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CAR WASH BLOG

Featured blog Post:

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.

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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.

Turtle Wax Pro banner
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!

30
Aug
The Best Car Sealant: How to Keep Your Vehicle Looking New

All year round, consumers like a great looking, clean car. Part of achieving that goal for your consumers is protecting the vehicle with a sealant so it can stay shiny and clean long after it leaves the wash!

Car paint sealants are a fantastic option for cars, trucks and SUVs to protect exterior paint. But with all of the different options on the market, it can be hard to know which product is right for the external surface of your vehicle.

Today, we'll be walking you through what paint sealants are, what benefits they provide, and why you might want to offer it as a part of your car wash lineup.

And maybe most importantly, what we believe the best car sealant is for a car wash!

Should I put paint sealant on my new car?

If you want to protect your new car's paint, we recommend using a car paint sealant.

It is completely safe and will ensure your new car continues to look new for longer!

What is Car Paint Sealant?

Car paint sealant is a clear or colored coating that is applied to the car's exterior to repel water and provide long lasting protection to the paint job.

The primary purpose of this type of sealant is to protect the automotive paint from oxidation, fading, and weathering.

It can also provide some level of protection against fine scratches and swirl marks. In most cases, car paint sealants are applied by hand or by machine. They are an excellent option to add in the finishing stage of a car wash lineup.

How are Sealants made?

Car paint sealants are typically made from a polymer or resin-based formulas, often mixed with other ingredients.

These compounds and chemicals then react with the paint to form a cross-linking film that is durable and hardens upon contact with oxygen in the air.

This process creates a thin coat and protective layer on top of the automotive paint that can last for several months.

Shiny car


Why Consumers Love Paint Sealants

Easy Applications

When it comes to car care, consumers are always looking for products and services that will help save them time and money in the long run.

Paint sealants are a great option for those who are looking for an easy way to protect their car's paint job.

Most sealants can be applied in just a few minutes and will last for several months, which means that consumers won't have to worry about applying them as often as they would other types of protection options.

Are there any drawbacks?

Like with any product, there are always a few drawbacks. In the case of car paint sealants, one of the primary concerns is that they can be difficult to remove, so it is best to choose a quality product.

Another concern is that some types of sealants can cause hazing or streaking if they are not applied correctly.  

However, these drawbacks are typically minor and can be avoided with proper application, which is why professional application is recommended.

Types of paint sealants

Pure car paint sealant

Pure car paint sealants are formulated to do what you might be able to guess: seal a car's paint.

They usually come in acrylic or synthetic polymer sealant formulations. Polymers can sometimes have added ingredients such as carnauba wax while acrylics are typically purely car sealants.

All in One car sealant

An all in one sealant is a paint sealant that contains additional ingredients to provide more benefits than just sealing the paint.

For example, some all in one paint sealants may also contain cleaners, protectants or polishes. These added ingredients can provide extra protection and high gloss shine to the vehicle paint finish.

What do Car Paint Sealants offer?

Car paint sealants offer many benefits including:

Protection from the elements

A paint sealant creates a barrier between your car's paint and the environment.

This can help to protect your vehicle's paint from wearing down from acid rain, bird droppings, UV rays, oxidation, road grime, fine scratches, and other weathering from environmental elements.

Enhanced shine

A good quality paint sealant will also enhance the shine of your car's paint.

This is because it fills in any microscopic imperfections in the vehicle's paint and creates a smooth, reflective paint surface, making the paint color and surfaces look great.

Ease of use

Car paint sealants are also much easier to use than other types of car care products.

They can be applied by hand, as a spray sealant, or with a machine, such as in a car wash application.

Color Specific Formulations

While clear coat sealant products are very popular, many car paint sealants are available in different formulations for specific paint colors.

This means that you can choose a paint sealant that will work well with your car's paint job.

Graphene and Ceramics

Graphene and ceramics compounds are used in many sealant options today as they provide exactly what is desired in a sealant option; a very thin but strong protective coating that works against UV rays, swirls, marks, oxidation and more.

Retro car


How long do paint sealants last?

The lifespan of a car paint sealant depends on the type of sealant, the environment, and how well it is cared for.

In general, pure paint sealants will last between six and twelve months while an all in one car paint sealant will last between three and six months (Comparatively, car wax will last between 1-3 months). Thus, paint sealants are a durable option to protect your vehicle.

To get the most out of your car paint sealant, it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for application and care.

How to use Car Paint Sealants?

We recommend following the instructions given with the specific paint sealant to ensure it is used properly.

Some may be applied by hand only to the paint job on a vehicle, but in a car wash environment it may be applied to the entire outside of the vehicle.

Are car paint sealants worth it?

Yes! Car paint sealants are worth it because they offer many benefits including protection from the elements, enhanced shine, repelling water, and ease of use.

Car paint sealants create a barrier between your car's paint and the environment which helps to protect against UV damage, oxidation, and other environmental elements.

Paint sealants also enhance the shine of your car's paint by filling in any microscopic imperfections and creating a smooth, reflective surface.

Most car paint sealant reviews demonstrate that people are happy with the results they achieve from using a vehicle sealant, and see much value in applying it to their vehicle's paint finish.

What is better: Car waxes or car paint sealant?

The answer to this question is dependent on what you are looking for.

If you are looking for longer lasting protection, then a paint sealant would be the better option. If you are looking for a glossy shine, then traditional car waxes may be the better option.

It is important to remember that both car waxes (especially carnauba wax) and car paint sealants have their own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Can I use both?

Yes, you can use both a traditional car wax and car paint sealant.  

It is important to note that the efficacy of either product may weaken when used together, but in some cases, it could be beneficial to use both! Especially if those products are made to work together.  

(This is the case for lots of Turtle Wax Pro products, as they have specially formulated to improve one another's performance, allowing you achieve the advantages of both, such as pairing our sealant Super Hard Shell Finish with BLAZIN’ GLAZE™ or ICE® INSTANT SHINE™ to amplify hydrophobic properties to reduce drying time on the entire vehicle!)

Shiny car


What is better: Ceramic coating or a paint sealant?

Ceramic coatings and sealants both offer different benefits.

A ceramic coating will provide better protection against the elements and is more durable than a paint sealant. However, it is also more expensive and can require more maintenance.

A paint sealant is easier to apply and does not require as much maintenance as a ceramic coating. However, it does not last as long and does not protect paint to the same level.

Ceramic Sealants: The Best of Both Worlds?

The best option for you will depend on your budget and your needs. That said, there are now some hybrid ceramic paint sealant options on the market which combine the benefits of these products! See Super Hard Shell Finish below to learn about Turtle Wax Pro's next-generation surface protectant and sealant with ceramic technology. It's one of the best car paint sealants on the market, and a perfect addition to a car wash!

Things to Consider when Choosing the Best Car Paint Sealant  

There are a few things you should consider before choosing the best car paint sealant:

Environment

The environment you live in will play a role in how often you need to reapply the paint sealant.

If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, then you may need to reapply more frequently to maintain paint protection.

Finish

The finish you are looking to achieve will also be a deciding factor.

Some sealants provide a high-gloss or even wet look which provide an attractive and shiny finish to any vehicle.

Some offer more of a matte look which some car owners prefer as it's less flashy and attention grabbing, but still providing great paint protection!

It is important to consider what kind of look you are going for before making your purchase!

Overall Chemistry

The last thing you want to consider is your wash's overall chemistry.

Superior car wash chemistry aims for each different product to work together to produce a better result. This means it is a smart thing to do to tailor the car paint sealant you choose to match the rest of your chemistry.

Budget

Want to add a sealant finishing product to your car wash? Your budget is also an important consideration as paint protection can get expensive, but ensuring a high-quality job will ensure your customers are pleased with the result.

It is important to note that not all great chemistry and sealants have to be too expensive! The right supplier like Turtle Wax Pro provides premium car sealants with a price tag that your car wash can be happy with.

Reminder: Maintenance is key

Whether your preferred protection method is a paint sealant or a wax or any other, the key to it performing to the best of its ability is proper maintenance.

Without proper maintenance, it's likely that the protection it offers will weaken, the shine it provides will dimmer, and it may degrade off the vehicle quickly.

Fortunately, proper maintenance for paint sealants is very simple! The vehicle should be washed and sealant reapplied regularly to maintain the sealant's benefits. Using a car wash loyalty or unlimited wash program can be a great way to have customers come back regularly to enjoy the benefits of paint protection with frequent applications of sealant on their vehicles!

Is there a best auto paint sealant?

The answer to this question can be subjective as different car paint sealant products support different benefits. Are you looking for the longest lasting UV protection? A convenient spray bottle or a car wash application?

A deep gloss paint sealant designed for car washes or one that offers a ceramic coating spray sealant? Most car paint sealants will offer some degree of glossy finish, UV light protection, and a barrier protection for the vehicle's exterior against road grime, water and other elements, but then again, not every product lives up to it's claims to truly protect car paint.

It is important to do your research and decide which car paint sealant will best suit your needs. At Turtle Wax Pro, we harness over 45 years of industry experience in innovating, testing and manufacturing premium car wash products that deliver - including several car paint sealant options!

The best car paint sealants will be ones that offer strong protection, great shine, fits the budget in question, and we at Turtle Wax Pro believe at least, should also consider the environment.

Turtle Wax Pro has a great selection of car paint sealants that can be tailored to your specific car wash needs, including one of our most popular products: Super Hard Shell Finish, one of the best car paint sealants on the market!

Turtle Wax Pro Super Hard Shell Finish

The Best Car Sealant: Super Hard Shell Finish:

A next generation surface protectant and car paint sealant!

Harness revolutionary ceramic technology with Super Hard Shell Finish!  Super Hard Shell Finish is a premium car paint sealant and protectant to add to your top car wash package, delivering quality, long-lasting protection for your customers!

When incorporated onto the surface of the vehicle, ceramics create a hard, protective layer due to their crystalline structure, leading to the ultimate surface protection and advanced paint care. Turtle Wax Pro’s Super Hard Shell Finish magnifies the hydrophobic effect to repel water from a vehicle’s surface, protects the vehicle’s paint from UV rays, enhances gloss and provides extra long-lasting car paint sealant power.

The use of Super Hard Shell Finish or any other clear coat car paint sealant and protectant leads to easier future cleaning, due to the barrier created between the car and road film. This can lead to a compounding effect with cars becoming cleaner, drier and shinier after multiple washes.

This is a next-generation surface protectant and car paint sealant with ceramic technology. Offer this product as an “a la carte” item or upsell customers to the best car wash package.

turtle wax pro Arch
TWP Arch from West Car Wash in West Chicago, IL

Choosing the Right Supplier - Turtle Wax Pro

Don't settle for unreliable chemical guys to get the best car paint sealants for your car wash business. Choosing the right supplier and brand to provide your business with a car paint sealant will prove to be an invaluable decision.

Your supplier will support you with providing a great product, training, ensuring a suitable set up at the wash, related marketing support and many more factors to help your car wash business succeed!  That means to see success you'll need to pick the right supplier!

Turtle Wax Pro has been in the car care business for over 75 years, with a strong reputation and brand that consumers recognize!

Turtle Wax Pro's paint sealant and the related paint protectant options are available in different formulations to suit every need, and best of all, they are formulated to work with the rest of our chemistry, ensuring a terrific result every time.

Contact Us Today

If you're considering using a paint sealant, a paint protectant, or any other premium chemistry application in your car wash business, feel free to contact us. We'd love to walk you through the decision to discover what options are right for your car wash and delivering the best car care!

26
Aug
Drying Agents for a Perfect Car Wash

Although a great car wash can make any vehicle look amazing, not properly drying it afterwards can completely ruin the effect!

The drying stage is an essential element of a successful wash. The drier the car, the less likely it is to experience water spots or streaks. A drying agent is a unique product that makes water evaporate and wick away quickly, providing you with a streak-free car. Today, we'll be discussing what a drying agent is, how they are best used, and how to choose the right one for your car wash.

To start off, What is the Drying Process?

In a car wash, the drying process is crucial in order to prevent spots or streaks on the car. This can be done with a few different methods, but the most effective is to use a drying agent. Choosing the right one and using it properly can be instrumental in leaving your customer's vehicles dry and clean! Most car washes also use high-powered dryers to speed up the evaporation process.

Wet sports car

A Wet Surface Can Spell Disaster For Your Wash

After your car wash cleans vehicles, a large amount of water will remain on the surface.

Leaving a car's surface wet is an easy way to ruin your finished product as once the water eventually evaporates, water spots and streaks will remain.

Customers will see this and won't be pleased with their car not looking the way they thought it would. Ensure your wash process includes a drying aid to make sure your vehicles leave as dry as possible.

What is a Car Wash Drying Agent?

A drying agent, also known as a drying compound, is a chemical solution that helps remove water from surfaces. It works by breaking the interfacial tension of water, which allows it to evaporate more quickly.

Water evaporates when it comes into contact with a surface that is hotter than the water itself. In order to speed up the drying process, car washes use high-powered dryers to blow hot air onto the surface of the car. This helps to quickly dry the water sheet and push it off the surface to avoid streaking and spotting.

How Does The Chemistry Work?

When it comes to drying aids, there are a few different types available on the market. Each one has its own unique set of ingredients that help it evaporate water quickly. Some of the most common ingredients in a drying agent include surfactants, solvents, and alcohols. Each of these ingredients helps to break down the water and evaporate it more quickly.

A drying agent usually contains a surfactant, which is a compound that lowers the surface tension of water. This allows it to spread out more easily and evaporate quickly. The surfactant also helps to break up any water droplets that may be clinging to the surface of the car. This prevents them from sitting on the paint or glass and drying slowly.

What are the Different Stages of Car Washing?

  1. The first stage of a wash is generally a high power rinse to remove debris or an immediate presoak bath to begin to work on tough dust, dirt and grime.
  2. After the rinse, a foam detergent is applied all over the car to break down any remaining dirt or grime.
  3. Once the foaming action has had time to work, another high-power rinse is used to remove all the residual detergent from the surface of the car.
  4. At this stage a ceramic, wax or sealant coat is applied to the car if requested by the customer for a high gloss shine and improved longevity of the paint. Say hello to scratch free paintwork.
  5. Finally, the drying process begins! This is where a drying agent comes in to lower the surface tension of the water on the vehicle.
  6. A final rinse with fresh water is applied to remove any drying agent residue and then the car is dried with high-powered dryers.

How to Dry a Vehicle After Washing?

Cars can be dried using multiple different methods. What is the best drying aid? Often these methods are used in combination, in the most effective way, to lower drying time and leave the customer with the most dry car.

Drying Agent

A drying agent is a type of product that helps water to evaporate and wick off quickly. They come in many different forms such as liquids, powders, or a simple spray.

Dryers/Blowers

Dryers are devices that use warm air to evaporate or push water from the surface of a vehicle. The dryers in a car wash are arranged in a way that allows them to quickly and efficiently dry the surface of a car. The dryers are placed in an arc that can blow hot air onto the vehicle from all angles, allowing for the water to be dried quickly. This is the most common and efficient drying technique.

Towels

Towels can be used to physically absorb water from the surface of a car. This method works well but is typically impractical for commercial businesses. Lately, car washes have been offering a station for a customer to collect a premium microfiber towel to dry their car while they vacuum or wash their floor mats. This is a great way to add value and increase customer satisfaction.

Air Drying

This is the process of allowing water to naturally evaporate off the surface of a car. This method will not only be lengthy, it will likely leave water spots all over the vehicle. Spots are the result of water evaporating and leaving minerals or other contaminants, that were dissolved in the water, on the surface of a vehicle.

Car wash chemical

Benefits of Using A Drying Agent, Car Wash Success

Water Wicking

Drying agents help water to evaporate and wick off quickly, which is important for preventing water spots. This is known as giving a vehicle's surface hydrophobic properties.

