Did you know that soap molecules move twice as fast for every 18-20° increase in water temperature? The increase in temperature makes the soap and water molecules become very reactive during the warmer months of the year, causing them to evaporate faster and have less time to do their work. Did you know that if you use a soap containing Hydrofluoric Acid (HF), faster evaporation can increase the risk of etching your vehicle’s glass? Don’t fret–there’s a simple solution to both of these problems.
When you are washing vehicles during the warmer months of the year, your soaps will dry faster because the warmer water containing it also evaporates more quickly. In order to combat the faster drying times, use cold water during the summer while you are 2-step washing. You can either use cooled water, or you can use inlet water–the water from a source such as a water tank or garden hose–which will already be a cool, ambient temperature. Cold water helps to counter summer’s advantage, taking longer to heat up and evaporate and giving your soap a longer dwell time on the surface of your vehicle before it dries, which means more time to attack dirt and grime.
Letting a #1 presoak containing HF to dry on glass causes etching, which is when chemicals eat away at the smooth surface of glass and cause it to look frosted and opaque. This can create beautiful window art when done intentionally, but it’s not good at all for your fleets’ windows. We can prevent this problem by doing two things–using cooler water so that the HF soap doesn’t dry as fast, and also by applying a #2 alkaline soap. It’s important to use a presoak that has the proper amount of HF–like our #1 Fleet Prep–to remove oxidation and clean and brighten aluminum to a silver satin finish. Just remember that using a #2 alkaline soap–like our Dynaclean & Bright–neutralizes the hydrofluoric acid in the #1 presoak soap right along with the risk of etching your vehicle’s glass.
Take advantage of the summer months and wash your vehicles and fleets with cold water. You won’t need as much soap to keep your fleets clean and road-film free, so you can save some money and reduce the risks of using HF soap – just by using colder water!
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