How clean is your carwash?

How clean is your carwash?

Boost your profit potential with four simple checklists.

Sponsored by Mark VII

Cleaning carwash equipment and the wash bay may sound a little counterintuitive, but it’s one of the keys to running a successful carwash business. Here’s how to do it right.

Cleanliness pays. It’s a key part of preventative maintenance, and it shouldn’t be an afterthought. A clean carwash attracts new customers and encourages repeat business, plus it reflects pride in ownership. The more effort you put into cleanliness, the more you boost your potential return on investment.

A clean carwash is also safer and more reliable. Keeping the bay clean will prevent unsafe situations such as slips and falls. Routine maintenance and routine cleaning will help your carwash property last longer.

Here are must dos for carwash success:

Do, from the onset, make cleaning a priority

The carwash bay is an extension of other customer touch points and should be clean and tidy. The carwash is a great profit center with high margins. It’s important to make sure your carwash is clean and convenient for customers. Inside the wash bay can create a dirty environment with unsightly grime and algae. Without regular cleaning, it doesn’t take long for that muck to build up. This can lead to mechanical breakdowns, costly downtime, an unsafe environment and unhappy customers. Loyalty is difficult to maintain in a dirty  environment. Do create and follow daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly checklists. A regular cleaning will pay off.

Do focus on customer touch points

Marketing your wash with fresh targeted marketing will build loyalty and revenues. All customer touch points should have menus that dive top wash purchasing. Without menus at point of purchase, customer decisions will be price driven versus value gained.

Do refresh menus, create seasonal and awareness marketing regularly. Advertise the wash at impulse locations in the store. Customers often spend 4-5 minutes in front of the carwash pay terminal — use that as an opportunity to upsell. Keep the area clean, easily accessible and easy to read. Consider bilingual marketing so everyone feels valued.

Do work with a trusted partner

Do your research. There aren’t many businesses that can offer all that Mark VII provides, from machine installation, service and chemical supply. Demonstrating consistency, responsiveness and loyalty is key to building long term relationships and partnerships —attributes Mark VII takes pride in.

Do focus on uptime

Do focus on operations. Downtime has a significant impact on profits. Reduce downtime by investigating customer comments, training employees and correcting machine issues immediately. Avoiding service calls can save hours of wash time; know the basics of your machine. Take time to investigate before placing a service call. Reset machine, check for items blocking machine movement, photo eyes blocked, verify chemical is at adequate levels.

After assessing, contact service immediately if service is needed.  Profitability requires consistent uptime.

Do establish a process to keep things running smoothly

Do follow a cleaning checklist that will save time and hassle. Mark VII has detailed lists, below are a few highlights.

Daily

  • At each shift change, observe wash operation by viewing a wash to ensure proper application of chemicals and equipment functions. View vehicle from exit end to ensure clean, dry and shiny results.
  • Conduct a walk-through to inspect the carwash area. Identify and rectify dirt build up, debris, leaks, dated or tattered menus and equipment operational issues.  
  • Verify chemical levels are adequate.

Weekly

  • Wipe down payment terminal and end bay service menu.
  • Wipe down carwash overhead and gantry covers.  
  • Clean bay floor with power washer.

Monthly or Quarterly

  • Power wash bay walls. Work with your chemical provider to select correct chemical to aide in cleaning.  

Providing a clean and bright environment in all areas of the carwash will extent the customer experience and build loyalty and profits. Customers appreciate a clean car wash bay and will reward you with loyalty. Focusing on cleanliness puts money back in your pocket.


Allan Johnson is the chemical lead with Mark VII.

You May Also Like

Keep your cool on the job

As temperatures surge, use innovative portable air coolers to make sure productivity doesn’t dip.

It’s easier to warm up than to cool off, especially if you’re toiling in a broiling shop. And when summer sends the temperature and humidity soaring, your productivity can take a nose-dive. When things get that hot and heavy, you might long to be an old-time mechanic working under the proverbial shade tree. 

Five tips for carwash marketing

For a car wash owner, marketing can be a time-consuming endeavor. While it can be challenging to get the word out or take time out of your day (or hire a marketer) to work on marketing, it can pay dividends for your car war business. Here are some tips to help you get started or refine your marketing skills.

Building vs Buying: A Guide for 2023 Car Wash Investors

The express car wash industry has seen significant growth over the past decade as customers seek more convenient and affordable options for keeping their vehicles clean. This growth has brought

Financing Your Next Equipment Purchase in a High-Rate Environment

Just 365 days ago, money was significantly cheaper than it is today. The federal funds effective rate was teasing zero, at 0.08% in February of 2022 and only 0.33% in

Can you detail an EV on a lift?

This new class of vehicles requires special considerations.

Other Posts

Mark VII Equipment new CEO

ARVADA, Colo. — Mark VII’s new CEO, Uwe Scharfy, took his position on May 1, bringing a wealth of knowledge and leadership to the company.

mark vii logo
Wash Talk Ep. 193: Water reclaim with Chris Armena

From cost savings to environmental sustainability, Armena sheds light on why water reclaim is becoming an increasingly essential component of modern carwash businesses.

Wash Talk Ep. 193: Water reclaim with Chris Armena
5 critical considerations for carwash parking lot upkeep

Neglected customer loading, exiting, vacuum and waiting areas can throw away business potential.

Information checklist a carwash owner should gather before selling your business

Before you or your advisor contacts any buyers, it is highly recommended to compile in advance the key information that all buyers require.