

Turtle Wax Pro and Transchem Group keep batch samples for a minimum of one year to ensure car washes are getting the same product every time. If there are any issues from operators or distributors, we can look back at the batch samples to ensure the formulation was correct.

Shipping Capabilities

It is important that car wash chemical suppliers have a reliable shipping network so car washes can receive their products in the most efficient manner possible.

Turtle Wax Pro and Transchem Group have an extensive network of shipping partners to ensure car washes and car wash distributors get their chemistry when they need it. We do our best to keep shipping times in North America under 7 business days from the time of your order.

Customer Service

Finally, having car wash suppliers with great customer service is key.

Your car wash chemical supplier should be there for you when you need them most.

At Turtle Wax Pro and Transchem Group, we have a team of experienced car wash industry professionals that can answer any questions or help solve car wash issues you may have. We pride ourselves on longstanding relationships with car washes and car wash distributors, allowing us to have a greater understanding of their needs.

Looking for a Car Wash Supplier? Contact Turtle Wax Pro

Turtle Wax Pro is an industry leader in car care products. Turtle Wax has a 97% brand recognition for a reason, they make the best chemistry on the market.

We have decades of experience supporting car wash businesses from tunnel washes to truck washes with chemistry and much more. Our expertise has given us a strong focus on prioritizing relationships within the car wash industry. You can rely on us to help your business stand out from the rest!

23
Nov
7 Reasons Why You Should Start Your Own Car Wash Business

Car washes are an enticing business idea for any entrepreneur. They cater to one of the biggest industries in the world: the automotive industry.

Wondering if owning a car wash is the right idea for you? Today, we'll discuss 7 reasons why owning a car wash business is a great idea! (We will also discuss some potential cons as well.)

Shiny car


1/ Cars Need Washing

To begin, vehicles are a valuable asset. As cars gather dirt and grime and their owners will want them cleaned. With almost 290 million vehicles in the US alone, that's a high number of potential customers your business can serve! (Onedesk)

We're also seeing many more car owners who will pay to get their cars washed at formal car wash businesses, as opposed to washing their own car themselves (particularly during snowy, salty, cold winter months, when washing a car by hand on a driveway is much less enticing).

74% of consumers said they would be willing to pay to get their vehicles washed, which is a 47% increase from 1994! (CarWashCountry)

As the world gets busier, and customers seek quality results and convenience, it is estimated that this trend in car washing will only continue.

2/ Great Return on Investment with High-Profit Potential

Car washes can be a lucrative business as there are many cost-saving measures one can take such as water reclaim technology and finding chemicals that offer great cost-per-car cleaning. Premium car washes can also charge a good amount of money per wash and serve many customers within a day. This can all add up to your business generating high amounts of revenue and profit.

How profitable exactly will depend on many factors, such as your target market and the type of wash you're offering.

Depending on demographics in the area you are considering, an automatic car wash, self-serve car wash, or tunnel car wash may be more profitable as visitors will be willing to pay different amounts to get their car cleaned (more on car wash types later). Typically, a tunnel car wash in a big city will likely make more money than a self-serve car wash in that same city, as it comes with higher ticket prices and isn't as much effort of using hand wash equipment in self-service bays. That said, know your chosen location, nearby competition, financial strategy and the costs your customers are willing to pay. Check out this article on a car wash business plan to discover many factors that should be considered to start a car wash.

Camelot Car Wash
Turtle Wax Pro operator, Camelot Car & Dog Wash in Golden, CO

3/ Flexibility and Ability to be Unique

Car washes can come in all different shapes, sizes, and types. They can have a certain theme, be made to serve one car at a time or many, and the manner they wash cars can differ (practical self-serve washes supply customers with all they need, while tunnels often offer an exciting show and convenient, family-fun experience). This flexibility allows you to tailor your business to meet your expectations and be catered appropriately to your market.

A Reminder: What are the Different Basic Types of Car Washes?

Self-Service Car Washes

The first type is the self-service car wash.  

As the name implies, with a self-service car wash, customers clean their cars with the equipment you provide. This type of car wash uses self-serve bays where customers will park their cars and clean their vehicles with the soaps and pressure wash 0equipment provided on a timed-use basis. This often makes self-serve more time consuming than other wash options. It's also generally a cheaper car wash for customers (and owners).

Touchless Car Wash or In-Bay Automatic Car Washes

The second type is the touchless car wash, or in-bay automatic car wash, which automatically washes vehicles either with water and cleaning chemicals (if it is a touch-free car wash) or with additional brushes gently removing dirt. In this wash bay scenario, the vehicle has driven into the wash bay and doesn't move until leaving and being dried. In-bay automatic car wash equipment moves around the vehicle, and the single system applies the various chemicals and rinsing applications. One vehicle may be cleaned at a time.

Tunnel Car Washes

A tunnel wash is similar to a in-bay automatic car wash, as the equipment washes the car automatically (vs. a manual wash, or self-serve wash). That said, the vehicle will likely be on a conveyor system that will draw it through different machinery to apply various chemicals and rinsing applications, and dryers at the end. This wash type is generally the most thrilling for the customer, and tunnel equipment and chemicals can effectively manage a clean car, plus a show! It generally costs more for the experience (and is more expensive to start a car wash of this type). Unlike the in-bay automatic, there is enough room for tunnel washes to wash many vehicles at a time.

Full Service Car Washes

Another type of car washing we'll mention is the full service car wash. Full service car washes not only clean the vehicle exteriors (generally using one of the aforementioned methods), but they also clean the inside of them. A full service car wash details floor mats, seats, and all the difficult to reach areas which makes this service attractive to customers. This is definitely more labor intensive, and more expensive. Some car washes, while not full service, offer similar features like vacuums and towels for customers to do this on their own at the car wash location.

4/ Expand Your Car Wash Business

A great benefit of car washes is that they are scalable both externally and internally. If things are going really well with your car wash business you can always expand it in the future by adding more locations to your existing car wash brand.

You could also grow your existing location to draw more customers (and revenue opportunities) through added features like vacuums or pet washes, or other services like detailing.

The possibilities are endless with what you can do and if things go as planned, then you can continue to scale up your business to even bigger heights!

5/ Remote or Hands-off Ownership

This benefit may not apply to every car wash owner, as some are very hands-on. But if you choose to do so, once your business is established (plus finding the right employees and managers, who are reliable for daily operations) you can watch your business run with minimal day-to-day tasks from yourself. On the other hand, many enjoy being thoroughly involved in this exciting business as an owner and operator.  

6/ Support and Resources to Start a Car Wash

Setting up a car wash can be daunting, but help is out there for entering and thriving in this industry!  If you have the right support, you can navigate the areas of business you may not be familiar or confident in: from fixing water quality to building marketing plans, or optimizing equipment and chemistry. There are many factors that go into starting a car wash which can be difficult to manage, but with the guidance of industry experts (such as Transchem and Turtle Wax Pro, for example), you can get your business off the ground with services and support in place.

7/ The Thriving Car Wash Industry

Great news; it's important to note that the car wash industry is booming!  This industry is growing every year (CarWash News) and it is an excellent opportunity to jump in as an investor or owner-operator!

In fact, the global car wash market is worth more than 29 billion dollars today! (Grand View Research) There is also room for small players and local businesses to join the industry as the largest 50 car wash companies only make up 20% of the market share. (OneDesk)

Other Considerations of Owning a Car Wash

Though there is much good to gain from owning a car wash, it's not always rainbows and sunshine. It would only be fair to discuss some of the cons when it comes to car wash ownership. Here are a few to be aware of:

1/ Seasonal Traffic

Car washing in seasonal climates does have busier and quieter times of year: for those that experience cold winters with snow and salty roads, these conditions create a generally busier time of the year for car washes. Car owners see their cars with snow and salt marks and make a dash for their favorite car wash. And while business might be great for you in the winter season, it might face some slow periods once it becomes warmer or in the rainy season (Sunny, warm weather is an incentive to wash cars at home on the driveway during those nicer months).

Business might slow down in the spring and summer and as a car wash owner that may hurt your profits. However, if you can drive a large portion of customers towards a subscription model, you will have more consistent and reliable income for your business, and customers will be encouraged to continue using your business year-round.

2/ More Than Just Washing Cars

A car wash business faces many other aspects than just washing vehicles well.  You'll also be working with suppliers, hiring employees, training and managing, engaging in customer service, repairing/maintaining equipment, and managing a financial strategy. These are a few examples of other factors that are important to running a successful car wash.

3/ Building and Maintaining your Customer Base

Opening a car wash is one thing but now you will need to get (and keep) customers. You will also have to get your name out there through various marketing strategies and having a brand and plan in place. If you want to learn more about car wash marketing you can read our article on it here!

Once you get a customer, keeping them a customer is another battle (such as navigating customer complaints and negative reviews).

A profitable car wash has great customer service and a good quality wash but they may also use keep their customers coming back with great marketing, subscription programs or rewards.

Questions about Owning a Car Wash?

Reach out to Transchem and Turtle Wax Pro

There's a lot of opportunity and potential profits that comes with owning car wash businesses today.

So whether you are considering opening your car wash, looking for marketing support, or looking for a car wash supplier, feel free to reach out to us!

Why Us?

The Turtle Wax company is an industry leader in the car care industry, and has been for over 75 years. We, Turtle Wax Pro (the professional car wash side of the brand), and our parent company Transchem, offer some of the best car wash chemistry in the market to car wash owners and their businesses all over the world.

Also, we have been supporting car washes in the various challenges they face for decades. Let our experience be an aid in your success.

17
Nov
The Benefits to Building a Car Wash

To Build or Not to Build...

As many car wash owners would know, building a car wash is not a simple process.  Unlike purchasing a prebuilt business, however, undertaking car wash construction you can have much more control over what your business will look like.

That said, there are many things to consider and you will need to make sure to do your research and choose wisely on your plan, design, and execution, all with your budget in mind. Utilizing the expertise of a car wash builder, or specialized consulting agency may be a valuable tool as less of the pressure will be on you alone to ensure the success of constructing your dream business.

On the other hand, purchasing an prebuilt facility that is for sale may require extensive retrofitting or upgrades, and may not be designed the way you would like. Certainly there are pros and cons to each method of starting at a new car wash location.

Today, we will be walking you through some (though not all) basic considerations you will want to think about in when deciding to build or not to build a car wash facility!

Different Aspects to Car Wash Building

Car Wash Business Plan

Just like any business, launching strong car washes takes a lot of hard work and planning to be successful. A business plan is an extensive tool to start your business off right, capturing details that might be missed otherwise.

You will need do your research on the car wash industry and find out as much as you can about car washes in your area, and what it takes to have a successful car wash business before you get started.

Doing your research for your plan, you can discover the pros and cons of a self-serve, tunnel car wash, or in-bay automatic car wash, and what would be a successful car wash business for you. Brainstorm how you plan on getting repeat business, managing money and your daily business operation, and the many other elements of a strong company.

If you want to learn more about creating a business plan for your car wash, you can read our article here.  We also have an article with additional considerations surrounding building and buying car wash facilities.

Money for Car Wash Construction

An important factor of building a wash is understanding the cost involved, and any financing you can expect.

Determine the cost to complete your project. Depending on your circumstances, it may be easier to finance buying an existing wash location than construct one from scratch. Additionally, different types of car washes (a tunnel vs. a self-serve, for instance) have different costs for the equipment, etc., and may guide your choice.

Car Wash Location

The first step of the construction process is identifying the right location.

Ensure the property is in a spot that has good traffic that helps draw customers in. Before contractors start building (or you even purchase the property), ensure that location follows local zoning and bylaws for building a car wash facility, and prepare all its necessary permits and authorization before construction starts.

After all the paperwork and legalities are approved, construction can start and the plan you have in place can be put into effect. The construction process will depend greatly on your plan, and you may want to use a car wash builder to help you design and create your plan effectively.

Car Wash Design

When it comes to car wash design, you will want to create a car wash that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Your car wash should be designed in a way that is easy for customers to use and navigate.

Your building design can differ based on your goals and car wash type but structure it to become ideal for your washing methods. Working with an experienced contractor to assist in this process can be very beneficial as you can avoid costly mistakes later in the construction process.  

Car Wash Facility

As part of the car wash design, you will want to decide the type of facility you want to build. This covers scope of the car wash, what type of wash equipment you will offer, whether a bay or tunnel setup, any additional features such as vacuums or pet washes, how many customers you can serve at a time, and much more.  


Car Wash Equipment

A huge factor of car washes is the powerful equipment that makes the daily operation happen. The car wash equipment you use will have a big impact on the quality of service you provide and how successful your car wash business is.

The purchase and the installation of high quality car wash equipment is an important factor of a car wash project and the construction process.

Car Wash Chemistry

The car wash chemicals you use are also very important. Great chemistry can set you apart from the rest of the market and will ensure a great car wash experience for your customers.

We believe that Turtle Wax Pro has the best chemistry on the market which is backed by the world renowned Turtle Wax brand. Turtle Wax has over a 97% brand recognition with over 75 years in the car care industry which speaks to their consistency, reliability, and results.

Car Wash Builders: Choosing the Right Partner

When choosing a builder, you will want to pick someone knowledgeable and reliable but also trustworthy as you will want to stick to the agreed upon timeline and budget.

You may want to lean on an experienced car wash builder to help you design, plan, and execute your car wash. A specialized builder will bring a level of expertise that will be hard to match on your own. This way you can leave some of the building planning to an expert, so you can focus more on your grand opening and car wash operations.

Electrical components, scope of your wash, floor plans, wash bay sizing, proper budgeting, and efficient design are just a few of the many aspects a car wash builder can support your car wash with.

Turtle Wax Pro Operator, Halo Car Wash in Ontario, Canada.


The Benefits to Working with a Car Wash Builder

There are many benefits to working with car wash builders and consulting agencies as they will be able to provide you with a wide range of services to help you build your project.

Some of the benefits of choosing experienced car wash builders, consultors  and contractors include:

  • They will be able to guide you through the car wash building process from start to finish.  
  • They will be able to help you design an efficient, effective and aesthetically pleasing car wash layout that is easy for customers to use and navigate.
  • They will be able to provide you with a detailed car wash construction plan.
  • They may save you from having to do new construction to add or improve your current setup, and avoid costly mistakes.
  • They will be able to help you stay on budget and on schedule.
  • They will be able to answer any car wash building questions you may have.

Whether you want to tackle the planning of your car wash on your own, use a general contractor, or use a dedicated car wash builder, you will still want to talk to other experienced people within the industry to make sure you are on the right track.

Concerns about your new car wash? Contact Turtle Wax Pro and Transchem

Transchem, the parent company of Turtle Wax Pro, has worked with car wash businesses of all sizes and types for decades. Paired with industry leading chemistry from Turtle Wax Pro, we know how to support car washes.

Building a successful car wash can be a challenging process and whether you decide to do the legwork yourself or want to lean on a builder for support, you can count on us to help make the decision an easier one.

11
Nov
Car Wash Chemical Types and What They Do

Car washes exist all over the world in so many different environments, locations, with various clienteles, and of course, vehicles. But something all car wash businesses need is car wash chemicals. With the common goal of cleaning cars and so many different chemical options on the market, it's tough for newly starting out car washes to know what they need to operate and what can they add to their wash lineup.

As a car wash owner, you will want to ensure you have a strong understanding of car wash chemistry, chemical types, and their uses.

