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Around the Industry - July 2013

June 20, 2013
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Commercial carwash uses milk to help clean cars

BAICHENG CITY, CHINA — While most people are looking for ways to rinse beverages off of cars, one carwash owner here is using regular ol' milk as a cleaning agent, a RocketNews24 story said.

The May 20 story said the carwash's owner has actually seen an increase in business after he started using milk.

The owner, who still uses water for the final rinse, said it's not adding much to the cost.

One customer said he was pleased with the results.

 ‘Green’ columnist praises professional washing

CHARLOTTE, NC — A columnist with the Charlotte Observer here praised the environmental advantages of professional carwashing.

The April 18 column stated that at-home washing is one of the most environmentally unfriendly ways to clean a vehicle. Writer Terri Bennett pointed out that oil, brake dust and harsh detergents run down driveways into storm drains that lead to rivers, lakes and streams.

Bennett said in the story that she preferred visiting a responsible carwash facility. A carwash uses half the water of a driveway wash and the used wash water will be routed to a sewer system for treatment.

Many carwash also recycle water and sell carwash vouchers for “better” fundraiser wash events, the story noted.

Nissan unveils 'self-healing' paint

Are detailers in trouble? Well, if Nissan's latest invention is as true as its claims, a detailers scratch-removal services may no longer be needed.

The car manufacturer has released a new ad, promoting its "self-healing paint," according to an AdvertisingAge reported. It's "a technology pioneered by the automotive brand that makes the car essentially scratch-proof," the story said.

Professional detailer and team to refresh historic WWII bomber

ARCADIA, CA — Jose Fernandez of Superior Shine and a dozen high-end detailers began detailing a historic B-24J bomber from World War II at John Wayne Airport, according to a press release.

The May 8 story stated that the bomber was only one of two planes from a squadron of 19 that returned from a single mission over the Pacific. It is the only B-24J in flying condition. When Fernandez saw the plane and its present condition, he could not resist volunteering to wax and detail the plane.

 “I fell in love with it because of what it stands for. It represents a time in our history when evil reared its ugly head and we banded together to kick its butt. Restoring this old airplane, we are honoring the WWII veterans who served in the Pacific, and hailing all the young men who died flying it,” Fernandez said.

The plane received a multi-million dollar restoration in 1989, but has worn since then. A full restoration is not economically feasible, so Fernandez and his team with the sponsor support of Ace Clearwater Enterprises and Meguiar’s, will be able to get the B-24J looking as new as possible.

Jose Fernandez was named the 2012 Most Valuable Carwasher by Professional Carwashing & Detailing.

Commercial carwash takes on non-profit, hand wash

TALLAHASSEE, FL — A non-profit carwash which helps men overcoming drug and alcohol addictions was cited by city inspectors and told to install a filter for run-off water, WCTV reported.

The May 14 story said the carwash is run by Teen Challenge, a faith-based non-profit that uses the carwash to teach its members about hard work and it also raises funds.

However, a for-profit carwash recently complained to the county about the operation, which led to a visit by city inspectors.

The inspectors issued a voluntary compliance notice, asking the carwash to install the filter. It also said it needs proper permitting.

Newspaper encourages at-home washing

DOVER, DE — The Dover Post newspaper published an article yesterday that encourages people to wash their cars at home.

"The car wash is convenient. However, hand-washing your vehicle allows for a more thorough job, which can help maintain the vehicles paint and finish. Consider several tips for car washing at home," the article stated.

There is also no mention in the article about keeping soap from going into the sewers or other bodies of water.

"Regular dish detergent (mild soap only) can get a vehicle clean. However, many auto professionals recommend using a commercial product designed specifically for home car washing," stated the article.

Famous comedian's son working at carwash to promote show

SOUTH ELGIN, FL — Back in 1976, comedian Richard Pryor starred in the smash hit movie "Car Wash," and now his son, Richard Pryor Jr., will be working at a carwash here to promote his comedy show, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The May 15 story said the actor and singer will be making his stage debut in Lipstick Goes On Last in Chicago.

Pryor Jr. will be joined by the rest of the cast at the carwash on May 18 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. They will also be dressed up in 70s garb to resemble the look of the famous Car Wash movie.

SUV goes out of control at carwash

SAN RAFAEL, CA — A Jeep Grand Cherokee went out of control at the Second Street Brushless Car Wash here, injuring four employees, the Marin Independent Journal reported.

The May 14 story said one of the employees had to go in for surgery after getting injured.

The Jeep was stopped when it smashed into a tree.

Police are investigating the cause.

To read the entire story, click here.

