This photo, taken in 1924, shows the hot novelty of the time, a new type of car wash that opened in Chicago, at the corner of 42nd Street and South Michigan Avenue.
It is known that there were at least two such car washes in Chicago in the 1920s. However, the first of these designs appeared in St. Paul, Minnesota. The patent for “auto-baths” was received in 1921 by S.P. Boland, the inventor of this design. It was he who opened the first two “car pools” in St. Paul. Boland advertised them as the most convenient way to clean dirt off the bottom of a car. In those days, when automobile traffic was just beginning to turn around, most roads were unpaved, and perpetual mud was a serious problem for motorists. It clung to the bottoms and wheels of cars. But car pools, Boland promised, would solve this problem.
The car pool was a concrete bowl about 30 meters in diameter and up to 40 centimeters deep. The customer paid 25 cents for a wash. After the payment the attendant would cover the radiator with a special rubber cover, and then the driver would go down the special ramp into the bowl and start circling around the bowl at about 15 km/h. The car was bouncing on the unevenness of the concrete, the bowl walls were vibrating, water was agitating – all this helped to effectively wash away the dirt from the bottom of the car, chassis and wheels. The entire washing process took only three to four minutes. Those who wanted to wash the entire car would drive into the special booths where the attendants completed the wash. The procedure was popular: on Saturdays up to 75 cars per hour would go through the “car pool”.
After the success of the idea in St. Paul, Boland began to promote his invention in other cities, offering those wishing to purchase a franchise. The first franchisee in Chicago was S. J. Burkhartmeyer, who built the city’s first car pool on the north side of the city, at the corner of Diversey and Elston streets. He purchased the franchise in 1924, and it cost him about $20,000 to build the car wash and service. The architect who created Chicago’s first car pool was William S. Presto, who later built many magnificent buildings in the city.
Alas, car pools did not last long, and with the advent of paved roads quickly faded into history. One of Chicago’s car wash bowls was already purchased in 1926 by a local developer to build a house. The other existed until the early 1930s, but then also went into oblivion.
When taking a dirty car to a car wash, we’re almost always confident of a relatively successful result, but it’s best to monitor the process, otherwise there could be unpleasant consequences for the bodywork and on-board electronics. So what should you look out for?
Washing heavily soiled vehicles
Firstly, try to get your car washed at least once a week. The notion that a layer of dirt protects the paintwork from sand, salt and abrasive particles is actually a myth. The more dirt adheres to your car, the more difficult it will be to remove without affecting the paintwork.
We’re not even talking about the effects of wearing a road reagent ‘suit’ on your bodywork. If you’ve been driving on asphalt covered in chemical sludge, welcome to the car wash! Definitely, if your car is thoroughly polluted, avoid automatic car washes. Contact with brushes, especially for strongly soiled car, is destructive. At usual car washes, ask car wash operators to wash your car thoroughly before foam application. Sometimes it’s logical to pay extra for this procedure.
Not accounted for by temperature differences
Direct sunlight is a known enemy of paintwork. However, it’s not even the warming up of the bodywork itself, e.g. in the blazing southern sun, but the sudden change in temperature when streams of cold water are poured over the almost literal red-hot bodywork. You may not notice the effects of such hardening immediately, they will manifest themselves later. Temperature changes cause imperceptible micro cracks to develop in the lacquer. Over time, these will allow moisture to seep through and cause corrosion.
To protect your bodywork from such unpleasant scenarios, splurge on an extra polish before the summer season. To prevent your car’s windows from cracking, use the air conditioning system to gradually cool the interior down just before washing in the heat. Alternatively, make sure that the car washers use lukewarm rather than cold water when washing the car. Similar precautions should be taken when washing very cold cars, e.g. cars that were outside in sub-zero temperatures during the winter.
However, good carwashes know: to spare a body and glasses of automobile, it should stand and get warm before washing for at least five, and better all for ten minutes. Even then, the car should be rinsed first with cold water and then the temperature should be increased as necessary.
