CarwashPro The news site for carwash professionals Fri, 24 Sep 2021 07:22:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Washing more often in the summer necessary to keep the car in top condition Fri, 24 Sep 2021 07:00:21 +0000 Wash the car weekly, regularly opt for a pre-wash and wax treatment and do not use cleaning agents with alcohol on the dashboard. With these guidelines you keep your car in top condition, says Istobal. The Spanish manufacturer of washing equipment lists the most common mistakes made in the car wash. Handy for car wash entrepreneurs: they can use the tips in their own communication to the customer.
Istobal talked to experts to find out how to maintain a vehicle in good condition during the summer. The most common mistake of the season is simply not washing cars often enough. If washing phases are also skipped and unsuitable products are used, there will be problems. Fortunately, car washes offer a solution!

Heat and sun

Failure to remove salt, sand, insects, bird droppings and dirt in time can cause irreversible damage to the paintwork and color. Istobal therefore recommends washing the car at least once a week. This is especially important in the summer because of the heat and exposure to the sun. Those conditions accelerate harmful processes.

If the customer then comes weekly to the car wash, it is important to remind them to also regularly opt for a wash with prewash and wax to protect the bodywork and other parts. Don’t forget the windshield wiper blades. They dry out even more in the summer. This pre-wash is also important for cars that are not very dirty, so all kinds of oils, dust and organic residues can be removed and to protect the bodywork and other parts. A tip for the car wash on behalf of the Spanish manufacturer represented in the Netherlands by EenzetCarwash: first rinse the vehicle with water to cool the surface if it is very hot.

High pressure

Good for the customer to know: the employees in the car wash work carefully with a high-pressure cleaner. In car washes, a minimum distance of 30 centimeters is maintained between the tip of the lance and the car to avoid excessive water pressure on the car.

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British public warned to look out for modern slavery in car washes Thu, 23 Sep 2021 09:18:04 +0000 The Responsible Car Wash Scheme aims to combat labour exploitation in British hand car washes. The scheme was featured in the BBC flagship programme, Crimewatch Live, this week. The programme outlined how members of the public can spot signs of abuse and malpractice and help in the fight against them.
Spokespeople from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) and The Clewer Initiative also appeared on the show to explain the issues with some hand car washes. These include nonpayment of the national living wage, health and safety breaches and, in some cases, modern slavery. They also detail their initiatives to ensure that hand car washes are law-abiding, responsible businesses.

Teresa Sayers, managing director, RCWS says: “Potential indicators of worker exploitation include low cost of a wash, cash-only payment options and a lack of protective equipment and clothing being used by workers. We ask car owners and drivers to choose responsible car washes that offer a fair wash. That means looking after their workers, protecting the environment, caring for their customers and trading legally. Operators that meet our RCWS
standard will display the RCWS logo.”

Informed decision

Darryl Dixon from the GLAA says: “We want to help the public make informed decisions about where they take their cars to be washed. There is a clear choice between using a fully compliant operator that has been through the RCWS accreditation process and verified by audits and spot-checks, and one that simply has not.”

Caroline Virgo, Director of The Clewer Initiative, says: “One easy way for members of the public to be on the alert is to download The Safe Car Wash app. It’s really quick and easy to use – it asks a series of questions related to signs of modern slavery and helps the user know if they should get in touch with the Modern Slavery Helpline. The app has received 7500 reports of exploitation concerns and 47% of these have gone through to the helpline.”

The flagship programme was filmed in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire at Waves car wash. Waves is located in the Tesco Extra car park and is one of the first car washes in the UK to be accredited by the RCWS.

These are the signs to look for:

  • A suspiciously low cost: anything under £9 is unlikely to be viable if workers are receiving the national living wage.
  • A request for cash only and a refusal to accept other methods of payment.
  • A lack of protective clothing and equipment: for example, operatives should be equipped with gloves and waterproof shoes.

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Is 15 meters sufficient length for an entire car wash? Wed, 22 Sep 2021 10:27:15 +0000 A car wash does not have to be tens of meters long to be fully functional. Car wash manufacturer Stotz built a fully equipped 15 meter car wash in Ehingen, Germany. And it can be even shorter, according to the Germans.

The car wash in Ehingen has four washing boxes and seven vacuum cleaner areas. One of the boxes is also suitable for trucks. The car wash is part of a gas station and is conveniently located: easy to reach from Ehingen and located along a main road. Editor Sandra Schäfer of spoke with Ulf Brauner of Stotz about the new car wash in Ehingen.

