Although it may look like fun from afar as a vehicle is sliding around on a slippery road, it is no laughing matter. Keeping our roadways safe throughout the Canadian winter requires road salt to provide better tire traction on ice and snow and prevent cars from skidding on slippery roads. Road salt is hard on our vehicles, but with the right truck wash and car detailing products, we can keep the benefits of safe roadways at the same time protecting our vehicles from corrosion.
Winter Driving: The Advantages of Using Road Salt
Road salt is an effective and economical way to reduce the number of dangerous and deadly vehicle accidents which occur on otherwise slippery roads. Studies have shown that de-icing with road salt can significantly decrease the number of accidents dramatically reducing occurrence of injury and death on the roadways.
Road salt effectiveness comes from creating a layer of brine between the ice and the road preventing the snow and ice from sticking to the road surface. Road salt makes it easier to remove snow from the roadways resulting in safe and clear flowing traffic.
The Need for Truck Wash: The Disadvantages of Using Road Salt
Although the public safety advantages to using road salt are obvious, there are some drawbacks. The use of road salt results in associated costs beyond its primary purchase and application. Probably the most evident drawback is that road salt contributes to the corrosion of cars and trucks if it is not properly cleaned from vehicles. In fact, corrosion is one of the greatest financial drains on the transport industry, with the direct cost of corrosion in the transportation industry upwards of 6.45 billion USD.
Due to the chemical makeup of road salt, the more your car comes into contact with it the more potential issues it could have with corrosion. Moisture puts metal car parts in direct contact with other metal car parts and when the free-floating ions in road salt come into contact with the water, they can increase the formation of iron oxide contributing to the natural process of corrosion. This means your car will become rusty more quickly unless you wash it frequently throughout the winter. So, what can we or our wash service providers do to help?
Protect Your Vehicles From Corrosion
The key for any professional wash service provider is knowing how to clean a vehicle while also neutralizing any corrosive effects by using the correct detergent technology. The principal problem with conventional vehicle washing techniques is that they concentrate on getting the exterior surfaces of a vehicle clean, but they do little or nothing to deal with cleaning the insides of the vehicle too, including the underbody. Along with choosing the right chemical cleaner to neutralize the corrosive effects of the deicers, it is most effective to apply a 3-stage cleaning process described below:
1. Truck Wash with a Low pH Detergent
Conventional bus and truck wash cleaners are either neutral or alkaline, and are therefore unable to break down salt deposits. However, some low pH detergents are highly effective in beating the corrosive effects of these road salts, making them soluble and easier to remove.
2. Use Low pH Detergents for Interior Car Detailing
Because road salts can seep under floor mats and into other spaces inside the vehicle, corrosion can spread from the inside out. Therefore, interior cleaning is as important as exterior cleaning, especially in luggage compartments which are located so close to the ground.
3. Include a Vehicle Underbody Truck Wash System
Most of the corrosion caused by road salt occurs on the underside of the vehicle. The system should comprise a high-pressure water flush to break up compacted soil deposits, before applying a high pH detergent to the undercarriage of the vehicle. This is best done through foaming nozzles as the bus drives through the wash.
With this 3-stage truck wash process along with the right chemical products, maintenance costs can be significantly reduced, while corrosion can be mitigated.
Effective and Economical Truck Wash Cleaning Product Solutions
At Lead Horse, we are the exclusive distributor of Wicked Qleen, a full product line solution to meet the challenges that truck and vehicle wash service providers face every day.
The Wicked Qleen line of chemical cleaners and polishes includes truck wash and professional car washing detergents including degreasers, floor cleaners, sanitizers, low and high pH presoaks, foam detergents, drying agents, triple foams, clear coat sealers and protectants, tire, rim and wheel cleaners and many specialty products for a variety of industries. Contact us at Lead Horse today to discuss your truck wash and car detailing needs.