One of the things that always fascinates me is when people buy a very high end quality piece of equipment and then use whatever soap or detergent the door to door salesperson happens to offer the lowest price on.
Whether it is a car wash, pressure washer, parts washer or water treatment system the quality manufacturers of this equipment have basic guidelines to follow when using cleaners in the products.
With pressure washers, soaps with formulations meant to not scale up coils and to work in conjunction with down stream injectors or hot water are important. Many customers run soap through the pumps and coils causing premature damage and unnecessary expense to the equipment by trying to save a few dollars. The right application system and the right detergent can help you clean better and also save you costly repairs.
With aqueous parts washers made with a mild steel cabinet, detergent takes on even more importance. You need to have a soap with a rust inhibitor to protect the cabinet and the parts from flash rusting. In other words, using a detergent not made for you specific washer type will cause major issues.
With water treatment systems depending on the type, soap can be a huge issue. Most recycling systems need to have a low foaming non-emulsified detergent as aeration and solids precipitation are major functions of the systems. Getting the solids and oils to separate as well as not have foaming issues that can damage electrical equipment are the primary reasons for choosing a detergent that is made for your system. Unfortunately, they are more expensive than your local blender is tempting you with. However, almost any wash rack going through a recycle system or discharging to sewer through an interceptor will see much better results with a detergent made for reclaim systems. Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) and total suspended solids (TSS) can be immediately improved with the right detergent.
In car and truck washes, soaps protect vehicles and equipment and are made to work with certain models. Touchless car washes are much more dependent on the right combination of low and high pH formulas. Friction washes need soaps that have specifically blended lubricants to keep brushes and foam pads working smoothly on your vehicle. With the capital expense made on these systems why run the cheapest detergents you can find through them. Cost per car is the most informative measure. Not how much the individual drum is. Usually the higher end manufacturers have concentrated solution to make sure you have less space in the equipment room with better results. Built in conditioners and softeners are more expensive but give better results.
In other words, buy your detergents from professionals who are familiar with your equipment and the specific ways it can operate better. Usually the best sources are people you purchased the equipment from as they have a vested interest in making sure you are satisfied with the equipment and are usually the ones servicing and warrantying it. They too have a vested long term interest in your satisfaction and in many cases the less detergent you use the better. You wont be hearing that from your door to door soap salesperson.
Thanks for reading.