News from the Industry
Industry report shows touchless wash growth
A Global Strategic Business Report out of London stated that touchless carwashing is fueling growth in the global carwash market following an economic recession and the success in is being closely linked with the success of the automotive market.
The largest carwash markets are Europe and the U.S., although the emerging economies in China and India are expected to show the fastest growth, according to the report.
The report also noted that a number of environmentally aware governments are encouraging car owners to utilize professional carwashes to ensure safe disposal of cleaning chemicals.
Autobell's reclaim the toast of WaterSavers stop
The International Carwash Association (ICA) brought its WaterSavers Tour – Go Pro for H20 to Raleigh, NC, to inform customers about the environmental benefits of professional carwashing.
The tour stopped at an Autobell Car Wash in Raleigh where ICA CEO Eric Wulf was joined by Monty Rast, director of operations with Autobell.
To demonstrate just how clean reclaimed water from carwashes can be, the pair shared a toast of reclaimed water from the spigot in Autobell's Aqua Bio 100 percent reclaim water treatment system.
As the two men raised their champagne glasses filled with reclaimed water, Rast said, "Here's one small sip for a man," then Wulf added, "one giant gulp for mankind's recycling."
The pair sipped the water and described it as "clean and refreshing."
Detailing shop revoked due to code concerns
A business owner is accusing the city's fire inspector and police chief in Horn Lake, MS, of discriminating against him due to race and religion.
Tedarrel Muhammad sublets a building to a car detailing service, and the city previously issued a permit for the business to open.
Now, Mayor Nat Baker said the permit was given out in error, and Muhammad will have to start through an approval process with the design board and planning commission.
Muhammad told the board of aldermen that the changes in requirements and the revoking of the permit are part of a range of discriminatory behavior on the part of Fire Inspector Mark Brown.
Muhammad said that Brown approved everything he saw in the business except for a few minor fixes. Then, "he landed right there on our counter-top, where there were Muslim books … he said, 'no, no, no, no, no.' I've seen his actions. Then he came up there a couple times when our employees were there, harassing them, saying you're … not supposed to be in business."
Baker denied the claims and said that he had met with Muhammad in the past to explain the process the business would have to go through. And he said this was an issue of codes, not of race or religion.
Thieves stole entire kiosk using a truck and chain
Thieves stole an entire payment kiosk from the Spiffy Car Wash in Wichita, KS, using a pickup truck and a chain, and apparently, they have done this several times.
During the morning hours, a white pickup truck pulled into the carwash, and a passenger got out and threw a chain around the kiosk. The truck then took off taking the kiosk with it.
Carwash owner Jim Volk said, "They think there's a lot of money in here, but we empty it on a daily basis now because we know that they're hitting us."
Police said this has occurred more than a dozen times in the area over the past four months.
Carwash reduces softener salt usage
A carwash in Trussville, AL, has dramatically reduced the amount of salt used to soften water.
A press release stated that the Star Car Wash went from using 700 lbs. of salt per week to now using 500 lbs. of salt per year following the installation of a computerized and electronic water conditioner.
Hard water at carwashes can contain high levels of calcium and magnesium, and these minerals, when heated, can encrust themselves onto water-fed appliances as scale or mineral deposits, the release noted.
The water conditioner system used at Star Car Wash minimizes salt usage, saves money on salt purchase and removes scale from lines and nozzles.
Water softeners have been a mainstay in the carwash industry because they remove mineral deposits that prevent soap from working efficiently. But, many states are severely limiting the use of salt-regenerators due to concern over increased levels of salt in ground water, the release stated.
Carwash explosion kills three in South Korea
A carwash in Suwon, South Korea, exploded on Sept. 24, killing three people and destroying over 10 cars and more than a dozen houses.
The explosion took place a little before noon. The reason might have to do with the adjacent gas station, but authorities have not released an official statement. The gas station was only partly destroyed.
A carwash employee was one of the people killed.
University's carwashing record attempt fails
Students of Augusta State University in August, GA, attempted to break the Guinness World Record for the most cars washed by an organization in a day.
About 50 people showed to wash cars Saturday for the event, and they were able to clean 383. The tally was short of the record of 4,918. Although the ROTC organization that planned the wash didn't reach its goal, it was still able to raise between $6,000 and $7,000 for its charitable efforts, according to Blake Corbett, president of the ASU Ranger Club and event co-organizer.
Portions of the proceeds will go to Golden Harvest Food Bank, Life Choices Pregnancy Center and Fort Gordon's Fisher House. The remainder will fund various programs within ASU's Military Science Department.
The standing world record for carwashing was set by CARSTAR stores across the U.S. and Canada last June, as reported by PC&D.
Stricter carwash requirements passed by council
New carwashes in Metairie, LA, must meet stricter requirements, and existing washes that create problems for neighbors will be subject to more significant penalties.
Residents who have complained about noisy carwashes approve of some portions of the new regulations, but they argued that the rules do not go far enough.
PC&D reported earlier that residents in the unincorporated Jefferson Parish were having problems with carwash noise.
For new carwashes, the rules prohibit construction within 50 feet of a residential property, and they prevent carwashes from being aligned so that the entrance or exit of the buildings faces a residential property.
Also, when residents complain about an existing carwash, the Sheriff's Office can cite the business for a noise violation, and the Board of Administrative Adjudication may impose new requirements such as door installation, construction of sound walls and limited operating hours.
Operators facing prison for hiring illegal aliens
The owners of a carwash in San Diego were arraigned in federal court for hiring and harboring known illegal aliens. Sun Jae Lee, 51, and Ju Hea Kim, 54, were charged with criminal conspiracy, and a conviction carries a five-year prison sentence and a fine of $250,000 for each defendant. The pair own and manage Betty's Car Wash, and authorities said that the arrests took place after a routine search of the business.
Alleged illegal aliens working at the carwash were detained, and authorities said they would be held as material witnesses in the case.Prosecutors said, "The majority of those employed by the defendants lacked legal documentation that would allow them to work in the United States. Additionally, Kim and Lee allegedly rehired two employees who were deported while working at the carwash and then returned to the country illegally."
Campaign to announce carwash contract victory
The CLEAN Carwash Campaign announced a landmark victory in Santa Monica, CA. The contract victory is part of an effort to end decades of abuses suffered by Los Angeles carwash workers.
Labor leaders, elected officials and community partners from across the city will stand with CLEAN carwash workers to welcome their first major contract victory.The announcement took place at Bonus Car Wash, and was attended by carwash workers, union members and city councilmembers.