What does being Hydrophobic mean?

The word hydrophobic literally means "water-fearing." In terms of car care, hydrophobic technology refers to a product or coating that repels water. This means that the water will bead up and run off the surface instead of sitting on top and creating water spots. Many drying aids produce a hydrophobic surface, which helps to wick as much water off the vehicle as possible, helping them become drier.

Streak-Free Finish

When used correctly in combination with fresh water or clean water, drying aids can leave your car with a streak and spot free finish.

Preventing Rust

By removing all the residual water from your car's surface, you can help prevent rust and corrosion. Even a small amount of water can cause these problems over time, so it's important to make sure your vehicle is totally dry.

Paint Protection

Some drying aids can offer adding extra protection to vehicles as well. It won't be as strong as a synthetic sealant or ceramic coating but it can still be extra protection for paint from light scuffs and marks.

Shine

Some drying aids may even help with giving vehicles a little brilliant shine. This is an advantage that many customers love as everyone likes their car with a high gloss finish.

Why are drying agents used?

Many people believe that a dryer or cloth is all they need to get the water off their car, but that's not always the case. Because they are not reusable between cars and require additional time, a large drying cloth is impractical in most cases (other than the home washer). A dryer, without additional help, can only remove so much water in the few seconds they will have before that car must exit.

A drying agent will give that additional help to ensure a completely dry car, instead of one with remaining water droplets, which will put a damper on your entire wash!

Can I just dry my car with a microfiber drying towel?

The home car washer may want to keep things simple and dry their car by wiping it with a clean microfiber towel. It is a good method for single cars as it is cost-effective and simple. But you still won't receive the numerous other benefits of drying aids. On a large scale, however, using a microfiber towel to dry cars becomes impossible.

Sidebar: What is a microfiber drying towel?

A premium microfiber towel is a cloth made out of a material that will be gentle on a vehicle's surface. They are also made to be heavily absorbent, picking up more water with ease.

Can I just let my cars air dry?

This is not an effective way to dry your car. The sun may evaporate the water on the surface, but it will leave streaks and spots, ruining the entire wash! It's always best practice to use a drying agent in conjunction with a high-powered dryer.

Turtle Wax Pro arch

How to choose a drying agent? Choosing a high-quality option like Turtle Wax Pro

Not all drying agents are created equal and there are a few things you'll want to consider before making your purchase.

Product Quality

You'll want to make sure you're using a high-quality product on your customer's vehicles to ensure it is doing a great job. Cheap and ineffective products will only leave a poor wash after the final rinse.

Some may think the higher quality has to mean expensive, but that is not always the case. We at Turtle Wax Pro believe you can find great quality, for also a great price. We strive to help all of our customers and partners with this.

Compatibility

Your car wash chemistry is made up of different products: presoaks, shampoos, detergents, protectants, etc. A big factor in achieving the perfect wash is having those products not only work together well but actually help each other work better! Turtle Wax Pro chemistry is expertly designed to work together, ensuring every process works to its highest ability.

The Supplier

You'll want to find a reliable supplier who can provide you with consistent quality and service. Look for someone who will be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have as well as offer helpful tips along the way.

The supplier you get your chemistry from is an aspect that cannot be understated. A good supplier will not only carry top-tier products but they will offer advice and experience in using and positioning those products. Whether that be in extensive product training or marketing support.

If you believe Turtle Wax Pro could be a good fit for your car wash and its needs, feel free to reach out anytime! We truly believe our chemistry is the best on the market. Turtle Wax Pro has everything you need to get started and we're always here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our products and how we can help your business grow!

24
Aug
How to Prevent Car Rust: The Ultimate Guide

Rust is a top challenge for both car owners and car wash operators during the colder months.

It's critical to take the appropriate actions and precautions against rust in order for your customer's vehicles to continue to shine.

Today's blog will describe those preventive measures, so you can continue to succeed in the car wash business even as the dreaded winter weather approaches.

What exactly is rust?

Rust is the result of a reaction between oxygen and iron.

When these two elements come into contact with each other, they create a chemical called ferrous oxide. This substance is very corrosive, and it can eat away at the frame of a vehicle, most commonly in wheel wells or doors.

Rust can also occur when water or moisture comes into contact with the metal. The water will cause the metal to oxidize, and this will result in rust.

Sports car driving in winter

How do cars get rust?

There are a few different ways that rust forms.

Exposure to Salt Water, Road Salt and Rock Salt

One way a car can be damaged is if it's exposed to salt water.

Saltwater is very corrosive, and it can damage the metal on your car. If you live near the ocean, or if you frequently drive in salty conditions, you will need to be extra careful about preventing rust.

Salt can also damage a car if it's used to melt ice on the roads in the winter season. If salt comes into contact with a car, it will start to corrode the metal. This can cause significant damage to the car, and it will likely require extensive repairs.

Depending on the type of road salt or sand used it can also create small projectiles that can chip away at the paint and expose metal, furthering the problem. In areas the rely on rock salt it is possible to experience the same effect as rock chips if a large enough piece of salt contacts the body paint.

If you live in an area that uses salt to de-ice roads in winter months, you will need to take extra steps to prevent rust from forming on your car. Make sure you wash your car regularly to avoid salt stains. You may also want to consider keeping your car covered when it's not in use. This will help keep the salt and moisture away from the metal, and it will help extend the life of your vehicle.

Damage to the Paint or Clear Coat

Another way that cars can get rust is if the paint becomes damaged.

If the car's paint is scratched or chipped, it can expose the metal underneath to oxygen and moisture. This will cause the metal to oxidize, and it will eventually result in rust.

If you notice any damage to the paint on your car, make sure you take steps to repair it immediately. This will help protect your car from exposure to oxygen and moisture, and it will help prevent rust from forming.

Thunderstorms, Heavy Snow or Ice Storm

Another way that cars can get rust is if they are involved in thunderstorms, heavy snow or ice storms.

When the snow and ice melt, the water can seep into the cracks of your car, between doors, under the hood or into wheel wells. This can cause any exposed metal to oxidize, and it will eventually result in rust.

If at all possible it is best to avoid driving during a major storm.


How does rust affect cars?

The majority of people are unaware of the significant effect rust can have on cars.

Damage the Metal

One of the most obvious effects of rust is that it can damage the metal. If the metal on your car becomes corroded, it will become weaker and less structurally sound. This can lead to serious problems, such as holes in the vehicle's frame, or even the collapse of the metal.

Damage The Paint

Another effect of rust is that it can cause paint damage. If the paint on your car becomes damaged, it will not only look bad, but it will also be more susceptible to further damage from rust.

Rust can also cause the paint to peel or chip off, which can expose additional metal underneath to oxygen and moisture. This will cause the metal to oxidize, and it will eventually result in more rust.

You can see the problem, rust damage can snowball out of control quickly leaving you with an unsightly and dangerous vehicle.

Damage the Value of Your Car

Another thing to keep in mind is that rust can affect the value of your car, due to the factors mentioned above.

If you're planning on selling your car, or if you're interested in trade-ins, rust can significantly reduce the value of your vehicle.

Car in a car wash

How to prevent car rust?

Just like if your in dash warning lights came on, if you see rust forming on your vehicle, you'll want to take action.

Wash Your Car Often

One of the best ways to prevent car rust is to wash your car more often.

How often will depend on your weather conditions, lifestyle, and usage but ensure your vehicle is well taken care of.

Washing your car will remove any dirt, grime, or salt that has accumulated on the body panels and undercarriage. This will help to prevent rust from forming in the first place.

Use a Rust Inhibitor

Another way to prevent car rust is to use a rust inhibitor.

Rust inhibitors are products that you can apply to the surface of your car. They create a barrier between the metal and oxygen, and they can help to prevent rust from forming.

There are many different rust inhibitors on the market, so be sure to do your research to find one that will work best for you.

Store Your Car in a Garage

If you have the option, store your car in a garage.

This will help to protect it from the elements, and it will also help to keep it clean. A clean car is less likely to develop rust than a dirty one.

Preventing rust on your vehicle isn't a difficult thing to do, but it takes some maintenance on your part. You may have some questions related to car and rust, so let's go through some of the common questions.

Does a car wash cause rust?

This is a common misconception. And it isn't true.

As long as you use a reputable car wash, they will not damage your paint or promote rusting and will go on a long way in preventing road salt damage and discouraging rust formation.

Does washing your car in winter prevent rust?

Washing your car in winter will help to remove any salt or grime that has accumulated on the surface.

Road salt is one of the major causes of rust forming on cars, and washing your car will lower that possibility.

Can you prevent rust underneath a car?

Yes, you can prevent rust on a vehicle's undercarriage.

You can apply a rust inhibitor to the underside of your car. Which applies a protective coat to the underside of vehicles.

Car washes usually also clean underneath vehicles, which also helps in preventing rust formation.  

How often should you wash your car?

Again, this will depend on your individual circumstances, but you should aim to wash your car at least once a month, but every week or two is even better.

If you live in an area with a lot of salt, snow or dirt, you may need to wash it more often.

Another thing to note is that modern vehicles may need to be washed less frequently than older ones, especially vintage models that are prone to rust and looking faded.

Shiny sports car

Does car wax protect against road salt?

Car wax is a protective coating that you apply to the surface of your car. It helps to protect the paint from scratches and UV damage.

While waxing won't provide the same amount of protection as a rust inhibitor will, it may be enough to stop some of the road salt from affecting your vehicle's exterior.

Washing and waxing your car regularly will help to keep it in good condition.

Do ceramic coatings help against road salt?

A ceramic coating on your vehicle may help with the salt affecting your vehicle as it does add some protection.

This protection is not as durable as a rust inhibitor though and will not last as long. It is important to remember that even with a ceramic coating, you should still wash your vehicle regularly to help prevent rust and keep it in good condition.

ICA Sign

Not sure how to tackle the winter season? Reach out to Turtle Wax Pro and Transchem

Turtle Wax Pro is a universally recognized brand who is a leader in chemical manufacturing. Transchem Group adds decades of experience cleaning cars and supporting car wash operators in all seasons, and that includes the harsh winter ones.

If you operate in a region that faces what winter brings: salt, snow, ice, then you will need to be sure to tune your wash to meet those needs. The best way to do that is to reach out and ask for help. Contact us today, and we will help you get ready for the winter season!

10
Aug
Alberta's Most Trusted Car Wash Supplier - Transchem Group

At Turtle Wax Pro, and our parent company, Transchem Group, we are proud to support the local economy in Alberta.

We have over 75 years of experience in the car wash industry, which allows us to ensure that your dream car wash can come true in Western Canada's fast-growing market.

We believe Transchem Group offers many key benefits that set us apart as a supplier. Our state-of-the-art facility in Alberta, premium Turtle Wax Pro car wash chemicals, top-tier customer service and direct-to-market pricing, keeps your business cost-effective.

Board room at Transchem

A Brief History of Transchem Group

Transchem Group was founded in 1974 by Murray Ewing, as a mobile truck cleaning company. Over the next decade, with strong success, Transchem transformed into a chemical manufacturer and sold products directly to businesses.

The company has continued to grow, and has now arrived where we are today: one of the most prominent options in the car wash industry, anywhere in Alberta, Canada or even North America.

The brand's new objective, as a result of its many years of experience supporting all types of wash businesses, is to aid the Alberta car wash industry. This includes chemistry, equipment, service, and anything else required to run a car wash!

A Brief History of Turtle Wax

Turtle Wax Pro is the commercial car wash arm of the world-renowned vehicle care brand, Turtle Wax. For over 75 years, we've been producing some of the most innovative car care products on the market.

Innovation has always been at the forefront of our business and we continue to lead the way with cutting edge technology and car cleaning solutions.

We are proud to be a part of the Turtle Wax family and to offer our premium car care products to the Alberta market.

If you're looking for a trusted and experienced car wash supplier in Alberta, look no further than Turtle Wax Pro and Transchem Group. We are your one-stop shop for all your car wash needs.

The Importance of your Supplier

As a business in the wash industry, your supplier will be one of the most significant factors in your success. Quality of products, quantity of products, knowledge, training, advertising help and car wash services are just a few of the many tools a good supplier should offer.

It's important to pick your supplier wisely, as that choice could determine your business' future. If you want to learn more about the role a supplier plays in your wash, check out our blog about how to choose a car wash supplier which features all of the vital factors in your decision.

Transchem's facility in Calgary, Alberta
Transchem's facility in Calgary, Alberta

Why Transchem Group?

There are numerous aspects that we believe set us apart as a supplier in the car wash industry. We believe our products, service, and support are the best you can find anywhere in Alberta car wash market.

Our Facility

Our new state-of-the-art facility in Calgary, Alberta, is one of the largest car wash supplier facilities in Western Canada. The location is thousands of square feet of space and is equipped with the latest in car wash technology. All chemicals and equipment are housed on-site, and your important support contacts all operate out of this building.

This means whether you need new stock, marketing materials, or need an in person meeting, we're only a quick drive away.

Our Equipment

Transchem carries equipment for all wash types, from self service car wash to tunnel washes.

We also proudly carry Washworld Inc.'s full portfolio of in-bay automatic products.

High-quality equipment is something you want to feel confident in when opening up your wash business. High-grade equipment achieves better washes, offers easier maintenance, and provides increased durability, all of which lead to higher margins and more money.

Our Chemistry

Here at Transchem, we are happy to say that not only do we have industry leading chemistry to suit every budget and business need, but we also have custom blending options that accompany our ready to use professional product lineups.

Custom blending is exciting program where we bring your dream products to life. We collaborate with you to develop one-of-a-kind items that will set your business apart and help you achieve the best results.

We also offer Turtle Wax Pro's full chemistry lineup and marketing power, which is universally recognizable by vehicle owners and achieves some of the best car washing possible!

Our Support

At Transchem Group and Turtle Wax Pro, we have decades of experience bringing new washes to the market, and supporting them through their journey from inception to millions of washed cars.

We believe in strong key principles of trust and integrity, and we want to make certain that all of our clients receive the finest service so they can succeed in the car wash industry.

This means we supply more than just chemicals and equipment. We offer advice on how to keep costs low, ever-changing chemical combinations to help you improve your service, mobile app technology, marketing support and regulatory support.

ICA booth sign

Contact us with your Car Wash Vision!

If opening a car wash in Alberta is something you're considering, do not hesitate to reach out! We would love to hear from you and help you walk through some of the aspects and challenges of opening a wash and make the process as smooth as possible!

9
Jun
Touchless Car Washing: The Future of Car Cleaning?
Mack Ewing
Director, Strategic Initiatives

The popularity of touchless car washes is on the rise. This has led many individuals to be curious about whether they are the future of vehicle cleaning.

There are several benefits to a touchless car wash for both customers and owners.

Touchless washes, as the name implies, never make direct contact with the car's surface. A major reassurance to certain car owners.

In addition, with the right chemistry, touch free washes can perform just as well as friction washes in most scenarios. This could make switching to a touchless car wash a no brainer.

In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of a touchless car wash and help you decide if owning one is the right decision for you!

What is a Touchless Car Wash?

A touchless car wash is a type of automatic car wash where the vehicle is cleaned without any physical contact.

The car is washed using increased water pressure and detergents specifically designed to work without friction.

Touchless car washes are faster than traditional car washes, and they typically use less water. While the most common type of touchless car wash is an in bay automatic car wash, touchless tunnel car washes are also found in lower quantities.

How Does a Touchless Car Wash Work?

Most of the car wash process is the same between a traditional automatic car wash and a touchless car wash.

