To be a lean, mean, cleaning machine, you have to invest in the right products. All carwash chemicals are not created equal.
Do you know your usage rate? Your costs? How strong are your chemicals? How effective are they? Quality products will mean a better carwash each and every time.
Here’s some questions you can ask your carwash chemical suppliers before you invest.
1. What are my costs?
Not only should you be tracking the amount of cars per hour you can service, you should also know what your cost per car is. How much of the wash cost is going to the chemicals? Is there a magic number you should be striving for? Some experts recommend that chemical costs shouldn’t exceed 8-15% of your total operating costs. Car Wash Magazine estimates that a basic car wash costs $0.45 per car and the most upgraded car wash costs $1.20 per car. The average cost per car for chemicals is $0.64.
2. Does dilution matter?
Dilution ratios can help cut down on chemical costs. Using twice the recommended amount of soap will not clean a car twice as well. In fact, soaps clean best when they are at the recommended dilution ratios. If you over-dilute, the car will not be clean. If you under-dilute, an unsightly film may be left behind. Your supplier should be able to guide you on how set your ratios for the best clean, and how to monitor them so that you achieve that level of clean every time. Are the strengths where they should be? Can you make it better, and what is the cost?
3. What does water have to do with it?
The type of water you are using can have a great impact on the type and quantity of chemicals you apply. Contaminants, like the calcium and magnesium found in water hardness, prevents soap from doing its job, and builds up on fixtures and equipment. If water is too hard, more chemicals will be needed to achieve a good clean, resulting in higher costs. Soft water bonds more easily with water and cleans more effectively and efficiently.
4. Do you offer support?
A good supplier can help maximize the use of chemicals. Not only do they have the knowledge and technology to put a system in place, they should also offer ongoing training and support to ensure that the right chemicals are being used. They’ll be able guide you and ensure that the chemicals are being used properly, and that they fit the needs of the wash.