Drying – not drying
Another common mistake that occurs in winter is the incomplete drying of numerous bodywork elements. What’s the first thing to look out for? It’s not uncommon for car wash operators to limit themselves to blowing out the locks with compressed air. But you should also make sure they rub the door seals dry (and not symbolically), and just as importantly, the fuel filler flap. Otherwise you risk either not getting into the car in freezing temperatures or being unable to unscrew the frozen petrol tank cap at the petrol station.
Also make sure the exterior mirror elements are blown out and the parking sensors are wiped down. Another tip is to “frost” the car after washing: open everything that opens, move the wiper blades away from the windscreen and let the car stand like that for about five minutes.
“Work on the door locks, bonnet, boot lid and fuel filler flap to make sure the gears and actuators are not frozen. If you park the car right after washing, take the time to “dry” the brake shoes by performing series of acceleration and braking. Once you have done this, the chances of the pads sticking to the discs or drums will be reduced to a minimum.
Careful of the underbody space
The desire to see a clean underhood is understandable and even commendable. However, if you entrust this area to professionals or take it to a self-service car wash, make sure you know if a high-pressure washer is used. Modern machines are packed with gauges and electronics.
Also, high pressure water can easily get into the holes in control units. Ruptured wiring, damaged radiators or even chipped paint are just a few of the hazards that can be caused by the improper use of washing machines.
Close contact with water
Watch the cleaners and in most cases you will see that they bring the “nozzle” of the “kerger” too close to the body. It’s understandable – it’s more effective at knocking down dirt, especially around the arches.
In the meantime, water flow pressure can reach 140 bar, which is a serious test for the paintwork. The surface protection layer vibrates and the paint becomes micro-cracked, which can become cloudy after a few years.
If your car is not new and the body is rusted, the blast from a “kerger” is doubly dangerous – it can chop off pieces of metal that it needs. Also, if handled carelessly, the washerman, or more likely you yourself, can damage the decorative plastic linings. In any case, it is advisable to hold the gun at least 25 cm away from the bodywork and not to wash off dirt at an angle of 90 degrees.
Every owner of a vehicle at least once in his life asked himself the question: “How to clean the car engine from oil, dirt and other deposits? Indeed, over time, a lot of these “by-products” are deposited on the surface of the engine body. In addition to the fact that this phenomenon is unpleasant from an aesthetic point of view – heavy contamination can disrupt the temperature operation of the engine.
Why do I have to wash the main parts of the car?
It is customary for every vehicle, just as it is for humans, to follow certain rules of “hygiene”. This is to ensure that the body of the vehicle is not subject to corrosion and is resistant to external influences. In addition, the power plant and gearbox dissipate heat not only through the coolant. The outer metal surfaces of their housings play an important role in this process. If they get covered with a layer of dirt and oil, thermal regulation can be impaired.
In addition to the power unit, the radiator, through which the coolant gives off its heat to the surrounding atmosphere, can be contaminated. Insects and dirt stuck on the cells complicate the heat transfer process.
It should not be forgotten that engine parts undergo wear and tear during operation. This means that metal particles get into the engine oil. Unfortunately, not all of them are removed by the oil filter. Some of the debris settles in the engine crankcase. The oil composition, circulating through the system, picks them up again and spreads them all over the engine’s lubrication system. Getting on the contact surfaces, the metal “dust” gradually destroys them. The consequences are obvious – it reduces the engine’s resource, disrupts its normal operation, and causes loss of power. That is why when changing oil at home motorists try to drain it out of the system completely. Some craftsmen manage to remove the most contaminated oil residues from the crankcase with a syringe and a tube afterwards.
Contamination of the under-hood and the engine may adversely affect the operation of the electronics and the ignition system. In addition, if the oil seal is leaking somewhere in the engine, this malfunction is difficult to detect because of the thick layer of dirt and oil deposits. You should also be aware that when the power unit is dirty, the risk of fire increases. Oil deposits can catch fire if the exhaust fumes break through. An accidental spark can also cause such fatal consequences. All of the above arguments lead to the obvious conclusion: periodically cleaning and flushing the main components of the car is as important as for its owner to take regular showers.
