Why do you apply hot wax here? Why is there so much rinsing in this one area of the wash? Why is your ceramic applied after your final rinse? Are questions I find myself asking car wash operators way too frequently. Unfortunately, in most instances there either isn’t an answer to them, or at one point there was, but since it has been forgotten about.
Just last week I was working on a tunnel car wash that applied hot wax at the very end of the wash cycle, just before the spot free rinse. What’s wrong with that? For one, most carnauba based products in our industry are developed to cling on the surface of the vehicle and ideally like to be buffed or rubbed in a bit. Additionally, most carnauba products in our industry also produce a high level of suds for customer effect. While the wax breaks down relatively quickly, it doesn't do so instantaneously. This isn't an ideal last arch product. Products like ceramic and graphene and drying agent are better suited here. The impact of this poor choice? Cars with older paint, and less-than-perfect clear coats, come out with suds still left over on the car, and the operator was underutilizing the capabilities of Carnauba Wax to perform for better results earlier in the tunnel.
So why is it that many operators don’t have a clear understanding of their recipe for cleaning? The simplest answer is likely that there are too many cooks in the kitchen, paired with an array of “issues” that were likely solved in the easiest way possible, but not in the most optimal way.
Sure, most of your cars may be coming out just fine. But consider these questions:
1) Am I using more water than I should be?
2) Am I applying chemicals in an order or location that are potentially hindering my final product?
3) Am I wasting money on chemicals that really don't need to be applied?
Chances are, the answer to at least one of those is “yes”, especially if you have never thoroughly analyzed your recipe. But if you are confident that all of your answers are “no”, then another way to look at it is - Can you put out an even better car?
An industry veteran once told me “the day you stop challenging yourself and your wash to produce a better car, get out of the industry.” A statement I agree with whole heartedly. Does that mean you should be making changes each and every day? No of course not, but it does mean the way you wash a car, the chemicals and equipment that touch it, the order in which it happens, and the amount of water you use are all elements of your wash you should have thoroughly thought out together with an expert. A good chemical / equipment partner is more than capable of handling this, but don’t just take their word for it, ask for a proper explanation on what everything is the way that it is.
If you have never considered this, don’t hesitate to reach out to YourFriend@mccleansolutionsllc.com, and someone from our team can help you assess your current recipe to see what improvements can be made.