Car Valeting Equipment – a Quick Guide
Car valeting refers to deep cleaning inside and out, usually needing a bit more than a bucket and sponge. In some cases, the aim is to bring the car back to “showroom” condition, a not inconsiderable task for some vehicles, but with the right equipment, you can achieve that – or at least get close!
COVID-19 car interior cleaning update
The 2020 Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it a requirement to not only keep interior surfaces clean, but also to sanitise them to stop the spread of viruses like COVID-19.
Particularly where cars and other vehicles may be used by multiple people, e.g. taxis, hire cars, delivery vans and lorries, they require cleaning and sanitising between users.
Government guidance on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) specifically refers to people working in or from vehicles, and has a lot of useful information aimed at keeping the vehicle clean, to prevent transmission by touching contaminated surfaces.
We also recommend using a chemical fogger, with an appropriate antiviral disinfectant, inside cars and drivers’ cabs. In small areas, foggers can work very quickly, permeating all of the awkward areas and sanitising all surfaces in just a few minutes.
If you have access to a compressed air supply, the Air-Fog 10 Vehicle Fogger is an efficient and economical solution.
Vehicle valeting – exterior cleaning
There are a variety of cleaning machines available for car or vehicle valeting, whether for personal use or a part of a commercial enterprise.
Steam cleaners for vehicles: Particularly versatile pieces of equipment, steam cleaners can be used to clean various parts of a vehicle. Often forgotten, the engine can benefit from a steam clean and a steam cleaner can also be used to clean the bodywork with minimum water usage, avoiding water pollution, particularly where a vehicle is cleaned near to a water course. You’ll be amazed at how new your car or van will look once you’ve steam cleaned.
Jet washers/pressure washers: These high-pressure devices will make light work of difficult dirt and are available as hot or cold versions, as well as static and plumbed or portable units. High-pressure cleaners may also be referred to as water bowsers, don’t get this confused with a straightforward water container that you might need for refills. Note: Water containers from the smaller 100 litre water trolley to the larger 1,000 litre static tank are available, should you need one.
Static Pressure washers: These are typically used to clean commercial vehicles and are popular with fleet managers. Static pressure washers are fixed in place, so the vehicles are driven up to them. They usually have frost protection and security systems, so can be left outside. For example, see the Nilfisk Truck Booster, ideal for heavy-duty vehicle cleaning.
See a selection of static pressure washers here.
Chemicals: You will be able to increase the efficient working of most of your equipment by adding appropriate chemicals. For internal and external car or vehicle valeting, you will find a range of products that address a multitude of needs. For example, multi-cleaners, glass polishers, alloy wheel cleaners, rubber cleaners, plastic & bumper dressings, leather dressings, tar and glue removers, brake and clutch cleaners and fabric upholstery cleaners.
Car Valeting – upholstery cleaning
This is an important part of the full car cleaning process. A vacuum cleaner will remove surface dirt but for thorough cleaning an extraction machine is normally used for this process. A warm chemical solution is sprayed onto the carpets and/or upholstery and then immediately vacuumed off with an integral vacuum motor. This minimises the depth that the liquid penetrates so that the surfaces dry quickly.
The use of a high quality detergent with a carpet and upholstery extraction machine is very important because the chemicals must react very quickly to allow the dirt to be removed using the suction of the extraction machine.
An alternative machine to an extraction machine is a dry steam cleaner which uses a jet of super heated steam and a micro-fibre cloth.
The range of equipment available for cleaning cars is quite extensive, so if you need advice on the most suitable cleaning equipment for your needs, give us a call, we’re happy to help.
Setting up a car valeting business?
Mobile vehicle valeting businesses have become very popular in recent years, with relatively low start up costs and the opportunity to provide a valuable service for busy customers. With the right equipment, a professional car valeter can do the job much more quickly and efficiently than the car owner themselves, so it’s a popular service.
Whilst many vehicle valeting start-ups will focus on domestic customers at first, an opportunity for growth could be to work with companies, where there are multiple vehicles which need to be kept clean and fresh, like taxi firms, car rental companies for example, or offices with staff parking.
It’s essential to have the right equipment for professional vehicle valeting, to clean both exteriors and interiors, and we can provide everything that’s needed, including special tools and accessories and detergents.
There is a wide range of equipment available, so it can be difficult to make your choice. That’s why we’ve put together some special bundles of vehicle cleaning equipment and detergent, to get things off to a good start.
Article updated by Ian Hodkinson 10th July 2020