Car wash soap

Car Wash Chemistry

Car washes are designed to clean customers' vehicles, specifically the exterior of vehicles. They use a variety of chemicals to not only clean cars but protect them and improve their appearance by providing a strong shine.

There are no one size fits all car wash chemicals, there are many different types of chemicals and they have different jobs. Some may even have unique advantages over another and some may have disadvantages. Chemicals will also differ in the method you intend to use them as touchless washes for instance will need different types of chemicals than soft-touch washes.

Touchless Car Washes

In touchless washes, the car is cleaned without any physical contact between the wash equipment and the car's surface. This type of wash uses high-pressure streams of water to remove dirt and grime instead of soft cloths or brushes.

Since friction aids the cleaning process greatly, chemicals in touchless car washes need to be prepared to do more heavy lifting and thus need to be different than other chemicals.

Let's take a look at all the different types of chemicals car washes use.

Car soap hitting a car

The Basics

The 'basics' are the chemicals that most car washes need to do their job of washing vehicles. Though these car wash chemicals can still differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, almost all car washes will use these chemicals to conduct their business.

Presoaks

Presoaks are the first step in any car wash and their job is to loosen up all the dirt, grime, and build-up on a car. This makes it much easier for your other chemicals to clean and do their job effectively. This is especially the case for the application of protectants such as waxes and sealants.

Tunnel car washes will typically have a presoak arch at the beginning of the wash but some do not use presoaks in their wash process. This is typically due to a lack of space with smaller tunnel washes but we highly recommend your car wash utilizes presoaks as it will make the rest of your wash that much better.

Presoaks come in a variety of pH ranges, mostly low pH and high pH but some products offer a middle ground to ensure the experience can be tailored for every situation.

Impact of pH in Presoaks

Higher pH presoaks will do a better job of tackling organic material, greasy and oily soils on vehicles, this is due to it being more alkaline.

Lower pH presoaks are more acidic and thus, better at removing non-organic dust and dirt off surfaces.

Which presoak your car wash will want to use will depend on various factors but your location is one of the most important.

Turtle Wax Pro chemical

Detergents (aka Shampoo or Car Wash Soap)

Detergents are the next step in the wash process. These products are best at removing dirt. Detergents can also vary in pH from high to low and car wash soap is also used to prepare cars for drying as they aid in water wicking.

The incorrect type of car wash soap can create a water-retentive surface, so it is important to choose the right kind of product for your wash scenario.

Tire/Wheel Cleaners

Tire cleaners come in acidic and alkaline types and as you might have guessed, is used to clean the wheels of a vehicle. Specifically, tire cleaners take off the dirt and grime from wheels, tires, brakes, etc.

Wheels often are the dirtiest part of the vehicle, so it is a must for car washes to tackle them with the utmost quality and speed, especially since not all rims will be OEMs and may be an aftermarket part. The last thing you want to happen as a car wash is to damage a customer's vehicle.

Triple Foam Products

Triple foams are neutral or acidic products that either further clean the car (condition) or apply a layer of wax (polish), and in many cases, car washes opt to use both.  

A triple foam of some variety is used by many car washes, but customers usually must upgrade to receive it on their vehicle. They are a popular choice of customers as they have a strong visual benefit of the tricolors, this is where the product gets its name from.

It even strengthens the rest of the washing process by not only cleaning it further but preparing the car for a protectant and helping the drying process in a later stage.

Shiny black car

Paint Sealants, Ceramic Coatings, Waxes and other Protectants

Protectants come in many different forms and they all have their unique advantages and disadvantages.

Sealants bond with the vehicle's surface and protect it from weather and light marks, they may also offer some form of shine. Sealants are synthetic and try to bond in the pores of a car, this allows them to be exceptional at UV protection.

While wax will focus on providing a brilliant shine, with a weaker form of protection than sealants could provide. Waxes can be synthetic as well but are usually made of more natural ingredients, carnauba being a popular option.

Ceramic coatings are a thin layer of polymer that create a barrier between the vehicle and anything that comes into contact with it. Ceramics provide paint protection from the elements and UV rays, hydrophobicity, shine, and more.

Wet car

Drying Agents

After all the cleaning has taken place, the vehicle will be given a drying agent which provides a hydrophobic nature to its surface. They are typically synthetic oil based and thus, are used to repel water off the vehicle in water beads. This helps the high powdered dryers to quickly wick the water off the vehicle, so it can leave dry.

Those are the more standard car wash chemicals you will see used in car washes. Next up we'll discuss the more niche or specialty chemicals that car washes will use.

Specialties  

Specialties are car wash chemicals that you may not see being used in every car wash. Only some washes will choose to offer this product as it may pertain to their location, climate, or business model. Some car washes will only carry a limited stock of it to fit a certain time of the year, such as bug season.

Bug Removers

These are often alkaline chemicals used to remove the remains of bugs on vehicles, also often called bug splats. In some areas and some times of the year, there may be a high prevalence of bug splats on vehicles and they can be difficult to remove them.

They work by essentially 'dissolving' the bug so that it can be easily removed by the wash process but it is not always a quick process. The chemical may need to sit on the vehicle for a minute or two for the effect to take place.

Glass Cleaners

Glass cleaners are used to clean the windows of a vehicle and leave it streak free. They help driver impairment by making water and other vision blocks wick off the surface quickly.

Undercarriage Rust Inhibitors

The car wash will spray a light coat of inhibitor on the undercarriage which will help to prevent rust from forming. It becomes a protective coat underneath the vehicle which provides protection against moisture from water and snow year-round.

Shiny car and wheel

Tire Dressings

Tire dressings provide a consistent shine and protection to the rubber. It also can help repel water and snow which will keep the tires from degrading as quickly. They come in a few different forms such as water based which are the thinnest and least lasting, solvent-based which has better shine, and silicone which is the thickest and carries the best shine.

Tire dressings can also make future cleaning easier.

Wheel Protectants

Wheel protectants also offer shine but are often used for their protection from scraps, dirt, and grime. Using wheel protectants also makes cleaning easier in future washes.

Interior Cleaners

While most car washes only focus on the exterior cleaning of vehicles, there are some that will also clean the interior of vehicles as well.

Interior cleaners or detailing products are different than exterior ones as the materials within a car are greatly different than the outside of a car.

If you're interested in reading about interior cleaning and their chemicals, you can read our previous article here.

Turtle Wax Sign

Chemical Concerns? Contact Turtle Wax Pro

Turtle Wax has a 97% brand recognition for good reason, we manufacturer great chemistry and support our clients and customers so they can achieve success within the car wash industry. The right chemical supplier will ensure your business has all the supplies, training, and expertise it needs to compete within the market.

If you have any questions regarding the car wash chemical types, your own current chemistry, or looking for a place to start, get in contact with us! We would be happy to walk you through the different chemical options and see what is the best fit for you and your car wash business.

11
Nov
Car Wash Vacuums: Why you Should Offer Them

Standing out from other local car washes can be a struggle. With the goal of acquiring new customers and retaining old ones, there are many methods to draw customers towards your car wash business as the best destination around.  Today, we'll be discussing one of those methods you can offer your customers, in hope that it turns a one time visitor into a lifer:  Vacuuming Services!

Car vacuum

What do we mean by Car Wash Vacuums?

A car wash vacuum is a specialized vacuum cleaner that is designed to clean the interior of a car, including mat cleaning. These are often found at car wash locations and gas stations in paid and free vacuum varieties.

These powerful vacuums do an exceptional job at cleaning up the car’s interior and can even reach places that regular vacuums cannot, such as the crevices in between the car seats and corners of the floor.

Is a Car Wash Vacuum the Same as a Household Vacuum?

These vacuums are usually much more powerful than regular household vacuums and can reach tight spaces that regular vacuums cannot. That is why many car owners choose to vacuum their cars at car washes even though they might have a vacuum at home.

Car interior

Implementing a Vacuum at your Car Wash

If you currently do not offer a vacuum at your car wash, here are some reasons why you should look to add one!

Customer Perceived Value

Car owners have many options when choosing a place to wash their vehicles, and as someone in the car wash industry, you have to stand out in any way you can. Offering more services is a great way to do just that.

Two similar car washes will not look so similar to a consumer if they can also clean the interior of their vehicle at the same time as the exterior!

Customer Satisfaction

Whether they are paying customers for just an exterior wash, and enticed by free vacuums, or even if paying for the vacuuming services as well, these customers will be glad that they can be cleaning dirt not only from the outside of their vehicle, but interior surfaces as well, such as a floor mat covered in dust and debris.  

Most people will appreciate this added benefit of cleaning the entire vehicle, and search for locations that offer an extra service like this (especially if it is a free vacuum service). If your car washes can be a one stop source for exceptional car cleaning services, you will likely see that reflected in consumer satisfaction and reviews.

This can make the difference for someone choosing to return to your business again as everyone loves seeing their car clean, and that is true for both the interior and exterior.

Extra Revenue

Some car washes and gas stations choose to make their on site vacuum an inexpensive and optional piece of equipment that visitors can use.

While there are lots of benefits to offering a free car vacuum station, if you are charging for it, likely you will cover its expense and even have another nice revenue stream by offering a vacuum.

Should you be a Free Vacuum Car Wash?

You may be thinking that offering a vacuum could be an easy way to generate some extra revenue for your car wash.

But offering a free car vacuum station is an excellent way to give back to your customers, and that brings many benefits to your car washing service:

Reach New Customers

A car wash that offers free vacuuming will reach new customers who may not have stopped at your car wash before.

These new customers may be enticed by the free vacuum service and then decide to come back in the future and pay for a car wash.

More Traffic

A car wash that offers a free vacuum will see an increase in traffic as people are more likely to stop if they know they can get their car vacuumed for at no cost.

This increased traffic can lead to more business for your car wash as people are more likely to notice your car wash, perceive it as busy, and see your location as one desired by the community.

Customer Retention

A car wash that offers free car vacuums is more likely to retain customers as they will appreciate the extra service and clean floor mats.

Repeat business is essential for any car wash business, and offering a free vacuum is an excellent way to ensure that your customers keep coming back instead of simply choosing the closest car wash to them.

Better Customer Experience

What might separate you from the car wash down the road is the experience your customers have at your business.

Offering a free vacuum is a small detail that can satisfy your customers and that leads to further better business reviews people will prefer to get their car washed.

Fast car

Are there any Benefits to making your Vacuums Paid?

Even though there are many benefits to offering a free vacuum, these are some reasons why you might want to charge for the service.

Extra Stream of Revenue

As mentioned before, the most significant benefit of charging for vacuuming is that it is another way for your car wash to make money, vs. the free vacuum option.

Less Damage/Repairs

Since your car vacuum is not free, fewer people would be using it.

That might lead to the equipment lasting longer and needing less mechanical maintenance, which is a small win for a car wash who may already have regular repairs.

Clean car truck

Offering a free vacuum service can lead to more money than if you charged for them

This may seem wrong to you at first as how can something make more money by charging nothing?

But all those benefits of a free vacuum we mentioned earlier can lead to more people coming to your car wash and that will in turn bring much more customers and money to your business than you would charging customers to vacuum their own vehicle.

Vacuuming locations and other tips:

Where you place your car wash has their vacuums can impact how successful your car wash vacuums are, for both paid and free options.

By offering these vacuuming systems, you want people to see them and to use them.

Here are some tips for a  better vacuum experience:

Visibility

  • Place your vacuum stations along the outside of your location, not all together in a back corner of your property
  • Ensure use of signs and other visuals match those you use for the car wash

Performance

  • Do your best to keep your vacuum systems running and free of major downtime
  • Make sure they work well so customers who do use them are satisfied with their usage

Convenience

  • Ensure using your vacuums is an convenient as it can be by making it easy to turn on (and for customers to pay if it is a paid vacuum)
  • Place them in a location where cars can park with ease and extra space for opening doors
Turtle Wax Pro fire arch


Do you have any Car Wash Concerns? Contact Turtle Wax Pro and Transchem

We have been in the car care industry for over 75 years and been supporting car wash businesses of all sorts for decades.

This means we know the impact offering extra services can have on a business. Unlike other car cleaning services, paid or free vacuums can have a large impact on your customer satisfaction and retention.

It is certainly an option that can make your business stand out from the competition. Don't hesitate to reach out and discover other ways we can support your business' success!

8
Nov
Car Wash Repair: Keep your Business Washing

If you own a car wash business, you know sometimes things do not go as planned. Equipment breaks down, it stops working, there's a leak, or something else is wrong. Sometimes these issues are a quick fix and other times, not so much!

It is important for your car wash business to know how to handle repair situations as sometimes they can be time-sensitive (or financially sensitive) matters that you should look to handle as efficiently as possible to reduce the amount of downtime you face.

Things break down - Expect to Encounter Repairs

No matter the type of car wash equipment you have, there will a day when something goes wrong. It could be something minor that you can fix yourself or it may be something larger where you will need help from some factory trained technicians.

All machinery, including your existing car wash equipment has a lifespan as well where things may just need to be replaced entirely. It is important to see the warning signs so your business won't be left closed for too long.

It is also a great idea for your car wash to know what those warning signs might be, as well as what kind of issues are easily fixed and others that may not be.

Car wash equipment

Car Wash Equipment Warning Signs

Most of the time when something goes wrong with your equipment, there will be some sort of warning sign. For example, if you start to notice any leaks, it is probably an indication that there is a bigger problem.

Another common sign that something is wrong is strange noises coming from your equipment. If you notice any grinding sounds, hissing, or something that just doesn't sound right, it is important to take a closer listen and see if you can identify the source of the noise.

If your equipment isn't working as efficiently as it used to, this could also be an indication that there is a problem. If you notice any decrease in performance, it is important to take a look and see if there is anything that could be causing the issue.

Identifying the warning signs can save your car wash system a lot of potential down time.

Repairs for Car Wash Systems

Car wash equipment accessories and their machinery can break in lots of different ways. For example, the rollers that help move the car through the wash may become worn down and need to be replaced which can be seen as a quick replacement.

But things can be more extreme, such as a pump breaking or hybrid car wash equipment not working as it should. These types of issues will require more time, money, and effort to fix and may even warrant a call to the manufacturer or someone who is factory trained.  

Some car washes even employ an in house mechanic to aid in their own maintenance, this will keep your wash running through most minor work.

Car wash equipment

Don't Forget About Maintenance!

Car wash maintenance will help ensure that your equipment lasts as long as possible and runs as efficiently as possible.

It is important to follow the manufacturer's guidelines for preventive maintenance and care. For example, many car wash systems will need to be descaled on a regular basis to prevent build-up of minerals that can damage the equipment. Factory training can be another useful tool if the manufacturer offers it.

You should also develop a regular cleaning schedule for all of your car wash equipment. This will help remove any dirt, grime, or other build-up that could potentially cause problems.

By following these simple tips, you can help keep your car wash running smoothly and avoid costly repairs.

If you do encounter a problem that you can't fix yourself, it is important to have a reliable car wash repair solution or supplier nearby that can help you through those issues and give you a variety of profitable solutions.

The Importance of Training

Having the right training will help your car wash and its employees know the ins and outs of all your car wash equipment. That can be especially useful when things encounter fixable problems and you have someone in house who knows how to take care of it.