  • The car is given a rinse or a presoak treatment to loosen any dirt or grime that is on the surface.
  • After the pre-wash, high water pressure nozzles direct streams of water and detergent at the car. The detergent breaks down any remaining dirt, and the high-pressure water blasts it away.
  • The final step is to rinse off all of the soap layers and dirt.
  • Optionally, a surface protectant or ceramic coating can be applied to the vehicle's exterior.
  • The excess moisture is then dried using high powered dryers, or left to air dry.

For more info on ideal tunnel car wash setups you can check out our Turtle Wax Pro Learning Center!

As you can see, the biggest difference is the fact that pressure washing systems are used in replace of rotating brushes and other physical systems.

Inside view of a car being washed

Is Touchless Car Washing the Future of the Car Wash Industry?

Touchless washes carry some unique benefits that a traditional automatic car wash cannot provide.

This leads some to believe that this style of washing vehicles is the future of the industry.

No Physical Contact

The fact that there is no physical contact to anyone's vehicle is the main advantage to using this type of wash.

Most vehicle owners are wary of automated washes because they fear their vehicles will not be properly cleaned without causing harm. However, with a touchless wash, there is no worry that the car will be scratched or damaged in any way.

This gives many people confidence to use an automated car wash when they otherwise would not.

Advances in Chemistry

The detergents and soaps used in touchless car washes are specially designed to work well without physical contact.

If a touchless car wash can produce the same level of clean as a friction one, then the need for friction washes depletes. As this technology continues to develop, it is likely that touchless car washes will become even more of a staple.

While a touchless car wash will never be able to achieve 100% of the results from a friction wash, it can come pretty close. The final product is a car that looks great to the naked eye and was cleaned without any risk of damage!

Benefits of Touchless Car Washes

There are many benefits to using touchless car washes. Let's go through them.

24/7/365 and Less Labor

Touchless car washes can be operated 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with little to no labor.

This means that you can generate revenue around the clock without having to pay employees!

In addition, touchless car washes are less labor intensive than friction car washes. This is because there are no brushes or other moving parts that need to be monitored and maintained.

Less Water Usage

Touchless car washes use less water for every car washed, compared to other car wash options.

This is good news for the environment and can save you money on your water bill!

Less Risk of Damage

There is also less risk of damage to vehicles with a touchless car wash.

Though friction washes are completely safe for vehicles, even the small risk of paint damage can be negated by not having to touch a vehicle's surface.

Lower Money Spent on Repairs

Another benefit of touchless automatic car washes is that they have lower maintenance costs.

This is because there are no spinning brushes, cloth strips or other moving parts that can break down over time. This means that a touchless wash will last longer and need less repairs than other automated car washes.

Disadvantages of Touchless Washes

Though there are many benefits to a touchless system, there are also some disadvantages that should be considered.

Potential Lack of Cleaning Power

Some tough marks, grime and bird droppings may not be removed as effectively with a touchless wash.

This is because there is no physical contact to help break down and remove dirt. This can be an issue for those who want their car to be absolutely spotless or are trying to wash an especially dirty vehicle.

Some customers may be slightly dissatisfied, but touchless does an excellent job of cleaning cars in general.

In order to clean effectively in this environment you'll need great chemicals. That's where Turtle Wax Pro can help. We offer a variety of products that can be used in touchless car washes to help you get the best clean possible.

Turtle Wax Pro has everything you need to make sure your automated car wash is operating at its best! We have a wide selection of cleaning solutions, soaps, detergents, waxes and polishes that are designed to work well in a touchless environment.

Car leaving a friction car wash

How does a Friction Based Automated Car Washes Compare to Touchless Systems?

A friction based automatic car wash uses spinning brushes or cloth strips to clean a vehicle's surface.

This can provide a more thorough cleaning than a touchless wash but can also be more labor intensive and water consumptive.

Touchless car washes, on the other hand, use high-pressure jets of water and detergent to clean a vehicle's surface.

This can be just as effective as a friction wash but doesn't run the risk of scratching the paint or clear coat during cleaning.

So, which is better? It really depends on your needs and preferences. If you want a thorough cleaning with no risk of damage, then touchless is the way to go. If you don't mind more maintenance and a little bit of risk in exchange for the best clean then you are better off with a friction wash.

Are Touchless Car Washes Safe?

Are touchless car washes safe? The whole idea behind touchless is safety.

With no brushes or other moving parts, there is less risk of breakdowns causing damage to your car. In addition, the high-pressure jets used in automatic car washes are less likely to cause scratches than traditional brushes.

Keep in mind that when it comes to all of these safety conversations we are talking about the difference between a 99.5% expectation of safety with a 99.9% expectation of safety.

You are far more likely to scratch or damage your car hand washing it at home in the driveway than in a commercial car wash situation.

Should I Wash My Car At Home Or At A Commercial Car Wash?

An automated car wash is going to be much better than a hand car wash for many reasons.

Speed

In the time that it takes you to get your car washed at home, a commercial car wash can clean upwards of 60 to 100 cars. Why waste an hour at home with a hand wash and when you could go buy gas and get an automatic wash in less than 10 minutes. Much less time consuming.

Damage

The most important part of keeping your car looking like new is the car's finish. A hand car wash at home means you assume your own risks.

Hand washes also usually aren't done with the right soap which can lead to paint damage long term.

Effectiveness

Without fully understanding the process of how to wash a car you are much less likely to remove all the dirt, grime and remove contaminants that could be embedded in the clear coat.

A touchless car wash or any other automatic wash is designed to get your car clean every time, hundreds of times per day.

Your clean car or truck might look clean after a hand wash but take it to a commercial car wash and you'll see the difference.

Turtle Wax Pro FIRE arch

Thinking about Opening an Automatic Car Wash? Use a Trusted Car Wash Supplier like Turtle Wax Pro

If you're thinking about opening a touchless car wash, be sure to use a trusted car wash chemistry provider like Turtle Wax Pro.

The chemistry your wash uses will make or break your success. Touchless washes, in particular, where the more powerful chemicals tackle all the washing jobs without assistance from physical agitators, are a challenge to get right.

Turtle Wax Pro is a leading provider of car care chemistry and we strive to help car care businesses succeed within the industry.

We work with many touch free washes, setting them up with the right chemistry needed to tackle any situation and stand out within the market.

If you have any thoughts about opening your own touchless car wash, get in touch with us today as Turtle Wax Pro can ensure you start off on the right foot!

If you have any questions about anything we discussed, reach out anytime. We are always excited to chat with people who are thinking about entering the car wash space. Happy car washing!

2
Jun
Self Service Car Washes: 5 Things You Need To Know
Mack Ewing
Director, Strategic Initiatives

While self serve washes are slowly being phased out in favor of more automatic washes, the self service car wash carries some unique benefits over other options on the market.

The ability to control the wash, the joy consumers have in washing their car and opportunity to save money are just some of the reasons why they remain popular!

In this article we discuss what self serve washes are, why they are so beneficial, and if owning one is right for you.

What is a Self Serve Car Wash?

A self service car wash (sometimes referred to as a manual car wash) is a type of car wash where the customer washes their own vehicle.

Customers typically use a high-pressure hose and a foam brush to wash their vehicles. Some self service car washes also have additional features, such as rinsing wands and drying equipment.

Benefits of a Self Service Car Wash

There are many benefits to washing your vehicle yourself at a self serve site. Let's go through them.

Cost

The main advantage is that they are generally less expensive than automatic washes. The biggest reason for this is due to the fact that there are no large machinery and equipment doing the cleaning.

Eco Conscious

Another benefit of manual car washes is that they are typically more environmentally friendly than automatic washes. This is because self service car washes use less water than traditional car washes.

This is often counteracted in an automatic wash by having a water reclaim system.

Quality

Some people worry that self service car washes are not as effective at cleaning vehicles as automatic washes. However, this is not always the case.

Self service car washes can sometimes do a better job of cleaning your vehicle because they allow you to control the amount of pressure, water and most importantly detail that you use.

This means that you can customize the wash to your own vehicle's needs.

Car being washed with a sponge

How do Automatic Car Washes differ from Self Serve Washes?

What is an automatic car wash?

An automatic car wash is any type of car wash where the vehicle is cleaned by hands-free machinery.

The customer typically drives their vehicle into a large garage like bay or tunnel, where they are then cleaned by a series of brushes or high pressure jets.

Now let's compare it to a self serve car wash.

Customers in a self-serve car wash must do all of the washing steps on their own. This includes applying soap, rinsing the vehicle, and scrubbing with a foam brush.

This can be an enjoyable experience to some, but will be fairly time consuming especially compared to how quickly an automatic car wash can clean a vehicle.

Automatic options don't give the user much control over the wash, but typically can do a more thorough job cleaning for less effort. This is due to the high pressure washing systems and brushes that are commonly used in automatic car washes.

Overall, self serve car washes are a great option for people who want to have complete control over the car washing process. However, they may not be the best option for people who are looking for a quick and easy wash.

How to Best Use a Self Serve Car Wash?

Now that we've gone over the benefits of self service car washes, as well as what they are, let's discuss how to get the most out of your self serve car wash experience.

Here are a few basic steps for a good car wash:

  1. Drive and park your vehicle in the car wash bay.
  2. Start by rinsing off your whole car with water. This will remove any large dirt or debris from your vehicle.
  3. Optionally you can remove your floor mats to be rinsed as well.
  4. Apply soap to your entire vehicle in a pre wash or presoak (depending on options available).
  5. Use the foam brush to clean off your wheels. (You may want to rinse the foam brush first to remove existing dirt from the last use)
  6. Rinse the soap residue off the car properly with a high pressure rinse.
  7. Apply wax or another surface protection option (if available)
  8. Dry the vehicle if desired (using an automatic dryer if present or car towel)
  9. Congratulations you have a clean car!

By following these simple tips, you'll be on your way to having a sparkling clean vehicle in no time!

Here are some more tips to use a self service wash:

  1. Make sure you adjust the foam sprayer settings when possible to avoid wasting soap (and money).
  2. Make sure not to miss the under side of your wheel wells, this is an often missed spot.
  3. Avoid standing downwind, unless you feel like taking a bath too.
  4. Always use the entire duration you're allotted to soap and rinse the car.
  5. Try to find a car wash with soft water and heated water to avoid leaving behind mineral deposits on the paint job.
  6. Avoid spraying water directly into the engine bay, this could damage critical electrical components.
Shiny blue car

What is The Wax Option at Self Serves?

Most self-serve car washes offer a wax service. It is typically a button or lever that, when activated, will allow a spray wand or another device to apply wax to your vehicle's finish.

This wax can help protect your vehicle's paint and make it easier to clean in the future.

Keep in mind that not all self serve car washes have this option.

Should I use the Wax at a Self Service Car Wash?

Whether you use the wax option is a personal preference, but we would always recommend applying some sort of wax or surface protection to a vehicle after cleaning it.

Wax and other protective products are specially formulated to protect against weather damage and other potential hazards, as well as add a beautiful shine to your car paint. They can also help prevent scratching on a car's surface.

Car with a wet surface

How do I Dry my Car After Washing it at a Self Serve?

Some self serve car washes may have a high-powered air dryer that you can use to quickly dry your car's surface.

If there is no air dryer available, you can use a clean towel or simply leave the vehicle surfaces to drip dry naturally.

What Pressure should I use at a Self Serve Car Wash?

Since self serves are a bit more customizable, you may be able to adjust the sprayer settings to fit your situation.

It is generally best to use a lower pressure washer setting when washing your vehicle at a self serve station, at least at first.

This will help avoid scratches caused by large dirt particles in contact with the vehicle's surface.

Start washing with a low pressure spray and work your way up if needed.

Tough marks or old dirt may be more difficult to remove, increasing the need for a stronger water pressure. You will notice quickly if the pressure you selected is not strong enough for the job.

Are Self Serve Washes a Good Business?

Self serve car washes can be a great business for a number of reasons.

They have great margins because they require less labor and are often open 24 hours, which means that they can generate income around the clock.

The return on investment for self serve car washes can be quite high as the investment is small compared to many other options. Self serve washes are a great option for entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own business but would need more money to build an automatic wash.

The car wash industry is still growing, which means that there is plenty of opportunity for those who are interested in getting involved.

Should you Open a Self Serve Wash over an Automatic Wash?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors. These include your location, target market and the level of investment you are willing to make.

Self serve car washes typically require less investment than automatic washes and can provide better margins. However, they may not be the best option for everyone.

Here are some factors to consider:

Initial Investment

Self serve car washes typically require a lower initial investment than their automatic counterpart.

This is because self serve washes do not require as much equipment or labor.

Location

Another factor to consider is your location. If you are in an area with a lot of foot traffic, an automatic wash may be a better option as people can simply drive through without having to get out of their car.

However, if you are in a more rural area, a self serve wash may be the better option as there are not as many options for people to choose from.

Target Market

Your target market is another important factor to consider. If you are targeting a budget-conscious market, a self serve wash may be the better option.

However, if you are targeting a luxury market, an automatic wash will be best. It can offer a more high-end experience.

Additionally, self serve car washes typically have a higher customer satisfaction rate than other types of car washes.

So if your target market are people who take a lot of pride in their car, self serve might actually be better. Those consumers can wash their car exactly how they want, instead of being given the same process as every other car.

Soap falling

How can you Open a Self Serve Car Wash?

If you are interested in opening a self serve car wash, there are a few things you need to do.

Find a Location

The most important factor when finding a good location for a car wash is traffic volume. This will help ensure that your car wash gets plenty of customers.

Another important factor to consider when choosing a location is the competition. You don't want to be in an area where there are already too many car washes, as this will cut into your profits.

You will also want to make sure that the location you choose is easily accessible and has good visibility from the road. This is still the #1 way new car washes are discovered.

Segment Your Target Market

The next step is to segment your target market. This means figuring out who your ideal customer is and what they are looking for in a car wash.

Once you have a good understanding of your target market, you can start to tailor your car wash to meet their needs.

Obtain Permits and Licenses

The next step is to obtain the necessary permits and licenses from your local government. This will vary depending on your location, but you will likely need a business license and a permit to operate a car wash.

You may also need additional permits if you plan on selling any additional services, such as detailing or oil changes.

One of the most important factors in opening any business is choosing your supplier. Transchem and Turtle Wax Pro have decades of experience helping many washes operate including self serves.

Choosing Turtle Wax Pro as your Car Wash Self Service Supplier

At Turtle Wax Pro and Transchem, we understand the complications of owning a wash business. We strive to provide you with the tools needed to help you succeed.

The introduction of high-quality chemical solutions will allow for greater performance than cheap chemicals, as well as improved results thanks to the synergy between them.

That difference is what will allow your customers to achieve a perfect wash on their vehicle.

Additionally, Turtle Wax Pro offers a wide range of marketing materials that you can use to promote your business. We also offer training programs that will teach you everything you need to know about operating a self serve car wash.

All these factors ensure that your business can start off on a great foot and continue to operate at a high level.

If you are interested in opening a self serve car wash, Turtle Wax Pro is the perfect supplier for you.

A Quick Recap

There are many types of washes and they all shine in different ways. The Self serve option is no different can be fantastic for many car owners.

We hope to have given you a strong understanding on what self serve car washes are, what are they good for, and if owning a self serve wash is the right idea for you.

If you are interested in opening a car wash business, self serve is a great option to consider.

With a lower initial investment and with the likelihood of maintaining a high satisfaction rate, self serve is a low risk way of entering the car wash industry.

To aid you in that journey, Turtle Wax Pro offers high quality products as well as advice on how you can succeed in the wash market. As always, if you have any questions please let us know.

26
May
Tunnel Car Washes: Are They A Good Investment?
Mack Ewing
Director, Strategic Initiatives

There are a variety of ways to clean cars, but one option in particular has been gaining a lot of traction in recent years.

It's the tunnel car wash!

