How do I get the best results on windows and glass in my in-bay automatic?
It’s certainly important to make sure that your IBA is sufficiently cleaning the glass on the vehicles you’re servicing. You can leave painted surfaces, wheels, tires, and headlights totally cleaned and shining brightly, but if a customer is sitting in their car after the wash staring at bits of crud and water spots on their window they’re going to be dissatisfied. A poor window cleaning can easily be the first thing they notice, and they’ll be leaving with a negative opinion of your wash if that happens.
Fortunately, there are some pretty easy things you can do to make sure your customers’ windows look amazing after visiting your automatic bay!
As with all aspects of the car wash, getting clean glass starts with the quality of your water. You can break up dirt and grime as much as you want, but if you don’t have clean, fresh water rinsing those materials away from the glass surface, results will be subpar. Water spotting will also be a huge problem if you’re using bad water. Not only are you not rinsing properly, but you’re also introducing new solid material to the surface of the glass.
Having a well-functioning reverse osmosis (RO) system and water softener is crucial to the integrity of your water. For RO systems, we carry top manufacturers like GinSan, Air Logic, and ProPower. Kleen-Rite offers excellent water softener options from Diamond H2O and ProPower. As long as you have an understanding of your volume and pressure requirements, it should be easy to find the RO and water softener models that fulfill your needs.
Presoak for Success
Once your water situation is squared away, there is the matter of your presoak step, when the bulk of cleaning occurs. The approach that assures clean glass is a two-step low pH and high pH presoak strategy. Acidic (low pH) presoak will break up oxidized solids, inorganic salts, and metallic particles. An alkaline (high pH) presoak tackles dirt particulates, fats, proteins, heavy grease, and oils. Using both pH levels provides a more effective wash overall, including the windows and glass.
There’s also the matter of protecting the window surface once it has been cleaned. Paying customers expect that their windows will remain clean for a certain amount of time after the wash. Simoniz Dri-Brite is a drying agent that also acts as a sealant. It dries surfaces fast to avoid water spots, provides excellent water beading, and provides an attractive sheen. Simoniz Vision Clear is a silicone-based product that seals the window surface and fills microscopic pores. That seal repels water and provides beading abilities.
Use these tips and I’m confident you’ll see amazing window and glass results on the vehicles using your in-bay automatic!
For previous FAQs with Gary, check out: