Is Waterless Fleet Wash Best for My Vehicles?

posted 17 June, 2021 by Jackson Balling
As a fleet manager, maintenance isn’t always the most straightforward part of the job. For some, it can be the most burdensome area. Now, as more Americans head to the airport or hit the road for summer travel, the rental car industry, in particular, is facing a chaotic challenge to keep utilization rates high.
Some fleets, particularly larger ones, require a calculated maintenance plan to keep their uptime high during these periods of peak demand. Waterless car washes are one tool in a fleet manager’s toolbox for ensuring the best maintenance for their fleet vehicles.

What’s the Difference between a Water-based and Waterless Car Wash?

The immediate difference between a traditional water-based car wash and a waterless car wash is, unsurprisingly, water usage. For reference, the average automatic car wash uses 30-45 gallons of water per vehicle. Our Spiffy Car Wash services use 10-20 gallons of water, which is then reclaimed after completion and recycled appropriately. 
On the other hand, waterless services use several ounces of a spray solution per vehicle, eliminating the use of water and, thus, the need to reclaim afterward. This difference makes it faster for technicians to complete work on one car and immediately move onto the next.
Because of this crucial contrast, waterless services can be more flexible than your standard tunnel or hand wash. For example, some vehicles have sensors that can be disturbed or damaged by a water-based wash, such as autonomous vehicles. 
Some locations restrict the use of water, either to avoid runoff or, in the case of California or Colorado, due to extreme dry seasons that require essential water use. With increasingly severe drought conditions for these states and the country as a whole, the economic impact of water preservation can’t be understated.
Altogether, waterless car wash services that adhere to water restrictions and protect sensitive equipment could be the optimal choice, depending on your fleet size and location. But how exactly do these eco-conscious services work?

How Does a Waterless Car Wash Work?

At a glance, a waterless car wash doesn’t look like what you would expect from a car wash. Each service relies on a polymer-based solution, which encapsulates dirt particles and other surface imperfections. 
Once the spray solution has been applied and allowed to rest for a short period, technicians wipe up the area with a microfiber towel, explicitly picking up the captured dirt particles and removing them from the paint’s surface. Spiffy Technicians work in sections when conducting waterless car wash services to ensure an even cleaning across the entire exterior.
The best use case for waterless car wash services is vehicles with mostly clean surfaces. With exteriors coated in mud or excessive grime, the paint is often too dirty for a waterless spray solution to break through efficiently. It’s certainly possible to achieve, but it would take longer than a standard car wash to clean. As a result, some cars may require water-based solutions to cut through the levels of muck that have accumulated over time.

Advantages of a Waterless Car Wash

As a top choice for eco-minded fleets, or vehicles in need of spot cleaning, the waterless car wash can be a more flexible option for fleet managers. Waterless services can be done without moving a car, removing the need for technicians to acquire keys from fleet managers or mechanics. We can simply show up and get to work, which results in faster services that keep your vehicle downtime even lower.
Not only are these services truly contactless, but they can help mitigate risk as well. Vehicles may need to be moved from your lot to the wash location and back with a water-based car wash. In that time lies a greater potential risk for an accident, especially if your fleet vehicles are closely packed together. By choosing a waterless service, you can eliminate the need to move vehicles entirely, save time, and reduce risk.
Some fleets are more eco-friendly than others. A waterless wash is excellent for maintaining that dedication to the environment by minimizing the total carbon footprint of each service, both in terms of gallons of water saved and emissions prevented.

Trusted Tools to Treat Your Fleet

When we work for our fleet customers, we always bring a well-rounded toolbox of equipment and methods catered to your specific needs. 
If you have some vehicles caked with dried mud, we’re ready to bring them onto a wash mat for a standard car wash and reclaim the water afterward. If your fleet requires frequent touch-ups, we’re just as eager to use waterless solutions to help you achieve your turnaround goals and maximize utilization.
Are you interested in seeing what fleet wash services are the best for your vehicles? Reach out to us today and connect with a Fleet Account Management team member to find out more!
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Posted in Fleet

Written by Jackson Balling

Jackson was Spiffy's Content Marketing Manager from January 2019 to July 2022 and brought over five years of professional experience in creative copywriting, audio production, and video editing to the Spiffy Marketing team.
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