The Chemistry of a Good, Clean Vehicle Wash

How people wash their vehicle has come a long way in recent years. No longer will grabbing any soap straight from the cabinet do. Aside from there being a push for car wash chemicals to provide a more thorough cleaning of vehicles, those chemicals have to be more eco-friendly too. Whether you are looking for new options to offer at a commercial vehicle washing facility or just want to give the best cleaning possible for your personal vehicle it’s important to have an understanding of the complicated car wash chemistry at work. Below are a few of the essential things that you should keep in mind to make sure you are using the best vehicle washing chemicals for the best results.

Rinsing and Prewash Detergents

Maintaining a clean vehicle – along with a good wash facility – begins with the pre-wash. Giving a solid rinse to all of the surfaces of a vehicle is great for removing surface dirt as well as breaking up stubborn road grime. So before you even use any car wash chemicals, make sure to hose off every surface with water. Pre-wash detergents are available that focus on helping to remove the stubborn grease and pollutants that can accumulate as well. These detergents are also very useful for removing organic matter (such as insects and bird droppings) that can ruin a vehicle’s otherwise pristine look.

When it comes to choosing pre-wash chemicals to offer to customers – or to use on your personal vehicles – it’s important to note there isn’t a single solution for all of the surfaces of a vehicle. Tires and rims, which suffer from varied grime building up, require a different detergent than other parts of a vehicle. Finding chemicals that can target specific areas of your car is ideal to give the best cleaning possible.

Modern Cleaners: Shampoos or Foams?

Speaking of cleaning detergents, the industry has moved beyond just using standard soaps to ensure a properly cleaned vehicle. What kind of equipment is used at a car wash facility determines which car wash chemicals are needed. But when selecting the right soaps for an operation, it often comes down to a combination of shampoos and/or foams to get the job done. Facilities with rollover brushes and tunnels typically focus on shampoos to scrub clean vehicles, while businesses that rely on jet washers often focus on using different foam cleaning agents. Depending on the setup of your facility you may need to use both kinds of cleaners for the best results.

Regardless if your equipment relies on shampoos, foams, or something else (a small number of machines utilize powder cleaners), these agents have seen major advancements in recent years. While the industry has focused on making cleaners that are available in different colors and scents, there has also been a push to make them as environmentally friendly as possible. The chemistry of your car wash facility will be enhanced thanks to these improvements and your machines will work better as a result since residue is less likely to accumulate with modern formulas. And your customers will notice the difference too. Vehicles that are washed with modern shampoos and foams are much cleaner with less residue left behind for customers to worry about later.

Finding Ways to Overcome Poor Water Quality

It’s not just the soaps and cleaners that can throw off your car wash chemistry: water quality also plays a major role. Depending on where your facility is poor water quality may be a constant struggle. Whether you use well water or are part of a large city system, having the right water quality is extremely important. That’s because when water quality is poor every grain of water hardness that mixes with the cleaning products you use reduces their effectiveness; requiring higher usage to achieve intended results.

To make sure you get the best cleaning possible whenever you are washing vehicles it’s important to work with a knowledgeable water quality expert. They can look at the car wash chemicals that your operation utilizes and find the best alternatives to meet the specific needs of your location. Experts can also get involved in assessing location needs to design and install a cleaning system that gives you the best “bang for your buck” so you can avoid wasting money on expensive chemicals to overcome poor water quality, and instead utilize a system that addresses water quality issues specific to your site.

Finishing off with Waxes and Polishes

At the end of the day, you may look for that extra bit to really let vehicles shine. Sometimes soaps aren’t the only car wash chemicals that will do. To really have any vehicle looking great, there’s no better way to finish off a wash than with a polish or wax. Polish can give vehicles a nice shine to make them really eye-catching in the sunlight. Meanwhile, adding a wax to a vehicle is like giving it an extra layer of protection. The right wax can block out harmful ultraviolet rays that cause the paint job on a vehicle to fade. While adding either is optional, it is definitely worth considering how it can affect your car’s wash chemistry when applied.

Consult the Experts at N/S Wash

Finding the right car wash chemistry for your vehicle can be tricky. There are a lot of components out there to make sure your vehicle gets the proper, thorough cleaning you are looking for. Depending on what road conditions you face, how often you drive, and even your type of vehicle can all factor into which combination of chemicals are best to wash a vehicle. Reading about different products and carefully testing them can help you find the best solution for your washing needs.

Finding the right mixture of car wash chemicals becomes even more complicated due to the ever evolving nature of the industry. New ideas are being developed to make chemicals more effective at protecting vehicles, while also reducing their impact on the environment. Regardless if you are trying to find the right chemicals to offer customers at your vehicle washing facility or just want the right combination for your personal vehicle, it helps to consult with experts to understand what options are available. Partnering with a knowledgeable company like N/S Wash can help you stay on top of the latest advancements.

Reach out to our customer service team whenever you have questions about maintaining the best vehicle cleaning chemistry. They can give you new tips and suggest products for your business that makes sure every vehicle can shine without damage or impacting the environment. Contact us today!

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