Tunnel washes are automatic car wash systems stretched through a tunnel ranging from 60' to 250'+ where each section of the tunnel applies a different chemical or service.

Tunnels are popular because they are quick and efficient, allowing many vehicles to pass through at once.

Let's discuss the tunnel in detail and explore the benefits it offers to the car wash operator.

What are Tunnel Car Washes?

A tunnel car wash is an automated car wash that uses conveyor belts to move the vehicle through a series of cleaning stations.

Tunnels are typically much larger than other types of car washes, and can wash up to a dozen cars at a time.

Different Types of Tunnel Car Wash Systems

Soft Cloth vs Touchless

Soft Cloth (or friction) is the most common type of tunnel system. As the name suggests, it uses soft cloths instead of brushes to clean the vehicle.

The benefit of using these soft cloths is that they are less likely to damage the paintwork on the car of the customer, when compared to brushes and nylon bristles that were common years ago.

A touchless tunnel system uses high-pressure water and chemistry to clean the vehicle, without any physical contact during washing. This is a great option for people who are worried about their car being scratched or damaged by any of the tunnel components.

Full Serve

A full service wash offers a complete package of extra services that includes everything from vacuuming the interior to washing and drying the exterior. At a full service wash, employee's will take the car from the customer and perform all the included services.

Flex Serve

A flex service wash allows the customer to choose which extra services they want, such as just an exterior washing or just a vacuum.

Express Exterior

An express exterior tunnel is exactly what it sounds like - a quick wash for the outside of your car.

A full service wash can offer the best customer experience. You deliver the car back to the customer nearly brand new with a full interior and exterior cleaning. Express washes are the quickest and most convenient. Flex service washes fall somewhere in the middle.

Car being washed

How do Touchless Car Washes Work?

Touchless car washes work by using a series of high-pressure nozzles to spray the vehicle with water and chemicals. The nozzles are controlled by a computer and can target specific areas of the car for a complete clean.

Touchless detergents are also designed to break down dirt and grime without the need for agitation and scrubbing which helps this process work so well.

However, the one downside is some tough dirt and grime may be too difficult to remove in a touchless wash.

Why Use a Tunnel Car Wash?

Now that we've discussed the different types of washes; let's take a look at some of the benefits of using them:

They're Fast and Convenient

If you're short on time, this is a great option as you simply ride through the tunnel. Each stage will take care of your car until its clean, shiny and dry!

They're Affordable

Tunnel systems are typically quite low-cost for customers, especially when you consider the speed and effectiveness.

They're Safe for Your Car

Tunnels are very safe for your vehicle as they are either touchless or use soft cloths to clean vehicles.

Sponge cleaning car

How do Tunnels Compare to Self Serve Car Washes?

Though tunnel and self serve are both viable options for you to clean cars, how do they compare?

Time

Tunnels can clean cars significantly quicker than a self-serve wash. Depending on the length of tunnel and speed of the conveyor, some washes can clean upwards of 100 cars per hour.

This is because the conveyor belts and sequence of equipment in a wash execute the whole process much more swiftly than one individual performing it alone.

Ease of Use

Tunnels are much easier to use than self serve as you don't have to do anything but drive your vehicle into the tunnel.

In a self serve wash, you have to apply the soap and rinse down the vehicle yourself.

Cost

Tunnel washes are typically more expensive than self serve washes. The increase in price is due to the fact that they offer a much higher level of convenience and efficiency.

You can expect your wash type to have a minor impact on the final result, although it may have a significant influence on certain additional aspects such as your time, effort and money.

Do Tunnel Car Washes Scratch Paint?

This is a common myth about tunnels, but the answer is no - they will not scratch your paint!

As we discussed earlier, most tunnels use either soft cloths or touchless high-pressure water to deliver clean vehicles.

Both of these methods are gentle enough that they will not damage or scratch your vehicle in any way.

Washing your vehicle will help maintain it

In reality, frequent usage of a car wash may help to protect your paintwork and clear coat by removing grime and dirt that might harm the finish if left for an extended period.

Is Owning a Tunnel Car Wash a Good Business?

Now that we've answered some common questions about tunnel washes, you might be wondering if owning one is a good business decision.

The answer is yes - owning a tunnel car wash can be a very profitable business! There are a few reasons for this:

Low Maintenance Costs On New Builds

Tunnel components are built to last and typically require very little maintenance. This means you'll save money on repairs and replacements over time. Make sure you combine this with chemistry that doesn't use harsh acids to help prolong the life of your equipment.

It also means less down time as you won't have to close the wash for maintenance as often. This obviously leads to higher revenue.

High Demand

There is always a high demand for car washes, especially in busy cities. This means that you will always have potential customers.

Demand for car washes has increased in recent years as people are becoming more aware of the importance of maintaining their vehicles.

This is good news for those considering opening a tunnel car wash business!

Ability to Serve

Tunnels work so efficiently that you will be able to clean many more cars per hour!

Unlike in-bay automatic and self serve options, there is less likely be a line for customers to wait in. This can translate into a larger amount of sales and a high customer satisfaction rate.

What Are Some Downsides to Owning a Tunnel System Wash?

While there are many upsides to owning a tunnel car wash, there are also a few downsides that you should be aware of:

High Initial Investment

Tunnels can be quite expensive to set up. This is because they require specialized equipment and a lot of land.

If you're not prepared for the initial high costs, then owning a tunnel car wash might not be the right choice for you.

A good initial starting point for a simple tunnel could be around $400,000 plus the cost of the land. This can vary wildly up to several million dollars for larger tunnels.

Requires Specialized Training

Tunnels are very complex and require specialized training to operate.

This means that you will need to spend time and money on training yourself and your employees how to use the equipment correctly.

Make sure to check out the Turtle Wax Pro Learning Center to start your basic training!

Turtle Wax Pro arch
From the Wett Car Wash in Chicago, Illinois.

Choosing Manufacturers like Turtle Wax Pro For Your Tunnel Wash

When it comes to establishing a tunnel car wash, there are several things to consider. But one of the more important choices is your manufacturers.

Your manufacturer will be the one giving you chemistry, among other services like training and carwash equipment. This will dictate the level of service you can provide.

Turtle Wax Pro is one of the leading providers in the professional car wash industry and has been supporting automatic car washes of all kinds, including tunnel systems for years.

We pride ourselves on having the most innovative and eco-friendly car wash chemicals in the industry. We offer a wide range of chemicals that aid car washes all over the world in achieving their goals.

Our soaps and other products are designed to work together to create the ultimate clean. Each product primes the next one by preparing the surface of the vehicle for the next product, resulting in the perfect wash.

Turtle Wax Pro is dedicated to helping your business achieve its goals, and deliver your customers the cleanest, driest, and shiniest cars.

That includes a full dedicated initial training session along with ongoing support for your car wash equipment.

We would be happy to discuss the details behind your tunnel, relating to everything from chemistry to equipment to marketing. If you're considering entering the wash industry, feel free to contact us anytime!

Before You Build An Express Wash

The car wash industry is adopting express tunnels as the next big thing. Customers love them for their speed and efficiency, and owners for the amount of traffic they can handle and revenue they can generate.

Tunnel car washing holds numerous benefits that other types of washes cannot compete with. If you're thinking of entering the car wash industry, a tunnel might be the best option for you!

Entering and competing in the wash industry can be difficult but tunnels can be very rewarding. With their increasing popularity, tunnels may even become the new industry standard.

One of the best ways to set yourself up for success is using a great supplier like Turtle Wax Pro. The science, and expertise we provide is a surefire approach to differentiate your wash from the competition.

If you have any questions about tunnels, we would be happy to answer them. Thanks for reading!

25
May
Best Car Wash Soap for 2022: How To Choose The Top Soap For Your Car Wash
Mack Ewing
Director, Strategic Initiatives

Cleaning vehicles is the best way to maintain them and keep them looking like new. The best car wash soaps will remove dirt, grime, and other buildup without damaging the paint or clear coat.

Turtle Wax Pro has been a providing high quality chemistry for over 75 years. Our products achieve better results than the rest on the market while being formulated without any phosphates, hydrofluoric acid or ammonium bifluoride.

Turtle Wax Pro is just one option and many people will have their own opinion on the the best car wash soap. There is a never-ending amount of choices for car care products. Hopefully this list of criteria will help you reach a decision on the best car wash soap for you.

Car wash soap

What is Car Wash Soap?

Car wash soap is a specially formulated detergent that is designed to remove dirt, grime, and other contaminants from your vehicle's surface.

It is important to use a car wash soap that is specifically designed for washing cars because regular household detergents can actually damage your car's paint and finish.

Sidebar: What is the Difference Between Soap and Detergent?

Soap and detergent are both cleaning products, but they are made from different materials and have different purposes.

Soap is made from natural materials like vegetable oils or animal fats. It is effective at cleaning dirt and grease, and it is biodegradable.

Detergent, on the other hand, is made from synthetic materials and is designed to clean in more difficult water situations. It is also more effective at cleaning oily stains.

For the purposes of this article you may see us refer to our products colloquially (informally), as both soap and detergent, but Turtle Wax Pro products are formulated as detergents!

Why Do You Need Car Wash Soap?

Car washing may seem like a simple task but the details do matter. Using the right soap to clean vehicles is a basic but vital step in achieving great results.

Obviously, some sort of soap is necessary in order to properly clean a car. A well formulated soap will remove all of the dirt, road grime, dust, swirl marks and insect bits that have built up on a car's surface.

Additionally, car wash soap is designed to be gentle on a vehicle's surface. It will not strip away wax or polish like some household detergents can.

Existing Contaminants Can Be Harmful To A Vehicle

Road grime, dirt and other contaminants can be very abrasive, and if not removed properly, can cause damage to your vehicle.

For example, if you live in an area with a lot of clay in the soil, that clay is fine enough that it can become embedded in your vehicle's paint and cause permanent damage.

Can you use Dish Soap to Wash your Car?

Let's just say the secret to achieving a spot free car wash is not using dish soap on vehicles.

Dish soap is not designed for vehicles, and can actually strip away the wax or protective coatings on your car. This will leave your car paint unprotected and susceptible to damage.

Dish soap is formulated to remove oil and grease from dishes, which is why it  is so effective at cutting through sealants. So while dish soap might get your car clean in the short term, it will actually cause more damage in the long run.

Car being washed with a sponge

How to Use Car Wash Soap?

The process for a DIY car wash and a professional car wash are actually quite similar. The main difference is the amount of water and soap that is used.

Automated car washes will have machinery that will take care of the majority of steps that the DIY or self serve car washer would need to do by hand.

We recommend following the instructions listed on the product, but a general guide for the best car wash is as follows:

  1. Start by rinsing your car with water to remove any loose dirt or debris.
  2. Apply the car wash soap to a wet sponge or cloth and wash your car in small sections, starting from the top and working your way down.
  3. Rinse the soap off your car with water (ideally a pressure washer)
  4. Dry it with a clean microfiber towel (or microfiber wash mitt) to ensure a streak free finish.

Dialling in the correct wash settings in a tunnel or in bay automatic.

The Turtle Wax Pro team has over 75 years of experience formulating car care products. Our amazing service team are passionate experts that are always on hand to offer advice and support.

We've got a lot of documentation and expertise around our products and cleaning cars. That means we're able to set up any wash to run at peak performance within a short period of time!

Hyper-Concentrates

At Turtle Wax Pro our detergents are all hyper-concentrated. This means that you need less detergent to achieve the same quality results when compared to other brands.

Investing in a High Quality Car Wash Soap

It is also important to discuss how car wash soaps can differ. In short, there are three main types of car wash soap:

  • Budget soaps (Most of our competitors) that will get the job done (kinda) but might not be as gentle on your cars or equipment.
  • Mid-grade soaps (Transchem's Autolux Line) that strike a balance between price and quality.
  • Premium soaps (Turtle Wax Pro) that cost more but offer the best possible results.

When it comes to car care, you get what you pay for. Investing in a high quality car wash soap will save you money in all the ways we've previously mentioned. It also offers the best results to make your customers keep coming back for more. Keep in mind it is possible to offer an affordable car wash even with premium soaps.

Turtle Wax Pro product lines

Choosing a Premium Manufacturer like Turtle Wax Pro

The amount of options for car wash soaps on the market today can be overwhelming. However, the importance of choosing a high quality car wash soap can not be overstated.

Turtle Wax Pro is a car wash chemical manufacturer that produces premium car wash soaps, shampoos, detergents, waxes, ceramics, drying agents, finishing products and other surface protection products.

We've been doing it for decades.

Our products are formulated with the latest car care technology to deliver outstanding results and our team of experts are always available to answer any questions you may have.

We're passionate about what we do and we want to help you get the most out of your car wash business. We know that our success is built on your success.

How does the Soap you Choose Affect your Car Wash Business?

The car care industry is a competitive one and choosing the right products can make or break your business.

If you're using lower quality car wash soaps, shampoos, and other products it will reflect in the quality of your car wash.

Your customers will notice this and it will ultimately hurt your bottom line.

Achieving the Perfect Wash

The goal for everyone in the car wash industry is to be able to provide consumers with the perfect wash. There are numerous aspects to consistently providing that level of service and your chemistry is the backbone.

To achieve the ultimate wash, you don't just need quality products. You also need those products to work together in harmony.

Turtle Wax Pro products are never formulated on their own and often go through months or years of testing alongside our existing products. This ensures that they will play nice with each other and provide you with the results that you expect.

How to choose the right soap?

There are a few things you'll want to keep in mind when choosing the proper car wash soap for you.

Frequency of Washing

The ideal frequency for the best car wash is about once per week.

This ensures that the customer's car is getting cleaned on a regular basis and the finishing products are working properly to protect and maintain the paint.

Turtle Wax Pro products are formulated with this frequency in mind.

Without getting too heavily into the science, washing a car regularly will actually make the car easier to clean and shinier with each additional wash.*

The Environment

If being green is important to you then you'll want to look for a car wash soap that is biodegradable and gentle on the environment.

These soaps are just as effective at cleaning your car but won't have a negative impact on the planet.

Turtle Wax Pro is proud to say that all of our products are formulated with the environment in mind. The majority of our North American product lineup is Ecologo Certified. A certification that we drafted with regulators for high levels of environmental consciousness.

Water Quality

Water quality will differ based on your location. If you're using city water then it's likely that the water is already pretty hard.

This means that it has a higher concentration of minerals like calcium and magnesium. If you live in an area with softer water, then you don't have to worry about this as much.

It's important to be mindful of what water you have and if you should make any changes to it before you decide to run your car wash business.

Most car wash soaps will not be as effective when used with hard water and will fail to produce the thick foam required for total surface coverage. There are some specially formulated soaps that are designed to work with hard water, but typically we recommend installing some type of water solution instead.

These options will remove or modify minerals from the water that cause it to be hard, and will leave you with water that's ideal for a spot free wash.

Car being washed in a car wash

Will Car Wash Soap Damage My Clear Coat or Sealant?

The short answer is: no it won't. Since soap is meant to clean, you may think any finishing product (car wax or ceramic) that was previously applied may be compromised after a wash.

What do surface protectants do for vehicles?

Waxes and sealants are designed to form a barrier between the painted surface and the elements. They often protect against UV rays, water spots, bird droppings and road film that could potentially damage a car's surface.

So, does using soap affect the car's wax or sealant?

As long as you're using a quality detergent that is designed for use with protected surfaces, you will not damage the wax or sealant. In fact, regular car washing is actually beneficial for maintaining the longevity of these products.*

But if you use the wrong kind of soap, it is possible that it could remove that protective barrier.

Specialized Car Wash Soaps

You may have a specific need that an ordinary soap cannot supply. We'll go through the common different specialized soaps. As well as explaining when you might want to use them.

