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Operations and Management

Clean, Dry & Shiny – Every Time!

When out in the field, I often hear the question “How do I get the same clean, dry, shiny car in the winter, that I get in the summer?”



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When out in the field, I often hear the question “How do I get the same clean, dry, shiny car in the winter, that I get in the summer?” That is a good question and one that needs to be looked at from many different angles.

There are five factors that contribute to getting a clean, dry and shiny car.

  1. Temperature: The ambient air and surface temperatures of the vehicles.
  2. Mechanical Action: The amount of touches the equipment materials have on the vehicles.
  3. Chemical Concentration: The strength at which the chemicals are being applied to the vehicles.
  4. Time: The amount of time the chemicals & friction materials have to work.
  5. Water Quality: The hardness and pH levels can have an effect on the finished product as well.

If one of the above is compromised, then you necessarily must compensate with the remaining four. For example, up north in the winter, your temperature may easily be reduced by 50-60% from your temperature in the summer. Therefore, you must compensate with the remaining four in order to maintain your high wash quality. If your Water Quality is consistent, & it may not be practical to add seasonal friction equipment to increase your Mechanical Action, you may increase your Chemical Concentration and slow down the conveyor to increase the amount of Time that the vehicle has to make contact with your wash media.


It’s important to consider all of the effects of our changing conditions, whether we are changing them internally or they are being changed by external forces. With this in mind, we can provide our customers with clean, dry, shiny cars all year long!

Bryan Hage has been a guest instructor at CarWash College since its inception in 2006 and is the National Accounts Manager for Sonny’s The CarWash Factory. Prior to joining Sonny’s in 2004, Bryan spent seven years in car wash operations concentrating on recruiting and training for the largest full service car wash chain in the US.Bryan can be reached a [email protected].


For more information about CarWash College certification programs, visit or call the registrar’s office at 1-866-492-7422.

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