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All in one or two pass cleaning for house washing?

Posted by Trey Miller on Thu, Aug 30, 2012 @ 09:30 AM

This is the second part of the discussion I started last week.

Historically house washes where single step chemical washes made just to try and clean the surface with no other properties being asked for. But now more and more of the industry and customers are wanting more from a house wash. Yes they want clean, but they want mold killing, UV protection, and a shinny appearance of their vinyl siding homes.

As I have stated before most cleaners are alkaline since we live in an acid world but it goes even further than that. Now for a little more of a chemistry lesson here.  High Pressure soap formulations are primarily an anionic (negative) soap. Most of the soils on houses are also anionic in nature so the soap can clean off the dirt (Chemistry 101 says “like dissolves like”).  Un-likes, such as oil and water that repel or can never mix. Once rinsed, the cleaned surface of the exterior will remain slightly anionic.  High Pressure wax formulations are mostly cationic (positive) formulations that are attracted to the anionic cleaned surface of a cleaned house. Just like soil and dirt that are cationic and are also attracted to the just cleaned surface. So should your soap also contain waxes to help prevent this attraction?

Dirty Little Secrets

All in One formulations must contain both soaps and modified waxes to clean and protect the exterior of houses at the same time.  The difficulty comes in two areas:  first, the combination of both anionic and cationic ingredients in an All in one solution tend to bind with each other, reducing both effectiveness of the soap and the wax.  Second, the wax needs to be attracted by the clean surface and is hampered by the soap which is in higher concentrations (typically) than the wax.  An all in one formulation is a compromise usually shifted to cleaning, not protecting.  Some products enhance the wax and reduce the soap ingredients in an attempt to add better protection.  This all adds up to a compromise of properties in All in One formulations.

Example: Wax in Car Washes

You drive through the Car Wash Tunnel and have paid for the Three color wash and wax.  At the end of the tunnel, three streams of different colored foamy substance are squirted on your car just prior to the last rinse.  Magically the last rinse runs off the car and quickly!  You have experienced the Automatic Car Wash “cheater wax” which is not a wax at all.  Worse, weather you pay for the wax or not you will receive a stream of “cheater wax” (most likely in the final rinse) because, as you have seen, it makes the final rinse water run off the car surface quickly, enabling the blowers to more effectively dry the car.  You may get more of this product (or not) when you pay for it.  This product is an emulsion of a solvent and a quaternary ammonium compound (a cousin of your hair cream rinse active ingredient).  It’s attracted to the painted surface of your cleaned car (anionic) and puts a small amount of modified fat on the surface.  Don’t worry, it will not harm your paint job, and lasts at least until the next time the car gets wet.

Two Steps: Use Soap to clean, Wax to protect

Sometimes the compromise between soap and wax can be managed to yield an acceptable result, cleaning the exterior and delivering protection to the surface.  Generally, the results are better with TWO separate steps, using different formulations requiring two passes around the exterior of the house being cleaned. The Wash has no competition in the formulation, and has more than enough soap to clean. The Wax Spray will be attracted to the exterior surface that was just cleaned and will cover more completely. Properly formulated water based Waxes provide better protection of the exteriors and can even repel anionic dust and grime over time, plus be easier to clean the next time.

So shouldn't you also try and get the better results and do each step one at a time? That is for you, your businesses profitability and your customers to decide.

Tags: house washing, Spray Wax

Car wash chemicals from Soap Warehouse

Posted by Linda Chambers on Fri, Jun 18, 2010 @ 10:23 AM

This month our product group focus will be on our Car Wash line.
Many of our products can be used with automated equipment, with pressure washers and with simple hand washing, bucket and sponge applications. Be sure to read the description of the product and know the proper dilutions for your specific equipment.

Proper dilution is the best way to get the results you want at the lowest cost possible.

Let us first look at the soaps that where made to be used in automated systems:

High Foam Cherry – As the name says, this is high foaming car wash with a fresh cherry scent. It was designed to be used in a drive thru system or self serve wash bay but can be used with a pressure washer or by hand washing as well. It rinses well and is pH balanced. It has a wide metering range of 1:150 to 1:8000 depending on your equipment. For example for a self serve system you pre mix 1 gallon of soap to 10 gallons of water and then place that 10 gallons in the system set to meter the mix at 1:35 yielding you 350 gallons of product from that single gallon.