Wash and Wax Car Soap

As the name implies, these soaps are designed to both clean and protect your car in one step.

Wash and wax car soaps typically contain Carnauba wax, which is a natural form of protection for your car's paint. But the wax formula can differ depending on the product.

With a wash and wax product it is generally hard to achieve a streak free finish or avoid swirl marks due to it's application process.

  • These are typically offered to DIY washing car owners who regularly wash their car in their driveway and protect their car's finish all at once
  • You'll also sometimes find this type of product in a low end car detailing shop

Carnauba Wax

Pure carnauba is one of the hardest, most durable forms of protection you can put on your car. It's often used in products that are designed to protect the paint on boats and other vehicles that are exposed to harsh conditions.

So, if you're looking for a soap that will both clean and protect your car's paint but also be a low commitment method to achieving that wax protection, wash and wax soaps might be the right choice.

However, the wax protection wash and wax soaps provide is not as durable or long lasting as other surface protectants. Premium carnauba wax can last up to 12 months but will likely last much less time in wax soap combination product.

Hard Water Soaps

As we mentioned before, if you live in an area with hard water, you'll need to take that into consideration when operating your car wash.

Most car wash soaps will not be as effective when used with hard water. Hard water affects the quality of your chemistry and could be a major factor in producing lacklustre cleaning results.

A water softener or reverse osmosis system are recommended solutions for water hardness, but there are some special car wash soaps that are designed to work with hard water.

Hard water soaps are formulated to be slightly more acidic than other car wash soaps. This helps to break down the minerals in hard water that can cause streaking and spots on the car's paint job.

  • Hard water soaps are formulated for people with less options or no options for dealing with hard water in their water supply

Wheel Cleaner

Iron stains can become apparent on vehicles, especially on car wheels. While regular car wash soaps can help to remove some of the brake dust and grime that builds up on wheels, they are not always effective at removing iron stains.

A wheel cleaner is a specialized product that is designed to remove these types of stains. Wheel cleaners typically contain an acid, which helps to break down the iron molecules that cause the staining.

Most wheel cleaners are safe to use on all types of wheels, but it is always best to read the product label to be sure.

Waterless Wash (or No Rinse Wash) Soaps

A waterless car wash soap is a quick and easy way to clean your car without having to do a rinse wash at the end. As the name suggests, you don't need water (or very little) to use these soaps.

Waterless washes are perfect for people who want to clean their car but don't have access to a hose or water source. Some waterless washes also come in a foaming formula, which makes them even easier to use.

A no rinse wash product is also a good option if you purposely want to avoid using water altogether. You simply spray the soap on your car and wipe it off with a microfiber towel/wash mitt.

  • These are formulated more for the home user rather than a business but can be a convenient option to some car owners.
Shiny sports car

Why Does pH Level Matter?

pH is a scale that is used to measure how acidic or basic (not the white girl kind) a solution is. It is an important aspect to consider when looking at the proper car wash soap for your business.

The scale goes from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic, 14 being the most basic, and pH level of seven being neutral.

We will do a complete breakdown of how pH level affects cleaning in a future blog post but for now here is a rough breakdown:

Low pH

Low pH detergents or presoaks are effective at attacking inorganic material found on vehicle surfaces. This includes things like brake dust, road grime, salt and heavy dirt particles. A low pH car wash soap is typically considered to be in the range of 0-4.

High pH

High pH soaps are better at attacking organic material, like bugs, grease and tree sap. High pH chemicals are effective at breaking down proteins found in these organic materials. A high pH car wash soap is typically considered to be in the range of 11-14.

Neutral pH

There are also some soaps that have a neutral pH level (also known as pH balanced). A pH neutral formula can be used on all types of cars, regardless of how dirty they are.

pH balanced soaps won't be as effective at attacking either inorganic or organic materials, but they are a good option for people who want an all-purpose soap for the entire car.

Neutral pH soaps typically have a pH level of around five to eight.

Which pH level should you pick?

Picking the best car wash soap by pH level depends entirely on your wash setup, location, water quality, and what type of dirt/grime you are trying to remove.

For the ultimate wash it will be best to use both a low pH and high pH soap in your wash process. This will ensure that all types of dirt and grime are removed from the vehicle.

In most situations it's best to start with the high pH cleaners and work towards creating a low pH environment to help the finishing products adhere to the vehicle's surface.

We recommend getting in touch with a car wash chemical supplier like Turtle Wax Pro to see what kind setup is right for you.

Hyper-Concentrated Car Wash Soap

Hyper-concentrated car wash soap is the future of the car wash industry.

It involves the chemicals being in heavily concentrated form (very little water content) and the end-user (car washes) diluting the concentration to the correct ratio.

Hyper-concentrated chemistry ensures:

  • Lower shipping costs as more product will take up less space
  • Reduced environmental impact by using less packaging and plastic
  • Easier to physically move and dispense product
  • Allows business to stock up on more product as it will take up less room

This ensures every ounce of a product applied to a vehicle is cleaning efficiently with less water, while producing even better results.

We highly recommend you look at a company that uses hyper-concentration for its chemistry for all of these benefits.

The Best Car Wash Soaps

The best car wash soap is an opinionated topic. We at Turtle Wax Pro truly believe we offer the best car wash soap on the market.

  • Our detergents are available in a variety of pH levels to help you overcome challenging cleaning conditions.
  • High-lubricity detergents produce a rich, dense foam that gently deep-cleans for scratch free cleaning.
  • We have products with multiple scent options and offer SKUs that are effective in friction, touchless and self-serve (pressure washer) car wash scenarios.

The truly amazing part of our soap options is that:

  • They are all designed to work perfectly with any of our other offerings to ensure you're creating the cleanest, shiniest and driest cars possible.

To Summarize

The significance that soap holds to a car wash cannot be overstated. It is essential for keeping vehicles not only clean and shiny but also for maintaining the vehicle's finish.

The car wash formula you choose will depend on the kind of car wash you have, as well as what you want to include in your wash process.

That's right, the soap included in that car wash kit might not the right choice for you.

The process of choosing the best car wash products can be tricky but we are here to help.

Contact us today to learn more about our top car wash soaps and how to choose the right chemistry for your business.

*Finishing products like waxes and ceramics create a hydrophobic barrier on the car's finish. This protective coating helps repel water and dirt, making it harder for contaminants to reach and stick to the surface of a vehicle. This makes them continually easier to remove after each wash.

6
May
Ceramic Coating on Cars: How it Works, Why You Should Get One & What to Avoid
Mack Ewing
Director, Strategic Initiatives

When it comes to car care, there are a lot of different opinions out there on what’s the best way to protect your vehicle. One option that’s becoming increasingly popular is ceramic coating.

But is it worth the cost? Let’s take a look at how it works, why you should get one and what to avoid!

Ceramic coating is a process where a liquid polymer, typically composed of a silicon dioxide, is applied to the surface of a car. Then in some cases cured with heat. Occasionally titanium dioxide will also be included as a hardening agent.

This creates a hard, glossy finish that can protect the paint and clear coat from the outside world. There are many benefits of ceramic coatings, including protection against the elements, protection from harmful UV rays, hydrophobic properties, an enhanced gloss and resistance to small scratches.

The process of ceramic coating a car is not difficult, but it is important to choose a reputable source to get your ceramic coatings from, the wrong product or application can lead to problems down the road.

When done correctly, a ceramic coating protects and can add value to any car.

Shiny car

What Are Ceramic Coatings and Their Benefits?

A ceramic coating is a very thin layer of liquid polymer that is applied to a car's surface to create a protective layer between on the vehicle's paint and the outside world.

A good ceramic coating also helps to keep the car looking new for much longer, ensuring car owners feel good great after every wash.

Not only does it protect the paint and clear coat, but it also helps to keep the car clean. The coating acts as a barrier against dirt, dust, road film, water stains, bird droppings, tree sap, oil and grease across the entire car.

It also creates a hydrophobic surface that repels water, which makes it much easier to clean the car and helps to wick away water droplets in the rain for increased visibility while driving.

When incorporated onto the vehicle's surface, a true ceramic coating creates a hard, protective shell due to its crystalline structure leading to the ultimate surface protection.

The best part is that a high quality ceramic coat is very affordable. So, if you are looking for a way to add protective qualities to your car's paint job, ceramic coating is definitely the way to go.

The Benefits of a Ceramic Coated Car:

  • Provides paint protection against the elements
  • Creates a hydrophobic surface
  • Helps improve the glossy look of a vehicle's paint
  • Makes car owners feel amazing
  • Protection from UV damage, oxidization and faded paint
  • Slight protection from chemical staining

What Ceramic Coatings Won't Provide Protection From:

  • Large scratches
  • Swirl marks
  • Rock chips

How Does a Ceramic Coating Work?

Ceramic coating is a process that is used to protect a car from the elements. Ceramic coating creates a barrier between the paint and the environment.

DIY Coating

In a DIY ceramic coating, the coating are applied in a process that is very similar to painting after some surface prep. The car is first cleaned and dried, and then the ceramic coating is applied. It is important to make sure that the car is completely dry before applying the coating, as any moisture will affect the adhesion of the coating and induce water spotting.

The coating is then cured, typically using a heat gun or infrared lamp. Once the ceramic coating cures, the car is ready to be driven.

Professional Coating

In a ceramic coating applied during a professional car wash, like a tunnel or in bay automatic, the ceramic coating is applied near the end of the car wash process after the car has been completely cleaned of debris and road grime.

The ceramic coating has now been applied to the vehicle's surface in liquid form using specially formulated chemistry to allow for quick adhesion and a semi permanent bond of the liquid polymer to the painted surface.

When used together with other car care finishing products like a car wax and drying agent you're sure to see car's paint take on a near reflective properties!

Turtle Wax Pro Ceramic Coating

Choosing a Reputable Company like Turtle Wax Pro

When it comes time to choose a company to apply ceramic coating to your cars, it's important to do your research.

A reputable company like Turtle Wax Pro will has a team of experienced professionals who know how to apply the coating properly, when and where to apply the protective coating and how to achieve the best results.

We'll also be able to answer any questions you have about the process and the benefits of ceramic coating.

As a pioneer of ceramic technology, Turtle Wax Pro has implemented over 20 years of innovation into its industry leading, premium ceramic technology.

We have multiple high end ceramic coating products including Super Hard Shell Finish, Ice Instant Shine and our brand new Titanium TX4 product line.

So, if you're looking for a way to protect your car paint, ceramic coating is definitely the way to go. Turtle Wax Pro can help you get the best results and ensure that your cars look their best for years to come.

The Process of Ceramic Coating on Cars

Ceramic coatings can be done with a DIY ceramic coating kit, by a professional car detailing shop or much more easily through a professional car wash equipped with ceramic coating technology.

DIY Ceramic Coating Kit

A DIY kit is a great way to protect your car's paint job. It involves applying a liquid to your car, and then curing it with heat.

When using a DIY ceramic, it is important to follow the instructions closely.

  1. Make sure that your car is clean and free of any dirt or debris.
  2. Apply the liquid coating to the surface of the car. Be sure to coat the entire car evenly.
  3. Allow enough time for the coating to dry completely.
  4. Cure it with heat.

What to Avoid

  1. Do not apply the coating in direct sunlight. This can cause the coating to dry too quickly and unevenly.
  2. Do not over-cure the coating. This can cause it to become brittle and crack.
  3. Do not apply the coating to a dirty or dusty surface. This can cause the coating to adhere poorly and come off easily.

If you follow these simple tips, you will be on your way to having a great looking car with a durable, protective finish.

Professional Ceramic Coatings from a Car Detailer

The process of applying a ceramic coating typically starts with a thorough cleaning of the surface of the car. If the surface is damaged in any way, it will need to be repaired before a ceramic coating can be applied. This ensures that it will have a smooth, consistent finish.

After the car is clean, the ceramic coating is applied with a brush or sprayer. After application, it needs to be cured with heat. This can be done with a special curing lamp or other heat source.

Once the ceramic coating is cured, it will create a hard, glossy finish that can protect your car's paint from road grime and weather. It is important to note that a ceramic coat is not a replacement for regular waxing and polishing. You will still need to care for your car's paint regularly to maintain its shine and protection.

Depending on the type of ceramic coating used by the auto detailer and the number of layers applied, the hard surface can last for several years before it needs to be reapplied.

Ceramic Coating in a Professional Car Wash

Ceramic coatings are most often applied in a professional car wash using a tunnel system.

In this type of system, the car is brought through a series of automated washing arches or sprayers, where it is first washed with a high powered detergent to remove any debris and then rinsed. Depending on the length of tunnel a regular car wax or carnauba wax will be applied next alongside a tire dressing.

The ceramic coating is applied near the end of the tunnel, and then the car is dried with high-powered fans.

This type of system can be very effective at applying a consistent coat of ceramic to the entire surface of a car. However, it is important to note that not all tunnel car washes are created equal. Some car washes may use lower quality ceramic coatings, or they may not apply the coating evenly which could lead to water spotting.

It is important to do your research and choose a car wash that has a good reputation for applying ceramic coatings correctly.

What to Expect After a Ceramic Coating is Applied

After the ceramic coating is applied to a car, it will be water repellant and be able to lightly repel dirt, dust, and other contaminants.

The coating will also help to protect the paint from fading thanks to UV rays and other forms of wear and tear.

The hard layer of coating can last a long time if properly maintained. It is important to keep the car clean and free of dirt and dust so that the coating will last longer. If the car is not kept clean, the coating may start to wear off over time.

How to Care for a Car That Has Been Coated With Ceramic

When you get your car ceramic coated, there are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to maintain the finish.

  1. Avoid parking under trees or other items that could drop sap, leaves or other natural materials on the car.
  2. You should either hand wash the car or take it to a professional car wash.
  3. Try to keep your car garaged or covered when you're not using it, as this will help protect the finish from the elements.
  4. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as these can damage the coating.

What is the Average Cost to Ceramic Coat a Car?

DIY Ceramic Coating

The cost of a DIY ceramic coating kit can vary depending on the size of the kit. Generally, they range from around $25 to $200. Make sure to choose a kit with high-quality products that will provide the best results.

Turtle Wax's Hybrid Solutions lineup is an amazing cost effective way to apply a ceramic coating at home.

Car Detailer Ceramic Coating

The average cost to apply a ceramic coating to a car is around $500 at a professional auto detailer. This price can vary depending on the size of the car and the type of ceramic coating that is used.

If maintained properly a ceramic coating from a car detailer can last multiple years, longer than a DIY or car wash coating, hence the high costs.

Car Wash Ceramic Coating

The average cost to get a ceramic car wash package is around $25. This price can vary depending on the size of the package, what's included and the location where it is purchased.

Some washes offer unlimited monthly memberships that include a high quality ceramic coating for cars for as low as $40 per month.

Why Should a Car Wash Owner Provide A Ceramic Wash Package?

There are a number of reasons why a car wash owner should offer ceramic wash package to their customers.

One of the main reasons is that ceramic coatings can help to protect cars from dirt, grime, fading, and other types of damage.

This can be beneficial for both the car wash owner and the customer. The wash owner will benefit because they can charge a higher price for the service, and the customer will benefit because their car will be better protected.

It can also help to build customer loyalty. Customers who are happy with the results of the wash are more likely to return for additional washes or other services, and they may also tell their friends about the amazing car wash they received.

Offering a ceramic package is also a great way to differentiate your wash from other businesses that do not offer this service, attract new customers and grow your business.

As ceramic technology continues to become a mainstay in car wash lineups, don't miss out on the opportunity to provide the best wash in town.

Super Hard Shell Finish Arch

How to Start Offering Ceramic Wash Packages at Your Car Wash

There are a few things that you need to do in order to start offering ceramic coating packages at your car wash.