Another reason to wash the engine and the whole underhood space is selling the car. In this case, pre-sale preparation is an essential attribute that allows the buyer to assess all the advantages of the proposed vehicle.
Washing up products
Every car, like a woman, needs proper care. Most motorists know how to tidy up the interior of a car. However, not everyone knows how to clean the engine from oil and dirt deposits. To do this, it is not enough to take a container with warm water, a rag, a brush. In addition, you need at least special detergents. In the case of stale and thick deposits, such a set of tools is not enough.
To solve this problem, they often resort to the use of installations that deliver cleaning compounds under strong pressure, which in itself is not safe. The thing is that the strong jet may mechanically damage electrical wiring, gaskets and other elements. As a result – engine failure.
To clean the engine case from heavy dirt, many experienced drivers use diesel fuel or kerosene. It is better to wash with kerosene – there is less chance of fire. Keep in mind: if you use diesel or kerosene for washing, acrid smoke will be released from the surface of the engine body. This will happen after the engine has warmed up. Gasoline as a cleaning agent is unacceptable because of the high probability of ignition. In addition, gasoline fumes are explosive.
Some drivers try to adapt various household detergents for this purpose, and they sometimes succeed quite well. But, again, there can be unintended consequences. For example, when using compositions containing chemically active elements – alkalis or acids – parts made of plastic and rubber may get damaged. There is a possibility of oxidation of metal parts.
Today there are a sufficient number of products that allow you to properly rinse off the surface of the engine dirt and oil film, so it is best to use them. There are foreign and domestic compositions on the market – in the form of gel, foam, liquid or aerosol. Each of them has its own rules of application, described by the manufacturer.
How to wash the engine and underhood properly
Before you start cleaning the engine and surrounding components – from dust, oil and dirt, you need to follow a few simple rules, and the very cleaning and washing should be performed in a certain sequence.
To begin with it is necessary to prepare a few improvised means: rubber gloves, polyethylene and foil, tape or duct tape, a rag, a brush (only not made of metal), a sponge. A detergent also needs to be purchased.
It is better to clean the engine in warm, dry weather, so the excess moisture will evaporate faster after washing from under the hood.
Before you wash the power unit, you need to let it cool down to an acceptable temperature – from 50 to 60 ° C. If the engine was cold – then you need to warm it up to the same temperature.
It is necessary to remove the terminals from the battery, after that it is advisable to remove it from under the hood.
Parts such as the tumbler, ignition coil, air filter, terminals and other components of electrical connections, depending on the model and design of the engine, must be protected from moisture. This is done with polyethylene, foil, tape or duct tape.
It is required to moisten all dirty surfaces with a small amount of water. After that, a cleaning compound is applied. If it is an aerosol – it is simply sprayed on all surfaces that need cleaning. If it is a prepared solution – you can spray it with a spray gun or apply it with a sponge. In hard-to-reach places, it is better to use a small brush, such as a toothbrush.
After that, you need to wait a while until the cleaner comes into contact with the dirt. The time interval is usually specified in the instructions for use of the detergent.
Finally, it is required to wash the entire underhood space, where the cleaning composition was applied. This should be done with extreme care, avoiding water to the places of electrical connections and others described above, even if they are protected with polyethylene or foil. A hose with a good stream of water is often used for this procedure. The end of the hose can be pinched with your fingers to create more pressure.
After rinsing, the quality of the cleaning is checked. If some dirt is left somewhere, the procedure can be repeated again.
Well, your favorite “iron horse” became clean and tidy. True, it is impossible to start the engine and drive the car. The under-hood space needs drying. To do this, you need to lift the hood and dry the surfaces of parts under it with paper towels. You need to be especially careful to remove moisture in the area of elements protected with polyethylene or foil. Only after that you can remove the protective equipment.
