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What do we need to start a car-washing business? Manual car-washing, not a real business…?

We are planning to wash cars over the summer holidays to earn a bit of cash. What equipment will we need to get us started? And should we give out free car-scents or something like that to make our business unique? Any hints/tips?

ALSO: How much should we charge for different thing – simple car wash, full car wash, polish and waxing!

Do we need to make leaflets? Would you suggest just knocking on peoples’ doors?

Thank you for your help!

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4 Responses to “What do we need to start a car-washing business? Manual car-washing, not a real business…?”

  1. KB said :

    detailing is an art form
    its not something you just do

    also, a lot of people are cheap
    ask on yahoo answers, how much would you pay for a car wash and a wash and wax
    theyll say 5 bucks for wash, and 10 bucsk for wash and wax
    in reality, its about 30-40 bucks just for a wash

    and define simple car wash, and full car wash, i dont know what you mean?


    first, anything that touches that car, use ONLY microfiber towels, or foam appilcators that come with products, anything else, causes scratches

    theres basically 5 steps, and you can mix/match them for what the customers want
    ( im also assuming your doing all this by hand)

    first: wash, youll be washing the car before doing anything to the car. I suggest Meguiars Gold Class shampoo, and only use wash sponges/mitts designed for cars

    2nd step: clay: This removes containments stuck to the paint that normal washing wont get off, leaving the paint cleaner/smoother.
    It’s not really a must, but if your doing paint cleaning, then i would definetly use it, if your just gonna be washing/waxing, you dont need it, but its a bonus. I suggest Meguiars smooth surface clay kit, comes with MF towel, 2 50 grams of clay ( enough to do at least 4 cars) clay lube ( will need more clay lube, you use most of it on just one car) and a sample of their cleaner wax ( paint cleaner/polish/wax all in one)

    3rd: paint cleaning. This removes oxidation/scratches/swirl marks, etc..
    Different strengths depending on how bad the paint is. ( and i HIGHLY only recommend Meguiars for paint cleaning) Meguiars Swirlx is the least abrasive in their consumer line up, so I would at least do that. Its really not that strong, so you may have to step up to Meguiars ultimate compound. This product is really strong, and gets rid of swirl marks/scratches fast. If you use UC, then you want to follow it up with the Swirlx, for a smoother/cleaner finish. Paint cleaners, need to be worked in, this takes time,
    you work in about a 16×16 in section for 30-60 seconds, and wipe off, inspect, repeat if necessary

    4. Polish, this step is completely optional, especially if you use paint cleaning, cause the paint cleaning products mentioned above, have polishing oils in them already. But if you were to polish, you need a pure polish. Such as meguiars Deep crystal polish, or even can go to their professional line up,, and get product #7, this is their best polish. Polish is best for darker colored cars, do it on a white, probably wont notice anything. You rub it onto the paint, like you do lotion on your skin, and wipe off, dont let dry.

    5. Wax, this locks in polish, adds some shine, and protects the paint
    Just spread on evenly, let dry, and wipe off
    I Suggest Meguiars nxt 2.0 tech wax

    short term

    1. meguiars gold class
    2. meguiars smooth surface clay kit
    3. swirlx
    4. polish ( optional)
    5. wax

    now, theres also prodcuts that have step 3,4,5 all in one
    if you were going to do that, i would do

    1. meguiars gold class
    2. smooth surface clay kit
    3 Meguiars Colorx ( paitn cleaner,polish,wax all in one)
    4. Meguiars nxt 2.0 tech wax ( optional)

    for doing all of that, it can be anywhere from around 100-200 bucks a car

    but, that should also include other stuff like

    Vacumn interior
    Tire shine
    dash shine/protectant
    trim shine/protectant
    clean glass

    Now, nobody is gonna want to pay 200 bucks, to kids who never worked on a car before
    so, test these products on your car, before doing other peoples, and having a law suit on your hands
    although, most people think their cars look good, covered with swirls, so, im pretty sure itll still look better

    now, to get people intersted
    maybe go up to them, ask if theres a scratch or something on their car thats bugging them
    then remove it for them for free, then say, if you want a full detail call me, and give them a business card

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