How did Stotz manage to build a fully equipped car wash in just 15 meters?
“Our devices are very compact thanks to a space-saving design and special solutions. Depending on the equipment, even shorter car washes can be built.”

Didn’t you have to make compromises?
Not really. Due to the complete equipment, the short space is a challenge for the machine supplier.

What are the properties of this system?
The system is fully equipped. This means that there are two short brushes, four side brushes and two roof brushes, there are sill washers, a blower and after-drying with textiles. In addition, there is a prewash zone with a soaking program, a program display and a traffic light is installed.

What did the customer find important in the run-up to construction?
Important for our customer was the simultaneous and rapid implementation with the necessary conversion and renovation work, the delivery of all components by one party and the coordination of all work by Stotz.

Who did you work with?
The car wash was made by using our own units with components that are common on the market. In doing so, we rely on high-quality suppliers. In this regard, HWP’s cash register system is worth mentioning.

What are the first reactions since opening?
Our customer is very satisfied, especially after the reopening. The number of car washes for this location is at a high level and we can distinguish ourselves well from our competitors.

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Faster and better looking: this is Christ’s Alpha (video) Tue, 21 Sep 2021 15:02:49 +0000 Christ’s new rollover washes faster and looks better than its predecessors. Model Alpha is the latest showpiece from the German washing installation manufacturer.
Rollover Alpha from German car wash manufacturer Christ is introduced in flashy videos. The Alpha’s first video appeared on Christ’s YouTube channel two months ago. Now the manufacturer finally comes out with all the specifications. In “Part 2” all parts, functions and materials are highlighted. Christ himself calls the ‘Next Generation’ of the car wash sector.


Because rollover Alpha works more efficiently than its predecessors, you can increase the capacity of the car wash with this model by about 20 percent. The machine also makes less noise. Christ also promises little water and energy consumption and therefore maximum turnover for the operator.

The manufacturer is also proud of the appearance of the rollover. Christ came up with the blades before; along the sides, animations clearly indicate what is expected of the washer: drive in, stop, put the car in the right place, get out or continue driving.

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Automechanika 2021 was still at half speed Mon, 20 Sep 2021 17:37:42 +0000 The Automechanika trade fair last week was not crowded, but there was plenty of news to discover in Frankfurt. Christ showed their portal wash Alpha, WashTec focused on ‘smart’ washing, Kärcher brought a dry ice blaster and Kenotek showed a ceramic coating.
Whereas Automechanika is usually a showcase for washing equipment and demonstrations, this year the physical fair was a subdued celebration. Exhibitors are happy that a fair can take place, visitors must show test results or vaccination certificates so they can enter safely.

Almost all exhibitors say that the visitor numbers Frankfurt were disappointing, but also that the expectations were not necessarily high. About half of the 388 exhibitors at Automechanika and Hypermotion had a physical stand in Frankfurt. Most of them brought a stripped-down version of their regular fair presentation.


Despite the stripped-down edition, most exhibitors did have a lot of news to report. Christ has rollover Alpha on display, Kenotek has a new ceramic coating and Adriateh showed their ‘Stekerr’, a charging station that visually shows with colour to what extent a car has been charged.

Kärcher brought their new dry ice blaster and a portal wash this year, while at previous editions they showed off several rollovers on a stand at least twice as big. WashTec did not bring any equipment and used the exhibition floor mainly to update visitors on ‘smart washing’ and the possibilities of subscription-based washing.

For Visomax, it is difficult to show new products. The coatings specialist has made a nice stand presentation of a coated bonnet under bright light, but has to deal with the international chip shortage in production. “Innovations are slow in coming, but we do want to showcase ourselves and existing products on this occasion,” says Marcel Meulenberg, who has recently taken on sales in the Benelux.

Vacuuming and charging

Automechanika was combined with Hypermotion for the occasion. Most suppliers of the carwash sector could be found in hall 3 of the fair complex. There was also plenty happening online. This hybrid form should be a one-off; the international trade fair is to take place physically in Frankfurt again from 13 to 17 September 2022.

Schumacher Electric has a place in Hall 3 and stands out with colourful chargers. The company does little in the carwash sector, but sees opportunities there. “The future of mobility is electric,” says sales and marketing director David Lagrand. “And people want to charge where the car is stationary for a long time – like when vacuuming the car, for example.” Schumacher makes the chargers primarily under private label, which in turn provides opportunities to use your own marketing on the poles.

Pink foam

Kenotek is showing a new ceramic coating and an active, very pink foam for use in the car wash. Unfortunately, no demonstration is given at the stand, but Kenotek shows beautiful images on a screen to compensate. Louis Vynckier represents the Belgian chemical brand on the German market. He would have liked it to be busier at the fair, but nevertheless he calls Automechanika a good platform to show innovations.

