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Starting a Carwash

Wash Wisdom: 14 steps to prepare the opening of a carwash

Tasks you can see to during the construction phase of a new carwash.


In a recent article from our Welcome Guide: Conveyor Edition, titled “Building blocks” by Robert Andre, Andre discusses the steps for how to take your new carwash from a plot of land through its grand opening and beyond.

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Andre covers all the basics, starting with finding a site and continuing with creating a unique selling proposition, hiring employees, purchasing equipment, going through construction, hosting a grand opening and sustaining the business.

“It’s an exciting time to be in the carwash industry,” Andre says. “More people are building multi-site operations at an extremely quick pace. The opportunities are plentiful with the proper guidance and support.”

Whether you’re starting your first carwash or building another one and wish to go about the process differently and more prepared than the first time, the article provides some solid groundwork.


In one part of the article, Andre discusses what you can do during the long construction phase, when the physical work is out of your hands. In addition to the 14 tips Andre provides, PC&D has listed other articles on the topic that can help you:

  1. Establish your business, and open your bank accounts.
  2. Finalize all the signage and uniforms.
  3. Finalize your menu and price structure, and come up with all the promotions for the first year.
  4. Join your local association as well as the International Carwash Association (ICA).
  5. Subscribe to all trade journals.
    • If you haven’t already, subscribe to PC&D here and Carwash eNews here.
  6. Schedule training for yourself and management on the maintenance, repair and management of your wash.
  7. Develop your employee handbook and operations manual.
  8. See if you can find a “host” wash to work at.
    • In addition, read profiles of other successful carwashes here.
  9. Research chemical suppliers, and find one that has a solid service network in your area.
  10. Plan your grand opening to happen several weeks after you are up and running.
    • We cover numerous carwash grand openings throughout the year. Take a look at what other carwashes have done here.
  11. Outline your marketing plan and community involvement strategy.
  12. Start looking for your management team, and start these employees prior to equipment installation, if possible.
  13. Plan to be present during your equipment installation.
  14. Plan to be present during your computer installation.

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