Choose a Product

The first thing you need to do is purchase a quality ceramic product. As previously mentioned Turtle Wax Pro offers some amazing ceramic products including Super Hard Shell Finish, Ice Instant Shine and our brand new Titanium TX4 product line.

Market the New Wash Package

Once you have a quality product, the next thing you need to do is market the service. You can do this by creating signage for your car wash that advertises the ceramic packages. Turtle Wax Pro has marketing programs in place to help with this exact process!

Take Before & After Pictures of the Car's Paint

You can also include information about the packages on your website and social media. Don't forget to take before and after photos of cars that have received the coating so potential customers can see the results for themselves!

Train Your Staff

Finally, make sure that your employees are trained on the benefits of ceramic technology to be able to upsell your customers effectively. This will ensure that every customer is happy with the results of their wash.

By following these simple steps, you'll be well on your way to offering one of the hottest services in the car wash industry.

How To Upsell A Ceramic Wash Package

When it comes to selling a ceramic wash package, it's important to remember that not everyone is familiar with the technology.

This means that you'll need to take some time to explain the benefits of the coating and how it can help with paint protection. Make sure to emphasize that a ceramic will last much longer and provide better paint protection than a traditional car wash.

You should also point out that a ceramic can help to keep a car's paint looking shiny and new. Many customers are interested in this type of service because it can help their car maintain its value.

After you've explained all of this to the customer, it's time to close the sale. Be sure to stress that a ceramic coating is a great investment and that it will save them money in the long run.

You can successfully upsell your customers on a ceramic coating wash package if you follow these easy instructions.

Finishing Up...

Ceramic coatings are one of the newest and most popular services in the car wash industry. They offer a variety of benefits, including protection from scratches, dirt, grime, and fading.

If you're looking to differentiate your wash and attract new customers, consider offering a ceramic package. Be sure to purchase a quality product, market the service, take before and after pictures, and train your staff on how to upsell the packages.

As a car wash owner, it's important to understand the basics of what a ceramic coating protects so that you can effectively market this service to your customers.

With a little bit of knowledge and the right product, you can start offering this service at your car wash and watch your business grow!

By following the tips in this article, you'll be well on your way to offering a top-notch service that will keep your customers coming back for more.

6
May
Advertising A Car Wash: How to Succeed in a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
Mack Ewing
Director, Strategic Initiatives

Here at Turtle Wax Pro, we understand the difficulty in succeeding within the car wash industry, and especially in trying to stand out in the market.

The car wash space has many substitutes available to consumers, ranging from self serve to full automated washes. This creates the need for your wash to stand out in the eye of consumers.

Advertising can be a great way to increase business as your potential audience can be attracted and enticed towards your car wash over another!

By targeting consumers with specific and different forms of ads, businesses can attract new customers and grow their business in ways they could not done before.

Advertisements are not only for gaining new customers, they can be essential for building general brand awareness and improving loyalty for your existing users.

In this article, we'll be walking you through why advertising is important, how you can use advertising to strengthen your business, and how you can start creating impactful advertisements.

The Car Wash market is a multi-billion dollar industry.

There are over 25,000 car washes in the United States alone. The industry employs over 150,000 people and generates over $9 billion in annual revenue.

Even now, growth is still occurring at a rapid pace. In fact, the industry is expected to grow by 3% every year.

This growth is driven by the rise in vehicle ownership, increase in per capita income, and the need for car owners to maintain their vehicles.

With the right car wash advertising strategy, businesses can tap into this growing market and improve their bottom line.

The Car Wash Market

Despite the large size of the market, the car wash industry is very fragmented.

The top 50 companies account for less than 20% of the total market share. This leaves a large opportunity for small and medium sized businesses to increase their market share.

There are many different types of car washes, from self-service to full-service. There are also a variety of different services that you can offer, from express wash to detailing.

No matter what type of car wash you have, there are plenty of things you can do to increase business and market share.

The Car Wash Industry is a Tough Market

If you run a car wash, you know that competition is fierce.

Many car washes are going out of business because they can’t keep up with the competition and provide quality services at reasonable prices.

So how can you make sure that your car wash stays competitive?

Advertising is a way to help ensure that your wash stays competitive and has a consistent flow of customers.

Advertising allows your car wash business to attract new customers, customers from competing businesses and may even stop current customers from going elsewhere. .

Unfortunately, many local businesses are going out of business because they haven’t been able to keep up with the competition as there likely are many car wash options to choose from in any given area.

Standing out is difficult, but is a must to attract customers.

Quality services and reasonable prices are important for success in owning a car wash.

If you want your car wash to be successful, you need to offer quality services at reasonable prices.

Unfortunately, many car washes are going out of business because they can’t keep up with the competition and provide quality services at reasonable prices.

In a competitive market like the car wash market, there are many substitutions present. That means for customers to choose your wash, you must provide a great wash at a great price.

Advertising a Car Wash

The first step to increasing business is to make sure that customers are aware of your car wash. Advertising can be a great way to do this.

There are many different ways to advertise and utilizing a mix of methods is the best way to ensure results.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

First, businesses should consider what type of ad would be most effective for reaching their market.

The type of car wash will dictate exactly what type of ad to use. For example, a self service car wash may have a different marketing strategy than a full service car wash.

Second, businesses should make sure that their ads are creative and attention-grabbing.

Attractive visuals, key words, free services (or discounted) will all be attention grabbing to your audience.

Finally, businesses should track the results of their car wash advertising campaigns to ensure that they are effective.

Trial and error is sometimes the only way to succeed.

An important thing to remember when it comes to advertising car washes is that not all methods will work for every business. If you want more customers, it is important to experiment with different types of ads and see what works best for your company.

Giant inflatable Turtle for Turtle Wax Pro
Pictured is an event held by Trident Car Wash in Okotoks, Alberta.

Car Wash Marketing Ideas

There are a variety of different ways to advertise your car wash.

You can use print ads, radio spots, social media campaigns, and outdoor signage, just to name a few.

By using a variety of car wash marketing techniques, you can reach a wider audience and bring in more customers who will appreciate the convenience and quality of your car wash service.

Print Ads

One way to advertise your car wash is through print ads. You can place ads in newspapers, magazines, or even direct mailers. Make sure to include your car wash’s name, address, and phone number so customers can easily find you.

Distributing flyers in the local area is also a great way to promote your car wash.

You can also include a coupon or special offer in your print ad to entice new business to try out your services. For example, you could offer a discount for first-time customers or a free car wash with the purchase of a detailing package.

Radio Spots

Another way to reach customers is through radio spots. You can buy airtime on local radio stations and create ads that will play during drive time.

Like print ads, make sure to include your car wash’s name, address, and phone number in your radio spot so customers can easily find you. You can also include a sales promotion within it, to cause more listeners to act.

Social Media Campaigns

In today’s world, social media is a powerful marketing tool. You can use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to reach customers. Other social media sites such as LinkedIn and TikTok could prove to be useful car wash marketing tools as well.

Social media accounts are crucial for car washes because they provide a way to connect with customers and promote deals or discounts.

When creating social media posts, be sure to use attractive visuals and persuasive copy. You want to grab people’s attention and make them want to learn more about your car wash.

Make sure to include a call-to-action in your posts, such as “Visit our website to learn more” or showcasing particular services that customers will love to have done to their vehicles.

Outdoor Signage

Another way to reach potential customers is through outdoor signage. You can place banners, signs, and flags around your car wash to grab people’s attention.

Make sure your signage is visible and legible from a distance. You want people to be able to see it and read it easily so they know what your business is and what services you offer.

You can also use outdoor signage to promote special services such as your for top of the line package.

Many companies (including Turtle Wax Pro) have outdoor signages that are very appealing to the eye and showcase a premium nature to them, which cause customers to try them out.

By using a variety of advertising techniques, you can reach a wider audience and bring in more customers to your car wash which will aid in succeeding even in the most competitive market.

What do you Write in a Car Wash Advertisement?

Here are a few ideas of what you can include in your car wash ad:

  • Your business name
  • Your logo
  • A tagline or slogan
  • Attractive visuals
  • Information about your location
  • Unique Aspects
  • What services you offer
  • Specials or promotions you are running
  • A call to action note that entices consumers

Having a variety of these ideas can help your ad stand out from your competitors and help drive sales.

How to Create a Tagline or Slogan for a Car Wash?

Your tagline or slogan should be easily recognizable, so customers can remember it and associate it with your brand.

It should be reflective of what your company does or what you want your company to be known for. Whether it be affordable rates or the best cleaning job in town.

Also, your tagline or slogan should be reflective of your company’s values. (ex: environmentally focused)

What makes your Business Different?

The aspects that make your car wash different than the one down the road should be included in your advertisements.

You may be a local business, the only one using a specific brand of products, touchless as opposed to using brushes, an established brand, or vastly more experienced.

Small businesses have the opportunity to focus on community service or being more personal with their customers. Thus, many consumers choose to support small businesses over other options.

These are all examples of characteristics that make your car wash business stand out and are potential reasons why customers will choose you over another.

Unique Advertising Ideas for your Car Wash Business

The car wash marketing strategies mentioned before are significant in bringing awareness to your wash. But you might already have the basics covered, or maybe you want to try something different to set your business apart.

If that’s the case, here are some unique advertising ideas for your car wash business:

Sponsor a Local Sports Team or Another Popular Local Attraction

One way to get your car wash’s name out there is by sponsoring a local school sports team or another popular attraction in your area.

This could be anything from Little League to the local school. By having your name on their jerseys or arena, you’ll be getting great exposure to both new customers and existing customers.

Have a Grand Opening Event or Anniversary Event

Another way to advertise your business is by hosting a grand opening event (for a new business) or anniversary event. This is an exciting way to get new customers in the door and try out your car wash for the first time.

At special events, you can offer special pricing, freebies, free food, or other activities to bring in larger crowds. You can also use special events like these as an opportunity to introduce any new services or products you might be offering.

Get Involved in the Community

One way to endear your business to your target audience is by getting involved in the community. This could be anything from sponsoring a charity event to hosting a food drive.

By giving back to the community, you’ll not only be helping others, but you’ll also be gaining some good publicity for your business. This is a great way to build brand awareness and loyalty among possible customers and your customer base.

Offer Free Washes

Not many people can turn down something free. By giving away a free wash for their first wash, you encourage customers to try out your service.

This way they can compare your car wash to the one they typically use, and if your service is of good quality, consumers will continue for paid washes.

Have a Rewards/Loyalty Program

A rewards program is a great way to encourage current customers to continue using your wash. By offering a discount coupon or freebies after a certain number of visits, you’ll be sure to see customers coming back.

Having a loyalty program is also a great way to upsell customers on other services or products you might offer.

You can promote your loyalty club on your business website, on social media, or through in-store signage. This is a great way to increase your number of returning customers and build customer loyalty.

Thinking outside the box can separate you from the rest of the competition, and get your car wash business out in a way no one else can.

Working with an experienced company like Transchem and Turtle Wax Pro

Implementing a strong marketing strategy to ultimately increase business for you car wash can be difficult.

Transchem and Turtle Wax Pro are not only car wash suppliers, we are companies dedicated in helping your business succeed.

We understand that just owning a car wash is only a small fraction behind operating a car wash, marketing it is a must.

We have decades of experience helping car washes of all types and sizes, and thus, can provide a superior level of guidance that can help your car wash business gain market share and increase customers.

It's obvious how important advertising is to suceeding in the car wash market. By utilizing some of the advertising ideas mentioned, you can increase brand awareness to your car wash and bring in more traffic.

Advertising is an incredible powerful tool that can skyrocket the success of your business. If you believe that your car wash business could improve it's advertising, don't hesitate to get in contact with us! We at Transchem and Turtle Wax Pro can provide some guidance on how to seperate yourself from the rest of the market.

6
May
Hard Water Affects Your Car Wash: How To Fix It
Mack Ewing
Director, Strategic Initiatives

If you're running a car wash business, it's important to be aware of the effects hard water can have on your equipment and customers.

Hard water contains high levels of minerals, which can cause problems when when combined with presoaks and detergents. Today, we'll discuss the effects hard water can have on your car wash business and offer some tips for dealing with it.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is water that contains a high concentration of calcium and magnesium. These minerals can cause problems when used with detergents, as they can bind to the detergent molecules and prevent them from being fully dissolved.

Water hardness varies depending on the geographical location. In general, hard water is more common in areas with high mineral content in the soil, such as the Southwestern United States.

What Causes Hard Water?

Water Hardness is caused by a high concentration of minerals or salt in the water supply. These deposits can come from a variety of sources, including:

  • Dissolved limestone
  • Magnesium sulfate
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Other minerals in smaller amounts

These minerals cause hard water and when they bind to detergent molecules, they prevent the detergent from being fully dissolved.

Why is Hard Water a Problem?

Hard water is a problem because it leaves behind deposits on surfaces that it comes into contact with. These minerals can have multiple ill effects when it comes to washing cars.

For example, hard water can:

  • Dull paint
  • Etch glass
  • Corrode metal
  • Leave spots or streaks 
  • Lower foaming capabilities
  • Create soap scum
  • Eventually clog pipes

This is why it's important to be aware of the hard water levels in your area and take steps to protect your car wash business from hard water problems.

Where is Water Hardness Common?

As we mentioned before, water hardness is more common in areas with high mineral contents in the soil. In the United States, this includes the Southwestern states as well as parts of the Midwest.

Some of the hardest water can be found in:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Montana

What is TDS or Total Dissolved Solids?

TDS is a measure of the total amount of dissolved minerals in water. The higher the TDS level, generally, the harder the water.

You can test the water hardness levels in your area with a TDS meter, which you can purchase online or at a hardware store. To get an accurate reading it's best to test the water at your car wash business, as water hardness levels can vary depending on the location.

What is The Difference Between Hard Water, Soft Water and High TDS Water?

The terms hard water, soft water and high TDS water are often used together, but there is a difference between the three.

  • Hard water is water that contains a high concentration of calcium and magnesium.
  • Soft water is water that has been treated to remove calcium and magnesium by replacing them with sodium.
  • High TDS water is water that contains a high concentration of dissolved solids, but not necessarily calcium and magnesium. This means that soft water can still have a high TDS level if it contains other dissolved solids, such as sodium.
Car wash equipment

Does Hard Water Have Any Advantages?

In a car wash setting, hard water has no advantages. In fact, it can cause all sorts of problems for your business, from damaging equipment to leaving customers with subpar results.

If you have hard water, the best thing you can do is take steps to mitigate the effects.

How Do You Know if You Have Hard Water?

Water Hardness Test Kit

The best way to know if you have hard water would be to test the water with a hard water testing kit that can be found online, at your local hardware store, or your friendly car wash supplier.

To use a water hardness test kit, simply follow the instructions that come with the kit. In general, you'll add a sample of water to the test kit and then compare the results to a chart that comes with the kit.

Digital Hard Water Tester

Another way to test for hard water is to use a digital hard water tester. These testers are placed in the water and then give a reading of the hardness level.

By Eye

If you suspect you may have hard water and want a quick way to know before testing, look at your taps, shower heads or equipment.  If there is a white film or spots present then you likely have hard water. It is important to note that the varying degrees in hardness level may impact how visible it is on your taps.

Measures of Water Hardness

The standard guidelines in water classification include 0 to 60 mg/L of calcium carbonate as being soft. Water systems involving groundwater or well water often exceed 60 mg/L. This is because water travels through calcium carbonate deposits in rock or soil and becomes hard.

Hard water can range from being slightly hard to very hard, the degree of hardness is classified into different categories:

  • Soft water contains up to 60 mg/L of calcium carbonate.
  • Moderately hard water contains 61 to 120 mg/L of calcium carbonate.
  • Hard water contains 121 to 180 mg/L of calcium carbonate.
  • Very hard water contains more than 180 mg/L of calcium carbonate.

