Most customers in a Mister Car Wash location bring their cars in without knowing the cleaning solutions used. This is a shame considering that it’s their right and responsibility to know the basics about the products and processes used on their vehicles.
In the following section, we will take a look at the common solutions used in self-serve carwashes. Keep in mind that these are different from the solutions used in touchless carwashes. These can be handled, for one thing, by newbies with the right protective gear and safety mindset, mainly because these have lighter formulations than those used in touchless carwashes.
The presoak solution is obviously formulated to remove the film of dust, dirt and debris on a vehicle’s surface. It’s an important first step in getting a cleaner car, especially when it has been exposed to heavy, oily soil from tar, tree sap, and road oil.
In most self-serve carwashes, the presoak solution has a high pH since it can more easily remove the stubborn oily and greasy soil. It’s also usually an alkaline product.
The soaps used in self-serve carwashes must give several benefits including clean the surfaces, provide good smell, and give a good show through thick foam. For this reason, only high-pressure soaps are used in carwashes, and these are used more for their strength as surfactants than for their alkaline quality.
In most carwashes, too, hot water is used with high-pressure soaps and detergents because their delivery and effectiveness are enhanced with heat.
Detergents, on the other hand, tend to have neutral or low pH but these have a high lubricity; the right lubricity also reduced the risk of hard damage to cars. The combination of qualities makes it easier for the detergents to lift and hold the soil buildup until it has been rinsed off. These products also expedite the drying process.
These are typically the first product that are applied in a self-serve carwash. These are also likely to be alkaline products, and effective for the removal of organic and inorganic buildup on rubber and bake pads, among others.
These are typically the last products that will be applied on your car’s surface, mainly to bring out the shine in the paint. These come in two types, namely: first, a low-pressure wax that acts as a protective layer, as well as smoothen the surface and create lustrous shine; and second, a high-pressure wax adds an extra layer of protection.
In a self-serve car wash, you will obviously apply these products on your car on your own. But if you’re a newbie and you don’t know how, you can always ask the staff for assistance.