How much do car wash chemicals cost?

It can be difficult to assess costs if you don’t have an industry benchmark. That’s one reason why TalkCarWash ran a July 2022 poll to see how much operators are spending on chemicals per car. Sixty-two operators responded, and here’s their breakdown:

  • 25% of operators are spending 70-79 cents per car
  • 20% of operators are spending 30-39 cents per car
  • 12% of operators are spending 50-59 cents per car

Only 11% of respondents are spending 29 cents or lower per car. Of course, cheaper doesn’t always mean better. In a recent Bay and Tunnel survey, customers in the Atlanta, Georgia, area noticed a difference when one private chain changed chemicals. Consumer complaints regarding wash quality grew by 28% in a six-month period.

While customers won’t ever understand the ins and outs of car wash chemicals, they will notice the final product, so it is important to ensure those cars come out clean. Our team at Bay and Tunnel provides customer analysis, including site visits, or you can work with one of our favorite salespeople at Howco. This recommendation isn’t sponsored – it just comes from years of noticing some of the best chemical/consumer practices!