Using Colour to Give Your Carwash a Fresh, New Makeover that Grabs Attention

Changing tunnel wash brush and hangdown colours tells customers you are upgrading your facilities to take better care of their vehicles

By Del Williams

For tunnel wash owners, one of the easiest ways to give their business an instant visual makeover that will catch customers’ attention is by changing out all the cloth hangdown, foam and brushes at once, instead of a few at a time.  When these materials are worn out and need to be replaced anyway, this is a zero-cost proposition. The only choice is which colour best reflects the brand or stands out the most.  

The visual upgrade is all the more striking when all the items are changed at the same time, which can give customers the impression that you have invested in brand new equipment to enhance the wash.  Even if this means switching out some materials before they are fully worn out, the cost is nominal in comparison to the benefits which can include new customers, return visits and more club memberships.

“When we installed new cloth hangdowns of a different colour throughout in a tunnel wash, a vehicle owner came up to us and thought we had purchased all new equipment,” says Dan Pecora, an expert on brush materials and CEO of Erie Brush & Manufacturing in Chicago, IL—a brush, cloth, foam and detailing supplier to the carwash industry since 1948.  “You don’t actually have to change that much to make a major visual impact. Anytime you replace the foam, cloth hangdowns or wheel brushes with a fresh, new colour people are sure to notice. Customers will also see that you are constantly improving and keeping your materials fresh.”

However, to accomplish such a makeover, tunnel wash owners first need the option of choosing and coordinating their colours on replacement equipment.  The challenge is that usually the industry offers few colours, so when the materials are changed out, most of your customers will hardly notice the difference.  However, with a complete changeover to a new colour, they will notice.

“Instead of resigning yourself to a limited set of stock colours, carwash owners should insist on having a full range of colour options to choose from when it comes to foam and cloth replacements, hangdowns, and wheel brushes,” says Pecora.  

In order to have the greatest impact, Pecora suggests that tunnel wash owners should also coordinate the colours to reinforce their signs, logo, and any corporate or location-specific color schemes.  “The colours should complement those in their operation,” says Pecora, whose company offers one of the widest ranges of beautifully coloured foam, cloth brushes and hangdowns in the industry (red, green, light blue, dark blue, yellow, orange, gray, and black).

For those who want to contrast colours, this can be even more eye-catching if done tastefully.  As an example, Pecora’s company offers wheel brushes in combinations such as blue/yellow, dark blue/light blue, red/blue, and red/black.

While giving a tunnel wash a makeover by changing material colours can offer a distinctive advantage over rivals that do not, so can utilizing a higher quality cloth, foam, or wheel brush to clean vehicles better so customers keep coming back.

Beyond a visual upgrade with new cleaning material colors, avoiding inferior wash products and using quality ones can further raise the bar on the customer’s experience.

As an example of what to avoid, tacky threadbare cloths not only result in a sub-par clean, but also reflect poorly on the establishment.

“On hangdowns, the wider slits last longer, but don’t clean as well as the thinner slits, which reach into nooks and crannies better,” says Pecora.  “So, it’s a good idea to go with thinner slits, if you can.  But rather than hold onto materials until they become ragged or no longer clean well, it’s best to periodically change them out.”

The bottom line is that tunnel wash owners can impress their customers with an easy, cost-effective makeover by routinely changing the colours of their foam, brushes, cloth hangdowns and wheel brushes when it is time to replace them.  

Each time the colours change will be a visual reminder that the carwash is investing in new, fresh, high quality materials to take better care of client’s vehicles.  In addition, with the use of quality materials that avoid sub-par washes vehicle owners will have every incentive to become regular, repeat customers and club members.

For more information visit; or write to Erie at 860 West Fletcher St., Chicago, IL  60657.

Del Williams is a technical writer based in Torrance, California.

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