Make Your Car Wash Vacuums More Customer-Friendly

Your customers will likely want to vacuum the interior of their vehicles when getting a car wash. Having a clean car inside and out is a priority for many patrons. Car wash owners know that success in the industry means paying attention to details and maximizing value from equipment. Your car wash vacuums are a perfect example of this idea. Here are some ways you can easily improve the customer experience of your car wash vacuums so they are more user-friendly!

Placing Vacuums in Areas that are Convenient for Customers

Optimal car wash vacuum placement can be very different from business to business. You should think about your property layout and clientele before installing any new vacuums (or re-positioning existing vacuums).

  1. Don’t put vacuums too close together. All vacuums should be easily usable at the same time to accommodate busy periods.
  2. Can your vacuums be seen from car wash bays and/or the road? If you find a spot where both are possible, that might be your best bet. If you can’t do both, at least have your vacuums visible from one of those spots.
  3. Avoid placing vacuums in areas that might cause traffic confusion. Don’t block entrances or exits, obstruct other car wash services, etc.
  4. Should you place/move your vacuums very close to car wash bays? This means your customers barely have to go anywhere to clean their interior after their exterior wash.
Red car wash vacuum canopy

Think creatively about vacuum placement and come up with the exact plan that is best for your business! Take input from others who may have interest or experience in planning out your layout. Don’t hesitate to talk to car wash industry experts. Even a survey of your customers can help you to get the most out of your machines! Make sure you utilize the proper signage as well – we carry a wide variety of directional and instructional signage to show your customers the way!

Canopies and Awnings for Vacuums

Adding a canopy or awning to vacuum areas offers some protection from bright sun or light showers. It also adds impressive visual appeal to your lot and serves as an advertisement for your vacuuming services. As an added bonus, canopies and awnings also protect your vacuum equipment from the elements.

Always Have Convenient Trash Receptacles that are Emptied Frequently

There are a variety of car wash trash covers and enclosures that can be put on your lot to keep litter to a minimum. Customers love having a nearby receptacle to get rid of any garbage that they remove from their vehicle while vacuuming the interior. Make sure to consistently empty these receptacles, either yourself or by employing a lot attendant. This adds a level of respect and cleanliness to your car wash. This will result in repeat customers and great consumer reviews.

Offer Premium Vacuum Service

On busy days, your vacuums might have a long line of customers. This may be good for business, but can be frustrating for customers. Having a staff member on-location to provide vacuuming service at a premium price can help to alleviate lines at the other vacuums while offering a full-service option at your self-serve car wash. In this case, you should consider adding a push button car wash vacuum from industry leading brands like J.E. Adams or Industrial Vacuum Systems (IVS). Your employee can easily flip the machine on and off – without coins or tokens – while servicing vehicles.


Regardless of which tips you use, improving the overall vacuum experience at your car wash will make your customers happy and keep them coming back all year long!

(Originally posted December, 2013; updated June, 2021)

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