How Does Hard Water Affect Your Car Wash Business?

Hard water can affect your car wash greatly by impacting the quality of your wash and its ability to function.

The high calcium and magnesium concentrations in hard water can cause soap scum to build up on surfaces which can lead to equipment not functioning well. This leads to continuous (and more frequent) servicing.

Also, it can damage equipment by corroding metal or affecting the seals. This may cause a lower lifespan of your car wash's equipment. The American Water Works Association estimates it could affect the lifespan of equipment by as much as 30% in some cases.

Having problems with your equipment will increase downtime, cost money for repairs/replacements and leave cars improperly washed.

In addition to affecting your equipment, hard water prevents you from getting a great clean on vehicles. It leaves mineral deposits, spots and streaks on glass and paint, which will lead to unhappy customers.

Your car wash chemistry is also greatly affected by hard water. The hard water can bind with the detergent, making it less effective. This means you'll have to use more detergent or presoak to achieve the same level of clean. Costing you more money.

In addition it will also create a milky foam instead of rich suds, which does not clean as well.

All of these things can lead to a decrease in business and revenue. That's why it's important to take steps to protect your car wash from hard water.

The Importance of Water to a Car Wash

Water is the most important part of any car wash business. It's what you use to clean the cars and it's also a big part of your operating costs. So, it's important to make sure that the water you're using is high quality.

We've discussed the importance of having soft water or low TDS water but that is not the only aspect of water that is vital for your wash.

Water temperature, pressure, volume and more all play a role in the quality of your wash.

An Aside On Water Heaters

Water heaters can be critical to a car wash in colder climates. Not only do they help to maintain water temperature but they can also provide extra pressure.

Hot water is important in a car wash because it helps to clean the cars better. The higher temperature helps to break down the dirt and grease on the car, making it easier to remove. It also helps to reduce the amount of time it takes to wash a car, which can be important for a business.

While most car washes use cold water, some businesses do offer hot water washes for an extra fee. If you operate in a climate where it gets cold, you may also want to consider using a water heater to maintain the water temperature from your water supply.

Water's importance cannot be understated, it is vital that you have a strong grasp over the water you use for your business.

Water system closeup

How to Deal With Hard Water at Your Car Wash Business?

If your business only has access to hard water, there are a few things you can do to ensure your water is clean and primed for car wash success.

Use a Water Softener:

A water softener is a device that removes calcium and magnesium from water, making it softer.

Water softeners work by exchanging the hard minerals for sodium. This is done by passing hard water through a tank filled with resin beads. As the hard water passes through, the resin beads create an ion exchange between calcium/magnesium and sodium. The softened water then exits the tank and is ready to use.

While a water softener is great at removing minerals from hard water, they do have some minor disadvantages.

Aside from the initial cost of purchasing and installing the water softener. Some regular maintenance will be needed, most notably in regards to salt. Water softeners must be regularly filled with salt, or they will not be able to function properly to create soft water.

Use a Reverse Osmosis System:

An RO system filters hard water and removes minerals, leaving you with clean, low TDS water. This is the best option for your car wash business. Reverse osmosis systems can remove up to 99% of dissolved solids.

Reverse osmosis works by using a high pressure pump to increase the pressure on the hard water side of the machine. This forces each water molecule across a semi-permeable membrane, leaving almost all of dissolved solids behind.

The biggest disadvantage is the cost. Reverse osmosis systems can be quite expensive, both to purchase and maintain. They also require a fair amount of space, so if your car wash is limited on space, this may not be the best solution for you.

Are There Any Alternatives to a Water Softener?

Hard Water Detergents

If a water softener is not an option you can use detergents that are designed for use with hard water.

They contain solutions that help prevent the calcium and magnesium ions from binding to the detergent molecules. This results in less scum and fewer spots on dried vehicles.

While not a perfect solution, hard water detergents can be a good way to deal with hard water if soft water isn't an option.

Water Conditioners 

Water conditioners work by changing the structure of the water molecules. It does this by passing the water over a specialized material known as template-assisted crystallization (TAC) media. This causes the hard water minerals to form "seed crystals".

This helps to minimize spots and scaling but does not remove the high concentrations of minerals.

The main disadvantage of using a water conditioner is that it does not remove the minerals from the water. You will still have hard water, and some of the problems that come with it.

While water conditioners are a good temporary solution, they are not a long-term fix for water softening.

Does Water Pressure Matter at a Car Wash?

Yes, water pressure is important for several reasons.

First, high pressure helps remove dirt and grime more effectively. It does this by breaking up the particles so they can be rinsed away more easily.

Secondly, less water pressure can lead to hard water spots. This is because the water is more likely to cling to the surface of the vehicle and dry, leaving behind magnesium or calcium deposits.

If you are having trouble getting enough pressure at your car wash or start to notice problems, there are a few things you can try.

  1. Check for leaks in your system. A small leak can reduce water pressure significantly.
  2. Make sure all of your hose connections are secure. Loose hose connections can also cause a drop in pressure.
  3. If you have an older car wash, the pipes may be too small. This can be remedied by upgrading to larger pipes.
Turtle Wax Pro arch

Choosing the Right Car Wash Supplier

If you suspect you have hard water the first step is to seek guidance to ensure your business starts on the right foot. We suggest getting in contact with a reputable partner like Turtle Wax Pro or Transchem.

Working with a company like us at Transchem gives you access to a team of experts that can offer guidance and support on choosing the best solution for your business.

We have been working with car washes for decades and take pride in helping washes succeed in any way we can!

This means choosing not only the right system to tackle your hard water, but choosing the right chemistry to match.

Hard water is a very common problem and as a result, we have the experience and expertise treating hard water to help you choose the best system for your business.

By taking these steps, you can protect your car wash from the damaging effects of hard water. Starting with the right water is the foundation to achieving the cleanest, direst and shiniest cars.

As always, if you have any questions regarding your water quality, do not hesitate to contact us!

6
May
Choosing The Best Car Wash Supplier: Things To Consider As A New Investor
Mack Ewing
Director, Strategic Initiatives

Running a car wash business can be lucrative, but it's important to find the right car wash supplier in order to make your business successful.

There are many different suppliers out there, so it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you.

Turtle Wax Pro is a great option to help supply your car wash. We offer the highest quality chemistry on the market, have decades of experience of helping wash businesses succeed, and have strong healthy relationships with our customers.

These are all key factors to look for when searching for a supplier and we believe that Turtle Wax Pro and Transchem Group can be the best supplier for you.

If you're in the car wash business, then you know that finding the right supplier is essential. Let's go over some key considerations to look for when choosing a supplier.

To Succeed in the Car Wash Business, You Have to be Unique

The car wash industry is a competitive one, so it's important to find a car wash supplier that can give you an edge over your competition. One way to do this is by choosing a supplier that offers unique products or services.

Car washes with no unique selling proposition are very common. You must find things that separate you from other washes if you want to succeed. The right supplier can offer you competitive prices, quality supplies, equipment, support, advice, site signage, marketing help and more that can give you a leg up in business.

Here's What To Avoid In A Car Wash Supplier

  1. Avoid suppliers that just need to make a sale and offer no support after your launch.
  2. Be wary of a supplier who can't answer questions. This generally means they won't be helpful if any issues arise in the future.
  3. Look out for suppliers without local or regional service teams. Depending on your customer volume you may get stuck in a long line waiting for service or repairs.
  4. You should also be careful of suppliers who don't have a good reputation. If other car wash owners haven't heard of them or have had bad experiences, it's best to avoid doing business with them.

Looking for a Reputable Supplier

It's also important to choose a supplier that is reputable, has a long track record of industry wins and wants to be a true partner. Businesses succeed when they have long-term relationships with their suppliers. A reputable supplier will be able to more effectively provide you with the resources and support you need to grow your business.

Watch Testimonials

You can learn a lot about a supplier by reading online reviews, case studies and testimonials from other car wash business owners. Make sure to read both positive and negative reviews in order to get a well-rounded view of the supplier.

You should also take the time to speak with other wash owners who have used the supplier. They will be able to provide you with first-hand information about their customer experience.

"When I built our first car wash in 1991 I was looking for a chemical company that could provide knowledge, dependability, service, value and high quality safe products. The Turtle Wax Pro team and Transchem delivered and for over 30 years has been our chemical suppler of choice, they've never let us down. When it comes to a soap provider you can count on day in and day out I couldn't think of a better company than Turtle Wax Pro and Transchem." - Mike Black, Founder/Owner at Valet Car Washes 

Car being cleaned in a car wash

Consider the Chemistry

The chemicals dictate the final wash product you can offer your customers. The goal of achieving the perfect wash can only be met with high quality chemistry that all works together.

When choosing a car wash supplier, you should consider the quality of the products that they offer. The last thing you want is your customers' cars to be damaged by poor car wash chemicals.

Which Type of Products Does Your Wash Want to Offer?

Every car wash has staple products like presoaks and detergents but car washes can really differentiate themselves by offering unique items like fragrances, ceramics, and tire dressings.

Think about which products in particular you want to offer your customer, that decision may direct you to a particular company that carries specific supplies.

There are so many products to choose from, we recommend getting in contact with a couple of car wash chemical manufacturers before deciding on any products.

Less Is More!

Some companies can have hundreds of SKUs but you'll need to narrow your decision down to between 5 and 15 core chemicals for your wash.

The Turtle Wax Pro lineup offers more than 40 highly diverse chemicals alongside other individual chemical solutions.

This allows us to stay competitive with other industry prices, stock more product, ship faster, provide more in-depth service and streamline our operation to help you clean more cars.

Car and car wash equipment

Consider the Car Wash Equipment

The car wash industry is always changing and car wash equipment is becoming more advanced. You'll want to make sure that the supplier you choose offers the latest and greatest in car wash equipment.

This could include pressure washers, car wash pumps or central vacuum systems for detailing services. This will ensure that your customers are getting the best possible car wash experience.

Having to buy new equipment is expensive and time consuming so it's important to get it right the first time.

Maintenance Matters

Maintenance solutions are also important to consider when choosing a supplier. Make sure your supplier has a good relationship with one or more local distributors in your area to service and repair your equipment on a regular basis.

Consider the Extras

It's also important to find a supplier who offers training on how to use the car wash equipment. This will ensure that your team is able to properly operate the car wash equipment and provide a great experience for your customers.

Turtle Wax Pro offers in-depth training on chemistry, installation, service, business operations and more to our partners (the distributors and operators we work with). This should create reliability for you and your employees when it comes to any problems that could arise.

What about...

Perhaps you want to own a truck wash as well? A truck wash will need different equipment than a standard car wash. How easy is it to receive repair parts? How detailed are the product manuals? How quick is installation?

These are all factors you will want to consider when evaluating the right supplier. It can be challenging to know what is the right equipment and we recommend contacting a supplier (like Turtle Wax Pro) before you decide on anything.

Consider your Customer

Last but not least, you should consider your ideal customer experience when choosing a supplier. What type of experience do you want to offer your customers?

Do you want to offer a luxury wash experience or a more basic wash experience? This will help you determine which car wash supplies, equipment and add-ons you'll need to purchase.

What Does a Premium Industry Supplier Offer Their Car Washes?

  1. A wide range of chemistry, services, systems and car wash equipment.
  2. Advice on how to best position your wash for success. This involves marketing, best use of the products, and a full dedicated hands-on training session with ongoing learning material.
  3. Help you find ways on how to reduce costs and optimize your car wash to save time and produce more sales for your site.
  4. Lastly, the relationship they maintain with their partners. A top supplier will offer car washes technical support, answer any questions they have, and keep an open dialogue to continuously improve the products and services they offer.

All of these aspects are what separates the industry leaders from the rest.

Classic car leaving a Fire&Ice Arch

Choosing Turtle Wax Pro as Your Supplier

Turtle Wax Pro is one of the most trusted car care brands in the world with expertise to drive more sales and gain market share.

We strive to be the best supplier possible to all of our partners. We do this by offering the best chemistry on the market, high quality car wash equipment, and knowledge from our dedicated sales and service teams.

We Know It's Hard

Picking the right supplier can be a tough process but will prove to be very rewarding if done correctly. We hope that we cleared up some questions you had and have given you a bit of direction on how to choose a high quality partner.

If you have any questions about your car wash regarding anything from products to strategy, don't hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to discuss how you can find even more success within the car wash industry.

6
May
Eco-Friendly Car Wash Chemicals: The Turtle Wax Pro Commitment
Mack Ewing
Director, Strategic Initiatives

One of the core values of Turtle Wax Pro is environmental protection. We not only develop products that clean, protect and beautify your cars, but we also work to find ways to reduce our environmental impact.

Our eco friendly car wash chemicals are just one example. Our products are just as effective as products containing hydrofluoric acid, phosphates and other harsh chemicals, but without the environmental damage.

We are also constantly working on ways to reduce our water usage. We do this by using hyper concentrated chemistry, which allows us to do more with less. This means that we ship less water and reduce our plastic packaging waste.

We believe that it is our responsibility to protect the environment, and we are always looking for ways to reduce our impact. We hope that you'll join us in this effort!

In this article, we will share some tips on how you can make your car wash more eco friendly.

What Does Being Eco-Friendly Mean?

When we talk about being eco-friendly or sustainable, we mean reducing our impact on the planet. This can be done in a number of ways, but one way is to use products that are less harmful to the environment.

Environmentally conscious products are made from sustainable materials and are often biodegradable. This means that they won’t pollute surrounding ecosystems or harm wildlife.

Using a sustainable detergent is a great way to become more green while still keeping a vehicle clean of dirt and grime.

Soap applied to a vehicle in a car wash

The Benefits of Using an Eco-Friendly Car Wash Soap

There are many benefits to using biodegradable cleaning products.

It’s better for the planet

As we mentioned before, sustainable products are made from sustainable materials (ex: phosphate free) and are often biodegradable. This means that they won’t pollute the environment or harm wildlife over the long term.

It’s gentle on vehicles

'Green' detergents are gentle on paint, won’t strip away wax or polish and will still clean cars. This is important because a good paint job is key to making a car look its best.

It’s affordable

Biodegradable detergents are just as affordable as regular detergents. This is because they are often made from sustainable materials that can be less expensive to produce.

Turtle Wax Pro works extremely hard to produce chemistry that performs competitively when using a cost-per-car analysis.

It protects your equipment

Many chemical companies produce cleaning products containing hydrofluoric acid. This is a corrosive chemical that can damage your equipment and cost over $100,000 through early replacement.

Turtle Wax Pro products don’t contain any hydrofluoric acid or other harmful chemicals, so they won’t damage your equipment or lower its life span. HF is also just one of many dangerous chemicals that can lead to long term severe health problems for you or your employees. It can also cause acute issues including skin burns, eye irritation and inhalation of toxic fumes.

The Importance of Being Eco Conscious As a Commercial Car Wash Owner

As a business, it’s important to be eco-conscious for many reasons.

  • Not only is it the right thing to do for your local ecosystem, but it can also save you money in the long run. You can go beyond biodegradable products by using water reclaim systems or hyper concentrated chemistry to save on water costs.
  • Additionally, being eco-conscious can be used as a great marketing tool for commercial car washes. Customers are becoming more environmentally conscious and are more likely to do business with a company that shares their values.
Car wash arches
FIRE and Super Hard Shell Finish arches at the Panther Car Wash in Derby, KS.

Choosing an Environmentally Conscious Brand like Turtle Wax Pro

Making a choice on car wash chemistry is the most important decision in producing clean cars.

The things to consider are quality of products, quality of service, and working with a company that fits your needs.

