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News from the Industry

October 11, 2010
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ICA announces updated position on use of HF
The International Carwash Association (ICA) updated its position regarding the use of hydrofluoric acid (HF) and ammonium bifluoride (ABF) and posted a statement on their website,

The ICA notified members of the new position, which “strongly recommends” that carwashes not use HF or ABF, in an e-mail from Executive Director and CEO Eric Wulf on Feb. 11. The e-mail said the Association would announce the position publicly the following month via its weekly newsletter.

According to the statement, the ICA consulted with vendors and operators in regards to the use of HF and said it generally “does not take a position in favor of or in opposition to the use of any particular chemical product and it is not equipped to monitor or ‘police’ the use of any particular chemical.”

However, the Association also said the “unique characteristics” of HF and ABF have made it necessary for the Association to issue an “advisory statement.”

The statement acknowledges the dangers of using HF and ABF without proper training or protective gear, and said the ICA “strongly recommends that carwash owners not use HF or ABF.”

The ICA provides links on its website to “knowledgeable third party chemical safety information.”

The use of HF has been a hotly-debated topic amongst the industry. Chemical manufacturers and insurance companies have taken strong positions for and against the chemical. Professional Carwashing & Detailing has featured numerous articles about the hazards of HF and ABF which can be found at

Mister Car Wash now has 65 locations
Mister Car Wash, the country’s second largest conveyor carwash chain, continued to grow in 2010 by acquiring Buccaneer Octopus Car Wash in Tampa, FL, and bringing its total holdings to 65 carwash locations. (You can see a complete list of the country’s 50 largest conveyor carwash companies here.)

Buccaneer Octopus is the company’s sixth site in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area.

“This latest store complements our existing distribution in the Tampa/St. Pete market and allows us to serve a much larger base of customers, we’re very excited about its potential,” said John Lai, chief operating officer of Mister Car Wash, a subsidiary of ONCAP.

To date, the company has 65 carwashes and 24 express lube businesses in seven states. It is headquartered in Tucson, AZ, and has over 2,500 employees.

The deal was brokered by, according to a separate press release from that company.