Spring is a great time to clean out and spruce up all kinds of things: your closet, your car, your house … and probably your carwash. At the carwash, winter can be a time of high car counts and some pretty high wear and tear on your equipment. Snowdrifts can hide debris that might accumulate on your lot and chilling winds can convince you to look the other way temporarily. But as the weather warms up, your customers spend more time out of their cars and they do notice the little things that maybe you have gotten used to overlooking.

Now is the time to go over everything on your site and “detail it”, just like you would detail a customer’s car. A simple way to take you out of your day-to-day mode so that you can see your site through your customers’ eyes is to grab a digital camera. Walk around your site and shoot anything that doesn’t look great or convey a positive visual message for your business.

Here’s a sampling of some “anti-beauty shots” recently snapped at one wash:

“The dirty bucket”: A perennial eyesore at many carwashes. Instead of a translucent bucket that shows the dirty soap water being used on the wheels, try a bright-colored bucket and replace it frequently with a new, bright-colored bucket.

“The quick fix”: Sometimes you might throw a little duct tape — or in this case a tire — at a problem with every intention of fixing it properly later on. This tire may be keeping the tire shine applicator from banging around, but it makes your customers wonder what’s wrong with your equipment. It’s time for a real repair.

“The customer broke it”: So your roadside sign finally died when a customer’s truck backed into it. It’s really not doing any positive advertising for your wash laying on its side out back, is it? Probably best to haul it away.

“The tripping hazard”: A concrete mess like this is an accident waiting to happen, or even a tool of destruction for a petty thief. Don’t let it stay on your site for one more day.

Laurie Sherman is Co-owner of Blendco Systems, LLC. Blendco manufactures a full line of detergents and waxes for the professional carwash industry. You can contact Blendco at: