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Detailing Equipment Tips for Winter

There are times in the winter when the temperature drops below freezing and it becomes impossible to do your job normally no matter how dedicated you are to the task, but on others it has to be business as usual. In our most recent podcast, we went over a few tips for detailers on how to manage their equipment in the cold winter season.

Tip 1: Keep Pressure Washers Warm

It’s a sad fact of a detailer’s life that if water inside a pressure washer is allowed to freeze up, then it will essentially sign the death warrant of that washer. Even if you thaw out the ice and get the water moving again, the interior expansion caused by the ice dislodges components and parts and puts it on an invariably irreversible downward spiral of decline. You get similar problems with steamers, too, and other equipment that uses stored water.

Faced with this, you have 2 main options. Either you can find ways to keep your van warmer at night that will thus prevent any stored water in your pressure washer and other devices from freezing up. Ideally this would mean keeping the van in a heated garage. If that’s not an option, then you could also look at options for electric or propane heaters to run in your car overnight, but you should only take these steps with the utmost care.

The second option is to make your equipment “winter safe” by simply emptying all the water from them at the end of your day and ensuring there’s nothing to freeze. This can be inconvenient, not to mention wasteful, but it is the surest way to ensure there’s nothing to freeze.

Tip 2: Bucket Heaters and Gloves

These 2 seemingly very simple pieces of equipment will prove their worth to any detailer facing a winter season of challenging jobs. Bucket heaters will help ensure that water stays nice and warm for use on the client’s car, and can even be used to help warm up wax and other products that have sat getting cold in the van all this time. Gloves will equally protect your hands from the hot water and from the harsh cold weather.

Tip 3: Look Into Waterless Solutions

If the number of days with freezing temperatures below 32 degrees are mounting and it’s starting to eat into your monthly income, then it might be time to look at waterless cleaning solutions to get your jobs done. They are readily available on Amazon, but it does mean more investment on your part.

Tip 4: Insulate Interior Water Tanks/Pipes

If your van has an interior water storage tank that you’re using day to day, then you can winterize that by wrapping it in insulation which should at least prevent freezing from happening and keep it accessible even in harsh winter conditions. There’s only so far that such insulation can go, though, so don’t expect miracles.

Tip 5: There are No Magic Solutions

Obviously, it’s easy to say things like “live and work somewhere else” or “build and use a heated garage” because frankly these are the ideal solutions to all of the above problems. However, reality dictates that we can’t always turn to such answers. Hopefully the tips we’ve offered on keeping your gear warm and protected in the winter will be a more practical and do-able solution.

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