Fleet washing is a general term that refers to the cleaning of vehicles used for business or industrial purposes, such as semi-trucks, trailers, excavators, or even cars for sale at a dealership. The extent of the fleet washing process can range from a simple water-only pressure wash to a full-service detail. Though water-only pressure washing can sometimes be enough to wash dirt and grime from a vehicle’s exterior, utilizing special chemicals and detergents can make the process much more efficient—especially when dealing with oil and grease residue. There are various types of fleet cleaning services, but the most common is 2-step fleet washing.
2-Step Fleet Washing Explained
As previously mentioned, companies will commonly utilize specific chemicals to increase the effectiveness of a cleaning job. The first step of this process involves the application of acidic chemicals, such as:
- Hydrofluoric acid = ideal for aluminum brightening and oxidation removal
- Hydrochloric acid = ideal for heavy duty applications
- Phosphoric acid = ideal for aluminum brightening, paint oxidation removal, and for polished surfaces
- Citric acid = considered a safer option, ideal for removal of oxidation from paint and stain removal
After using the acidic component, the second step involves quickly applying a basic chemical, such as sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide.
Why is this combination of acidic and alkaline chemicals used?
This combination is used to neutralize a specific electrostatic bond that is created when air passes over the vehicle surface, creating road film—an extremely stubborn layer of dirt and contaminants on the vehicle surface. The bond must be broken so that the contaminants can easily be rinsed off.
Additionally, using both low pH and high pH compounds ensures the removal of both organic and inorganic contaminants, since the low pH chemicals will target inorganic substances and oxidation, while the high pH chemicals will target organic contaminants such as oil and grease.
Looking for 2-Step Fleet Washing Chemicals?
Here at Tidal Washers, we offer various high-quality, industrial-grade chemicals for various cleaning applications. Contact us today for a free quote and consultation session to find the best product for your business needs!