In the car wash industry, its tough to stand out but with the right training, many aspects of your business can improve and help you separate yourself within the market. In the case of equipment repairs, the right training will help you stay running for longer and avoid that devastating downtime that may turn away customers in the future, it could also help your business save money from repairs that can then be used to improve your wash in another way.

Long-standing service customers appreciate quality service, so you will want to have a fine reputation by prioritizing car wash training.

Turtle Wax Pro Learning Center

Rely on your Supplier (or Distributor) - Transchem Group

That is also why it is important to have a great car wash supplier or car wash equipment distributor to take the time to properly train your car wash on your equipment, chemicals, and wash processes.

This is a big focus for Transchem and Turtle Wax Pro who strive to establish confidence in our car wash operators on how they service car wash systems. We routinely hold both traditional service (in-person) training sessions for our clients and operators as well as online sessions. Turtle Wax Pro even has an online learning center where users can log on and start training modules at any moment!

Transchem Alberta Warehouse
Transchem's new facility in Calgary, AB

A Supplier Close to Home - Direct to Market in Alberta

Having your car wash supplier nearby your car wash is a huge advantage for your business! We are proud to say that Transchem is direct to market in Alberta, meaning we can support your car wash from top to bottom!

We have a state-of-the-art facility in Calgary and have the means to support your Alberta-based car wash to the greatest ability. Being close by ensures products arrive faster, training can be done more effectively, and if problems ever do arise, you can lean on us being there quickly to ensure your car wash can get back to business in a flash! You can learn more about our Alberta offerings here.

Transchem and Turtle Wax Pro at CARWACS 2022

Have Concerns about your Repair Options? Contact Transchem and Turtle Wax Pro

If your car wash is ever in need of repairs or you have questions about the best options for your business, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! We would be happy to chat with you about your specific needs and help you find a solution that makes the most sense for your business, whether that is finding you the right person to take care of your issue or supporting you in the future with preventive maintenance measures.

With decades of experience supporting car wash businesses of all types, we know a thing or two about problems that arise with car wash equipment. You can rely on us to support you through your issue and help your business shine in anyway we can!

3
Nov
Getting a Spot Free Rinse for your Car Wash Business

The final rinse may seem like a small and easy step in a car wash - maybe the simplest of the entire car wash process! Many outside of the industry assume you can do this step effectively with an ordinary garden hose, but while that method works for car washing at home, it can leave water spots and and defeat the purpose of the car wash.  At a professional car washing facility, the spot-causing minerals that a poor rinse can leave on a car can negatively impact the entire wash process taken just before.

That is why you should ditch your garden hose and look to implement improved water quality and a spot free rinse to your car wash business, so you can make every car shiny, and - you guessed it - spot free.

Shiny vintage car


Customers Desire a Spot Free Vehicle

The main benefit of a Spot Free Final Rinse that it helps to reduce the number of water spots on your customers' cars. Water spots are caused by minerals in the water, and not only can they be difficult to remove for future washes but they ruin the rest of your car wash job, leaving unsatisfactory results. By using a spot free rinse, you can better ensure that you will produce the cleanest and shiniest cars around.

So unless you want to give every car you wash a window cleaning immediately after leaving your wash, you will want to consider implementing a spot free rinse to your car wash.

What do we mean by 'Spot Free Rinse'?

This rinse is a final step in your car wash process (before drying) that helps remove any residual soap or cleaners from the surface of the vehicle by spraying it with an arch rinse application, pressure washer gun, or similar format. Often rinsing applications use water, usually softened, that carries minerals and contaminants within it, but the final rinse should be different!

Spot free rinsing generally uses water that has been softened plus processed through a reverse osmosis system (or another type of system) to remove dissolved containments before the water flows over a vehicle.

Water droplets

What are Total Dissolved Solids?

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) are the contaminants and particles within water.  Unless a region's water source is naturally very pure, typically a car wash needs to replace regular tap water with softened water for washing and even purer spot free water for the final rinse, to offer a spot free car wash. In fact, 85% of regions in North America have hard water, because water travels in the ground and picks up minerals like calcium, magnesium, and to a lesser extent, iron. These elements are dissolved in water, and make it "hard". This is measured in Grains Per Million, or Total Dissolved Solids in Parts Per Million. Ideal water is zero to 3 GPG or about 0-55 PPM.

If you use water that contains high TDS (like tap water), especially in the last rinse on a vehicle, you will likely leave those minerals like calcium and magnesium on the surface of the vehicle, which will dry and become the unattractive water spots we all know.

So it is important for your car wash business to process your water. The spot-free rinse will leave customers happy with their car wash results, and having softened water will also keep your chemical costs down, and equipment free from excessive mineral buildup.

How to test your water for Total Dissolved Solids? A TDS Meter

You can purchase a TDS meter, which is an instrument used to measure the total dissolved solid content in a liquid. You can then use this meter on a sample of your car wash's water to see the TDS level and how contaminated it actually is.

Can hard water affect my car wash?

If your final rinse is using hard water, then it's likely that the rest of your car wash will be using it too. Hard water can impact a car wash in two of its biggest areas, chemistry, and equipment.

Car Wash Chemicals

Hard water can damage the effectiveness of your car wash chemistry. Those contaminants within the water can cause your car wash chemicals to be drawn to the particles in the water itself as well as on the dirty vehicle, and they therefore become less effective. This will lead to a subpar wash for your customers and waste those chemicals your business is paying for.

Car Wash Equipment

Hard water can also be damaging to your car wash equipment. Over time, the minerals will build up and clog your nozzles, outlet hose and pumps, leading to a decrease in performance and an increase in repairs. This can lead to more frequent down time for your car wash and even machines breaking faster.  It can also disrupt water flow and pressure, both of which are crucial for a quality car wash.

Is Softened Water Enough?

While softened water can really improve car wash operations, addressing the problems mentioned above, it can still leave spots as it does not achieve the same spot free water due to dissolved sodium. To truly reduce TDS, and achieve a spot free car, an RO (or alternative DI System in some scenarios) should be harnessed on top of a water softener.  

What does a RO System do?

RO stands for Reverse Osmosis: A process that drastically reduces the TDS in water, to nearly zero, by forcing water through a membrane system to capture particles. This now pure water, especially when used to rinse, leaves a spot free finish as all the solids that cause spotting on the cars have been removed.

Can I just use an RO System with Hard Water?

Softened water is imperative when running RO units as hard water will clog the membranes very quickly, and they are expensive to replace.

What is DI Water?

DI Water or deionized Water is water that has had all of the TDS removed from it. This leaves you with pure H20 that does not contain any minerals.

Why use a Spot Free Rinse System?

Spot free rinses can help your car wash tremendously, mainly by leaving your customer's vehicles free from water spots.

Using water from the RO system in your final rinse will give you that spot free water you can't achieve from a regular hose. This will offer final rinsing results that will be noticed and appreciated by your customers.

Spot Free Rinse Products

If you are interested in using a spot free rinse for your car wash, the most popular spot free rinse systems are Softened Water Systems for the whole wash's water and chemical applications, paired with RO Systems for the final rinsing.

Water Softener Systems

A softened water system that can be used for your spot-free rinse, and your entire wash. This system will remove the minerals from the water but it can also add other neutralizing particles, like sodium, to the water.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

A RO system is a great option for your spot free rinse. It is our recommended option to remove TDS out of your water, making it perfect to use for a wash's final rinse application, resulting in shiny, spotless vehicles.

Shiny car


So, is a Spot Free Rinsing System Worth It?

We absolutely believe implementing a spot free rinse into your car wash is worth it. There may be a substantial initial cost at first adding the water processing equipment, but the difference you will see in your results and subsequently, sales, will make it all worth it in the end.

Whether you have a touch-free unit or a friction tunnel, water is the most important element to a car wash, and you will want to ensure you're doing everything you can to use it to its maximum effect.

Don't Stop There, Recycle your Water with Clear Technologies!

Not only should you be purifying the water at your car wash, but you should also consider recycling the water you use. Recycling your water is not only good for the environment but it's also great for your bottom line, as you need to pay for every drop of water that your car wash uses - you may as well make the most of it! You can do this with a Water Reclaim System.

These systems use a variety of odor controlling and filtration systems, like needing resin beds that will need to be replaced on a regular basis (It would be wise to follow the manufacturer's directions and even purchase bulk resin), while others will use cartridge filters that will need to be replaced less often.

If you want a powerful, easy maintenance solution, we recommend a water reclaim system like the ClearWash PR series, which is one of the best options on the market, with automated backwashing and ozone odor control. It will take the dirty and used water, clean it, and then let your car wash use it again and again to wash more cars. This way you save on water usage which will save your business a lot of money in the long run. Just think of how many gallons of water you use to wash a single vehicle!

You can learn more about ClearTech and their products here.

Turtle Wax Pro Titanium TX4


Seeking advice on getting shiny, spotless cars? Let Turtle Wax Pro help!

With over 75 years in the car care industry, we understand the significance of water quality in any car wash operation, and we know the importance of getting those spot free results!

If you're finding yourself wanting to achieve a spot free car wash, feel free to contact us, we are always happy to chat with those looking to improve their wash quality!

24
Oct
Creating the Ultimate Car Wash Business Plan

A business plan seems like a small step in starting car wash businesses, but it is actually a very important one, and it shouldn't be overlooked.

A business plan is essentially a roadmap for your business that will help you stay on track and achieve your goals. Without a strong business structure, it will be very difficult to make your car wash business successful.

But building a car wash business plan can be daunting, and that is why we're here to get you started on the right foot! This article does not offer an exhaustive list of everything you may need to include on your car wash business plan, but will discuss many very important aspects to include so your car wash business can launch well.

The Car Wash Industry is Competitive but Highly Rewarding

The car wash industry is a rapidly growing industry that can prove to be very rewarding to be part of. It is also a competitive one that can be devastating and stressful if you are not well prepared. That is exactly why you will want to create a thorough car wash business plan prior to diving in head first. This document will serve as your guide to success and help keep you on track when challenges inevitably arise in your car wash service.

Sports car

What is a car wash business plan?

A car wash business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operational plans of your car wash business.

It should provide a detailed overview of your business, including information on your target market, pricing strategy, marketing plans, and operational procedures. The goal of your business plan is to help you achieve your desired results by clearly understanding your starting point, and outlining the steps you need to take to get to your business objectives.

Creating a car wash business plan can seem like a overwhelming task, but it will prove to be worth the effort once you get your business running.

Why write a business plan for a car wash?

We understand that some may be eager to get their business up and running as quickly as possible, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to have a plan in place.

Establishing a strong business plan will help you avoid common pitfalls, make better decisions, and set your business up for long-term success.

A well-crafted business plan will also give you a much better chance of securing funding from investors or lenders, as they will be able to see that you have put thought into your venture, and understand the car wash industry.

What does a business plan look like for a car wash?

A car wash business plan can be designed many different ways, but as a general baseline, you can think of it covering two major areas: the financial side and non-financial side.  

The financial side will include many things such as your financial goals (short-term and long-term), sales forecast, balance sheet, and budget and cash flow plan.

The non-financial side will encompass everything else that makes up your business plan including your company overview, target market analysis, marketing strategy, and operational procedures.

While there is no one right way to format your business plan, we recommend using a structure that is easy to follow and understand.

Turtle Wax Pro TX4 Sign


Market Research... a very good place to start.

An important part of opening a car wash business is to know the existing businesses around you, specifically other car washes. You need to know what they're offering, at what prices, who they're serving, etc.

The only way you will be able narrow down these factors is by investigating how other car washes operate. So be sure to do thorough research on your competitors and use that information wisely.

Great things to look for is whether there is a gap in the market that you could fill, and differentiate yourself with (but ensure there are also customers seeking that gap). Customers may be seeking a car washes with a pet wash or vacuums available, but likely not live music, for instance.

You may find that there are many self service car washes in one area, which may say that the people who live around there might want to spend less money on a car wash, or have more time to dedicate to washing their vehicle.   It may also mean that there may be an opportunity for a different type of car wash business, such as a tunnel or in-bay automatic.

Or perhaps there is one huge full service car wash that dominates the market as they are able to provide the whole package of interior and exterior cleaning and their consumers enjoy that luxury. Full service car washes are much more expensive to launch and operate considering the building size, employees, and equipment needed to run it, but they will charge much more than other options for their work.

Likely some clients are seeking a more affordable alternative car wash in that area, that still provides an exceptional clean. How could you as a potentially smaller car wash operation offer that, and communicate it to your consumers?

By discovering what working (or not) in your area, you can judiciously build your car wash business for success, finding your own foothold in the market.

Business Plan Overview: What to Include

When writing up your car wash business plan, you will want to format it in an easy to read way that outside people can understand. Below are some sections you may want to include.

Company Overview

This is a simple description of your business that could include:

  • The type of car wash business you would like to start
  • Its proposed location
  • What you will offer your customers
  • Target Audience
  • The mission and values of your business
  • How it fits in context of your market and competitors

Executive Summary

The executive summary is a brief overview of your business plan, and is similar to a business overview above.

It could include short summaries of:

  • The main points of your market research
  • Marketing strategy
  • Operational procedures
  • Financial forecast
  • Main business Objectives

It can be helpful to write this section last, as it will be briefly addressing the content in the following sections.

Business Description

In this section, you will want to describe your business in more detail.

This can include:

  • The history of your business (are you a franchisee, opening a new location, or starting this venture from the beginning?)
  • Who is involved
  • What products or services you offer, and related operations
  • Short-term and long-term goals
Car wash pricing menu
Turtle Wax Pro operator, Pure Clean Car Wash's pricing menu


Sales Strategy

This section should include a detailed description of how you plan to generate sales to have a profitable business and numerous customers.

This could include:

  • Your pricing strategy
  • Target market
  • Client pain points
  • How your services address them
  • Competitive edges of your services, vs the competition
  • Promotional activities such as providing any car wash discounts.
  • Loyalty programs, or methods to retain repeat customers
  • Supporting solutions, like Mosaic (a cloud-based platform, which you can market directly to customers' phones, where they can buy washes, start the car wash, and earn/redeem free washes for the future)

Marketing Strategy

Greatly related to generating sales, above, your marketing plan will be a guide on how you plan to generate awareness and attract car owners to get their car washed at your business.

You'll need to decide and describe:

  • Where your target market spends time, and their demographic
  • What methods you'll use to reach your target customers
  • What messaging you'll use to attract customers
  • How you will encourage customer loyalty
  • Brand your business
  • Promote your USPs (unique selling propositions) for your car wash business
  • You'll also need to create a budget for your marketing efforts

There are many ways to stand out within the market such as harnessing a great brand and signage at your site (which is a benefit of using Turtle Wax Pro chemistry), using social media, local radio stations, or a local newspaper. We have discussed some of these marketing campaigns or strategies in past articles.

Shiny cars lined up

Competitor Analysis

Harness the market research you used before in a competitor analysis to provide further clarity of the competition surrounding your car wash.

You can summarize your market research, or you may wish to conduct a SWOT Analysis looking at main competitors':

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

This process can help solve for your own unique selling features and how you can stand apart and gain and retain customers, while also being aware of successful practices that other car washes are using.

Financial Plan

This is your expected financial performance, and will not be exact but will help in the framework of your business structure. Financials can get complicated but we'll keep it simple in this explanation, and if starting a new business, these numbers may be projected.

