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Thinking about going waterless?

April 20, 2011
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The waterless wash concept was most widely introduced to consumers in the '90s as an alternative carwash product. It was not looked upon by professionals as anything more than a fad.

However, with today’s drought conditions in many states and the “green movement,” waterless washing looms as an attractive option to the consumer. How does this affect professional carwashes and detail operations that use water as their major component for cleaning? Well, for an existing operator it does not take much to set up a waterless wash operation.

The key element is the waterless wash solution (chemical). I recommend testing several brands and choosing the product that works best for you. You will also need a large stock of microfiber towels. Microfiber towels pick up the dirt that is emulsified in the chemical without scratching the paint.

Many waterless wash operations use a simple plastic spray bottle to apply the chemical, but I do not recommend this process for a number of reasons. First, it is time-consuming as well as fatiguing to the person applying the chemical; and secondly, and more importantly, you get an inconsistent and uneven application of waterless wash solution on the vehicle.

Instead, some operators are using stainless steel pressure tanks or electric sprayers to apply the chemical. Also, some companies are working on systems that utilize a spray gun that will apply an even coat of solution as well as conserving on chemical.

There you have it, simply speaking, all you will need to set up a waterless wash operation in your area that includes:

  • Waterless wash solution;
  • Microfiber towels;
  • An application system; and
  • A location agreement/rental space.

As well, you might want to have a shop vacuum for the interior, glass cleaner for the windows and some dressing for the tires and interior.