Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Vehicle cleaning a good business

Published:Sunday | October 18, 2015 | 10:00 AM
A motor vehicle being washed by hand.
A car covered in soap before being washed off.
Dirt being removed from a vehicle's interior using the easier, technological way.
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Owning a car is a big undertaking, as drivers cough up large sums to purchase and maintain their automobiles, then eventually (in most cases) sell them. The moment a vehicle is driven off the dealership's lot, owners are faced with an onslaught of recurring expenses for gas, insurance, servicing and registration.

Eager to protect their cars and trucks, owners are willing to invest in alarms and covered garages, as well as a simple and cost-effective measure - cleaning.

"Cleaning is an important tool for the upkeep of your automobile," said Meisha-Gay Mattis, general manager at Mobile Xpress. "Sticking to a regular cleaning routine will help to extend the life of your vehicle and preserve its value," she explained.

For intrepid entrepreneurs, that means there is money to be made in the automotive detail and wash business. Locally, professional service providers are operating car washes, with some offering a mobile option, and a few companies are running drive-through systems. To protect their investment, drivers are willing to spend good money to properly maintain their vehicles. Many owners recognise cleaning as an easy solution for preserving the physical appearance and mechanical condition of their cars and trucks. With their vested interest coupled with the fact that cleaning is ongoing activity, successful automotive detail and wash companies stand to benefit from repeat business and loyal customers.

Achieving success within this sector ultimately depends on good service and equipment. With technology replacing basic washcloths and buckets, the cleaning process is now quick and simple, reducing project timelines for employees and wait times for clients.

Today's car care specialists are using power washers (often by the German brand Karcher) to remove dust, oil and smoke exhaust from exterior surfaces. A favourite amongst industry professionals, hot water power washers can also be used to effectively clean engines without damaging sensitive electrical components. Compared to their cold water counterparts, these machines are 40 per cent more efficient and by operating at lower pressure point, are less likely to destroy a vehicle's paint job.

For interior surfaces, Karcher's wet/dry vacuums are effective for clearing floor mats, seats, dashboards and AC vents of unwanted materials. Unlike regular vacuum cleaners, these machines are able to collect both dirt particles and liquids. Additionally, certain classes of the equipment boast a self-cleaning system, which helps to clear dust from the filters. This action is essential as good filters capture dust, preventing it from recirculating in the air, and protect the machine's motor, prolonging its service life.

To combat tough stains and stubborn marks, Karcher's shampoo machines offer intensive, restorative cleaning. It applies water and chemicals to a textile surface and, after some time, the cleaning agent breaks down the foreign matter and the residual mixture is removed. These powerful machines rid vehicles of deep-rooted pollutants and unsightly blemishes, helping to restore the appearance and maximise resale value.

"For individuals looking to start their own company the cleaning industry is an exciting area to explore," said Jonathan Swire, general manager at Delta Supply Company Limited. "To take advantage of local business opportunities, budding entrepreneurs must have the right tools. We understand there are many cleaning brands in the marketplace and it may be overwhelming to source the right products."