How to Check the Quality of Your Chemistry

Oct 24, 2017 at 10:45 AM

AdobeStock_65991331-295801-edited.jpegA "quality" wash means that you are delivering a car that is clean, dry, shiny, and protected. When examining the quality of your wash, thre are three big things to keep in mind. The quality of your chemistry, your water, and your dispensing will all influence the level of quality that you can deliver to your customers.

The first step to identifying any quality issues within your wash is to examine your chemistry. The right type of chemistry depends on the specific needs of your wash. Things such as local weather, precipitation types and frequency, water quality, soil makeup, and wash equipment can all affect the effectiveness of any specific chemical application or conditioner in your wash. Here are some distinct signs that a change of chemistry may be in order:

1. Molding and Ridges

With vehicles becoming more sleek in design, this is producing areas that are becoming very difficult to clean – areas like rocker panels, hood scoops, and trim areas. If your friction is not properly cleaning these areas, there have been numerous innovations in chemistry that can help address these issues. The best way to identify potential solutions is to consult your vehicle care specialist.

2. Wheels and Tires

If your wheel cleaning process is not leaving your customers with shiny, spotless rims, you want to investigate the issue as soon as possible. Dirty rims are very noticeable, and you want to make sure that your customers are getting what they paid for. 

[Learn more about car wash chemistry quality in Delivering Quality: How to Run Your Wash to Maximize Success]

3. Spots on Cars

Again, if cars are leaving your wash with any type of spotting, they are not receving what they paid for. Spotting can be caused by multiple factors, including ineffective rinsing or hard water issues.

4. Wet Cars

If you have wet cars leaving your wash, it is time to examine your blowers, drying agent, or the pH of your cleaning chemistries. The types of detergents and lubricants you use in your wash can help or hinder the drying process.

5. Runout

One way to ruin a perfectly clean, dry, and shiny vehicle is to have colored foams or other high-foaming products "run out" of the trim, molding areas, or mirrors and streak the vehicle. To prevent this, use products that are free-rinsing and collapse quickly. Also, make sure that your chemical ratios are correct in order to prevent against excessive color and foam being produced by the product. 

6. General Customer Complaints

In general, customer complaints are a telling sign that you have wash quality issues. When it comes to chemistry, it could be customer complaints about wet cars or dirty wheels, but it could also be that the customer simply does not “feel” that his or her car is clean because of a lack of a foam show, or feeling that they did not get enough soap on their car. Although a feeling is much more subjective than visible soil, this is still an important quality issue to consider. If you receive consistent feedback like this, try using a higher foaming soap or including a stronger fragrance to ensure that the experience of your chemistry matches the expectations of your customers.

For more information on quality assurance and your car wash, download your copy of Delivering Quality: How to Run Your Wash at Peak Performance:

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