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Equipment

Refresh tunnels with new brush colors

For tunnel wash owners, one of the easiest ways to give their businesses an instant visual makeover that will catch customers’ attention is by changing out all the cloth hangdown, foam and brushes at once instead of a few at a time. When these materials are worn out and need to be replaced anyway, this is a zero-cost proposition. 

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The only choice is which color best reflects the brand or stands out the most. 

A visual upgrade

The visual upgrade is all the more striking when all the items are changed at the same time, which can give customers the impression that you have invested in brand new equipment to enhance the wash. Even if this means switching out some materials before they are fully worn out, the cost is nominal in comparison to the benefits, which can include new customers, return visits and more club memberships.

Related: Practical appearance enhancements to attract carwash business

When we recently installed new cloth hangdowns of a different color throughout a tunnel wash, a vehicle owner came up to us and thought we had purchased all-new equipment. You do not actually have to change that much to make a major visual impact.

Anytime you replace the foam, cloth hangdowns or wheel brushes with a fresh, new color, people are sure to notice. Customers will also see that you are constantly improving and keeping your materials fresh.

Color-coded strategies

However, to accomplish such a makeover, tunnel owners first need the option of choosing and coordinating their colors on replacement equipment. The challenge is that the industry usually offers few colors, so when the materials are changed out, most of your customers will hardly notice the difference. However, with a complete changeover to a new color, they will notice.

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Instead of resigning yourself to a limited set of stock colors, you should insist on having a full range of color options to choose from when it comes to foam and cloth replacements, hangdowns and wheel brushes. 

In order to have the greatest impact, tunnel wash owners should also coordinate the colors to reinforce their signs, logo and any corporate or location-specific color schemes. The colors should complement those in their operations. Having a wide array of color options available to you, such as red, green, light blue, dark blue, yellow, orange, gray and black, can facilitate this. 

For those who want to contrast colors, this can be even more eye-catching if done tastefully. For instance, some suppliers offer wheel brushes in combinations such as blue/yellow, dark blue/light blue, red/blue and red/black.

Upgrade materials too

While giving a tunnel wash a makeover by changing material colors can offer a distinctive advantage over rivals that do not, so can utilizing a higher quality cloth, foam or wheel brush to clean vehicles better so customers keep coming back..

Beyond a visual upgrade with new cleaning material colors, avoiding inferior wash products and using quality ones can further raise the bar on the customer’s experience.

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As an example of what to avoid, tacky, threadbare cloths not only result in a sub-par cleaning, but they also reflect poorly on the establishment.

On hangdowns, the wider slits last longer but don’t clean as well as the thinner slits, which reach into nooks and crannies better. So, it’s a good idea to go with thinner slits, if you can. 

Related: The best of brushes, the worst of brushes

But, rather than hold onto materials until they become ragged or no longer clean well, it’s best to periodically change them out.

The bottom line is that tunnel wash owners can impress their customers with an easy, cost-effective makeover by routinely changing the colors of their foam, brushes, cloth hangdowns and wheel brushes when it is time to replace them. 

Each time the colors change will be a visual reminder that the carwash is investing in new, fresh and high-quality materials to take better care of clients’ vehicles. In addition, with the use of quality materials that avoid sub-par washes, vehicle owners will have every incentive to become regular, repeat customers and club members.  

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Dan Pecora is an expert on brush materials and CEO of Erie Brush & Manufacturing in Chicago, Illinois — a brush, cloth, foam and detailing supplier to the carwash industry since 1948 that offers wheel brushes in such combinations as blue/yellow, dark blue/light blue, red/blue and red/black. For more information, call (800) 711-3743 (ERIE) in the U.S., (773) 477-9620 internationally, email [email protected], visit www.eriebrush.com or write to Erie at 860 West Fletcher St., Chicago, IL 60657.

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