These are components you should consider for a successful financial plan:

  • Financial Goals (could be short- and long-term)
  • Projected Profit and Loss Statement
  • Sales Revenues Forecast
  • Balance Sheet
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Anticipated Startup Costs (below)

Initial Financials

This part details your current financial status of your business; it'll show a bank or investor what you currently have to open a new car wash, and what you will need as bank financing. Include anticipated initial spending for equipment, marketing, staffing, etc. to get the doors open at your car wash business. Think of this like your start-up cost, which is what you have to get your car wash up and running.

Operational Plan

In this section of your business plan, you will want to describe how your business will operate on a day-to-day basis. This is the backbone of your car wash, and although these aspects can naturally evolve and change, it will be important to have a thorough plan in place for a successful launch for your car wash business.  

This can include a description and activities of your:

  • Facility
  • Equipment and Chemistry (more on this below)
  • Staff
  • Scheduling
  • Suppliers
Car wash equipment

Equipment Plan

Of course, you will need the right equipment to open a car wash. Whether taking over an existing car wash, or building from the ground up, you'll want to be sure that you have high-quality equipment that gives exceptional performance.

Equipment will also differ for the situation and type of wash. For example, self service equipment will be different than equipment for an in-bay automatic car wash.

Researching and knowing your equipment needs in advance, including installs, any repairs, maintenance or upgrades you will have to make, can save a new car wash business a lot of headaches down the road, as you avoid unnecessary service interruptions, and can get more cars washed for your target customers.  

With this industry, whether a self service car wash, or automatic car washes, there's a lot of equipment that needs to be continually operational. From vacuum cleaners, a pressure washer, your conveyor system, or even office equipment, you'll want to make sure that your equipment is properly maintained and serviced on a regular basis, and certainly ready to go at your business' launch!

Chemical Plan

A pivotal factor in running a car wash service is having the right chemicals. There are many different types of chemicals on the market and car wash owners will want to be sure to pick the right chemicals and chemical representative to support your business. We obviously consider Turtle Wax Pro to be the best chemistry available, helping car washes provide exceptionally high quality service and results with each customer's vehicle.

While picking the exact chemicals at this stage could be a little early, its a good idea to get acquainted with some market research on the different brands available in car washing.

It also is a great idea to seek out a reputable chemistry rep or distributor to aid you in finding the perfect chemistry for your needs: a solid representative can truly help your car wash be set up for success, and shine! They will conduct tests like cost-per-car analysis, chemical comparisons, and ensure your site is optimized for premium results.

Staffing Plan

You'll need to decide how many employees you will need to properly run your car wash business.

What roles will you need filled, and what qualifications and wage will pair with those roles. You'll also want to consider the type of training you will need to provide for your staff to operate your car wash facilities and provide exceptional customer service. (As an added benefit, Turtle Wax Pro customers get access to an exclusive free training tool called TWPLearn which can help them train new and old staff alike in many industry skills!)

Conclusion

Becoming car wash owners may be a big leap, but a car wash business plan can get businesses started on the right foot, and also help in getting bank loans and other support for local businesses, as a financial institution can see you've done your homework discovering business basics like: a solid business location, discovering potential customers, planning an effective sales strategy, conducting necessary market research and developing excellent marketing campaigns, recognizing anticipated start up costs, anticipating staffing and equipment needs, and generally educating yourself in the car washing industry! It's a good deal of work, but has numerous rewards for the business owner of a budding car wash!

Turtle Wax Pro arch

Opening a car wash business? Contact Turtle Wax Pro

Turtle Wax Pro is a leader in chemical manufacturing, and with over 75 years in the car care industry, we believe we have the best car wash chemistry on the market.

But more than that, we have decades of experience supporting car wash operators and businesses in all aspects of their business! We've been through the wash, so to speak!

We know that strong business relationships are vital within the car wash industry and strive to build them with all of our clients and partners. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your car wash business or business plans, and if Turtle Wax Pro chemistry and marketing solutions are right for you, you can reach out to us at any time.

18
Oct
Interior Car Cleaning Tips for Car Wash Businesses

When people think of car washing, they usually imagine wash bays, and cars being sprayed with soap and water, cleaning the exterior of vehicles. But one great way to satisfy your customer's vehicle needs and increase your revenue is cleaning interiors as well!

The car interior requires a different process than exteriors do as you may guess, so today we are discussing how you can clean your car's interior, including your chemical and equipment options. Along with some helpful tips for those at home car owners.

How to clean a car's interior for car wash businesses

In order to ensure that your customers are happy with the level of cleanliness of their car, it is important to pay attention to detail as there are lots of small areas within a car that need particular care. We'll break down some of the areas you will want to pay extra attention to when cleaning a car's interior.

Steering Wheel

The steering wheel is one of the dirtiest parts inside a car. Over time, it can become stained and sticky from the natural oils on our hands, or even food residue.

Steering wheels may even have buttons or controls that will need to be gently cleaned to avoid damage.

We recommend using some type of all-purpose interior cleaner along with microfiber cloths to clean the steering wheel. If there are buttons present, you can use a small gentle detailing brush to get within the little spaces.

Car Dashboard

The dashboard is another area that gets a lot of use and can gather plenty of dirt over time.

To clean a dashboard, you will want to use an all-purpose cleaner or a cleaner designed for the dash's material (leather, plastic, wood or aluminum depending on the car). You can apply this directly to a clean microfiber cloth and wipe down the entire surface of the car's interior.

Be sure to pay attention to any areas with buttons or vents, as you will want to avoid getting water or cleaner inside of these.

These same tips work for a vehicle's center console, which you will want to make sure you clean as well.

Car seats

Seats

Car seats see a lot of wear and tear, and over time they can become stained or even ripped. To clean your car seats, you will want to use an a microfiber cloth dipped in an upholstery cleaner or a scrub brush for more intense stains.

Leather seats will need leather cleaners as their material is different and regular cleaners may be too harsh.

Carpets

The carpets in a car can become stained and discolored over time, especially if you have light-colored carpets.

To clean your carpets, you will want to use a carpet or upholstery cleaner and a brush attachment. You can apply the cleaner directly to the carpet and brush it in with the attachment. But be sure to vacuum the area free from any crumbs and pet hair first. Tough stains can be removed with a drill brush attachment.

Floor mats

Remove your carpeted mats, and give them a vacuuming and/or brushing. Treat them similarly to your carpet, so you should use some type of cleaner on them and then let them dry outside before putting them back into the vehicle. Clean floor mats are things customers love to see! If you're really looking to step up your mat cleaning, several companies manufacture machines specifically to clean floor mats.

Trunk

The trunk is often one of the dirtiest and most neglected areas in a car. But it is important to clean it out every so often to avoid any build-up of dirt and grime.

To clean your trunk, you will want to use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment. You can vacuum any loose dirt or debris that may be present.

You can also use an all-purpose cleaner or a mild soap and water solution to wipe down the trunk area.

Be sure to pay attention to any areas with buttons or latches, as you will want to avoid getting water or cleaner inside of these.

Door Panels

The door panels are another area that you will want to clean as they can have shoe marks and dirt on them. Take extra care to get inside door handles and storage compartments as they areas often collect dirt and other residue. To clean your door panels, you will want to use an all purpose cleaner and then give them a wipe-down.

Windows and Mirrors

There is nothing better than a clean mirror, so be sure to clean the interior windows and mirrors within the vehicle. Any strong glass cleaner can be used with a microfiber cloth to give it a streak-free finish.

Engine bay

Cleaning the Engine Bay

Without regular cleaning, engine bays become quite dirty and it is an area most car owners ignore. Likewise, lots of car cleaning businesses don't clean it, especially if it wasn't requested by the customer. But is an easy 'wow factor' for lots of customers and will help make them a customer for life!

The best way to clean the engine is actually quite simple - just use a low-pressure hose to remove any dirt or grime. You can also use a degreaser to break down any stubborn grease buildup. Just be sure to avoid getting any water inside the engine itself.

Make sure you cover any electrical components with some sort of plastic or tarp before you start spraying down the engine.

Turtle Wax interior cleaner

Chemicals you will need for cleaning car interior

We'll focus on the type of cleaners you will need. But we recommend looking for high-quality car care products as you will want to ensure you supply a great clean to your customers. You can trust that Turtle Wax's interior care line has everything you will need to clean vehicles effectively, with just a few drops.

For those at home car owners who want to try a more DIY method, you can try using a vinegar and water solution for most cleaning opportunities. For more tough stains, a baking soda scrub could prove to be helpful.

But even for those at home, car care products will frankly not only do a better job, but are affordable as well.

Car Interior Cleaners

Choosing a good cleaner is a must to clean off all those surfaces within a car. You can choose to use an all-purpose car interior cleaner which as the name suggests, can be used on any and all interior surfaces. But there are also surface-type specific products such as for suede, vinyl, leather, plastic, etc. These products are specifically formulated to work on that surface and may produce a better finish and clean.

Carpet Care

To clean your car interior carpets, you will want to use a good quality carpet shampoo. This type of product is designed to break down dirt and grime that may be embedded in the fibers of the carpet. You will want to avoid using household cleaners as they could damage or discolor the car's floor.

The carpet may be wet to the touch for a couple of hours and will need to air dry.

Upholstery Cleaner

For car upholstery, you will want to use an upholstery cleaner. This type of product is designed to clean fabric without damaging it, which is exactly what you will want for cloth seats. You will want to test the product on a small area first to ensure it does not discolor the fabric. The cloth seats may be wet after cleaning, and they will need time to dry.

Leather Care

For leather surfaces, you will want to use a leather cleaner and conditioner. This type of product are designed to work on leather and will clean it and help to protect it from cracking and fading which is common for leather seats.

After cleaning, you can use a leather conditioner to help keep the leather looking its best.

You will want to avoid using any harsh cleaners on leather as this could damage it and strip its natural oils.

Surface Protectants

After you have cleaned the vehicle's interior surfaces, you may want to consider using a surface protectant. This type of product will help to repel dirt and stains and make it easier to clean in the future.

You will want to choose a product that is designed for the specific surface you are treating, and then apply to the surface, before wiping clean with a clean cloth.

Glass Cleaner

This type of cleaner is different from the other type of cleaners you will use and you should save it for the glass within the vehicle. Spray it along the surface you are cleaning and wipe with a clean microfiber towel. Ensure all windows and mirrors are streak free and clear from any spots or fingers prints.

Equipment you will need for cleaning car interiors

Microfiber cloth or towels

We've mentioned these cloths earlier and be sure to use them well as they will be extremely helpful throughout your interior cleaning process.

They don't leave any residue, clean well, and are made of soft cloth which makes this fabric ideal for cleaning vehicles.

Steam Cleaners

If you have access to a steam cleaner, this could be a great option for cleaning your car. They are designed to clean surfaces without the use of any chemicals and can be extremely helpful in getting those hard to reach places.

Detail Brushes

Detail brushes are designed to help you clean those hard to reach areas and can be extremely helpful in cleaning the nooks and crannies of your car.

They come in various sizes and can be made with either natural or synthetic bristles.

Shop Vacuum

You will want a high-powered vacuum to clean the inside of the vehicle before doing any thorough cleaning. The hair, dirt, and crumbs will make the rest of the process difficult so be sure to take care of it early!

Extension cords, detailing brush, and more

You will also need a few other pieces of equipment to make your life easier. This includes an extension cord to help you reach all areas within the vehicle, various brushes to help clean those hard-to-reach areas, air fresheners for tough odors and much more. This list can be endless but be sure to keep lots of small tools in reach for any unique situations which may arise in your cleaning job.

Luxury car interior

How to Keep your car interior clean

Cleaning a car's interior is one thing but keeping it clean is another.

Here are some tips on keeping that newly clean interior looking spotless.

Vacuum regularly

Be sure to vacuum the entire interior of your vehicle at least once a week. This will help to keep dirt and crumbs from accumulating and making the cleaning process more difficult later on.

Wipe down surfaces

After every use, be sure to wipe down all surfaces within the car. This includes the dash, console, door panels, and more. We recommend to keep some cleaning wipes within reach which will make this a breeze.

Clean up spills immediately

Whenever there is a spill, be sure to clean it up immediately. This will help to prevent stains from setting in and becoming stubborn stains.

Take Trash out Regularly

Trash such as coffee cups can build up quickly, so be sure to take all the trash out of the interior of your car on a regular basis.

Transchem Tradeshow sign

Contact Turtle Wax Pro for any Car Wash Needs

All aspects of the car wash business are important, whether it is related to cleaning the interior, or the exterior of a car.

With over 75 years of car care experience, Turtle Wax is a brand you can expect results from. We have seen it all and have supported car wash businesses of all types in their efforts of washing and cleaning vehicles.

If you have any inquiries related to your car wash business, you can reach out to us anytime.

13
Oct
Car Wash Equipment You Need for a Car Wash Business

An important factor for any type of car wash business is equipment. Whether it's big commercial machinery, a pressure washer, or even just drying towels, equipment is what helps us clean and dry cars.

But there is a lot of equipment on the market, most of which is not necessary for every car wash. However, as a car wash business owner, how can you decide on which equipment you need, or which you don't need.

That is exactly why we're here to walk you through car wash equipment, with the goal of leaving you more confident in deciding what equipment you should be purchasing for your car wash.

Clear Tech Reclaim System
ClearTech Water Reclaim System

Equipment For a Car Wash: What Every Wash Can Use

When you first think about car wash equipment, you may think of conveyor belts, huge dryers, and moving water pressures systems that automatic car washes use. While that is important, it does not stop there, there are other less flashy types of equipment that should be used in a car wash business.

Reverse Osmosis System or Water Softener

This type of system is used to remove impurities from water before it even enters the car wash. This ensures that your car wash equipment doesn't get gunked up with minerals and other particles that can cause damage. Water with lots of minerals, or hard water, can even interfere with the car wash process itself, leaving a poor result. We have a blog detailing all the effects about hard water. In order to get a spot free rinse a reverse osmosis system is required.

Water Reclaim System

A water reclaim system is used to recycle water from the car wash. This helps to cut down on water usage, as well as sewage fees, because less water is being sent down the drain.

These systems turn dirty, used water, into clean water that can be used again. ClearTech specializes in water recycling and you can check them out if you're interested.

Types of car wash equipment for an automatic wash

Brushes

Some automatic car washes use brushes that will rotate and scrub off dirt, grime, and marks off of vehicles. These brushes are large, and vary in abrasive level. Automatic washes won't always use brushes, but it's a common method for those that do.

Conveyors

A conveyor carries the vehicle through the car wash. Not all automatic washes use a conveyor system.

If they do use one, it is typically for a tunnel car wash, where the vehicle is carried through a long tunnel. With each section being a different stage of the car wash that cleans all those painted surfaces, windows, and wheels of a car.

Dryers

After a vehicle is washed, it needs to be dried off before the residual water evaporates and leaves water marks. Automatic car washes typically have very large and strong dryers that will quickly and efficiently dry off the vehicle.

High Pressure Water Systems

Automatic car washes have high pressure washers that do an excellent job at quickly and efficiently washing and rinsing vehicles.

These are especially important in touchless car washes, where no friction is used, and will need an precise amount of water pressure to leave a spot free rinse!

Wheel Cleaners

Some automatic car washes have wheel cleaners. These are special machines that will quickly and easily clean the wheels of a vehicle. Situated before the dryers, the wheel cleaner cleans off any residual water and brake dust that may be on the wheels.

