Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Checking the Cloth on the Wrap Around Washer

CarWash College™ Preventive Maintenance Tip of the Month

August 21, 2007


At CarWash College™ we teach preventive maintenance. This month we are going to talk about the cloth on the wrap around. The wrap around is a piece of equipment that provides the most cleaning in the car wash tunnel. In this article we will talk about determining when the cloth needs to be replaced.

It is important to start the day by looking at the condition of the cloth. Look for any missing or worn sections of cloth, as this could affect the performance of the unit. The other thing you want to look for, on a daily basis, is any oil or grease that might be present in the cloth. Oil or grease can transfer onto the cars as they pass by the cloth, and a large amount of oil or grease could cause you to have to shut down the car wash while the cloth is removed. When evaluating the cloth for wear, you want to look at the amount of penetration the cloth has on the vehicle surface. The cloth on the wrap around should have three to four inches of penetration on the vehicle. If it has less than three it is recommended that the cloth be replaced.

As stated above, any cloth that has oil or grease will transfer onto vehicles in the wash. The oil or grease will ruin the quality of the wash, and will also transfer onto other cloth in the car wash, potently damaging the cloth. Any missing or damaged cloth could reduce the quality of the wash you provide at your car wash. Cloth penetration on the vehicle is very important. If the cloth becomes too short it can create an unsafe operation, as the brush core could come into contact with the vehicle and cause damage. In today's competitive market we can't afford for the quality of the product we offer to drop, as the customer can often find another location to wash their vehicles. You can't put a price on what the loss of a customer can cause your business.

Robert Andre is the manager of on-campus training for CarWash College™. Robert can be reached at For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit or call the registrar's office at 1-866-492-7422.