Hey Jay! How Do I Choose the Right PreSoak for My Automatic Wash?

While I’m out evaluating washes, Kleen-Rite customers usually trust me to set it up the way I would do it if it was my own wash. Most washes I see feature modern equipment in good working condition. Still, some folks can’t afford to update their washes every time new equipment comes out.

So when it comes to developing a soap plan for car washes that I visit, I take a look at the systems in place. I look to pair presoaks with the existing automatics, instead of suggesting replacing the already-installed – and expensive! – systems. The good news is that Kleen-Rite’s Kleen-Track chemical system can be tailored to almost every car wash situation!

The Go-To Presoak Solution

My go-to option is Presoak System 2, featuring a two-step low pH/high pH method. Kleen-Track 2A is the low pH first step of System 2 and contains phosphoric acid. Dilute to 75-120/1 for best results. The second step, Kleen-Track 2B, is applied after 2A as the second step of System 2 and is formulated with high pH alkalines. It needs to be diluted to 64-90/1.

I recommend System 2 for the majority of IBAs because it tolerates slightly hard water conditions. This removes the need for water softening that may not already be in place. It is middle of the pack as far as aggressiveness in the Kleen-Track presoak systems, without giving up the use of mildly corrosive elements.

Situational Needs

In situations such as older equipment challenging water and soil conditions, I would look at System 1. This system uses more aggressive chemistry to make up for shortcomings elsewhere in the systems. The acidic Kleen-Track 1A liquid presoak contains powerful ammonium fluoride. Available in standard as well as extra-strength concentrated form, it needs to be diluted to 75-120/1. Kleen-Track 1B is the high pH second step of System 1, an alkaline formula to be applied after 1A at dilution to 64-90/1.

Sometimes I work with washes that want to only use a single presoak. In that case, I recommend using the 1B product from the Kleen-Track line. It provides aggressive – but not overly so – high pH effectiveness. This is great for attacking common oils, larger dirt particulates, proteins such as bugs, and heavy grease.

For hybrid/friction washes, I would take a look at Kleen-Rite’s System 3. This two-step process uses non-corrosive chemistry, which makes it particularly great for car dealers with an IBA within their main building.

Kleen-Track 3A is the low pH first step of System 3. It blends surfactants, solvents, and citric acid together in a non-corrosive formula, diluted to 75-120/1. Kleen-Track 3B is the high pH step in System 3. This formula contains both surfactants and alkalines. Apply 3B through your equipment after 3A has already been used. Dilute to 64- 90/1.

Space Saving

Folks with small chemical rooms may not have the space for the 55-gallon drums in the Kleen-Track line. That’s why we offer 4 pre-soaks in our Kleen-Pak line! This line of hyper-concentrates works in Easy-Kleen stations that take up only a fraction of the space of a rack of drums. On top of that, the 2.5-gallon jugs are easy to handle and blend! The high pH concentrate is effective by itself, or as the second part of a two-step concentrate system.

I recommend this system for folks working with a small chemical room footprint. Tt frees up room to add more money-makings products and service, or just makes it easier to work in the room. It’s particularly smart for tight urban car washes. This system will free up space for a dog wash, motorcycle wash, or hard-to-find storage.

Getting the right presoak for your automatic wash gets your clients off on the right foot for wash success! If you have any more presoak questions. or other technical questions about setting up your IBA to be a moneymaker for your wash, please contact myself (Jay Cogley) or Steve Kelly today!

Jay Cogley: [email protected]
Steve Kelly: [email protected]

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