Customer had contacted us looking for a cleaner/wax to clean their delivery trucks. Later they were still having what they were calling an issue to remove greasy fingerprints on their delivery trucks. But after finally asking for photos the true issue became clear.
Diamond Springs Water, a spring water company, was having cleaning issues in their Raleigh, North Carolina location with their delivery trucks. The products they had been using was not giving them the finish they desired for their customer image.
They contacted us through our website contact page. With this message:
"We have a fleet of beverage body trucks. We are looking for a cleaner/wax solution for cleaning our trucks. We use a portable pressure washer, and can siphon the detergent or spray directly on the vehicles. Can you tell us which product would work the best for us? "
What Products Were Used
We first suggested if highly dirty between washings to use our White Lighting and our Spray Wax. If not too dirty then to use the Blue Lighting instead. This combination would clean without harming the current finish, give a short term protective wax finish and the wax would make the subsequent washings faster as the new dirt would come off easily with the wax before a new spray wax coat was applied with the new final rinse.
We also suggested for their trucks that currently had a nice finish to use our Big Rig Brite that contains added water softeners and sheeting action to prevent spotting. Spray Wax would normally not be needed but could be used with it.
They ordered samples of the Blue Lighting, Big Rig Brite and Spray Wax.
Initial test washings went well but had specific cleaning needs for :
- Truck chrome
- Truck exhaust stacks
- Painted wheels
For the painted wheels we suggested our stronger Brown Derby, but would have to be used carefully if used for the exhaust stacks if they are polished aluminum or chrome, to go with the White Lightning or could instead try a Butyl degreaser like our Mighty Max both that would be safe for those surfaces . We also offered our spray bottles of Stainless Steel Cleaner that also cleans polished aluminum and chrome.
They ordered samples of all three washes.
The testing went well and they followed up with two orders of larger sizes of washes plus tried the Stainless Steel Cleaner and samples of some interior detailing products.
Then came the last issue.
"Our trucks are primarily white with blue striping. We are having a hard time removing grease/dirt fingerprints from the roll-up doors. Do you have anything that may help?
We have tried, Blue Lightning, White Lightning, and Brown Derby, so far nothing is working.
We then sent them a sample of the Mighty Max Plus degreaser and that did not help. By their next email we were having a hard time understanding how none of the products they had tried was not removing greasy fingerprints and why would water delivery drivers have greasy hands? So we asked for photos B&A washing if possible of the fingerprints on the trucks and this is what we were showed;
Now we had a better idea of what was going on, oxidation! The white and blue paint on these older units had lost all the protective coating and due to the UV rays had faded and was chalking out the paint. The drivers where putting their hands in the white paint chalk and redistributing it down into the blue painted areas. The white paint was also running down into the blue just from rain and daily moisture.
Normal truck washes can not help or cure this issue. High Alkaline washes actually allow the exposed failing paint to be loosened up even more, as the ingredients in them are what are used in most paint strippers.
The only course of action is to properly buff out and remove the oxidation, then once a new paint layer is exposed apply a long lasting protective sealing coat or wax or if not enough paint is left to have the vehicles completely repainted and sealed. Once that is done then using our safe finish wash products, like the White or Blue Lightning and wax, Spray Wax, will keep up and extend the life of the new paint finish.
In the photos they also included one of a newer truck with this issue, water streaking.
Here the issue was a much simpler one. Water trails and spots like this are usually caused by hard water, by the washer using too strong of a soap per water ratio allowing ingredient solids in the wash to deposit during drying or by letting the soap solution dry on the surface before proper rinsing.
The way to figure this out is to examine when this is happening. If the wash is not drying before rinsing, and the dilution ratios have been followed then the hardness of the water used to rinse or to mix up the concentrated product prior to or during washing must be considered the reason and checked out.
You can check for hard water by reading the water report of the water source, every year by law this information must be posted or given out when asked for. You can also buy and use hard water test strips or machines that can be bought commercially.
Hard water can be remedied by adding soft water additives like our So Soft to the water, or mechanical means by putting all water used though a softening system. Sheeting action products like our Quick Dry can also aid in allowing the rinse to not stand but bead up and fall off not allowing water with trace minerals from drying and creating spots and tracks on the painted surface.
We suggested they look into having these trucks with the failing paint professional buffed and waxed or sealed, or if possible a new paint job. That once this was done to continue to use our safe finish washes and spray wax to extend the life of the new finish and if they are having hard water issues to get some of our So Soft and or Quick Dry if they did not want to install a more permanent mechanical system fix.
and Future Plans
Diamond Springs Water answered that they agreed with our assessment of the problems and would try a few of our suggestions and would be ordering more soap again soon. Thanking us again for everything we had been helping them with over the last six months.