Car washes first debuted on street corners in the 1940s. For many years, fast-spinning brushes or, later, strips of cloth or foam were used to remove the dirt from vehicles. While these so-called friction systems did the job of removing dirt and grime from the vehicle’s surface, some car wash operators were interested in finding gentler cleaning options.
This led to the development of touchless systems, in which highly concentrated and targeted jets of water and cleaning chemicals were aimed at the vehicle. The power of the water/chemical streams washed the dirt and grime off the vehicle’s surface. This new advancement gave car wash operators the option to run either friction or touchless wash systems.
Now, car wash operators no longer have to choose between the two. Belanger has developed a new system that delivers the best of friction and touchless wash systems – a soft touch in-bay automatic wash system called the Cube.
The foundation of the Cube vehicle wash technology is slow-spinning ShineMitt wash media. ShineMitt is the industry’s first self-supporting brush media, which has patented “fingers” that reach out and contour themselves to the vehicle’s surface as the wash arm extends from slow-spinning wash wheels. Each ShineMitt arm boasts 1,512 cleaning edges that come into contact with the vehicle, meaning that the arms can spin slower, resulting in a quieter, gentler, more robust washing action. In addition to its gentle wash capabilities, the Cube is also a smart machine with a number of features that make it precise, intuitive, flexible and able to deliver on customer comfort.
The benefits that the Cube can bring to the vehicle wash industry were highlighted in October when the system was named the winner in Car Wash/Forecourt category of CSP magazine’s 17th Annual Retailer Choice Best New Product Contest. This contest acknowledges the best product launches of the preceding year in the convenience store industry via an online poll of c-store retailers.
While the debate may rage between the devotees of friction and touchless washes, there’s no question that Belanger has given car wash operators yet another choice with its new Cube soft touch wash system.