10 Essentials to Prepare Your Car Wash for Winter

Winter is coming, and so are chilling temperatures and snow. Freezing temperatures cause expensive damage to your equipment and present hazards to both your customers and employees. However, winter presents an opportunity to add services to your wash packages to increase your revenue per car. Prepare your car wash for winter to reduce repair costs, prevent accidents, and maximize your earnings.

Remove Road Salt from Customer Vehicles

Municipalities often treat roads with de-icing solutions before each snowstorm arrives. Unfortunately, ice prevention treatments not only look bad, they also cause vehicles to corrode and rust. Attract customers to your wash by adding salt removal chemicals to your wash packages and self-serve bays. Two options are Desalt, a liquid salt neutralizer from Simoniz, and Salt Assault from JBS Industries.

5-Gallon Bucket of Simoniz Desalt

Salt Removal Products and Advertising

Rotary Switch Decal – CB034619BL

Windmaster Sing Insert Desalt Sign – WMS122

Windmaster Sign Insert “Salt Eats Your Finish” – WMS120

Simoniz Desalt Banner – TSS9TDS-SD

Simoniz Desalt 5 Gallon Bucket – PA5568

Simoniz Desalt 30 Gallon Drum – DR30568

Simoniz Desalt 55 Gallon Drum – DR55568

JBS Salt Assault – JB5510

Prevent Your Lines and Equipment from Freezing with Anti-Freeze Systems

When temperatures dip below the freezing point, water trapped in your equipment will freeze causing problems such as burst pipes and damage to equipment. Arm your bays with SubZero AnitFreeze Systems and Weep Mizers to prevent freezing in your chemical lines, pipes, and pumps.

Wrap your pipes with Easyheat Freeze Free Cable to avoid bursting. When equipment freezes damage will occur. This will not only cost you money to make repairs, but can also shut down a bay until repairs are completed. As a result, you miss out on the profits normally generated from the closed bay. Prevent your equipment from building up ice to ensure smooth operations during the winter.

Weep Spray Guns Prevent Freezing

Freezing temperatures cause massive damage to spray guns. Weep systems feature a small cutout allowing a constant trickle of water to flow through your system to prevent freezing. Additionally, weep systems keep excessive pressure from building up. If you pump soaps through your weep guns, make sure to use chemicals with anti-freeze included in the formula for an additional layer of freeze defense.

3 Top Selling Weep Gun Options

  1. Kleen-Rite Blue Trigger Weep Gun – GUK600W
  2. Giant Pumps Stainless-Steel Fitting Weep Gun – PU21255
  3. J.E. Adams Blue Trigger Weep Gun – GU0114
Anti-Freeze Infused Foam Brush Detergent

Switch to Detergents with Anti-Freeze

When preparing your car wash for the winter, be sure to include soaps and brush foams with anti-freeze formulas. Winterized chemicals with anti-freeze will not solidify as long as the temperature remains above the minimum temperature specified by the manufacturer. We sell Winter Glow Foam Detergent from JBS Industries. This winterized foam remains a liquid at -50 degrees Fahrenheit and is available in blue, pink, and yellow.

Using detergents and foams with winter formulas prevent damage caused to pipes, hoses, pumps, and other expensive equipment. Anti-freeze soaps and foams also perform better in the cold than those made with standard formulas.

Winter Ready Shampoo

Add Winterized Shampoo Formula to Your Vacuums

Don’t forget to switch your shampoos and fragrances in your vacuums to winterized versions. Using winter formulas will prevent freezing and damage from occurring to your vacuum that dispense fragrances or shampoos. Customers will love being able to use these services even when it’s cold out.

Space Heaters Prevent Your Equipment Rooms from Freezing

Your equipment rooms are the heart of a car wash. Therefore, it is crucial this equipment does not freeze. Installing space heaters is the best solution. We carry high-efficiency gas fired commercial space heaters from Reznor with an 82-83% thermal efficiency.

If you think about it, there is thousands of dollars in equipment housed in your equipment rooms. Compare the cost of replacing half that equipment to the cost of investing in a heater. Heaters from Reznor will cost you no more than your most expensive pump. Additionally, commercial grade space heaters can target specific areas you need heated.

Your equipment room is the most important room to heat, but what about a dog wash? People still need to wash their pups in the winter. Just like bristles on a brush, foam from soaps might freeze on a dog’s fur and the equipment housed in a dog wash is prone to freezing as well. Besides, who wants to wash their dog in the cold. Preventing your equipment from freezing in the winter is crucial to your success during the winter.

Inform Customers of Winter Hazards Using Signs

To prepare your car wash for winter, display signage so customers know problems they might encounter. In a wet environment such as a car wash, ice will form. Deploy signs in your bays to warn customers of slipping hazards.

Foam brushes will experience freezing in cold temperatures. Even anti-freeze infused foam will not stop the bristles from freezing when exposed to other sources of moisture. Signs warn customers that frozen foam brushes will damage vehicles.

Lastly, keep signs on hand to inform customers that your wash is closed due to weather conditions. Posting signs is a best practice and it helps your case should someone slap you with a lawsuit if they slip and fall.

Promote Your Sealants and Coatings

The winter months are tough on vehicles. Customers want to protect their vehicle’s paint from damage caused by rain, sleet, and snow. Encourage your attendants to highlight the benefits of ceramic coatings and sealants during the winter months. When customers see the results, it will boost sales of packages including vehicle protectants.

3 Sealant Options

  1. JBS Blue Ceramic Finish Glow Foam 5 Gallon – JB5322-B
  2. Simoniz Ceramic Sealant Hydrophobic Coating 3 Gallon – S0522005
  3. Simoniz How Wax and Shine 5 Gallon – PA5338
Mothers NuLens Headlight Restorer Kit

Offer Products to Improve Driver Vision

Driving during the winter is dangerous, and even more so when you can’t see the road. Adjust the offerings in your vending machines and retail displays to focus on products designed to clean your customer’s windshield.

A clear windshield is vital for driving safely, especially during snowstorms. Stoner’s Invisible Glass will clean glass surfaces and provide water beading action to keep windshields clear.

Headlights become foggy, which decreases their range. Offer Lens Restorer from Blue Magic so customers can clear up their headlights. Offering convenient, easy to use products to help your customer see better during inclement weather is way to add another revenue stream to your wash.

Equip Your Employees with Cold Weather Gear

Winter is a precarious time of the year that creates numerous risks for your employees. These risks include – but are not limited to – slips, falls, hypothermia and frostbite.

Equip your employees with slip-resistant boots to reduce the chance they will slip on ice. Plus, they provide insulation from the cold. Boot covers also offer slip resistance and protection against the cold.

The colder months involve heavy amounts of precipitation. Employees that are frequently exposed to cold and wet condition are prone to illness. With this in mind, equip your employees with waterproof gear to help them stay warm and dry. A rain suit layered with a winter jacket will keep the rain off employees while keeping them warm.

Be sure to place winter gear in an accessible location for workers to obtain, and remind them it is available for their use. Remind your employees to dress for the cold to protect themselves from the hazards of working outside in the winter.

Winter is a lucrative time of the year for car wash owners. Being prepared for the rush of vehicles after each snowfall will help you take advantage of the extra traffic boosting your revenue. If your competition is not ready for winter, their customers will come to you. Who knows, they may like your wash better, and you will gain new customers all because you made sure to prepare your car wash for winter!

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