Whether it’s a Mini, a Merc or a MAC truck, there’s a piece of car wash cleaning equipment that’s just built for the task of keeping it free of dust and grime and, if you happen to own a filling station, or a plot of land with business rights, this is equipment that could be providing you with some valuable extra income.
Of course, there is absolutely no reason that you should not use something similar at home and domestic units are highly efficient, inexpensive and readily available from some of the leading brands such as Kärcher.
There are still places where the car wash cleaning equipment consists of a plastic bucket and an artificial chamois leather, of course. However, anyone with a little bit of respect for their vehicle is more likely to pay the extra couple of Rands and make use of a professional service provider.
On these sites, often shared with a petrol station whose owner may operate the facility or lease it to a third party, the watchwords are speed and efficiency. Depending upon the overall capacity and the required throughput, the nature of the car wash cleaning equipment in use may vary considerably as will the layout which must be carefully planned to meet both production and ergonomic requirements prior to its construction.
Typically, the operation consists of two separate phases. The first deals with the exterior of the vehicle; its washing, waxing, rinsing and drying. This is then followed up by internal cleaning, focussed on the leatherwork and upholstery and which will be performed in a separate area of the facility. For each of the stages involved there is a range of specialist car wash cleaning equipment designed to meet the needs of any given installation.
In fully automated installations, a gantry delivers high pressure water jets to remove dirt, then a wax detergent which, after scrubbing, will be rinsed and buffed to a shine by rotating brushes and dried by a blower. Manual units allow an operator to manoeuver a pressure washer and detergent gun as required while partial drying is normally then tackled with the aid of a chamois leather and a strong arm.
For Internal valeting, car wash cleaning equipment includes high power dry vacuum cleaners for floors and, perhaps, a steam extraction unit for deep cleansing of upholstery.
High Pressure Cleaners are fast and efficient
The most important part of the external cleaning process is the preliminary removal of dirt and dust, whose abrasive properties can, without the use of a high pressure cleaner, cause scratching of the vehicle’s bodywork.
This is often results from inadequate preliminary cleaning when doing the job at home without the aid of more specialised car wash cleaning equipment.
These devices vary in power and capacity but, in principle, they are all similar. Water, normally cold due to the efficiency of modern detergents, is compressed and stored in a reservoir until needed. When required, a trigger is depressed to release a high-pressure water jet via a tube fitted with a suitable nozzle that can be directed to the area in need of attention.
While some of these devices supply water to several outlets from a single reservoir, others are individual units. This is a type of car wash cleaning equipment that may be either fixed or portable. The latter variety is particularly useful for industrial premises where there may be a need to clean fixed surfaces in varying locations as well as vehicles.
On the industrial scene, the task of cleaning is often a great deal more demanding than at the average commercial washing facility. Soiling with oil and other hard-to-shift substances may make the use of hot water necessary in addition to more powerful grease-cutting detergents. Here, once more, these heavy duty varieties of car wash cleaning equipment are to be found in the internationally famous Kärcher range who, incidentally, first introduced the world to high pressure cleaners and who still remain leaders in the field of vehicle and general surface cleansing.
The availability of models that operate at much higher pressures has served to make the cleaning tasks of heavy plant and construction vehicle owners a lot easier. These tough machines can strip away thick and hard-baked mud from a truck or bulldozer in a matter of minutes, where, unaided, the task could take a full day.
ITS Africa offers expert advice, supply and installation of car wash cleaning equipment for commercial or industrial use.