Turtle Wax Pro is a leader in the development of environmentally friendly car wash products. Leadership in environmental conservation and stewardship is fundamental to our ongoing success. We endeavour to innovate products that respect our physical environment and adhere to the highest standards in our industry.

We work with many companies who have an environmental focus and help them establish a much stronger eco presence.

If your business has any concerns about their considerable environmental impact, we would be happy to discuss aspects on how you can improve your strategy.

How to Make your Car Wash Eco Friendly?

There are many easy ways to make your commercial car wash more eco-friendly.

Using eco-friendly products

As we’ve already discussed, using eco-friendly car wash chemicals is a great way to be more eco-conscious. Not only is it better for the environment, but it’s also just as effective as regular car wash soap.

Installing energy-efficient equipment

Another great way to be more eco-conscious is to install energy-efficient equipment in your car wash. This can include things like LED lighting, high-efficiency pumps and solar panels.

Recycle materials

Using recycled materials is a great way to reduce waste and cut costs. Some examples of recycled materials that can be used in a car wash are recycled soap dispensers, signage and hoses.

Recycling water is a great idea for your business to reuse its biggest resource, cut costs, and perhaps even save the local sewer systems. Water reclaim systems recycle the water used in the car wash by filtering out dirt, grime and chemicals so it can be reused again.

Be careful when selecting a system as some types can lead to a not-so-great smell when water is reused.

Save water from running off into storm drains

Water is one of the most important aspects within a car wash. Many car washes waste a large amount of water each day.

It is very important for a car wash to have a system in place to not violate various storm sewer laws and contribute to water wastage. Contaminating storm drains with soapy water is a big problem as it can find its way to local waterways and harm wildlife or aquatic life.

The best way to accomplish this is to have a water reclaim system that collects the water run-off and recycles it back into the car wash. This will save a large amount of water and money over time.

Water falling

Washing Wisely for the Home Car Washer

There are many ways the home car washer can practice sustainable behaviour as well. By following a few tips, you can minimize your environmental impact and save money at the same time.

Limit your water usage

One of the easiest ways to be more environmentally conscious when washing your car is to use less water.

You can do this by using a bucket instead of a hose or by using a waterless car wash product.

Waterless car wash products are good for small jobs and a great way to conserve water when washing your car. They work by using a special cleaning solution that is sprayed onto the car surfaces and then wiped off with a cloth. This solution is designed to remove dirt, grime, road film, brake dust and other debris from the surface of the entire car.

While not truly a 'waterless wash' these products will use less water than a traditional soap or detergent and still make the car clean.

Use biodegradable products, avoid dish soap and other household cleaners

Using biodegradable soap is a great way to be more sustainable when washing your car in the driveway.

As a helpful additional tip, do not use liquid dishwashing detergent to wash your car.

The temptation for many to fill a bucket with water and add a squirt of dishwashing liquid to create lots of suds is strong, but dish washing liquid is too strong and formulated for an entirely different purpose. It is not the right choice to wash your vehicle.

Other products like a spray bottle of Simple Green or other all-purpose cleaners are also not a great choice as they aren't formulated to cut through road film, large dirt or other tough stains. Simple Green does make a car wash specific product, always look for a product that is made specifically for cars.

Try to control where dirty water flows

After washing your vehicle. Do your best to contain the water to your own driveway or lawn and allow it to seep into the ground, rather than flowing straight towards the storm drain.

Toxic wastewater can enter the water system and cause problems, both legal and environmental.

Lastly, visit a commercial car wash

If you are looking for the most sustainable way to wash your car, visit a commercial car wash. At a professional facility, water is filtered and reused multiple times before being released into the sewer system.

While there are many sustainable car wash practices, these are just a few tips to get you started. By making even a small change, you can have a big impact on the environment. So when it comes to choosing your car wash chemistry and equipment, it's time to make the greenest choice. It’s good for business and good for the planet.

6
May
What is Carnauba Wax? A Guide to One of the Best Car Waxes
Mack Ewing
Director, Strategic Initiatives

Carnauba wax (lesser known as palm wax or brazil wax) is a natural product that comes from the leaves of the Brazilian palm tree. It is one of the best car waxes on the market and it has a variety of benefits for your vehicles.

In this article we discuss what Carnauba wax is, how it is made, and the benefits that it provides. We will also compare it to other types of car waxes so that you can decide if carnauba is right for you!

What is a Car Wax?

Car wax is any product that is used to protect the paint or clear coat on a car. It is applied to the car's surface and then buffed in with a clean microfiber towel (if applied manually), leaving a layer of protection. Wax can also be used to shine the car's paint and make it look new.

There are two types of car wax: natural and synthetic. Natural waxes are things like beeswax and carnauba wax (palm wax). Synthetic waxes are made from emulsifications of protective synthetic polymers.

Most car waxes today are synthetic because they provide better protection and last longer than natural waxes. However, natural waxes are known to give the car's paint a deeper shine. When used in combination, these two types of waxes can provide the best protection and shine for your car.

What is Carnauba Wax?

Carnauba wax is a natural, plant-based product that is prized for its ability to create a deep shine on painted surfaces. It is made from the leaves of the Copernicia prunifera, a Brazilian palm tree. Carnauba wax is harvested by hand and then refined to create a product that can be used on cars.

How is Carnauba Wax Made?

Pure carnauba wax is made from the leaves of the Brazilian palm. The leaves are harvested and then dried in the sun. Once they are dry, the leaves are beaten to release the wax.

The wax is then filtered and refined to remove impurities. The final product is a yellow or brownish paste wax that is hard at room temperature but melts when heated. So, unlike soft wax options (traditional paste waxes), carnauba will be tough to apply in its natural form.

What Makes Carnauba Special?

Carnauba is the hardest natural wax in the world and its also incredibly heat resistant. That means it can withstand high temperatures and still provide a protective coating.

car in desert on hot day

Carnauba is tough and versatile enough that it is used in industrial applications like floor wax and furniture polish. On top of that you'll even find it in things like dental floss, surfboard wax and shoe polish.

Carnauba is also unique because it’s derived from a the carnauba palm. This makes it a renewable resource, which is good for the environment.

The Different Forms of Carnauba Wax

Carnauba wax comes in a variety of forms, including paste wax, spray wax, and liquid wax. Liquid carnauba wax is the most popular form on the market today.

  • Carnauba paste wax is the purest form. It is made by heating the wax and then cooling it until it becomes solid. Applying carnauba wax in paste wax form is harder but it provides a longer lasting shine.
  • Spray wax is the easiest form of wax to apply. It comes in a can or bottle, you spray it on the surface of the vehicle and buff it into the car's paintwork. Spray wax is not as durable as the other forms but it’s convenient and easy to use.
  • Liquid wax is the most popular option because it’s easy to apply and provides a long-lasting shine. Liquid waxes give the best of both worlds between paste's durability and spray's convenience. Liquid wax is made by combining carnauba wax with other ingredients like oils and solvents.

Other carnauba waxes are available in gel and powder form. These are less common but they can still be easier to apply than paste waxes.

The Benefits to Using Carnauba Wax on Your Vehicle

Carnauba car wax is one of the best waxes on the market. It has a variety of benefits for your vehicle, including:

  • A high melting point: this means that it can withstand higher temperatures in warm climates without losing its shine.
  • A deep, natural shine: carnauba provides a deep, natural shine to your vehicle.
  • Protection from the elements: carnauba protects your vehicle from rain, snow, and other weather conditions.
  • Protective qualities: carnauba wax protects against common environmental contaminants such as bird droppings, tree sap, and road grime.
  • A long lasting finish: carnauba lasts longer than other types of natural car waxes, so you won’t have to wax your car as often.
  • Ease of application: carnauba is easy to both apply and remove.
  • Environmentally friendly: carnauba wax is both biodegradable and non toxic.

The benefit list is lengthy, but those are some of the major reasons why carnauba is often called the king (or queen) of car wax.

So, What’s the Downside to Using Carnauba Wax?

The biggest downside of carnauba wax is that it doesn’t last as long as some synthetic options. This means that you will need to reapply it more often in order to maintain the benefits.

However, many people find that the extra elbow grease is worth it for the superior results that carnauba waxes provide.

For great results without wearing out your shoulders just check out a car wash using a high quality carnauba product.

How Long Does Carnauba Wax Last on Vehicles?

Most carnauba waxes generally last about three to six months on a car. However, this can vary depending on the type of carnauba wax you use, the frequency of washing your car and exposure to the elements.

If you want your carnauba based wax to last longer, there are a few things you can do:

  • Apply a thin layer of wax: A thin layer of wax will last longer than a thick layer.
  • Wash your car regularly: Washing your car removes dirt and debris that can wear down the wax.
  • Avoid exposure to the elements: If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, you may need to reapply your wax more often.

Utilizing these tips will save you time, money, and effort when it comes to maintaining the protective qualities and show car shine the carnauba brings to your vehicle.

Wax being applied to a car

How to Apply Carnauba Wax

Carnauba wax can be applied by hand or at a professional car wash.

We'll touch on both methods. Maybe you're a car enthusiast wanting to take care of your prized possession. Or a car wash owner looking at adding the popular Brazilian wax (no not that kind of Brazilian wax) to your service list.

Other waxes will typically have the same process of application.

If You're Applying the Wax By Hand or At Home:

  • Start with a clean, dry car. Make sure you're removing any contaminants that could sit under the spray wax using a clay bar.
  • It's best to apply wax in the shade as direct sunlight can cause the wax to dry too quickly and be difficult to move.
  • Using a foam applicator or your hands (wearing gloves), apply a small amount of wax to one section at a time in a thin, even layer.
  • Next, using a clean, dry microfiber towel or buffing machine, move the wax in a circular motion being sure to go over each section multiple times.
  • Repeat this process until the entire car is complete to establish the protective layer.

If You're Applying the Wax Using a Car Wash:

  • Again, it's important to start with a clean car (hence why you're at a car wash)
  • At the wash, you'll pull your car onto the conveyor belt of the tunnel car wash or into the wash bay and wax will be applied near the end of the wash process.
  • Once complete, the car will be rinsed and dried.

It is much easier to wax your car's paint job at a car wash instead of doing it yourself, which is why most people opt for this method. This also is a great reason to ensure your car wash offers wax as an option to your customers!

How Do Carnauba Waxes Compare to Other Types of Car Waxes?

Carnauba is often compared to synthetic options like polymer clear coat sealants and synthetic carnauba waxes. While these products may last longer, they don’t provide the same level of shine as pure carnauba.

Additionally, carnauba wax is a natural product that is environmentally friendly and biodegradable. Synthetic alternatives are made from chemicals that may be harmful to the environment (if you're unsure of what you're buying).

All Turtle Wax Pro chemicals are carefully formulated to be biodegradable and are often reclaim system compatible.

What are Some Other Options?

Carnauba is just one of the options for protecting your car. There are a variety of other products on the market that can provide similar benefits.

Some of these options include:

  • Polymer sealants or clear coat protectants
  • Synthetic carnauba waxes
  • Ceramic coatings
  • Paint protection films

Polymer sealants and clear coat protectants are synthetic products that provide a long lasting glossy finish and added protection for your car.

Synthetic carnauba waxes are created to mimic the properties of pure carnauba wax. However, they are typically cheaper than pure carnauba and don’t provide the same level of protection or shine.

Ceramic coatings are a relatively new option on the market. They provide a long lasting, durable finish that is resistant to scratches and UV rays.

Paint protection films are clear films that are applied to the surface of your car. They protect the paint from light scratches, chips, swirl marks and UV rays. These films are one of the most expensive options on the market, but they offer the highest level of protection for your car.

The option that is right for you will depend on your budget, goals, and level of experience. However, carnauba is a top option and it is a great choice for those who are looking for lasting protection and shine for their car.

Shiny Car

Is Carnauba Wax Better than Synthetic Wax or Paint Sealants?

Carnauba wax is still commonly seen as the best car wax on the market for the many benefits it provides while still being very environmentally friendly. But does that make it better than the synthetic varieties?

What gives a better protection?

High quality waxes like carnauba are great for protection against the elements and common contaminants, but some synthetic options can offer a superior protection to carnauba. Synthetic waxes can be formulated with chemicals that bond with the vehicle's paint or clear coat and thus, may do a better job at protecting against light scratches, chips, swirl marks and UV rays.

What is the best for a deep shine?

A high quality carnauba provides a deep, natural shine that synthetic products can’t match. Thus, for a show car, carnauba is typically the right choice.

Which option lasts longer?

Synthetic waxes and sealants will usually last longer than carnauba based waxes, meaning you won’t have to reapply as often to maintain the protection on the vehicle's paint.

Which is Easier to Use and Apply?

Carnauba wax is generally much easier to apply and remove than synthetic options, making it a good choice for first-time users or those who don’t want to deal with the eventual hassle of removing it from their vehicle.

What is More Environmentally Friendly?

Carnauba wax is a natural product that is biodegradable, renewable and environmentally friendly. Synthetic options can be made from chemicals that may be harmful to the environment, making carnauba a better choice for those who are extremely eco-conscious.

What is the More Expensive Option?

Synthetic options can be more expensive than carnauba wax depending on the option chosen.

Some synthetic options are more cost friendly (ex: synthetic carnauba wax) than natural carnauba wax but some can also be more expensive (ex: ceramic coatings). In addition, pure carnauba wax can also differ in price depending on the quality of that raw materials.

What is the Best Option Overall?

The answer to this question depends on your individual needs and preferences. But, carnauba wax can offer you a wide range of benefits, some of which, synthetics cannot replicate effectively.

Is Carnauba the Right Wax Choice for You?

If you are looking for a natural product that will give your car a high-gloss finish and superior protection, then carnauba is the right choice for you. Just be prepared to reapply it more often than some synthetic options.

How to Choose the Right Carnauba Wax?

Now that you know all about carnauba and its benefits, you may be wondering what are the best carnauba waxes.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Choose a high quality carnauba wax: carnauba wax can vary in quality, so make sure to choose a reputable brand.
  • Consider your budget: carnauba wax can vary in grades, with the higher grades of wax (ex: yellow grade, the highest grade wax) being more expensive.
  • Think about your needs: carnauba wax is available in a variety of formulations, so choose one that meets your specific needs.
  • Know your vehicles: Dark colored vehicles sometimes have specially designed forms of wax as they are prone to imperfections once normal carnauba wax is applied.
Turtle Wax Pro Triple Shine

Choosing a High Quality Brand like Turtle Wax Pro

There are many brands that sell car wax and carnauba wax, but not all of them are created equal. When choosing a wax, it’s important to choose a high-quality brand that will help you succeed in the car wash industry.

Turtle Wax Pro offers a wide range of benefits that make it the perfect choice for those looking for a top-quality set of chemicals.

Professionalism

The Turtle Wax brand has existed and been trusted for over 75 years. We know the car wash industry inside and out.

Which type of waxes, sealants and protectants will work for the best car wash and how to apply them evenly are just a few examples of the expertise that working with an industry leader like Turtle Wax Pro will provide your car wash.

Our company has a passion for cars that is evident in everything we do. From customer service, to the quality of our products, we ensure that not only do you have a fantastic service to offer your customers but also a strong relationship with a brand who truly cares.

Quality

As mentioned before, Turtle Wax Pro prides itself on having the best products in the business. We have decades of experience on helping car washes succeed in the industry, and one of the reasons is due to our products.

Carnauba wax is one of the best ways to protect a car and make it shine. And using Turtle Wax Pro (especially our Triple Shine Wax) ensures a top quality finish that will keep your cars in tip-top shape for years to come.

We hope that you now feel a little more comfortable when it comes to the largest car wax on the market and hope it will help you make the right choice on whether carnauba wax is the right option for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us! We would be happy to discuss the right car wax for your car wash needs.

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