Water Softener Use In Mobile Auto Detailing

What is considered hard water and what are the degrees of hardness? Well very hard water would be 10.5 grains per gallon and 180 parts per million and above. But you need to realize that even moderately hard water of 3.5 to 7 grains per gallon and 60-120 parts per million will leave hard water spots. Slightly hard water such as 1 to 3.5 grains per gallon and 17.1 to 60 part per million will not leave noticeably hard water spots that you cannot cure with a chamois. But really as a professional auto detailer you are really looking for soft water of less than 1 grain per gallon and 17 parts per million.

What Makes The Water Hard?

Hardness in water is caused calcium and magnesium ions that form insoluble compounds; sometimes iron and even aluminum. There are many ways to soften water. Some are more complicated than others; Aeration, De-Ionization or ion-exchange, Distillation, Reverse Osmosis or Softening.

Softening by use of a water softener is the simplest concept used today; water softeners replace hardness ions like calcium and magnesium with sodium or non-scaling ions. The ion exchange resin used in the process is recharged periodically with salt drawn from a storage tank. Many water treatment experts agree and Lance Winslow concurs that softening can be most cost effective when the water has as few as one to five grains per gallon of hardness. Most mobile operators will be happy with one to three grains per gallon of hardness and probably won’t even purchase a softening unit until the hardness is five plus grains per gallon. Their theory is well taken because, if the total dissolved solids (TDS) is that low, there will be little water spotting on cars anyway.

One reason to put in a water softener even if your water is 5 gpg or less is because you wish to prevent scaling in the coils of your steam cleaner or save your pressure washing pump on your auto detailing rig. On a cold water machine, this is not as important because 5 gpg or less won’t ruin a pump. More than five can over time.

Hardness also hinders soap from doing its job. You may notice that your soaps are not cleaning properly. That’s because they are cleaning the water first and combining with the compounds in the water rather than the dirt on the car. You see, the hardness in the water has a tendency to neutralize those cleaning compounds and you have to actually use more soap to offset the neutralizing effect of the hardness minerals.

With hard water, you will use more soap and the cars still aren’t clean. I encourage you to talk to your soap vendors for helpful advice on water chemistry and treatment requirements. Your soap strategy should be custom tailored to your city and the hardness of the water you put in your tank.

Most independent auto detailing professionals agree that areas with hard water will also cause a film on cars that are washed when no softener is used. They also agreed at the annual conference that the decision to purchase a softener should be based on a real water test. You might wish to contact a water treatment dealer such as: Rain Soft, Culligan, Apollo, Calgon, Rayne water Systems or the Water Man in your area. They can help you by having the local water tested or ask city water authority for information on their supply. Once your decision is made to purchase a softener, selecting the proper equipment is easy. Softener sizes should be based upon two factors: Flow Rate (GPM) and Grains Per Gallon (GPG).

Flow rate would typically be six to eight gpm (gallons per minute) with your hose at your residence. We recommend you change your pressure regulator to 90-110 PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch). This would give you approximately ten gpm. So you need a water softener that is a little bigger than the basic model.

Water softeners are basically like refrigerators; says Car Wash Guys Founder Lance Winslow;

“They could last two years or twenty years…and a lot depends on how much goes in and how often it comes out.”

This is why you should monitor softening equipment. You can test the hardness with a testing kit or just pay attention when you’re washing cars. Steel softening tanks last for years. Fiberglass units last well also. Plastic units crack. You may need to change resin every couple of years.

Chances are you will choose to rent softeners for $30 per month and let the exchange company recharge them for you. Be careful when hiring water softener vendors. Ask us for help. You may even be able to trade services for water softening rental plus make money on the account because water softener rental companies have lots of delivery trucks. In any case think on these issues when considering a water softening strategy for your mobile car wash or auto detailing business.

Mobile Auto Detailing Public Relations and Promotional Events

Many times small business mobile auto detailing companies fall short in their promotions and public relations. Generally one could attribute this to the fact that business is always good and cars in the United States are quite plentiful, even more than people. In fact there are 1.2 cars for every man, woman and child in this country, including all the school buses, postal jeeps, delivery vans and police cars. Think about it; all the boats, motorcycles, trailers, motor homes, SUVs, mini-vans and cars? Sure there is a lot of business to be had indeed. But certainly since it is a cash business for the most part, there is no reason you cannot run it like a real business and grow it to a large endeavor. Here are some promotional ideas:

Call up a radio station.

Find out when their next event will be. Offer to wash everyone’s car who shows up. Tell them you will even wash the radio station van. They will announce on the radio all week that “Joe’s Mobile detailing and Car Wash” are washing cars at location X for free. Show up and bring the whole family.” Yes, you will be working your little rear end off all day, but the referrals and good will and future customers will be enough to add a second or third unit to your little company.

Blood Drive.