In a press release, Messe Frankfurt announces that some 10,000 visitors from 70 countries followed the trade fair programme online and in Frankfurt.

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Loogman: ‘Growing to 180,000 washes needed for healthy interior belt’ Mon, 20 Sep 2021 05:26:46 +0000 How many washes do you need to do to justify the investment in an interior cleaning conveyor belt? And how much labour do you need? Ger Loogman of the Dutch Loogman Group has calculated this, based on his own experience.
The Loogman Group has eight car wash locations in the Netherlands. At three of them interior cleaning is part of the programme. The investment in an interior cleaning belt is substantial and the profit for the car wash is in the increase of the number of washings and not so much in the interior cleaning itself, explains owner Ger Loogman. To be “happy”, the possibilities must be there to grow to 180,000 washes on an annual basis. “We are therefore experiencing at first hand that interior cleaning is only reserved for the really big locations”, says Ger. The entrepreneur wants to explain the necessary figures to make the investment worthwhile.

Fantastic achievements

“You now see many concepts and jobs being created and there are fantastic realisations among them. My compliments to Lex Peters of ANAC in the Netherlands for the interior carousel in the city of Arnhem.” Loogman sees that interior cleaning is increasing in popularity. “There is slowly an image that a car wash is not complete without one. Yet I think you have to ask yourself whether that consideration is realistic and wise.”

The Loogman Group recently completed the renovation of their branch in Rotterdam. There you will now find, among other things, a double tunnel wash, an interior belt and an indoor vacuuming area. “Despite the fact that we have eight locations that are all unmistakably Loogman, they are all judged individually,” says Ger Loogman.


Loogman calls running an interior cleaining belt a business within your business. “In Rotterdam, for example, we are open seven days a week, twelve hours a day. And you have an average of six people on the job. Then you’re talking about adding 26,000 to 30,000 hours of labour, that’s almost fifteen 15 FTEs. Enormous costs.”

At Loogman, interior cleaning is offered in combination with a wash. Around 25 percent of the wash customers also opt for the interior job. “On a good day, that’s maybe 30 percent.”

Profit is in washes

The profit of an interior job is in the washes, Loogman calculates. “That means the number of washes has to increase. To achieve the same return, you have to wash about 35,000 to 40,000 more cars per year. To make a profit, the number has to go up even more. “It means that, in our opinion, you have to be able to grow to 180,000 washes in order to eventually be happy as an entrepeneur.”

To reach that high number of washes per year, a location must have the space. Loogman: “Think of a double tunnel and that has to fit in with the washing potential of the region. And let’s be honest: it is not easy these days to find and keep 15 FTEs, which often means 20 to 25 extra employees, for the job. That also costs extra time and energy. Maybe a beautiful, functional and high quality car wash without indoor cleaning is not so bad after all.”

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Who is responsible for damage to a shark fin antenna? Fri, 17 Sep 2021 11:53:26 +0000 Who is liable if a shark fin antenna is damaged by the drying installation in a car wash? A German car wash has to deal with this issue. The entrepreneur’s insurance claims it is the customer’s own responsibility, who should have removed the antenna. The fact that removal is not possible with such an antenna does not appear to be relevant. A legal battle is the result.

Shark fin antennas are standard on many vehicle models today. In a car wash rollover in Grafrath, Germany (near Munich), such an antenna was damaged during the drying process. Local media noted that the damage amounts to around 3,700 euros. The owner of the car assumed that the car wash operator’s insurance would pay for the damage. Insurer Generali, however, refused to pay out and points to the customer’s own responsibility. The car wash advises customers to remove the antenna before washing. It turns out that the shark fins cannot be removed at all.

At first, the rollover operator had no doubts that it would be insurance work. The case subsequently turned into a legal dispute and the client’s attorney has little hope of it being resolved soon.

No extra risk

The equipment in the car wash comes from Christ Wash Systems. CarwashPro checked with the manufacturer whether more problems have been reported with this type of antenna and whether there is an increased risk of damage.

Stefan Bernhard of Christ Wash Systems customer service says that cars with a shark fin antenna can go through the car wash. “The vehicles are used extensively and are flawlessly cleaned and dried tens of thousands of times a day in rollovers and car washes,” assures Bernhard. He stresses that in the drying circuit of a rollover, the drying fan is locked several times and that there is no contact with the vehicle surface during normal use. According to Bernhard, several scans follow the contour of the vehicle surface and follow it without making contact. “In addition, for even greater safety, there are safety cut-outs that initiate an override or even a stop of the system technology if the roof sprinkler gets too close to the contours of the vehicle. As a result, the contour of the vehicle is scanned as well as possible by the roof sprinkler.”