Back in March we reported that the Waterway carwash chain, based in St. Louis, MO, would no longer allowing pre 2011 Jeep Cherokees to be washed at its locations due to safety concerns. A Waterway spokesperson said the national chain banned them after experiencing dangerous and costly incidents.

Chrysler Group LLC Spokesperson Michael Palese said that other types of vehicles have been know to suddenly accelerate and Waterway is unfairly targeting Jeeps and added that the carwashing environment is to blame.

Carwash gets political with controversial sign

NEW HANOVER, NC — An amotion hearing for New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger is coming up and carwash owner Jono Ibbotson of Coastal Car Wash isn't afraid to let others in on his opinion, according to a report.

The May 7 story said Ibootson's carwash sign reads: “It's time to flip a Berger."

Ibbotson, who said in the story that he thinks Berger is "kind of crazy," stated in the story, “It's about freedom of speech. It's our soapbox out there.”

Berger stated in the story that while he doesn't agree with the statment, he does commend anyone for "having a sense of humor and voicing their opinions.”

Carwash owner plans to reopen, honor gift certificates

BATAVIA, NY — Country Falls Car Wash III shut down in January, making customers wonder if gift certificates they purchased would be honored, according to The Daily News. 

The May 9 story stated that customers were already voicing their concerns. Batavia resident Marilyn Colantonio said “We bought five or six of them for Christmas. We can’t use them. I’m sure there are many more people out there wondering what’s going to happen.”

Carwash owner Bernard Puzan Jr. said he plans on reopening in July. “I had problems with the people I had running it,” he said when asked why the carwash closed. “My manager was arrested twice for drugs and I had cameras installed so I can watch the other employees and they ripped them out.”

Puzan apologized to customers who bought gift certificates, and reassured they will be able to use them when the carwash reopens. 

Carwash donates $1,000 to victims of Boston Marathon bombing

JOHNSTON, RI — Pristine Car Wash owner Ben Lemaire designated Sunday as Boston Marathon Victim’s Day and announced that the day’s proceeds would be donated to an ongoing fund, according to the Johnston Sunrise.

The May 9 story stated that the wash was able to raise $1,000 on Sunday for the fund. “It’s just a terrible thing that happened during the Boston Marathon. I wanted to do something special for all the bombing victims and their families,” Lemaire said.

Lemaire and his staff worked hard from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. knowing that they were supporting a good cause.

Great marketing: See how one owner took advantage of construction site

ARCADIA, CA — The owner of Fasching's Car Wash decided to use the neighboring constrution site in his latest marketing campaise, the ArcadiaPatch reported.

The May 27 story said the owner released a coupon flyer that encourages people to come in for a carwash and detailing while watching the construction of the new Gold Line site. The Gold Line is the local metro train.

The carwash's marquee also reads: While getting it washed you can watch the Gold Line being built no extra charge.

The Gold Line Construction Authority even posted a picture of the marquee on its Twitter account.

Carwash to donate more than $6,000 to the 101st Airborne

FLORENCE, KY — Thanks to the generous support of the community, Mike’s Carwash will be donating $6,127 to the 101st Airborne Division, 2nd Brigade 502nd Airborne Infantry Unit, according to a press release.

The May 9 story stated that the money was raised during Mike’s Carwash Grand Opening/Charity Event where customers received free “Works wash,” but were given the opportunity to donate to the 101st instead. Nearly 2600 washes were provided over the weekend. 

The donated money will be used to offset costs for active members of the 101st on their way home to Florence. They will be honored in Florence’s Memorial Day parade.

“These funds will be put to good use to help with lodging, meals, and other expenses for the soldiers. We have a very generous community, and we thank them and Mike’s Carwash for the commitment to America’s military personnel,” said Florence mayor Diane E. Whalen.

Carwash benefits big time from installation

FRUITLAND, OR — Dirt Buster Car Wash stopped using natural gas to fuel its water-heating needs, and installed eight solar panels in 2011, The Argus Observer reported.

The May 3 story stated that carwash owner LeeRoy Tracy said the solar panels are used year-round for several tasks such as heating the floors during winter. During the non-winter months, the wash relies exclusively on the solar panels, cutting back fuel costs and reducing the wash’s carbon footprint. “Each panel upsets one ton of carbon annually,” Carl Simpson, president of Renewable Energy Northwest, said in the story.

 “As a business man, I’m looking at the bottom line and to offset my energy costs,” Tracy said in the story. “The panels do just that and I’m happy about it.”

Hot water is needed in the soap on the self-serve bays, the automatic carwash soap function and more, Tracy added.