Flushing the lubrication system
It’s not just the engine housing and surrounding parts that need cleaning. Systems such as the cooling and lubrication systems also require periodic cleaning. This procedure must be carried out when the car owner has decided to use a new engine oil from a different manufacturer. Or the manufacturer is the same, but the viscosity and quality parameters are already different. In addition, over time in the oil system there are still products of oxidation, wear of parts, fouling. There are two ways to flush the oil system.
The car is installed on a pit or a trestle. After that the old engine oil is drained through the drain plug. The so called flushing compound is poured into the throat. With it the engine should run for some time, specified in the instructions of the manufacturer of flushing oil. After that the flushing oil is also removed from the system.
The old grease is not removed. It is filled with special detergent additives to clean the power plant. After that, the engine runs, as a rule, for a few minutes. More precise time is specified in the additive instructions. After stopping, the old oil is removed from the engine.
It is worth noting that the method of cleaning with flushing oil is softer and gentler for the power unit. The second one is tougher because of the strong aggressiveness of most additives. In any case, after flushing, you should immediately pour a new lubricant and replace the oil filter.
Cleaning the cooling system
Over the course of operation, scale and salt deposits appear in the channels of the cooling system. This process is inevitable, as the antifreeze is constantly under stress due to sudden changes in temperature. Therefore, a periodic flushing of the cooling system is a necessary procedure. You can perform this work as follows:
the used antifreeze is drained from the system;
a mixture of distilled water and a small amount of vinegar is prepared in the required quantity;
After that the engine runs for a certain time and then the flushing solution is drained out;
Accidents happen. Whether it’s oil left over from a guest’s leaking car, grease from a broken truck, or vegetable oil from the last backyard barbecue, it’s likely that someday you will run into an unwanted stain on the paving stones in your courtyard or driveway.
In most cases, you will be able to remove the stain with products that you have in your home or that can be easily purchased from your nearest home renovation center. When that is not the case, you can always professionally clean the driveway, or you can simply replace the stained paving stones and return the driveway or patio to a new look almost immediately.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you remove grease and oil stains from paving stones:
Step 1: If the stain is fresh and there is still liquid on the surface, dampen as much oil or grease as possible with a rag or paper towels.
Step 2: If there is still a significant amount of oil or grease on your paving stones, apply regular cat litter to the stain and gently push it into the stain. Do not use a wire brush for this, as it may scratch the paving stones. Allow the litter to absorb the liquid, then remove the litter by sweeping and discarding.
Step 3: Scrub the area using dish soap, water, and a dishwashing brush or deck brush (avoid wire bristles). It is always best to use natural products whenever possible, but you may find that dish soap known for its cutting oil and grease like Dawn will give a more satisfying result. Alternatively, you can also use baking soda instead of dish soap, especially for small stains.
Step 4: Spray the area with a garden hose with a nozzle. This will allow you to use a higher pressure direct spray to clean the area. A pressure washer can be used, which can help to better remove grease or oil stain, but surfaces such as concrete, bricks or paving stones can be easily damaged when using a pressure washer.
Hopefully these four steps will help you remove grease or oil stains from your paving stones. However, if these methods are not enough to remove stains, there are other options. For example, you can try using an oven cleaner by spraying it liberally over the stain, letting it sit for 15-20 minutes, and then rinsing it. However, keep in mind that oven cleaner contains chemicals that are not breathable and not suitable for flushing storm drains, lawns or flower beds.
For particularly stubborn stains, you may need to go to a hardware store and purchase a degreaser specially formulated to remove stains from the driveway. If you need to go this route, follow the directions on the product for the best results.
Alternatively, you can professionally clean your driveway. Just be sure to use a contractor who is familiar with paving stone cleaning and knows that extreme care must be taken when using a pressure washer and wire brushes must not be used.