Cause unclear

From the point of view of the manufacturer’s technical assessment, Christ cannot explain the damage pattern in this case. “Of course, as a manufacturer, we cannot understand why the shark fin antenna was damaged in this particular case.” In any case, Christ Wash Systems sees no reason for a general restriction on vehicles with shark fin antennas.

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‘Improving the customer experience requires more than an app’ Thu, 16 Sep 2021 05:09:51 +0000 How do you improve the ‘customer experience’ in a carwash? In other words, how do you ensure that customers are satisfied and come back to your location regularly? Superoperator is betting heavily on digitalisation. Thanks to data, you get to know your customer and you can respond to their needs, they say. The Finnish company recently held a webinar on the subject.
The webinar took place at the end of June and can still be viewed (see below). Speakers at the webinar about Superoperator’s customer experience include Mika Alapiessa and Riku Uotinen from the company itself.

Mika Alapiessa is a board member of Superoperator and specialises in digitalisation. He kicks off the webinar. Alapiessa calls digitalisation a ‘key driver’ for the customer experience. “By using technology you can do more washing and make more profit with fewer resources. A good customer experience ensures that the customer will come back next time.”

Making contact

Alapiessa asks viewers how they now make contact with the customer before they come to the location? And how do you make contact afterwards? “If the technology is right, then you have the data to help optimise your business.” Collecting data and interpreting it is exactly what Superoperator does for carwashes.

Riku Uotinen is the chief technology officer of Superoperator. He explains why improving the customer experience is more than just an app on the phone. The whole process of getting a car washed has not changed much over the years – apart from digitising the payment process. “At the end of the day, carwashes still sell the menu as it is on the sign,” he says. “Why not offer one entirely new experience?”

Focused service

Uotinen warns operators that digitalisation must have a function, so you have to think carefully about what you want to do with all the data before you deploy technology. He compares between customer experience and the customer journey. Without the use of technology, the customer journey starts at the car wash location. With technology, it can be anywhere. Customers can check in advance, just from the couch, which services are available, how busy it is at a location and which route is best for them to take. “Knowing your customer and knowing when he wants to do a wash gives you a head start,” says Uotinen.

License plate recognition is a good first step in improving the customer experience, argues Superoperator’s CTO. “All customers are different and have their own needs. By using the digitalised experience, you can make suggestions in terms of wash programme, products, prices… Really tailored to the customer. You can suggest using a wax if you know it’s been a while since your last wash. Or make an offer for the interior cleaning. Those are reasons for customers to come back to that location next time.”

Finally, Uotinen answers an important viewing question: do customers really want to share their data? “As long as they see that data sharing is used to improve service, it’s not a problem for most people.”

Watch the entire webinar (one hour, in English) below.

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‘Electric car to be dominant by 2033’ Wed, 15 Sep 2021 10:40:55 +0000 Research and accounting firm EY thinks that by 2033 the electric car will be dominant in global car sales. That is five years earlier than predicted. In 2045, fuel cars would account for less than 1 per cent of global new car sales.
Demand for electric cars is being driven by government regulations to discourage the use of fuel cars and encourage electric driving to reduce emissions to combat climate change. The researchers expect sales of electric cars to exceed those of petrol or diesel cars in major car markets Europe, the United States and China within 12 years.

Sales listings

For a long time now, the supply has not come solely from Tesla. In fact, Volkswagen, Skoda, Kia, BMW and Volvo now top the Dutch sales charts. General Motors has introduced an electric Hummer, Ford has launched an electric version of its F-150 and is also doing well with its electric Mach E.


Investments in infrastructure for electric driving are also increasing demand for such cars. US President Joe Biden has said he wants to set aside 174 billion dollars to stimulate electric driving. This includes the construction of half a million charging points across the US.

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Christ opens first commercial car wash in China Tue, 14 Sep 2021 10:22:52 +0000 Christ opened its first car wash in China. At the location in Shenzhen, in the south of the country, customers find a Magnum-5 commercial vehicle wash unit and a Ecobus washing system. Both systems do their job very fast.

The German manufacturer of car wash technology sees great opportunities in China for the brand, particularly for automatic washing.

Marc Wittek is responsible for the Asian market. According to him there are big possibilities in China at the moment. The operator chose the hardware of Christ because of the reliability of the brand. Wittek sees great chances for the German brands in China. It will be a growing market in the next years he thinks.

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