Car Wash - Spring 2015 - (Page 106)

Blast Past F R O M We occasionally provide excerpts from The Great American Car Wash Story. Former ICA Executive Director Gus Trantham and veteran commercial writer John Beck wrote this book in 1994. It represents the most complete history we have found of the industry in North America. Enjoy. 106 T H E CHAPTER 59 CLEAN DEPARTURES WITH SPOT-FREE RINSE From the beginning, the operators at many exterior tunnel washes knew they had a problem. No matter how good a job they did OT washing cars and trying to blow off the water, cars that emerged to roll away with customers at the wheel would have some drops remaining that didn't blow off. And what might happen to be in those drops was the problem. Absolutely pure water was fine, but most water supplied from out of the mains or local wells would contain a certain amount of dissolved salts, and when such drops evaporated on an unwiped car, spotting would occur. This spotting might be negligible, or it could be horrendous enough to make customers scream, depending upon the total dissolved solids in the rinse water. And also depending upon the color of the car, black being the worst offender for showing up those tiny white spots. Some operators, of course, were just plain lucky. They operated in areas with soft water that was so free of minerals that spotting never became a problem. Early in the game, others would just put a couple of towel people at the exit to give enough swipes to eliminate most of the problem drops, but then this wasn't helping to solve the labor problem. CAR WASH MAGAZINE | WWW.CARWASH.ORG | SPRING 2015 Early experiments proved that water softening and ordinary mechanical filter systems, such as sand beds, did not provide enough of an answer to reducing the TDS in the rinse water. While the carwash industry was working on solving this spotting condition, there was a very interested audience watching on the fringes, itching to offer solutions to this unwanted spottir1g problem. These were the water technology experts, some of whom knew that there was a way of filtering out the unwanted dissolved solids. Others knew about a way of doing it electrically. Soon these water experts started to work on the systems that all present-day carwash pros know as RO, or DI, which - for the uninitiated - are the acronyms for Reverse Osmosis and for Deionization. It wasn't until the mid sixties that RO and DI appeared in enough car washes to make it possible to find out how successful these systems could be in turning out spot-free cars from exterior tunnels on an economical basis. It had been proven that it could be done, but would it be too expensive, and would customers appreciate the difference? At first, most operators would charge something extra for such spot-free rinse as an extra service. When they kept track of sales and customer reactions, it was quickly discovered that - far from complaining customers would ask for it regardless of the extra cost. They could see the big difference in the way their cars were spot-free. At the time of this writing, spot-free rinse is becoming such a standard aspect of service that most of those who use it just increase the basic price of their wash and then provide a spot-free rinse as the final arch before the blower for every customer. http://WWW.CARWASH.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Spring 2015

Letter from the ICA
Meet the Board
By the Numbers
Overheard Online
Trends in car wash design
Creativity & innovation: the myth of the lightning bolt
Better by design
Revamping the retail experience
The importance of purpose in pursuit of extraordinary outcomes
Efficient offices for car wash owners/ managers
Risk vs. Reward
Marketing with a purpose
Building a legacy
2014 Consumer Study
2014 Annual Report
Dealing with bad online reviews
Wash ideas with Perry Powell
How can you take your social media to the next level?
Building strong work teams helps your bottom line
The Apple way
Making better business decisions: the critical thinking advantage
Do you know your perfect customer?
10 tips for D.I.Y. recruiting
Businesses victimized by cyber crime: the loss may be theirs
Take a Tour
Unsung (car wash) hero
Blast from the Past
Ask Champ
Download It!
Index of Advertisers
Focus on the Members

Car Wash - Spring 2015