Chemical applicators

Automatic car washes typically have chemical applicators that will apply presoaks, soaps, detergents, waxes, and other chemicals to the vehicle during the wash process. Often these applicators can be embedded within arches for additional show.

Types of Equipment for a Self Service Car Wash

Self Serve Systems

Self serve washes need much less individual equipment to operate. These types of car washes commonly have an all-in-one system that is multi purpose and has all the features that customers need to wash their vehicles.

These systems can apply presoaks, triple foam detergents, wax, tire cleaner, drying agents and more. This way, you can save room and money, while keeping everything in one area for people to use in washing their cars. They typically have a spray gun or brush that customers use to apply the solutions themselves.

Extras

These help the job, like a tire scrubbing brush, or microfiber towels or microfiber cloths. These are pieces that can make the process quicker or easier, but typically aren't necessary to get the job done.

Types of Equipment for a Full Service Car Wash

All in One Systems

Since full service washes also wash cars by hand, it would make sense that they also use a similar type of car wash system as a self service car wash. The employees would use a system that can apply presoaks, soap, wax, and other chemicals to the vehicles, and clean them for customers.

Extras

These are small extras such as drying towels, microfiber cloths, and other related tools that help the employees clean and dry cars effectively.

Central Vacuum Systems

A central vacuum system is a very important piece of equipment for full service car washes. This is because it allows the employees to quickly and easily clean the inside of customer's vehicles without having to lug around a heavy and inconvenient vacuum cleaner. Central vacuum systems may be available at automatic and self serve washes but since those business' are catered towards cleaning only the exterior of vehicles, it is more of a priority for full service car washes.

Back of a Truck

Types of Equipment for a Truck Wash

Since trucks are so large in size and sometimes have a challenging shape to clean, there are specially designed equipment to tackle their wash.

These systems are usually sold together in two varieties:

Drive Through Truck Wash

Almost like an in bay automatic wash, but with a twist of tunnel washes, trucks drive through a wash bay where stages of equipment will clean the truck as it drives through.

Roll Over Truck Wash

In this system, trucks go into a wash bay and stop while equipment goes around the truck and washes it. The advantage of this type is that it can clean more effectively for trucks with unique shapes.

How to choose the right car wash equipment for your business

When starting a car wash business, one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing the right car wash equipment.

There are many factors to consider, including the type of vehicle you will be washing, the climate in your area, and your budget. For example, if you live in an area with harsh winters, you will need equipment that can withstand freezing temperatures.

Alternatively, if you plan to wash high-end vehicles, you will need equipment that can provide a gentle clean.

Once you have considered all of these factors, you can begin to narrow down your options and choose the car wash equipment that is right for your business. With the right equipment, you will be able to provide an excellent wash for your customers and build a successful car wash business.

ClearTech

Maintenance and cleaning tips for car wash equipment

As anyone who has ever operated a car wash knows, keeping the equipment clean and well-maintained is essential for proper functioning. Not only does this help to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction, but it can also extend the life of the equipment and prevent costly repairs.

Here are some tips for keeping your car wash equipment in top condition:

  • Inspect the equipment regularly for any signs of wear or damage.
  • Make sure all moving parts are properly lubricated.
  • Keep the exterior of the equipment clean and free of debris.
  • Periodically check hoses and other plumbing components for leaks.

By following these simple maintenance tips, whether you have one location or many. you can keep your car wash equipment running smoothly for years to come.

How much should you pay for car wash equipment?

The exact amount you pay for your car wash equipment will dependent on any number amount of factors. But whether you buy the cheapest equipment you can find, or the most state of the art, can impact your car wash business in many ways.

Car wash equipment is expensive and you will need to account for it when deciding to buy or replace your business' equipment. But buying the cheapest equipment on the market can leave you with lackluster results, on top of potentially breaking down sooner.

On the other hand, buying the latest and greatest thing can leave your business in a such a large financial hole, you may not be able to allocate the funds necessary for all the other aspects of your car wash business, such as staffing, training, chemical selection, or marketing.

Be sure to do your research on the specific pieces of equipment you are looking at. We highly recommend Washworld Inc.'s equipment as they are some of the best pieces you can buy but still for a realistic price. You can view their featured products.

Washworld Inc.'s Razor Double Barrel

Still unsure of your equipment choices? Contact Us - Turtle Wax Pro

The world of car wash equipment is vast, and it's tough to confidently know where to turn on your own. That is why you should rely on your car wash supplier for advice, at the end of the day, the equipment has to synergize well with your chemical selection.

Turtle Wax Pro is one of the industry leaders in car care, and have been for over 75 years. We know car wash chemicals and how to best position them for success, and that includes what equipment you should use. You can count on us to help guide you through that process.

4
Oct
Choosing the Perfect Car Wash Building

When you are starting a new car wash business, one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing the right car wash building design.

The right car wash buildings can be a make-or-break option for your car wash business, so you will want to do thorough research and think carefully before making a decision.

If you're looking to start a car wash business, this blog post is for you. We'll discuss some of the main factors you should consider when choosing a facility.

Sports car wheel

The Right Car Wash Buildings for Each Wash Type

Self Service Car Wash Design

Self serve washes are a type of car wash where customers use hand held equipment to clean their own vehicles.

Customers typically park their car into an empty bay, select their wash options, and then proceed to wash their car using the equipment provided.

How to choose a building for a self service car wash?

There are numerous factors that will play into your decision in choosing a building for a self serve wash.

Self Service Car Wash Size

While self serve washes don't need a lot of room, the number of wash bays and how many customers you want to serve will still determine how much space you need. A single wash bay can only clean one vehicle at a time, which will require less room. A large self serve wash might have upwards of eight bays, so you will definitely need a larger space.

Lot Layout

The layout of your self serve car wash is important for customer convenience. Customer convenience is important because you want your car wash customers to have an easy and enjoyable experience at your wash.

Your layout should be designed in a way that allows people to move through the wash process smoothly and not interfere with others. This means having a logical flow from the moment they enter the lot, to when they wash their car, to when they exit the lot.

Self Service Car Wash Locations

Location is extremely important in almost any business, and a car wash is no different.

Like any car wash, it will need to be accessible for car owners and somewhere they will likely already be, it is unlikely that people will drive out of their way to use it. Close to shopping centers, gas stations, and other places where people are already going is ideal.

Self Service Car Wash Specifics: Indoor Bays vs Outdoor Bays

This is a personal preference, but some people prefer one or the other.

Indoor bays are typically more expensive to build, but offer the benefit of being usable year-round, regardless of the weather. Outdoor bays are less expensive to construct, but may only be used during certain times of the year due to bad weather conditions or tempuratures.

Aesthetics and Car Wash Building Design

The way your car wash buildings look from the street will play a big role in getting customers in the door. The exterior should be eye-catching and inviting, with a bright color scheme that makes it stand out. It should also be well-lit, as this will make it more inviting and welcoming for customers.

These are just a few of the factors you should consider when choosing a building for your self serve car wash.

Competition

Competition is fierce in the wash industry and self serve washes are forced to compete with the large and expensive automatic car wash options as well as any other self serve options around.

You will want to do research in your area before you choose where you would like to build or buy a car wash building. Being around too many other options can reduce your potential consumer base, and being too far away from local car washes can mean your consumers do not frequent those areas.

Estimating Budget

Self service car wash buildings are almost always cheaper to build than an automated/full-service car wash.

You will still need to have a healthy budget in order to build a location as you will need to purchase equipment and other materials. The size of your building and real estate will also play a role in how much it costs.

Car in a car wash

Automatic Car Wash Design

In an automatic wash or express wash, customers drive their vehicle into a wash bay and remain in their vehicle during the entire washing process.

Fully automated washes may have a conveyor belt that moves the vehicle through the various washing stages, in a tunnel style.

How to choose a building for an automatic car wash?

Wash Size

An automatic car wash will require more space than a self service car wash because you'll have car wash equipment inside as well as the conveyor belt (if that's the option you choose).

You will also want to make sure you have enough space for parking or queueing, as people will need to wait for their turn in the wash bay.

Automatic washes can still differ in how many wash bays they use, but typically only one or two are used as they work quickly.

Tunnel washes need the most amount of space as they are huge buildings where cars can drive through while they are cleaned. The longest express wash tunnels have a tunnel length of over 200ft!

Choosing The Right Location

Location is of course still an important factor for automatic washes.

Customers need to be able to easily access the building where their daily life takes place.

These washes occur quickly so people who do not have a lot of time use them, meaning it should be close to their work, school, or lifestyle locations, to easily fit in their busy schedules.

A prime location for an automatic car wash can charge more for the convenience factor. Successful car washes in high traffic areas can be extremely profitable and have attracted a lot of private equity money in recent years.

Competition

Like a self service car wash, automatic washes have to compete with any other options in the area.

It is highly recommended that you are aware of your competitors and choose your building's size or marketing/signage efforts accordingly, in order to separate yourselves from the market. We have a blog detailing marketing advice for car washes.

Budget

Automatic washes are more expensive to build and maintain as they require car wash equipment which can be costly, as well as extra chemicals.

You will need a larger budget to get an automatic wash off the ground, but with that comes the potential for a higher revenue and return on investment.

Full Service Car Wash Design

A full service car wash offers more than just a wash, as the name suggests.

These businesses offer a complete package that can include vacuuming, shampooing carpets/mats, cleaning the interior of windows, and often times even waxing or polishing the paint job.

Customers drive their vehicles into a bay where they then exit their car and hand it over to an employee who will clean the inside and outside of the vehicle while they wait. They may also direct people through a car wash tunnel first to clean the cars exterior.

Full service car washes often have a waiting area with seating, reading material, and television for the customers to enjoy while they wait.

Brick wall

How to choose a building for a full service car wash?

Size

You will need a fair amount of space for a full service car wash as you will have both the cleaning taking place inside and outside of the vehicle, meaning you need room for both employees and customers.

A waiting area is also necessary, so customers have somewhere to go while they wait for their car to be finished.

Location

Location is key for full service washes as well, as you want customers to be able to easily access your business.

Customers understand that this type of wash process will take some time, so it is more convenient for them if it is located near other stores or areas where they can go in the meantime. This way, they don't have to wait in the waiting room.

Competition

Like the other types of car washes, full service businesses have to be aware of their competition in order to succeed. Differentiate yourselves by offering services that your competitors do not, or by providing a more luxury experience.

Budget

A full service car wash will have a higher spend as you need to purchase all of the materials and equipment necessary for both the inside and outside cleaning of the car. This comes in addition to the fact that a full service car wash will require the largest construction footprint.

You will also need to pay your employees, so budgeting for that is important as well. A self service car wash or express wash may need a few employees for customer service, maintenance, stocking and related work. All of that is required with full-service washes, along with personnel who will clean the vehicles themselves.

Budget your costs for the building accordingly, knowing that you will need to budget for a high amount of variable and operating costs on top of the initial building cost.

Halo car wash
Turtle Wax Pro operator, Halo Car Wash in Stratford, ON

Car Wash Building Design: Things to Keep Track of

The design of the building can play a big part in your success for multiple reasons. Having a professional, attractive, and efficient design will ensure convenience and a greater customer experience.

Ease of Customer Use

This could mean being spacious enough where customers don't need to squeeze in and out of the car wash to use it.

It could also be having a clear and concise path that they can follow so they know exactly what to do. This will lead to more customers and great business.

Ease of Staff Use

This is important because if your staff can't move around easily or use the equipment properly, it will end up costing you time and money.

Your staff should be able to move around easily to clean the inside and outside of the vehicle without any issues in a full service wash.

Curb Appeal

Your building's curb appeal is important because it will be one of the first things that potential customers see. It needs to look inviting and professional.

Good design is tough to achieve but make sure you take your time and do lots of research before you create your project.

If your car wash is themed in a way, you can theme your building and/or signage to match.

Walk In Option for Inquiries or Customer Service

This is important because you want customers to feel like they can come in and talk to someone if they have any questions or concerns.

It also gives your company a chance to create the human element that might result in a large number of consumers in the long run.

New Car Wash: Building vs Buying

You have the option of either building or buying a car wash. If you're going to build, make sure you find the perfect location first and then worry about designing the build. If you buy an existing car wash, you will save time but may not have as many options for design or layout changes.

Do some research on car wash buildings in your area to get an idea of what is available and what would work best for you. Talk to other car wash owners to see what they recommend. And, as always, consult with a professional before making any final decisions.

Turtle Wax Pro CARWACS Sign

Opening a Car Wash Business? Contact Turtle Wax Pro

Turtle Wax Pro is the industry leader in car wash products and services, and have decades of experience supporting car wash business of all types in their needs of chemistry, equipment, marketing strategies, operational support and more!

Buying or creating a new building for your car wash is not an easy feat, and you will want to be sure you are making the right decision. Speaking with some industry experts can help ease your mind and ensure your money is going into the right areas.

Reach out today to learn more about what kind of building you should be looking for in your car wash journey.

30
Sep
Buying a Car Wash: Things you Need to Know

Want to buy a car wash? Buying any existing business can be a complex decision, and that is no different for a car wash business.

In this post, be walking through some basic, yet important considerations about this industry that should help inform your decision of buying an existing car wash. While these factors aren't an exhaustive list, they will be helpful to consider when purchasing a car wash business.

What are the main types of car washes?

Self-Serve

A self-serve car wash is usually the least expensive option. Generally, customers pay via coin or credit card to use a self-serve system. It comes with an applicator wand that will apply chemical applications and rinsing, and they pay for the amount of time it is used.

In-Bay Automatic

Automatic washes are compact systems where customers can drive into the bay, and a piece of machinery will move around the vehicle and apply soap and rinsing, but does not come in contact with the car. That is why it can be referred to as a touchless wash. Dryers will be enabled to dry the car as it departs the bay.

Tunnel

Similarly, another type of automated system is the tunnel wash, where customers drive, or are led via conveyor, through a tunnel with different wash stages along the trip. Arches apply chemistry and rinsing applications and rotating brushes apply gentle friction to help remove dirt and sediment, and dryers operate at the exit. This wash operation takes the most space, and is generally a more luxurious experience.

Car being washed

What is the best car wash business?

The best car wash business is one that meets the specific needs of its customers, and the goals of its owners. That means there is no 'best' car wash type, as they all can be lucrative!

Any one of those 3 type of car washes can be great investments and find lots of success within the industry. But they all operate differently, and have their own advantages.

Self-Service

Self-service washes are typically the cheapest to buy and for customers to use, as they use less machines and need customers to wash their own cars. Customers like that they have control over the wash.

In-Bay Automatics

In-Bay Automatic washes are expensive initially due to the heavy equipment needed for them to operate. Because these systems don't directly touch the car, they (perhaps a little more than other systems) rely on optimized chemistry and water quality for premium cleaning, through spray and rinse applications.  The washes take up minimal space and can wash a single vehicle at a time per bay.

Tunnels

Tunnel washes are larger and generally much more costly than other options, but can wash multiple cars at once, bringing in more profits. Generally speaking, the longer the tunnel, the better quality of wash, and the greater volume of cars. Customers often pay the same or more than In-Bay Automatic washes for this experience.

Car front


Other Factors of Consideration

Now that we have gone over the different types of car washes, it's time to start thinking about how to buy one. When you're ready to purchase a car wash, there are several things you need to take into account such as price, location and what type of facility would best suit your needs.

