It's late spring and soon we will be scorched by the summer heat. Think your detergents have it made in the shade? Did you ever consider what happens to car wash chemicals in high temperatures? Or low temperatures? Temperatures can affect viscosity of liquids and cause the evaporation of vital chemical ingredients that can affect performance.
Summer temperatures decrease viscosity, which can increase chemical flow and cause vital components to evaporate over time. Fragrances and solvents are especially prone to evaporation when exposed to high temperatures. 55 and 30 gallon drums are the most affected by this in hot and/or dry climates because they sit open for prolonged periods of time. Have you ever gotten to the heel of the tank and noticed it was thicker or gelled? That could be because some of the solvents evaporated over time. A pail or drum that had a pleasant odor upon opening may not have the same concentration of scent after prolonged exposure to a hot environment because these fragrances are volatile and easily evaporated.
Summer chemical savings tips
|—||Keep all chemicals sealed before, during and after use or until containers are empty.|
|—||Ask your chemical supplier or distributor for a chemical line that eliminates the opportunity for the detergent to evaporate away. Some manufacturers offer this "pail stinger" as a normal approach. This also eliminates contaminants like dirt, water and bugs from falling into the container and effecting delivery.|
|—||Have your chemical supplier perform periodic flow tests to ensure chemicals are being delivered at the proper dilution ratios during the major temperature change periods (winter and summer).|
BONUS — Cold temperature tips
Winter temperatures increase viscosity, which decreases chemical flow. In extreme cases, this can cause the product to freeze, which ultimately can lead to separation of vital components.
Winter chemical saving tips
|—||Inspect shipments made during winter months to ensure chemicals are not frozen before taking delivery.|
|—||Keep chemicals off cold floors and away from cold walls or freezing drafts. Chemical containers can be placed on 2X4's, placed on top of Styrofoam or otherwise lifted off the floor.|
|—||Keep your equipment room free of temperature extremes.|
If you follow these tips, you will provide a more consistent quality of wash, will not overuse or underuse expensive chemicals and will avoid wasting spoiled product affected by evaporation.
Malcolm Acton, Regional Manager – Lower Midwest, Blendco Systems, LLC
Blendco manufactures a full line of detergents and waxes for the professional carwash industry. You can contact Blendco at: www.blendco.com.