The Ultimate Carwash Experience

Everything you need to know about a car wash (part 1)


Car washes come in different shapes and sizes. As a chemical supplier, we see them passing by every day. But how did these car washes actually come about? And what different types of car washes are there? We dived into some history and made an overview of the various car washes.

Carwash Cartec

The history of the car wash

The first car drove around in 1885. Naturally, it had to be kept clean. After years of washing by hand, in the early nineteenth century there was the sublime idea of building a car wash. And so in 1914 there was the first automatically washed car in the United States. But it was not yet fully automatic. People pushed the car through the car wash themselves. At each part they stopped, washed and pushed again.


Back to today. What types of car washes are there?

So much for the history lesson. How do car washes work today? In the world of car washes, there are a few major differences. First, the chemistry that is used there. And second, of course, the car wash itself. There are roll-overs, tunnel car washes and jet washes. Welcome to the wonderful world of the car wash.

The options in a roll-over car wash

In a roll-over, the machine rolls over the car while the car stands still. In this way, the car is washed and dried. These machines are often located next to a gas station. In the Netherlands there are more than 1100 roll-over car washes. A big advantage of a roll-over is that it can run stand alone and does not require any staff. With a good payment system next to it, this is ideal.

Modern roll-over car washes have many different washing options that the customer can choose from. These include intensive pre-cleaning, rim cleaning, polishing, waxing and the use of high pressure. The machine follows the contours of the car making it cleaner than before.

Another common option is bottom wash cleaning. The underside of the car is an important part. Therefore, it is good to wash it (or have it washed) regularly. This option is often also present at a roll-over car wash, as is the application of a protective wax layer on the car.

Washing the car in a tunnel car wash

Tunnel car washes are not nearly as common as roll-overs. In this type of car wash, the car is pulled through the wash installation. This is done by means of a chain or a conveyor belt. In this process, the washing arches and other parts are fixed. With large tunnel car washes, there are a lot of options available. Often this type of car wash consists of soaking arches, rims cleaning, foam arches, lava arches, bottom washing, multiple brushes, polish, wax and of course a good drying agent.

All of these options can quickly give a large tunnel car wash a length of 200 feet. Once the exterior of the car is clean, there is often still the option to clean and care for the interior. Vacuuming, spraying a Carfum, window and dashboard cleaning, there are many options. There are also locations with employees who can do the interior job for you.

Chemistry is one of the factors that makes a car wash successful. With the right chemistry, a car wash provides a better end result and the cars come out dry and shiny. Read here why Carwash Club Neerpelt chooses the Royal Care products of Cartec.

As Cartec, we believe in the power of simplicity for our product lines. A compact line with clear names, colors, scents and products of the highest quality.

Washing the car yourself in a do-it-yourself wash box

The customer can do it himself at one of the wash bays a country has to offer. Pre-cleaning, foaming, washing, polishing, waxing and spot-free rinsing. The car can usually be rinsed with osmosis water. With this water, the car does not have to be dried, and so the car dries up spotless and streak-free.

Carwash washbox

What happens when a car enters the car wash

The car goes through four steps when it is washed. Whether the car is washed in an automatic car wash, or in a wax box. Read all about it in our next blog.

Lotte Willemsen

Lotte Willemsen

In-house photographer and online marketer at Cartec. Likes clean cars, well written texts and sharp pictures.


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