You might think that since your business is dispensing just water and soap and the car wash stays clean, but cleaning the car wash keeps your facility looking good and is more inviting for customers than a dirty one. There are a number of products for cleaning the mold, mildew and grime from your car wash bay walls.
Chlorine/Bleach – Easy to get as you can buy it by the gallon at your local home improvement store. Spray it on, let sit for a few minutes and hose it off with high pressure. Be sure to not spray on signs or get it on your clothing as it makes a stain that will be there forever.
Muriatic acid – Strong stuff and available at most home improvement stores but can damage if used improperly as it is hydrochloric acid. Muriatic acid will not hurt Lexan, but it eats some plastics, so you’ll want to test it in an inconspicuous spot first. It won’t harm stainless right away, but if you leave it on too long or let it dry it turns it black. Otherwise it will clean it like new. It can also strip the galvanizing and chrome right off steel. It will also remove concrete, so you’ll want to wet the floor or use a tarp that will resist the acid.
If you use muriatic acid, go to the paint department and get a deck sprayer. It’s the only one Home Depot/Lowe’s carries that will resist the acid.
Muriatic acid is one of the most effective things for calcium build-up.
If the buildup is bad, you can use it straight. Try to do it when there’s no breeze, and preferably when it’s raining.
Specialty wall cleaners – There a number of powerful products marketed to the car wash market for cleaning bay walls. A lot of products that contain hydrogen fluoride because it is such a good cleaning compound or her cousins potassium bifluoride, ammonium bifluoride both of later two compounds are just as hazardous as hydrogen fluoride and must be used with great respect and caution. HF or Hydrogen fluoride will etch the gloss finish off of tile, and then you have a porous tile that will shuck everything into it.
Whatever product you use, make sure the wind is not blowing, and it’s best to have a safety person to keep customers from coming over to you. Another good tip is to keep another garden hose close by and connected, so that ifs you do get some on you, you can rinse right away.
If you insist on using products with acids or fluorides you need to use protective gear to include goggles, respirator, rubber gloves, rubber boots and long sleeves and pants (or even a rain suit). Long term slight exposure can be as dangerous as a one-time heavy exposure. Take the time to put on protective gear. You won’t regret it.