If all else fails, you can always replace the soiled paving stones. This is one of the advantages of choosing ‘paving stones instead of stamped concrete or slab concrete. If concrete driveways or terraces are damaged or have stains that cannot be removed, you will have to cut and replace the entire section or slab. And even after this costly renovation, the new section will be clearly visible, since it is almost impossible to get new concrete that matches the old concrete. However, with a paved path or patio, you can easily replace one or more paving stones without anyone even noticing. Or contact our company and our specialists will remove all the dirt from the patio at a low price
I was faced with the need to clean the roof. I have shingles, installed relatively recently, but in some places, for some reason, moss and lichen have already appeared. This is very unpleasant, because the house looks kind of abandoned. Can a soft roof be washed with a pressure washer like a compact car wash? I was told that the pressure washer will damage the soft roof. Are there any other options for cleaning the roof? And after the roof is cleaned, is there any way to prevent the appearance of moss and other unnecessary things?
John Lansky asks us, Louisiana
I would argue that the north, northwest and possibly west sides of your roof look bad, while the rest of the parts look like new. Moreover, I will assume that the worst parts of the roof look, on which the most shadow from the trees falls. I know this because I myself have exactly the same problem as you. Some parts of my rooftop look like the Amazon rainforest. The wind carries moss and lichen spores to the roof, they can also fall from trees or birds can bring them. With abundant rainwater, these spores begin to grow. Since the northern, north-western and western parts of your roof remain in the shade in the morning, the dew that appears on the roof at night does not have time to quickly evaporate. This morning moisture just quenches the thirst of the microscopic botanical garden on the surface of your soft roof. Other parts of the roof dry out quickly and the moss and lichen die of thirst.
I have also heard many times that a pressure washer can damage a soft roof. I know for sure that such sinks can partially destroy concrete. It is a fact. Therefore, it seems logical that the pressure washer can seriously damage the soft roof on the roof. But since I know how easily and quickly it is possible to replace one or several tiles of a soft roof, I decided on an experiment. Moreover, my soft roof is already twenty years old and it is living out its own. I also decided to test a few new soft roof tiles to see if the pressure washer will wash the colored granules off the surface of the material.
The experiment began with the fact that I took a powerful pressure washer with a gasoline engine. This sink is capable of delivering water at a pressure of 150 kg per square centimeter, using 9.6 liters of water per minute. For the spray nozzle, I used a 25-degree nozzle, which is used for general purpose cleaning.
The results of this experiment were amazing. With this pressure washer, I was able to wash all the moss, lichen and twenty years of dirt off my roof. The bituminous shingles did not receive any damage.
At first, I held the spray gun at a distance of 30 centimeters from the surface of the soft tiles, aiming it at the bottom of the roof. There was no tangible result. But as soon as I slowly brought the sprayer to the roof surface at a distance of 15 centimeters, the dirt and vegetation began to wash away. I recommend gently cleaning one tile at a time and then stopping and checking the tile for damage. Move to another part of the roof where the soft roof looks good to make sure that the freshly washed soft roof looks the same. Rest assured that during the cleaning process you can easily spot any damage. If you see small or large black spots or pieces of fiberglass, stop. You are destroying the roof.
You can also use a regular garden hose and brush to clean the soft roof. True, this will already be a titanic work. Always point the hose or pressure washer spray at the bottom of the roof. Never direct the water flow upwards, as it can penetrate under the soft roof and multiple leaks into the house are likely.
If you install copper strips on the top of the roof, then after you clean the soft roof, it will look like new for a long time. To do this, you need to install copper strips 5 – 7 centimeters wide along the ridge. Now you can buy a soft roof, which has already been coated with an invisible copper layer. Then you don’t have to do any of the above to get rid of the moss and lichen. The slow release of copper on the roof surface prevents the growth of moss, lichen and any other plant microorganisms.
Be extremely careful on the roof when dealing with water. If you wet the roof on which there is moss, lichen, dirt, then it becomes slippery, as if oil was spilled on it. Always try to work on the dry part of the roof. Move from the ridge to the eaves within one vertical line, about 50 centimeters wide. Do not forget that somewhere nearby there will always be a hose on which you can also slip. Use a belay to keep from falling off the roof even if you slip.
When you are three meters from the edge of the roof, stop working and stop. Let the freshly washed roof area dry. When the roof is dry, turn around and continue washing the roof so that you move with your face towards the edge of the roof, not with your back, so that you eventually fall