Price

The price of a car wash will vary depending on the size, age, type of facility and location. The type and condition of the wash, it's prior success, and the extras it comes with can affect the price greatly.

Be sure to plan for all the operating expenses, and budget accordingly for fixing weaknesses you may have to to address upon buying.

The type of wash you end up purchasing may be determined by the sellers' price and the capital available to you. Larger operations like tunnel car washes for sale are generally selling for more money, and can have larger expenses and that limits who can invest.

A Feasibility Study can be a helpful tool determining if a property for sale will be a good car wash business investment.

Location

You'll want to find a location that is easily accessible to your target market, preferably in a high-traffic area. A bad location can stifle business growth, driving a car wash into the dirt. On the other hand, a great location, or even just a good location can be the biggest reason customers keep coming.

Also, look at local competition and be aware of what is working and not working with your competitors (try a SWOT analysis) to determine how to set yourself apart from other businesses and build your own customer base.

Equipment

When looking at car washes, it is important to take a close look at the equipment, if it comes included. Make sure that it is in good condition and well-maintained. If it isn't up to par, you will need to factor time and costs to replace or repair it.

Size

The size of a car wash is also something that you should consider. A larger facility with more bays or a long tunnel will be able to accommodate more customers, but it will also come at a higher price, and cost more to operate.

A small car wash will discourage more customers from queueing up or waiting for their turn. Likewise, one too large may struggle to have the volume to warrant its operating costs.

Car wash equipment

Other Elements to Consider

These factors just scratch the surface for those wanting to purchase a car wash. There are many more aspects to buying and owning a car wash such as your business license, local operating bylaws, and reaching your target market for your business. Ensure you connect with local authorities and experts and follow the local regulations correctly.

We recommend that whatever wash site has interested you, you make a detailed car wash Business Plan before moving further in the process. Because before buying an existing car wash, you want to ensure you can make money with your purchase.

Next we'll go over some additional elements you'll want to consider in your business plan for buying a car wash and operating it.

Car wash chemical

What's next for car wash businesses?

Operating a car wash business can be a very rewarding, lucrative experience, but it's important to go into it with your eyes open and be prepared. Here are a few investment considerations you will want to think about.

Car Wash Chemicals

One of the most important things to consider when operating a car wash is the chemicals you'll use. There are many different types of chemistry on the market and it's important to choose ones that will be gentle on each customer's vehicle, but tough on dirt and grime.

We recommend speaking to car wash chemistry manufacturer like us, Turtle Wax Pro. We offer premium performance and results.

Car Wash Equipment

If you're buying an existing facility, you will want to examine all equipment and ensure that they are in top condition as this will play an important role in your business' success.

Training your staff how to safely and effectively use this equipment (and aforementioned chemistry) is also essential.

Marketing Efforts

You'll also want to make sure that you have a solid marketing strategy in place to attract customers.

There are many ways to market a car wash, from a website and on-site signage, to training employees how to upsell wash packages, and you can read about more it in a previous Turtle Wax Pro blog.

With Turtle Wax Pro, powerful marketing opportunities are a benefit that comes with our chemistry. Harnessing the power of the known and loved Turtle Wax brand at your business can really help your company stand out from its competition.  

Mobile Apps and Loyalty Programs

Convenient apps can be used to help your customers buy and start your wash, and earn points.

Mosaic is our recommended digital solution for car washes to market directly to their customers' mobile phones, as well as harness a powerful loyalty program, and offer innovative ease-of-use for customers and staff.

Turtle Wax Pro logo on arch

If you're thinking about buying a car wash, contact Turtle Wax Pro!

With a history of over 75 years of providing excellence in car care, we are familiar with the ins and outs of the car wash industry!

If you're considering buying a car wash business, reach out with your questions and discover why Turtle Wax Pro is the chemistry that will get your business started on the right foot!

23
Sep
Bug Splats And How To Fight Them

Bugs splats are a common issue for many, and because they can be hard to remove, can leave some unsatisfying results when your customers decide to get their cars cleaned.

Dried bugs can not only be tough to remove but they can interfere with your other car wash chemicals, preventing them from effectively accessing the surface of the car, and thus, the quality of your car wash.

In this blog, we'll go through in detail what bug splats are, how you can remove them both in the car wash and at home, and even how you can help prevent them.

What are bug splats?

Bug splats are unattractive spots that you see on your windshield, windows and car body. This occurs when driving and insects or other small animals are caught flying or crawling in the path of a vehicle, and make impact.

As the name suggests, these splats are usually made up of squashed bugs and their guts. Not only are they unsightly, but if left untreated, bug splats can wear on a vehicle's clear coat, and become tough stains to remove.

Ultimately, they can be a nuisance, and a hard-to-avoid consequence of driving in many areas, particularly at certain times of year when insects abound.

What are bug splats caused by? Bug encounters at speed.

When a bug hits your front bumper, windshield and car windows while you're driving, the force of the impact can unfortunately cause the bug to splatter, leaving behind bug stains.

The remains of the bug guts can then dry and bake onto your windshield and become difficult to remove. It is for this reason that you should try to clean dead bugs off your vehicle frequently.

Shiny car surface

Can Bug Stains or Bug Guts Ruin your Car's Paint?

While not necessarily harming car paint, if bug stains are not cleaned up in a timely manner, the bug residue can eat away at your car's clear coat and in extreme cases, cause permanent damage to it.

So you will want to be sure to tackle this problem in a timely manner to avoid any vehicle surface damage.

Combatting Bug Splats in a Car Wash

Without a specialized product to get the job done, even professional car washes can have a challenge tackling pesky bug stains that can stubbornly resist removal.

That's why at Turtle Wax Pro, we have created powerful Bug Removers, such as this foaming option with a fresh lemon scent. It is very flexible for use in Friction, Touchless, Self-serve and Manual applications and produces a rich, dense foam that quickly penetrates and loosens stubborn bug residue from the vehicle surface.

Plus, it's an Eco-friendly and biodegradable option that you and your customers can feel good about.

Don't let your customers be bugged about insects splats on their rides; instead utilize a powerful Turtle Wax Pro Bug Remover at your car wash for exceptional results.  

Wet car surface

How to remove bug splats from cars at home?

If you find yourself with a windshield covered in bug splats, don't despair.

While it is easiest thing to do is to take your vehicle to a professional car wash, which will have powerful products geared to cleaning bugs off your car quickly, you can remove bug splatter at home as well - but it may take some effort.    

With a little elbow grease and the right product, you can have your car looking clean in no time.

Use tools like the right type of cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth, and you're in great shape to start removing bugs from cars!

Remember, whether driving long distances or just locally, the sooner you remove dead bugs from your vehicle, the easier it will be to get your car clean.

Soap and Water

While not the strongest solution, common household items can work in a pinch to clean bug guts and your car.  Home remedies including dish soap paired with warm water or even hot water can have a great impact to remove dead bugs.

Apply soap and water with a soft cloth or microfiber towel and wipe the dead bugs away. If the weather has been hot, or these dead bugs have been on the car for a while, it may take some time and elbow grease to remove bugs from your car. You can also lay microfiber towels soaked in warm cleaning solution over stubborn stains for a few minutes before you wipe the bugs from your car, for easier removal.  

Bug Remover

While there are a number of ways to remove bug guts, and this one is more powerful than dish soap. We recommend using a product that is specially designed for the job, as it will make the job easier.

A product that is formulated to remove bugs will be gentle on your car's paint and will not cause any damage to it. For an at-home option, consider the retail product Turtle Wax's Bug and Tar Remover. It also works for Tree Sap, which we mention below.

We recommend following the manufacturer's instructions on using the bug remover to remove bugs effectively and safely.

Bug Sponge

A bug sponge can be an option for some as well, more notably, the at-home car washer to help remove dead bugs.

Bug sponges are sponges specifically designed to be used on car surfaces that have bug remains or bug splatter. Pair it with a soap or car wash product designed to clean bug splats.

How to use a Bug Sponge

  • To use a bug sponge, you can either wet the surface you want to clean using a spray bottle filled with warm water and car wash soap, or dip the sponge in a bucket with the same cleaning solution.
  • Then work the sponge on the desired areas. Sometimes stubborn stains may need to soak for a few minutes.
  • You can then wipe off the surface to remove the remaining bugs from your car with a microfiber cloth or microfiber towel.

On a related note: How to clean tree sap off of your car?

Tree sap can be just as difficult to remove as bug stains.

If you find yourself with a car covered in tree sap, and you want to solve the product at home,  we recommend using a product that is specifically designed for the job.

A product that is formulated to remove tree sap will be gentle on your car's paint and will not cause any damage to it.

Sometimes tree sap removal products also act as bug removal products as well, which makes them a useful tool in your car wash cleaning products arsenal.

For the home washer, you will want to apply the cleaner and dry it off with a microfiber cloth or towel.

Shiny car

How to prevent bug splats?

Wash Frequently, and Apply Car Wax

The biggest thing you can do as a car owner to prevent bugs on your vehicle is to clean your car regularly.

When you wash your vehicle in a timely manner, bugs will be much easier to wipe away.

Cleaning the vehicle will not only be removing bug guts on the windows or surface, but will protect the clear coat on the car paint job, and provide a glossy and "slippery" finish that may help prevent bugs from your car.  

This is especially the case for cars applied with finishing products such as a car wax.

Car wax creates a smooth surface on your vehicle which helps deflect bugs and their guts upon impact.

Car wax, such as carnauba wax, also carries numerous other benefits for vehicles.

Bug Deflector

Another way to prevent bug guts is by the use of a bug deflector.

A bug deflector is placed on the leading edge of your vehicle, such as the hood, and acts as a shield from bugs hitting your car. Bugs will hit its surface, and be deflected away from the windshield, reducing bug stains.

They are especially useful for a long road trip, those who drive in an affected area with high insect populations, or during certain seasons where bugs are more prevalent.

Turtle Wax Pro Fire Logo


Are bug splats a challenge for your car wash business? Contact Turtle Wax Pro

Bug splats can be a real challenge for many car wash businesses as some areas are more susceptible to bugs than others.

And not dealing with them appropriately can affect the rest of your wash process too, leaving you and your customers with a subpar car wash result.

It is important to recognize if bugs are a common issue for your car wash market and work with your car wash supplier on implementing changes that will help you tackle it with success.

Turtle Wax Pro: Excellence in Car Care

With over 75 years of experience in the car care industry, Turtle Wax Pro has a wealth of knowledge cleaning cars through any problem you can imagine, and that includes bugs.

We have dedicated bug removers that will help support your business in bug season, but also help prevent bug stains going forward.

So get in touch with us today if achieving a better wash is what you want for your business!

23
Sep
Car Wash Training: How to Get the Perfect Car Wash Every Time

Every car wash ultimately has the same goals of producing the perfect wash, resulting in loyal, happier customers, and making a great profit.

However, the perfect wash business does not come easily, and there are many factors that need to be met first.

We have talked about some of these previously, most notably car wash chemicals (check out our blog archive)!

But one significant aspect of having a great car wash is knowing the importance of training for your staff. For instance, it is very important for car wash staff to know exactly how to use the specific products, equipment, promote and upsell wash packages, and be able to tackle unique car and customer situations.

Training Geared for your Team

The perfect training regiment comes down to understanding your specific wash facility and ensuring your team knows exactly how to use their tools to their greatest potential. It also supports developing new skills to build the business, plus improving the wash experience for customers.

Shiny car


Achieving the perfect wash

The car wash process may look simple from the outside, and as any and all experienced car wash owners or workers would know, it is complex and can change on many small factors.

Your wash quality can differ from many different aspects such as water quality, equipment types, chemicals, and much more. If one factor stops working well, the whole wash operation can suffer.

This is precisely the reason that your staff must know the ins and outs of their tools, to be sure the best car wash can be achieved. This can be achieved with regular training, equipment upkeep, and fine tuning.

Effective training is not an easy feat to accomplish, and can be a big time commitment, but you will want to be sure to do so to make your business a success. Hopefully, you have a strong supplier (like us!) who can help car wash operators in their training efforts, and take some of the burden off their shoulders.

The Car Washing Industry is a competitive one, and every advantage is key

Training your team in how to upsell wash packages, set customers onto a loyalty program, maintain equipment, manage a backroom safely, and other necessary skills will ensure you are making steps to improve your business, and get ahead of the competition. Every advantage your car wash can get should be taken within such a competitive industry.

Car wash chemicals

Car Wash Training: How To Do So Effectively

The best way to train your staff is to make it a priority, not only for new hires, but to build skills across your team. Taking the time and ensuring it gets done will pay off down the road when wash results, customer satisfaction, and hopefully profits have improved.

There are numerous different types of training areas and techniques that can be used to help your team learn the ins and outs of the business.

A big asset for you here is your car wash supplier, who should act as your partner to help you get ready and best situated in using their products.

The Importance of Chemical Training

Managing carwash chemicals is a huge aspect of any car wash business. This is why you will need to understand the wash process that makes cleaning successful, and how to properly and safely harness chemistry for best results. Work with your chemistry manufacturer or distributor with their expertise on the product line.

They can teach you which chemistry combinations will perform optimally at your location, show cost-per-car analysis methods, and how to dilute, monitor and manage chemistry for the best car wash performance.  

Understanding and managing carwash chemicals and how to optimize them will have your team ensuring it is bringing out your wash's best results.

The Importance of Equipment Training

Whether a tunnel, in-bay automatic or self-serve, knowing how to best utilize, set up, and maintain your equipment will prove to be invaluable to your total car wash success as it can make a large difference in your end results. A car wash business utilizes a lot of different operational equipment ranging including water softeners, conveyor belts, payment systems, robust tunnel systems and dryers and much, much more. All are vital pieces that must be running smoothly.

Knowing how to do some repairs and regular maintenance is a much needed skill as you want to have as little downtime as possible, (also getting your business back running as fast as possible).

Having team members who understand general and tunnel equipment maintenance, including basic repairs, managing equipment performance optimization and the electrical components controller, preventative maintenance techniques, or a just general equipment overview are a few examples of important skills in a successful car wash. Reaching out for support from suppliers with up to date knowledge can be a great first step in gaining a thorough understanding of the systems in your wash.

Hands-On Experience

Offering your staff practical hands-on workshops, especially if new to the industry, is a great option for a car wash operator to build success for his business. It can be led by a visiting product representative, if related to a specific chemical line or piece of equipment. For more specific training to a particular car wash, often car wash owners can train their teams in any educational gaps they perceive. Training can even be led by a more experienced staff member during non-peak or off-hours, ensuring that your team is comfortable, competent and safe in handling large machinery or commercial chemicals. Distributing this practical knowledge will be essential especially if more experienced staff are not available, or move on to a new company.

Other Training Areas  

There are many more aspects to a car wash than just chemicals or equipment. Training must be done for other areas such managing inventory, operational, finances, marketing and customer service, which are some broad areas that will need to be part of any business. More specifically, inventory management, effective budgeting, and people management are examples of skills that will acted in your business. Teaching your staff to upsell products to customers, educate them on premium wash packages, and encourage visitors to join a loyalty program can be of huge value to a car wash business as well, encouraging a more reliable income with higher profit margins.

Turtle Wax Pro Learning Center


Turtle Wax Pro can help you Train

Your car wash supplier is a powerful asset that can help get your team up to speed quickly and easily on car wash methods, products, and more (we have a blog detailing the importance of your car wash supplier).

