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Operations and Management

Winning combinations of chemicals and equipment

According to the 2019 Professional Carwashing Industry Report, a comprehensive national survey of carwash operators that is sold on, carwash chemicals account for 13% of operators’ total operating costs. This same survey also notes that 11% of operating costs across wash platforms are for maintenance and repairs. 

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In case you are curious, labor — at 24% — ranked as the highest in our survey when it comes to evaluating total operating costs. As a result, many operators are currently looking to automate the carwash process even further to reduce labor requirements, but that is a subject for another supplement.   

Today’s chemicals are better and more effective at producing clean, dry and shiny vehicles. It is important to remember that the more you invest in leading chemicals, the more they will pay you back in the long run. Additionally, chemical manufacturers’ products work in synergy to be even more effective. Therefore, an investment across the board is needed. Reductions in packaging, higher concentrations, changes in formulations, and better foaming and lubricity are just some of the exciting advancements in carwash chemistry these days.  

As for modern carwash machinery, today’s leading equipment can also reduce damage claims, enhance customer satisfaction and minimize waste. Remember, however — especially when supporting a high-traffic loyalty club customer base — that your equipment must be dependable and consistent. Better automation, variable frequency loading, attractive designs and quieter operation are just some of the leading features in modern carwash equipment.  

Combined with software and scanning technologies, equipment and chemistry can provide to-the-inch cleaning when and where it is needed the most. The days of filling up pickup truck beds with wasted water and chemicals should be a problem of the past at your carwash. 


Although COVID-19 has slowed car counts at many carwashes across the U.S., some operators are using this time as an opportunity to retrofit and upgrade their systems. Others are performing much needed preventive maintenance in preparation for the eventual rebound. 

We hope you enjoy this supplement and remember to use the advertisers in it as partners to help you elevate your chemical and equipment offerings.   

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