Research

Environmental Reports

Fish Toxicity Test Report
Environmental Partners, Inc., Issaquah, Washington conducted two tests in 2006 to measure the effects of untreated car wash affluent from domestic and charity-type car wash events on juvenile rainbow trout. The independent study was commissioned by Seattle-based Brown Bear Car Wash.

Water Use in the Professional Car Wash Industry
This two-year study is designed to assess both water usage including the impact of evaporation and carryout, and wastewater quality including solid waste. The principle objective of this study is to determine the volume difference between fresh water consumed and wastewater discharged while quantifying the average water consumption per vehicle by professional car washes.

Water Conservation in the Professional Car Wash Industry
Commissioned by the International Carwash Association on behalf of water regulators and the car care industry, this report was written by Chris Brown, a respected water conservation consultant and former regulator. Prompted by water use restrictions imposed in the United States, the report summarizes the existing state of reclaim and water conservation technology in the car care industry.  Includes San Antonio Water Certification Program and a check list for partnering with water regulators.

Water Effluent & Solid Waste Characteristics in the Professional Car Wash Industry
The data on this two-year study was designed to gather and analyze data regarding water usage, wastewater discharges and contaminant levels in solid wastes for the professional car washing industry. This effort was undertaken to educate individuals about the influence our industry has on the environment. 

Additional Research

Germs in your car
This study by Dr. Charles P. Gerba and Sheri L. Maxwell examined the relative numbers of bacteria and molds in automobiles. Several variables were considered, including different areas of the vehicle, type of vehicle, whether there were children involved with the vehicle, geographic location, married or single drivers, and male or female drivers.

Consumer Car Washing Attitudes & Habits

Business owners face the challenge to meet and satisfy customers’ evolving needs and wants. Understanding customers through their attitudes and behaviors should be a constant process in order to meet changing demands. The International Carwash Association recognizes this need, and the importance of collecting data that properly reflects the consumer’s motivations, needs and preferences in purchasing decisions.

The objective of this research is three-fold: collect and disseminate reliable information on car wash customers to the industry; obtain knowledge about public perceptions of car washing so that an informational campaign could be established; and finally, collect information on the non-user and professional car washing's number one competitor - the home washer. 

The most recent findings, from 2014, will be featured in CAR WASH Magazine.  Email info@carwash.org for previous study findings. 


Cost of Doing Business Report

The International Carwash Association last conducted the Cost of Doing Business Report in 2002.

This report is a benchmark study with information designed to assess the variety of procedures within our industry. Ideal for current or future owner/operators to gauge their business practices against the rest of the industry and determine industry trends.

The Cost of Doing Business Report is available via e-mail.