Here at Turtle Wax Pro, we have a strong focus in ensuring our clients and partners have training resources that will help their staff use our chemicals more effectively. Our biggest tool for car washing facilities is our exceptional Training tool, FREE and available online for all our customers:

TWP LEARN: Turtle Wax Pro's Online Learning Center

Turtle Wax Pro not only is premium car wash chemistry, with exceptional marketing and branding advantages, but also offers exclusive online training in subjects across the car wash industry.

This is because we understand the importance behind providing training to car wash staff: your car wash can thrive and employees can become actual car wash professionals.

Simple and Convenient Training

This tool is so easy for car washes to use for training their teams, as they can use any device at any time to complete online courses and quizzes. Participants will receive a solid education and certificates at the end of each of the training courses. This saves time for car washing operations as they don't need to build and execute fancy training seminars, and best of all, it's FREE for our customers and their staff.

Over 20 Hours of Video Content

From learning about the five factors of car wash, the chemistry of cleaning, to marketing with the Turtle Wax Pro brand, chemical setups, cost-per-car analysis, titration, advanced car wash knowledge and much more, TWP Learn has content plans for all skill levels.

How Training can Help your Car Wash Business

The importance of training your staff should not be understated, as it can be the difference between a good car wash and a great one. A well-trained team will know how to use their tools better than anyone else, meaning they can provide a higher quality finished product and happier customers, helping your business stand out from the rest!

Transchem and TWP Sign l


Contact Turtle Wax Pro for your Car Wash Success

Training is just one facet of the car wash world that we strive to help our clients with.

Turtle Wax Pro is one of the most recognized car wash brands in the world for a good reason, we have over 75 years of car care experience and decades in providing national carwash solutions (and international) to car wash industry operators and businesses.

Contact us if your business could use some better support whether that be with your chemicals, marketing, or training.

16
Sep
Car Wash Chemicals: Everything You Need For The Perfect Wash

Car wash chemistry is what drives our industry. It's what gets cars cleaned, dry, and beautifully shiny. And it cannot be talked about enough!

But, it can get a little confusing with all the different types of car wash chemicals, so we're here to talk you through the different options and what you should be looking out for when picking chemistry.

What are car wash chemicals

Commercial car wash chemicals are specially formulated cleaners that are designed to remove dirt and stains from a car's surface. This chemistry usually comes in concentrated form, and must be diluted with water before use. There are many different types of car wash chemistry on the market, each designed for a specific purpose. For example, there are degreasers that are designed to break down and remove grease and oil stains, as well as wheel & tire cleaners that are formulated to remove brake dust and grime from your wheels and tires.

Sports car

Different Types of Car Wash Chemicals

There are many different types of commercial car wash chemicals available on the market, each designed for a specific purpose. This is not an exhaustive list as car wash chemicals can get pretty niche. But these are some of the most popular car wash chemistry and their uses:

Presoaks

Also known as traffic film removers (TFRs), presoaks are designed to loosen and remove heavy build-up on your car's surface.

Presoaks are usually applied at the start of the wash to allow them time to work before the main wash. Presoaks as used as the "heavy lifters" in the wash process and are typically high alkaline (pH 11-14) or low acid (pH 0-3).

Presoaks can differ in pH level and surfactant type, so be sure to ask your car wash chemical supplier which one is best for your needs.

As a general thought, high pH presoaks are better at removing organic materials (like road film, bugs, and sap) while low pH presoaks are better at removing inorganic materials (like brake dust and road salt).

Car Wash Soap, Shampoo, and Detergents

Soap, shampoo or detergent is designed to remove light dirt and dust.

These products are applied to vehicles and then rinsed off to clean off vehicles and get them ready for the next stage.

Soaps can differ in many ways but a popular option for both its cleaning effectiveness and visual prowess are triple foams. Triple foams are designed to create thick suds that both look good and help remove dirt from surfaces, in a layered (or triple) effect.

The best car wash detergent on the market (in our opinion) is from Turtle Wax Pro. We have a variety of detergents that are designed to work in any situation your wash may need.

Finishing Products

After your car has been washed and rinsed, you'll want to apply a finishing product to provide a protective barrier against UV rays and other damage on your car's paint and clear coat.

There are many different types of protection products available, from simple waxes to more complex sealants. We have existing blogs explaining the differences between carnauba wax, ceramic coatings, and sealants.

Another type of finishing product is drying agents.

Drying agents help to remove water from your car's surface by making the surface hydrophobic. This helps cars dry faster and hold onto less water. If you want to learn more about drying agents, check out our guide to drying agents.

Car wheel cleaning

Wheel & Tire Cleaners

As the name suggests, tire and wheel cleaners are designed to clean your wheels and tires.

After wheel cleaners have been applied, it should be rinsed off to avoid damage to your car's paint job.

Tire Dressings

Tire dressings or tire shine products are designed to give your tires a shiny, new look.

Tire dressings and tire cleaners are not essential to the wash process but are an extra step to ensure spectacular results and make your commercial car wash stand out from the rest.

Specialty Chemistry

Specialty chemistry can be chemicals with various desired effects. These products are used for specific instances and are not necessarily needed for every wash. But using specialty chemicals is a great way to set your wash apart from the rest in the car wash industry.

Some examples are:

Detailing Products

Detailing products are slightly different chemistry used by detailing professionals to achieve specific results on a car's surface, usually through manual applications.

However, some of these products (like glass cleaners and bug removers) can be used in the regular wash process as well.

Shiny car

Eco Friendly Chemical for Car Wash

There are many different types of commercial car wash chemicals on the market, each designed for a specific purpose. However, not all wash chemistry are created equal. Some of these cleaners can be quite harsh and damaging to your car's paint or even strip the finish off altogether!

One type of chemical that is becoming increasingly popular is eco-friendly or "green" cleaners.

Hyper Concentrates

Hyper concentrates are products that are designed to be diluted with water when they are in use.

The advantage of hyper concentrates is that they are very economical and can last a long time.

With hyper concentrates, you pay for the actual chemical not a drum mostly made up of water. This means you'll save money on your chemistry, and save money on shipping as you'll need less product.

But the advantages don't stop there, you'll be able to wash more cars with your chemistry, making you do more with less.

If you want to learn more about hyper concentrates, we have a video explaining the process in detail here.

Are car wash chemicals safe?

As with any cleaning product, it is important to read the label and follow the instructions carefully.

Car wash chemicals are safe to be used for their intended purpose, but perhaps not for other uses. They may be toxic, corrosive, or even flammable.

Follow the instructions and directions indicated by the manufacturer. It is also vital to keep safety data sheets, or SDSs, on hand in case of an accident.

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Turtle Wax Pro booth wall at CAWACS in Toronto, ON

Car Wash Chemistry Ingredients: What to Look Out For

The exact ingredients that make up commercial car wash chemicals differ for an infinite number of reasons.

But there are a few things you will want to prioritize and avoid.

We recommend looking for products that have ingredients that meet environmental regulations and all municipal, provincial/state and federal sewer-use by-laws.

Chemicals to Avoid

  • Phosphates
  • Ammonium Bifluoride (ABF)
  • Hydrofluoric acid (HF)

What kind of chemistry do Touchless car washes use?

Touchless car washes use chemicals, just like any other wash, but they are typically formulated to work independently without the help of brushes or cloths.

Friction helps products do their job and deal with tough grease and marks, but without that aid, the chemicals themselves must be able to perform by themselves.

If you're running a touchless wash, contact your suppliers to ensure your chemistry is ready to work in a touchless environment.

Chemistry is important, car wash equipment matters too!

The quality of your wash will also depend on the quality of your equipment. Old equipment may not be able to effectively operate and use high quality chemistry. It may even break down more often, causing more downtime for your business.

Subpar machinery may struggle in its important tasks: removing dirt, applying even coats of chemical and having an accurate water pressure.

We'd recommend updating your existing wash equipment if it is getting old, and be sure to purchase the right kind of equipment to match the chemistry you plan to use.

Turtle Wax Pro logo on arch

Chemistry Concerns? Ask Us - Turtle Wax Pro

We have over 75 years of car care, chemistry knowledge, and decades of supporting car wash businesses of all types. Turtle Wax Pro and our parent company, Transchem Group have seen it all.

The chemistry your wash uses must be unique to your situation, your location, your car wash and your desired finished product. An experienced supplier like Turtle Wax Pro, will ensure exceptional results with cutting edge chemistry, while being cost effective, to keep your business washing for years to come.

We also have numerous other product lines such as our full Line of AutoLux products, for more conservative pricing options or private labeling, to truly make your wash unique.

If you have any questions about car wash chemistry in general, or any specific supplier or chemical inquires, contact us anytime. We love to chat about anything in the car wash industry, and that includes chemistry!

11
Sep
Auto Detailing Business Success: Tips to Grow and Expand

If you're looking to start or grow your auto detailing business, you're in luck. This guide will give you tips on how to expand and grow your auto detailing business. Read on for advice on how to attract more customers, hire the right employees, and make your business stand out from the competition.

What is an Auto detailing business?

An auto detailing business offers professional cleaning, polishing and protection services for cars and trucks.

These services are sometimes performed as a mobile detailing business that comes to the customer's home or office, but some companies also have a brick-and-mortar location.

A successful car detailing business can be started with a small investment, and many detailers start out working part-time before transitioning to full-time. If you're passionate about cars and have an entrepreneurial spirit, offering detailing services may be the perfect opportunity for you.

Shiny black car

Heavy Competition as Car Detailing Business

The car detailing industry is a competitive one. There will be lots of competitors, and thus, your business has to find ways to separate themselves from the rest.  

This can be done in a few ways:

  • By providing top-notch customer service
  • By offering competitive pricing
  • By having a convenient location
  • By being able to offer mobile services


To succeed in the car detailing business, you must first understand what your customers want and then give it to them

Car wash signgage
Signage at Turtle Wax Pro operator, Halo Car Wash in Stratford, ON

How to expand auto detailing business?

There are many ways to expand your auto detailing business. Below are some ways to consider when expanding your business:

Marketing

Marketing is a vital aspect to almost any business and will allow your auto detailing services to reach and attract not only new potential customers, but the ideal customer.

Getting your name out there can be a challenge for some, and that is why it's important to market your business effectively.

If you'd like to know more about marketing in the car care industry, you can check out our blog detailing everything you need to know.

Services

One way to expand your auto detailing business is by adding new services.

By offering additional services, you can attract new customers and grow your business.

Some popular services that detailers offer include paint correction, headlight restoration, ceramic coating, and more.

You may want to offer mobile auto detailing services, which removes a barrier for customers to get their car cleaned.

If you're looking to add new services to your business, be sure to do your research and find services that will be in demand and that you're able to perform properly.

Loyalty Programs/Promotions

Another way to expand your auto detailing business is by implementing loyalty programs or promotions. Loyalty programs will help you retain existing customers and promote repeat business. Promotions can be a great way to attract new potential customers and grow your business.

Be sure to choose promotions that will appeal to your target market by saving them money and still be advantageous to your business by bringing in more money, and more revenue.

This can also relate to customer relationship management as this allows you to record repeat customer data and help you keep that customer service strong with your existing customers.

Shiny car

The Secret to a Successful Auto Detailing Business

The key to any successful business is providing quality services and products. This is especially true in the auto detailing industry as there are other options for consumers.

Customers are looking for businesses that can provide them with high-quality services at a fair price.

If you're able to provide your customers with an excellent experience, they'll be more likely to use your services again and recommend you to others.

How can you ensure a quality service and a fantastic clean?

The answer is simple: by using the best chemistry and equipment available.

Using specially designed chemicals, made with premium ingredients, are exactly how you will be able to provide an exception clean and dry exterior, and a spotless interior of your vehicles!

The tools you choose are also crucial since they will make the cleaning process much easier and faster, with a more successful result.

If you're not completely satisfied with your chemicals and equipment, we recommend reaching out to Turtle Wax Pro, who will find out that winning formula that will provide an exceptional clean every time!

Retro car

How can you improve your auto detailing business?

Wanting to always improve is a fantastic trait for anyone to have. It's the key to not only becoming successful, but staying successful.

While there are plenty of methods you can use to better your business, it is essential to identify which areas need the most improvement.

Customer Service

One way to improve your business is by ensuring that you're providing excellent customer service.

This means being friendly, helpful, and accommodating to your customers' needs.

If you're able to provide great customer service, your customers will be more likely to use your services again and recommend you to others. You could improve your customer service by:

  • Listening to your customers and addressing their concerns in negative reviews
  • Making it easy for customers to contact you
  • Following up with customers after their service
  • Giving your customers a detailed explanation of the services you provide
  • Asking for feedback from customers

Quality of Services

We've talked about how important your chemistry and equipment will be in how great your services will be.

Providing a great service is something you should always strive for, and having the right tools will allow you to do just that. You could improve your car services by:

  • Using the best quality products available
  • Keeping your equipment in good condition
  • Continuously training yourself and your employees
  • Staying up to date with the latest trends

Marketing

Even if your service is great, if no car owners know about your offerings, you may not be as successful as you would like.

If you want to improve your business, and reach potential customers, improving your marketing efforts can be very important.

Use a variety of marketing tools including advertisements, print or digital media, social media accounts, events, discounts and a fantastic website with good search engine optimization.

How profitable is a car detailing business?

Like any business, the profitability of a detailing company can vary greatly.

It will depend on a number of factors: your location, what services you offer, how many customers you have, etc.

Depending on the size of the operation, an experienced car detailing business owner can bring in a six figure income after just a few years. There are always outliers who make more or less, but if you provide quality services at a fair price, you should be able to make a good profit.

Turtle Wax Pro logo on arch

Need help growing (or starting!) your auto detailing business? Contact Turtle Wax Pro

Being the most recognized brand in car washing, we at Turtle Wax Pro have supported car wash and car care companies of all types and sizes.

We are no stranger to professional detailing services and understand exactly what is needed to have the cleanest, driest, and shiniest vehicles on the market.

If you're considering the idea of opening a new business, or simply need a hand in growing your own, don't hesitate to reach out!

We're always keen on talking with others in the industry and seeing how we can help you out!

8
Sep
Starting a Car Wash? Everything you Need to Know

Are you looking for a business opportunity that is both profitable and exciting? If so, then you should consider opening a car wash business.

This industry is booming, and there are many different ways to get started. In this blog post, we will discuss steps that will help you get your car wash business up and running!

Let's state the obvious: What is a car wash?

A car wash is a business where people can go to have their cars cleaned.

This can be done either by hand or by machine, and there are many different types of car washes to choose from.

Is owning a Car Wash Business a good idea?

If you're thinking about starting a professional car wash business, know that it can be very lucrative.

The car wash industry is growing rapidly, with the injection of venture capital in professional car washes and new technology.

This means that now is a great time to get involved in car washing. Not only is the industry growing, but there are also many different ways to build a car wash business.

It can be a challenge at times, but opening a car wash can prove to have many avenues for success, making it a great investment opportunity.

Are car wash businesses profitable?

Car wash businesses can be very profitable. How profitable your car wash will be depends on many factors: the location, type of car wash, and how well you run the business.

However, with a little bit of planning from the help of some car wash experts, your car wash will net you $85,000 on average (US Census Bureau) over the course of a year.

Let's discuss the different types of car washes, as they each have unique advantages and disadvantages.

