Risks of Letting Soap Residue Accumulate in Car Washes

Nov 8th 2018

Water and soap are the most basic, fundamental components in ensuring each vehicle that goes through your business is as clean as possible. Yet, there are a number of safety and maintenance considerations that any business owner needs to manage.

As technology develops to create more powerful car wash soap sprayers that can handle the various forms of grime, the challenges of leftover soap increase. Allowing even a small amount of residue to accumulate on surfaces can lead to significant issues. No matter what type of car wash sprayers your facility uses, here are some of the more common problems that can occur if your operation doesn’t handle soap residue properly:

1. Slip and Fall Injuries

If you’re a business owner, you need to ensure your facility is as safe as possible for customers and employees alike. Operators in the vehicle washing industry have to pay particular attention to this as water, soap, wax, and other elements can create slippery conditions.

Car wash sprayers can create hazards for your technicians if the equipment experiences a breakdown. Injuries from slip and fall accidents can happen when repairs are being made, too; or even during routine maintenance. Cleaning off the washing track as well as other operations can pose serious risks to your employees if soap residue is left behind.

2. Workers’ Comp Cases

A poorly cleaned and maintained car wash soap sprayer that causes accidents doesn’t just mean downtime for employees. In many slip and fall injuries, workers’ compensation cases arise. These cases aren’t just costly for facility operators who have to pay out on liability claims, but can raise your business’ workers’ comp insurance premiums.

3. Customers Can Slip and Fall

Depending on how your facility’s car wash sprayers are positioned, there’s a great possibility that customers are at risk for slips as well. While your employees may know the inherent risks of working in a facility dealing with slippery conditions, your customers aren’t held to the same standards. Employees may also have stipulations in their contract which prevent lawsuits in the case of an injury. To keep customers safe, ensure all waiting areas are regularly cleaned and maintained, with minimal obstructions customers could trip over and non-slip mats by entryways.

4. Amazing, No Smoke “Peel Outs”

Residue from a car wash soap sprayer isn’t just the only thing that can endanger customers and employees. A buildup of soap at the end of a vehicle wash system can cause “peel outs.” These peel outs happen when a car literally spins its wheels and barely inches forward while trying to exit the wash facility. Rear wheel drive vehicles are especially susceptible to peel outs.

5. Vehicle Accidents & Property Damage

Peeling out doesn’t just damage the vehicle trying to exit, it can damage other vehicles as well. Imagine a car is spinning its wheels at the end of the track then suddenly gains traction. When this occurs the vehicle can literally shoot out of the wash track and impact whatever is in its path.

Along with injuries and vehicle accidents, property damage is another liability that can arise from poor car wash sprayer maintenance. Accidents caused by vehicles shooting out of a tunnel may not be limited to vehicle damage alone. A car may also slide off the track into a pole, wall, or a piece of equipment. If the accident is determined to be a result of residue from your facility’s car wash soap sprayer, you may be held liable for any repair costs or insurance expenses.

Clean & Maintain Your Facility

If soap residue accumulation is a problem at your vehicle wash facility, let N/S Wash give you the expertise and equipment needed to ensure your business always stays safe and operational.

For more information, call (800) 782-1582 or contact us online.