Foamy Brush – This product is extremely high foaming and was made to use in self serve brush bays. It has an even stronger cherry scent then HFC. Metering dilutions are 1:150 to 1:800. It can also be use in a touch less drive thru and is pH balanced too. It can also be ordered in three colors; red, blue and yellow for businesses that need tri color soap washing and is sold in a kit of three 5 gallon tight drums.

We still sell a touch less pre soak but it is not listed on our web site due to its not as big of a seller like our soaps are. If you need this product please call.

If you need only a moderate foaming wash for your self serve bay wands or drive thru then our High Pressure Car Wash is what you would want to try. It has a nice lemon scent and is also pH balanced safe for painted finishes.

We also have specific products like the Foamy Tire, Spray Wax and Rinse Aid for those consumer added product selections for the automatic, self serve and no touch washes. Foamy Tire’s high foam clings well to tire walls and rims to dissolve the brake dust, grease and road grime. Spray Wax is a lemon scented highly concentrated product, 1 oz per 5 gallons of water. It enhances sheeting, discourages spotting and speeds drying time. But for even more of these benefits use our Quick Dry Rinse Aid, when applied in the rinse cycle in automated systems you get even more sheeting of excess water which results in less or shorter blower time needed which can decrease your line time per vehicle.

Now on to a few of our other products;

Wash and Wax is our number one seller for hand wash car detailers. This highly concentrated high foaming product has acrylic polymers that leave a great shine. The wash quickly penetrates, emulsifies and removes heavy dirt leaving a high gloss shine that will not spot chrome.

Bay Wash is just that a chemical to wash and clean your wash bays. This is a highly acid product and all safety measures must be followed but this will take years off a neglected property or will keep your nice one looking great for years to come. This will clean and brighten painted block, brick, tile, vinyl and masonry without damage when used as directed. It will remove the soap scum from walls, grease and oils from the track lines and concrete floors that came from the passing vehicles through your system. Nothing turns a wash customer off more than seeing a dirty looking facility. How can you clean their car when you can’t even keep your own property clean? This is a very hazardous cleaner and although it is listed in the non automated offerings it is in no way to be applied with bare hands. Please read the MSDS and follow all safety measures with this acid product.

I hope this makes you aware of what we have to offer and if you need something we did not write about, please call, we may have it or will be able to have it made for you.

Have a great day.

Tags: car wash soap, car wash detergent, chemicals for automated car wash, High Foam Cherry, Spray Wax

How to Make your chemical dollar go further Suggestion #3

Posted by Linda Chambers on Sun, Jun 08, 2008 @ 09:00 AM


Our third suggestion is to stretch your cleaner as far as you can to still get the results you need. Most people, pressure washers included, tend to think more is better. Twice the dirt means you should use twice the cleaner, and that is just not true. Many times the more soap you add the harder it gets to get it clean. Sometimes all you need is hotter water to make the soap you already have do the job better. That is why our dilution rates are doubled with cold water. Turn up the heat and you will increase the cleaning power of the soap you already are using. Always first start a job with the least amount of chemical you think it will take and work up. Do not start high and think you can work down. Most operators will never dial it down to the same lower level that they could have cleaned with had they started the other way. This has also been proven in washer tests.

Sometimes all you need for the soap to work well is softer water. You can spend pennies per gallon on a water softener like our “So Soft” that will help your soap work better. It will also promote the sheeting off of water for vehicles and houses to dry faster. Or our "Booster" that will stretch the amount of soap you use. Adding "Quick Dry" to rinse water also aids in the sheeting action or our "Spray Wax" to leave cars or vinyl siding with a nice shine.

Please add your comments on how you save on product cost, additives you might put in like bleach or any other suggestions. Also if you have any questions about these suggestions as to how we can help you save money, just ask.

Tags: Cost savings, So Soft, Booster, Quick Dry, Spray Wax

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