Pre-cleaning is the first step towards an optimal car wash and should be carried out with high-quality brushes, spray lances and supporting chemical pre-cleaners.
At very service-oriented facilities, manual pre-cleaning with a high-pressure jet and brush is often still carried out today, while fully automated car washes tend to rely on mechanical pre-cleaning. With regard to the principle of Sinner’s circle, manual pre-cleaning in particular can be primarily supported chemically by a suitable pre-cleaner due to the limited time available and the lower mechanical force.
Manual pre-cleaning is usually only carried out at certain premium segment car washes or at service-oriented gantry systems. Manual pre-cleaning has the advantage that even the heavily soiled areas and the hard-to-reach “problem zones” of the vehicle are cleaned well and thoroughly. The right tool for the employee is important for high-quality manual pre-cleaning. The quality of the hand brushes and high-pressure spray lances often determines the cleaning success.
High-pressure and low-pressure pre-cleaners
A good high-pressure cleaner – either as a hand-held device or as an element of the washing line – is the be-all and end-all of perfect pre-cleaning. In many cases, only clear water is initially used to remove coarse dirt. However, better cleaning results are achieved by adding a special pre-cleaner to the water in the high-pressure cleaner, for example the RMS Aqua pre-cleaner from Caramba. This alkaline product dissolves dirt and insect bodies and can be used in hand-held units as well as in systems.
However, certain vehicles should preferably be treated with a low-pressure cleaner, for example convertibles or vehicles with sensitive paintwork or loose parts. Some units have a special convertible programme with low pressure. Alternatively, the pre-cleaner can be applied during manual washing with a low-pressure unit.
In express washes, on the other hand, manual pre-cleaning is omitted altogether, as cleaning is carried out using highly alkaline cleaners and high pressure, making manual pre-cleaning superfluous as well as too cost intensive. Here, pre-cleaning is the first step of the normal cleaning procedure and can be supported by a product such as RMS Aqua Pre-Cleaner .