Hand Brushing vs. Spray and Rinse: Which One’s Really “Cheaper”?

Posted by Skye Robinson | September 22, 2015 | Newsletter

hand brushingLet’s say you’ve cooked a delicious meal for your family and now it’s cleanup time. You’re looking at the big pot that held the soup and realize it’s going to require some scrubbing to get it clean. Would you simply use the sprayer with the water on full blast, then call the pot good? No, because you know that won’t work. You know you’re going to have to grab a sponge and use a little elbow grease to get that pot clean and shiny once again. So you do.

Fleet vehicles tend to get dirty too, just like your soup pot. And a spray and rinse approach rarely works to get them clean, and can lead to higher costs later on.

Why real fleet cleaning requires elbow grease
As much as some companies would like you to believe that using chemicals and pressure sprayers is all that’s required to clean your fleet vehicles, that’s simply not true. Just like your dirty dishes and cooked on bean soup, trucks and cars require hand brushing and scrubbing in order to remove dirt and grime.

Hand brushing is the best approach because it allows for a thorough cleaning of each and every one of your vehicles. It’s better because the elbow grease used means a mild detergent is all that’s needed to scrub off the dirt and grime. And hand brushing is better because the high pressure sprayers are simply too risky to be pointing at your expensive logos and paint jobs!

Just like you can get every bit of soup out of that pot by tackling it with a sponge and an eye toward finding all the dirty spots, so can a fleet washing employee find all the dirty spots on your trucks or cars and scrub them clean—with the hand brushing approach.

The high costs of “cheap” fleet washing
The alternative to the hand-brushing technique is that used by the cheap companies that employ chemicals and pressure sprayers to get the job done. Yet cheap fleet washing is only cheap on paper—and only at first. In reality, this cheap approach ends up being quite expensive. For example, consider the cost of replacing decals or parts of decals when the pressure sprayer starts to wear them away. Or the cost of replacing parts that are corroding because not all of the road salt was removed during the washing process. Think about it another way, and you’ll realize you’re throwing away money because it’s not a thorough wash. There will be dirt and grime left on your vehicle with the spray and rinse approach!

Then there are the chemicals used by some fleet washing companies, chemicals that are meant to replicate the cleaning power of elbow grease and so have to be extremely harsh in order to eat through the grime—except they eat through everything, not just the grime. Over time, these chemicals remove not only dirt but also the finish and paint that you don’t want removed. And then you’re opening up the figurative door for rust to move in… Now you’re talking some really big expenses down the road for sure!

Save money with hand brushing
The simple truth is, the hand-brushing approach is only more expensive if you don’t think this through. At Fleet Clean, we have customers who have come to us after suffering the consequences (and costs) of the cheaper fleet washing companies. These customers learned the hard way that they only saved money upfront, and that the poor quality wash jobs and damaging techniques ended up costing them more money in the long run.

If you’ve chosen a fleet washing company based on the lowest price, it might be time to reconsider your approach—before that lowest price becomes the highest one.


Cheaper Is Not Necessarily Better…Ever
Just like a cheap roll of paper towels will disappoint you in performance and cost you more in the long run, so will a cheap approach to fleet washing. Read more…

Why Your Trucks Need TLC
How can such a big rig need such a tender approach? See how washing fleet vehicles with care can lower your maintenance costs and keep your fleet looking good longer. Read more…

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