Turtle Wax Pro car wash

What are the different types of car washes?

There are several different types of car washes, and you'll want to learn about all the different options when choosing which one you would like to own.

Self Service Car Wash

This type of wash is exactly what it sounds like - customers serve themselves. Typically, a machine with various chemical choices and a pressure washer is used. They may have extras like vacuums and towels to help the drying process.

Self serve washes are great as they require very little staff. They are also quick, which is great for customers who are in a hurry. A self service car wash has the strongest advantage of being the cheapest to open.

Unfortunately, they can be quite messy and unorganized, customers often don't clean up properly. Plus, self serve washes have much cheaper wash packages meaning less room for profit on each car.

In Bay Automatic Car Wash

In this type of wash, the customer drives their vehicle into an empty bay. The vehicle is then cleaned by machines that move around the car.

In bay car washes have a few advantages over self serve ones. They're much more organized and customers can't make much of a mess. In bay car washes also have wash packages that cost more. This is due to the ability to offer packages that are more complex. There is now more potential to make a profit on each car.

This type of car wash is typically found at a gas station or other location where there is room to park the cars, but not enough room to fit a tunnel car wash.

In bay washes have the advantage of still being fully automated, providing customers with high convenience and low effort. It can only serve one customer at a time however, sometimes creating lines and limiting potential revenue.

Tunnel Car Wash

In a tunnel car wash, the customer drives their car onto a conveyor belt that moves the vehicle through a long tunnel.

This type of wash is much larger than an in-bay wash and can accommodate more cars.

Tunnel washes can be extremely lucrative but also are extremely expensive to open in the first place. Most tunnels will require a multi-million dollar initial investment.

Tunnel washes typically offer the best wash packages and have the ability to upsell customers on waxes, polishes, and other services. They also have high customer satisfaction as they provide a complete cleaning of the vehicle.

It is also important to ensure that there is a market in that area for such a large wash, as a tunnel's greatest advantage is being able to serve multiple vehicles at once. There longest tunnels can service 1200-1500 cars per day leading to daily revenue of over $20,000.

Car wash equipment

Washing Equipment

To start a car wash, you'll need to decide which type of car wash you want to open and what car wash equipment is right for you.

Brushes

Some car washes will use a brush style system. This uses long bristled brushes that spin and help to loosen the dirt and grime on the car.

These do a great job at cleaning vehicles, sometimes a little too well.

There have been cases of the brushes scratching paint off of cars, so be sure to research this type of system before you choose it for your business.

Soft Cloth

This type of system uses long, soft cloths that wrap around the vehicle and clean it as it moves through the wash.

This is a safer option and is used by most car washes today.

Touchless Car Wash

Touchless car washes use high-pressure water jets and no brushes or cloths to clean the vehicle.

This is a newer option that is becoming more popular as it has no chance to damage the customer's vehicle.

Full Service Car Wash

Full service washes offer a complete service that washes, dries, and vacuums the inside and outside of your vehicle. This is the best chance to offer exceptional customer service.

Full service car washes are great because they offer customers convenience and a thorough cleaning.

They do require more staff than other types of washes, which can make them more expensive to run.

Halo car wash
Halo Car Wash, proud partner of Transchem and Turtle Wax Pro, in Stratford, ON

What type of car wash is the most profitable?

The answer to this question is not straightforward as it depends on various conditions.

The income your car wash business can generate will depend on a variety of factors, including location and business plan.

A full service car wash business could be more profitable than other types of car washes because they provide more services and can charge more for them.

An automated car wash business could also be the most profitable as it needs less dedicated staff and can run 24 hours, meaning more potential customers.

Start your car wash business plan

Here are some steps and aspects you'll want to consider when creating your business plan for a car wash.

1) Business Name:

As with any business, you will need to pick a name for it to be run as, and this will be the first thing you put into your business plan.

For your own car wash business, we recommend you to pick an easy to remember, snappy name as customers will be more likely to return if they can remember it.

2) Target Market:

When you’re planning to start a car wash, it’s important to think about who your target market is.

Are you aiming for the high-end market with luxury cars? Or are you more interested in catering to the budget-minded customer with economy cars?

Your target market will help determine the type of car wash you open, as well as the location and services you offer.

3) Location:

Your location is critical for the success of your car wash. You'll want to make sure that it is easily accessible and in a high traffic area.

The location can also be what area of the world, as some cities or regions are higher car traffic areas, and what weather they experience will differ as well.

4) Wash Type:

The type of wash you decide to open will play a large role in your start up costs, as well as the potential income you can generate.

The various forms of automatic car washes carry unique benefits that make them advantageous to some, but a self service car wash has its market, so decide carefully!

5) Competition:

You will also want to do some market research into the competition before finalizing your decision to open a car wash there.

A little competition is healthy, but too many local businesses, other car washes and big name corporations could make it difficult for your business to thrive.

6) Employees:

You'll need to decide how many employees you'll need and what their roles will be.

This will depend on how large of an operation you plan to open.

7) Applications/Loyalty Program:

You may want to offer some type of applications or loyalty programs to customers.

This could include a rewards program for return customers to eventually redeem a free car wash.

You can also offer coupons or discounts for a free wash to help attract new vehicle owners.

Digital Mosaic is a fantastic provider of technology solutions for the car wash industry. They provide clients with a way to effortlessly institute turn-key subscription and loyalty programs, brand their operations with a custom branded app, and improve their marketing efforts by paying close attention to customer data and analytics.

8) Ins and Outs:

Experience and knowledge is an invaluable aspect to any business venture, and the car wash industry is no different.

It would be smart to speak to successful car wash owners or suppliers as part of your market research. Knowing their views, strengths, and weaknesses can make you a more profitable business.

9) Car Wash Suppliers:

You'll need to find suppliers for all of the equipment and chemicals you'll need to run your car wash business.

We recommend finding multiple suppliers and distributors, like Turtle Wax Pro, and discussing your needs with each of them to learn more about the costs involved.

Suppliers can offer more than just chemicals as they can help with improving your wash, market positioning, brand recognition, etc.

We have a blog detailing everything you'll need to know regarding picking the right supplier to help you open a car wash.

Inside a car wash

How To Open A Car Wash, The Business Framework

We will also run through some of the legal needs and paperwork aspects to opening and running a car wash business. You will need to contact appropriate local authorities in your area, this will just give you an idea of where to start.

Registering your Car Wash Business

The first step is to register your business with the local authorities and the IRS.

You will need to obtain business licenses and a federal tax identification number, as you will need to pay business taxes.

Permits and Zoning

Be sure to check with your local government about any permits or zoning regulations that may apply to your car wash business.

These are documents and policies that you would need to open and run your car wash, legally.

Car Wash Business Insurance

It's important to get business insurance for your car wash to protect you from any potential liabilities.

You'll want to have a discussion with your local insurance agent so they can help choosing a policy that fits you best.

Workers compensation insurance is also required in some areas, so be sure to check with your state's laws.

Business Banking

You'll need to open a business bank account and get a line of credit or loan for your car wash venture.

It is also important for a business bank account to be in place, so that your business and personal finances can stay separate.

As small business owners, you'll need to make sure your business's financial operations are in order.

Start Up Expenses

The costs involved to get your business off the ground will depend on a number of previously mentioned factors, like the kind of car wash you want and how many employees you plan to have.

Opening a car wash can differ greatly in initial expenses, a small self service car wash will be much cheaper than a tunnel wash for example.

Be sure to review your financial options to decide what is your best course of action.

Ongoing Expenses

Now that we've gone over some of the one time start up costs, it's important to understand those initial costs are not the only ones that go into opening a car wash.  

You'll need to factor in the cost of running your car wash on a day to day basis.

This includes costs such as water and electricity, chemicals, supplies, employee wages and other business expenses.

Turtle Wax Pro car wash signage
Turtle Wax Pro signage at Pure Clean Car Wash in Columbia, TN

Marketing

Marketing can be a make it or break it factor for your new car wash business. You need to get the word out to car owners!

Small businesses and small business owners sometimes find marketing a difficult task but if you want to find success within the car wash industry, you will want some type of marketing strategy.

Your marketing strategy can include advertisements, signage, events and so much more.

Small Businesses Marketing Help

Fortunately, we have a blog created outlining how you can market your car wash to make the concept easier and more approachable.

You can also rely on your car wash supplier for marketing help, at Turtle Wax Pro, this an aspect we aim to help all of our operators with, as we understand the challenge of finding and keeping customers coming back.

Turtle Wax Pro arch

If you're in the market to open a new car wash, get in touch with Turtle Wax Pro

We would love to hear your idea and see how we can help you get started in the industry.

Turtle Wax Pro provides everything from industry leading car wash chemistry, to business and marketing support.

We have been in the car care business for over 75 years and know a thing or two about how to start a car wash and washing cars.

Reach out today for more information on how we can help you with your new car wash business venture!

7
Sep
How to Remove Water Spots from a Vehicle: Keep your Car Looking New

Water spots on a vehicle can be a real eyesore.

Not only are they ugly, but they can negatively impact your car wash's success.

We at Turtle Wax Pro have decades of experience supporting operators within the car wash industry, and understand how challenging and inconvenient those water spots can be.

Today, we will discuss the best methods for removing hard water spots from a vehicle, for both the home washer and the professional car wash.

What are Water Spots?

Water spots are caused by minerals dissolved within water remaining on a vehicle's surface after the water dries. This is especially the case for hard water, which is water that contains high levels of minerals. When hard water dries on a surface, the minerals are left behind and can create stubborn water stains.  Soft water on the other hand does not contain as high levels of minerals but can still leave water spots, especially if the vehicle is not dried properly.

How do Water Spots affect cars?

Water spots can be harmful to cars because in extreme cases, they can etch marks into the vehicle's clear coat, causing damage to it.

Water spots can also make it difficult to completely remove other dirt and debris off of the vehicle.

Ultimately, they worsen a car's appearance, even right after getting a wash.

Customers expect their car to look shiny and clean after they get their car washed, but if they see a bunch of spots, they will not be pleased.

Car being washed

How to remove water spots from car?

There are multiple methods to remove water spots from vehicles.

First we'll cover the DIY method we believe works the best, then professional options for car wash business.

DIY

A popular DIY method is to use a white vinegar and water solution.

To make this solution, mix one part vinegar with one part water. Then, apply the solution to the water spots using a microfiber towel or sponge.

Let the vinegar sit on the spots for a few minutes before rinsing it off with clean, distilled water. You may need to repeat this process a few times to get rid of all the spots.

Pro

If you are a professional, you have access to more powerful chemicals and tools that can operate as water spot removers.

We recommend using a car wash presoak or other formulations that will help break down the minerals' adhesion to the vehicle. A final rinse with purified reverse osmosis water will remove any remaining water that has dissolved solids (which could dry and leave future water spots).

A detailing shop can utilize even more hands-on approaches: for more stubborn and older spots, you can use a clay bar or a polishing pad.

These products will get rid of the water spots. However, you should be careful not to damage the body panel while using these products.

Vinegar can still be used in conjunction with these options.

Car with clear windows

Items you will need to remove water spots from a car

A professional car wash harnesses chemistry, reverse osmosis water, and powerful car wash equipment to remove and prevent hard water spots after the wash.

Thus, we'll focus on the home car washer.

Distilled Water

Distilled water is water that has been filtered to remove impurities.

It is the best type of water to use for rinsing as those water spots were originally formed by water that had minerals in them.

White Vinegar

Vinegar is an acidic liquid that can break down minerals. As, established, it is a popular choice for removing water spots as it is relatively gentle and will not damage the paint on your car.

Spray Bottle

A spray bottle can be used for the vinegar and water solution you can create to combat those tough water spots!

Sponge or Microfiber towel

You will need something to first wet the car's paintwork.  

Car Wash Detergent

You will want to wash your car first, to get rid of the dirt and swirl marks currently on the vehicle, allowing you to focus on those water spots.

Step by Step

  1. First, wet your car, especially over the area with the markings with a sponge or microfiber towels. Take notice if ringlets appear around the spots or it feels rough, this indicates the more severe form of mineral deposits.
  2. Next, wash the car using your car wash soap of choice to remove road grime and dirt. If your water spots are new, its possible they will come off in this stage.
  3. Mix equal amounts of vinegar and distilled water in a spray bottle, and apply the solution to areas with water spots.
  4. Allow the vinegar to sit on the hard water stains for a few minutes.
  5. Rinse the area with a garden hose and wipe off the mineral deposits.
  6. For best results, rinse with distilled or reverse osmosis water before drying.

If you want to prevent water spots, here are some things to note:

Acid Rain

Acid rain can leave an unattractive look to vehicles, especially on glass.

Try to keep your car in a garage or covered when possible to avoid getting these spots on your windows.

Direct Sunlight when Wet

When your car is wet and in direct sunlight, water spots can form quickly as the water evaporates.

If you cannot avoid getting your car wet and being in the sun, try to dry it off as soon as possible by using a drying towel or cloth.

Sea Air

Cars that are regularly driven near the ocean will experience more water spot formation due to the salt in the air.

Wash and dry your car more frequently if you live near the ocean to avoid these spots.

Car being washed


Q&A: Here are some common questions that you may have regarding water spots

Are water spots permanent?

No, hard water spots can be removed with the right method.

A number of different methods will work such as professional car wash products or regular white vinegar! Most car washes will remove car washes as part of the presoak application, and during the final rinse, will use softened or reverse osmosis water that will prevent more spots upon drying.

Will using vinegar on my vehicle damage the surface?

No, white vinegar is a weak acid and will not damage your paint or clear coat. In fact, a water and vinegar solution can be used as a polishing agent, and can be a great solution for removing water spots from home.

However, you should avoid using it on aluminum or chrome surfaces as it may cause corrosion.

Can water spots damage a car's paint?

No, water spots will not damage the paint on your car.

However, if you allow them to sit for a long time without cleaning them, they may make etch marks into the clear coat which will then require polishing or buffing to remove.

Turtle Wax Pro Car Wash
Turtle Wax Pro operator, Halo Car Wash in Stratford, ON


Professional Car Washes and Hard Water Spots

Is hard water bad for car washing?

Yes, hard water is bad for car washing as it can leave spots on your paint and ruin the quality of your wash! The mineral deposits in the water can cause all sorts of trouble for car wash equipment, efficacy of chemistry, and the end results on the vehicle.

How can I fix my hard water?

The best way to fix hard water is to use a softener or reverse osmosis system... or a combination of the two. We have a guide that will walk you through your possible courses of action against hard water.

Car being washed at Wett Car Wash in West Chicago, IL

Hard Water Spots impacting your car wash success? Contact Turtle Wax Pro

As mentioned, water spots can really ruin the end result an otherwise great car wash, and is something your business will want to resolve.

Spraying cars with vinegar is a great at-home solution, but the professional car wash has more powerful options through chemistry that wash off spots, as well as road grime and other unpleasant residues on the vehicle.

Using chemistry that's tough on inorganic materials will help do the heavy lifting against the mineral deposit buildups found in water spots. Finally, a reverse osmosis final rinse will make sure new spots don't form on the car's surface.

Turtle Wax Pro has some of the best chemicals in the industry and can help your car wash handle even the toughest of cleaning challenges, including dealing with inconvenient hard water spots, and help prevent new ones from forming too.

Contact us today to learn how Turtle Wax Pro can help your business shine!

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