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8 Must-Have Items on Your Car Wash Supplies List

Thanks to the continued growth of the car wash industry, there’s no shortage of entrepreneurs working to start their own car wash business. But there’s also a booming list of established competitors. 

To stand out, you’ll need the best cleaning supplies. After all, customers are coming to you expecting a great wash. You don’t want them driving away disappointed. 

Let’s break down the all-important car wash supplies list you want to make for a powerful first impression. 

Essential Cleaning Products for Effective Car Washing

You can’t afford to cut corners when it comes to car wash supplies. Investing in high-quality cleaning supplies will pay off in the results for your customers: better service, improved customer satisfaction, and ultimately more drivers coming through your car wash. 

In many cases, your wash is automatic and machinery and chemistry will do the bulk, if not all, of the cleaning work. But final touchups by hand can be part of the process with some wash packages. A “showroom groom” offering on your menu may well be very hands-on. In that case, having the right supplies on hand is key to a successful end result.

Here are the eight must-have items for a successful car wash business. 

1. High-Quality Car Wash Soap

First off, you need high-quality car wash soap. It should be tough on stains like bird droppings, bugs, and tree sap while still protecting the car’s paintwork and keeping the wax coat intact. Professional-quality soap should leave cars with a beautiful coat and shine.

2. Microfiber Towels, Mitts or Sponge

Microfiber towels are among the most-used car detailing supplies, and it’s easy to see why. The material is designed to pick up dirt while still being gentle on the car’s finish. While you can get a standard towel or sponge in any size, microfiber “wash mitts” can help attendants clean every nook and cranny of the vehicle. 

3. Soft-Bristle Brushes for Different Car Surfaces

A quality car wash brush is required for deep cleaning. The soft bristles can help remove dirt and grime from hard-to-reach areas while still being gentle on the vehicle’s paint job. Use a professional carwashing brush with a long handle to maximize reach. 

4. Wheel and Tire Cleaner

Wheels and tires obviously get the dirtiest, which isn’t something you can overlook. It takes a specialized wheel cleaner to break down the grime buildup and leave the wheel looking brand-new. It also takes a specialized brush with extra-stiff bristles to remove the toughest grime, along with gentler brushes for cleaning the rims. 

For professional detailers, make sure you have tire shine on hand to get that brand-new tire look and protection from wear and tear. 

5. Glass Cleaner for Streak-Free Windows

Cleaning the windows and mirrors is the finishing touch for any car wash. Don’t go streaking. The last thing you want to do is leave soapy water streaks across the glass as the car dries. 

For both exterior and interior cleaning, look for a specialized glass cleaner designed to be completely streak-free. The right cleaner should gently remove any dirt and other buildup without leaving residue behind. 

6. Interior Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner

If you’re providing interior cleaning services, have powerful upholstery cleaning tools at your disposal. A good vacuum cleaner is indispensable — strong suction power provides a deeper clean. Steam cleaning is another way to deep-clean the seats while also lifting surface stains and disinfecting the upholstery. Include attachments that make navigating the hard-to-reach areas under the seats easier. 

You’ll also need a cleaning solution to gently lift stains and dirt from the seats and carpeting. Remember to use a solution that’s safe for all materials, from leather to vinyl. 

7. All-Purpose Cleaner for Versatile Cleaning Needs

Even if you have all the cleaning supplies you think you’ll need, it helps to have an all-purpose cleaner for those unexpected moments. If your standard interior or exterior cleaner is too harsh for certain materials, an all-purpose cleaner can deliver polished results without the risk of damage. Look for a versatile cleaner that’s safe and gentle enough to use on most materials — inside and outside the vehicle. 

8. Polish and Wax Kit 

If you’re offering upgraded services like car waxing, invest in a quality waxing kit to get the best results. Your best bet is a specialized automotive wax with a durable and protective finish. A high-quality wax should leave your customers’ cars with a showroom-fresh shine lasting up to six months. Other polish and wax tools include electric buffers and foam polishing pads. 

The Role of Supporting Equipment and Tools for Car Washing

While you may be thinking about the more expensive equipment, like conveyors and pressure washers, the supporting equipment and cleaning supplies are just as important. The cleaning and detailing process wouldn’t be possible without other essential supplies, from car cleaning kits to interior vacuums. 

The quality of your supplies makes a bigger difference than you might think. High-quality supplies deliver a high-quality performance. Not only will they help you work more efficiently, but they’ll also leave customers with impressive results.

Build Your Complete Car Wash Supply Arsenal

The services you provide are only as good as the tools you use. Selecting the right car wash supplies is a key business decision you shouldn’t take lightly. Always choose highly rated, top-quality products that will give your customers the best experience for their money. National Carwash Solutions only works with the most trusted brands to provide an unparalleled customer experience. A car wash stocked with our products can outperform the competition at a lower total cost. Learn more about partnering with NCS by contacting us today.

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