Offer to wash anyone’s car that shows up for a blood drive providing it will be a big turn out. Challenge your local car wash and any other competitors to a competition, who can get the most people under 25 to donate blood. ‘Alert the media’ to the event. Use a public official – the mayor, etc. – to judge the contest. Don’t charge customers. Make it a real big event. Go for quality and number of units washed in one hour or in thirty minutes. Even if you lose, it’s great publicity.

Look if you want to win the promotional game, you must think out side the box, so what are you waiting for anyway? Embossment on an invite; please that is ridiculous. Get out there and kick butt.

Auto Detailing – What Does It Involve?

Auto detailing is not the same as washing your car. When you have your car auto detailed, they will clean your car inside and out. When finished, your car will look as if it is brand new. Some of tasks involved in auto detailing include polishing, waxing, and cleaning of the interior and exterior of the car along with removing debris and stains. To become an auto detailer you need to have a keen eye for the tiniest of details.

Exterior auto detailing

When detailing the exterior of your car starts by cleaning your rims and wheels of dirt and dust. Once this is done, the detailers will treat the tire sidewalls and polishing the rims. If there is any wax residue is left around the chrome plates or decals on the vehicle it is carefully wiped away. They may even treat the windows with a rain repellent. They will also clean the engine using degreasers or by steam. The underside of the rails and hood are polished after being cleaned. They will wash, clean, and wax the exterior of your car, including cleaning the lights.

Interior auto detailing

When detailing the inside of your car they will thoroughly vacuum your car, including the upholstery, and mats. This part of the job can include using a number of different products. It depends on the condition of the inside of your car. They can use rug shampoo, spot cleaners, and upholstery foam cleaner. If the car has cloth seats they may use a wet/dry vacuum on them to help remove most stains. It also makes your seats and carpet look new, with the exception of existing physical damage. The vinyl areas inside your car like the console, dashboard, and door panel trim are cleaned. Then they are treated with conditioner in order to keep the vinyl pliable. The gas and brake pedals are also cleaned. They are not conditioned to prevent your foot from slipping off the pedal. The covering over the speedometer, gas gauge, and other gauges are also cleaned. To ensure that the slats of the heater and air conditioning vents are clean they often use Q-tips. Q -tips also are used to clean the seams in the console that collect dirt and dust. All of the interior glass is thoroughly cleaned and washed, making sure that there is no film or streaking that can reflect impair the driver’s vision from nighttime headlights or low angles of sunlight.

Cost of auto detailing

Auto detailing can range from $100 to as much as $275. It depends on the size of the vehicle, the package you choose, and if you want to add any extras such as a special conditioner. Some shops may base their price on how dirty your vehicle is.

Preserve Your Car With Thorough Interior And Exterior Auto Detailing

For most people, a car is more than a means of transport. It is a prized possession, an asset and a valuable investment. If you think back to your proudest moment with your car, in all probability, it will be when the vehicle was brand new, looking its best. Indeed, nothing can match the look, smell and feel of a new car.

To keep the car looking and functioning like brand new, you must ensure its regular upkeep which should not be limited to the mechanical part. Preserving the vehicle’s exterior and interior is equally important to get maximum driving pleasure from it. Moreover, the way you maintain your car also reflects on you, your sensibilities and attitude towards life. This is why auto detailing must form a part of routine maintenance of your car.

Car detailing involves cleaning it scrupulously inside and out and polishing and waxing to try restoring it to its original glory. It is required for enhancing the ownership experience, and maintaining the vehicle’s curb appeal and high resale value. To make sure that a thorough job of detailing is performed on your automobile, it is advisable to have it done by a professional. If you log to a local business directory, you can come across a number of companies offering customized car wash and detailing services in your area. You can read up online reviews and get in touch with a few of these auto detailing service providers to decide upon the right professional to work on your car.

The main things that you gain by professional car detailing are:

  • Improved appearance: The accumulated dust and grime are removed by washing the car. Waxing and polishing help preserve the paint and retain the shiny look of the car. Good exterior detailing helps maintain the vehicle’s beautiful and impressive appearance.
  • Less wear & tear; fewer repairs: Timely cleaning of the upholstery and floor mats and regular conditioning, waxing and polishing of the dashboard improves their longevity. The likelihood of repair or replacement of these things is also greatly reduced.
  • More comfort to car occupants: A regularly shampooed and vacuumed car is bound to be more comfortable to travel in than a grimy and smelly vehicle.
  • Car odor removal: The interiors of any vehicle acquire peculiar and undesirable odors over time. Proper interior detailing helps remove such odors and keeps the car smelling fresh.
  • Better resale value: A well cared for car with preserved paint and clean interiors is easier to sell and fetches better price as it appeals instantly to the prospective buyers.

The quality of detailing has an effect on your experience with the car. Get expert car detailing services to preserve your car and get enjoyment from driving it.