Your van is probably one of the biggest investments that your business has ever made and needs to be maintained both mechanically and aesthetically.
There is nothing worse than a dirty house, and arriving at a client in your dirty vehicle is just as bad. It gives a bad impression, a dirty van, a dirty worker. Below are some handy tips on cleaning the vehicle in order to keep it looking its best.
Wash the wheels
Firstly, put the van in the shade so that it doesn’t dry too fast, which would leave water spots, and make sure the wheels are cold. Do not wash hot wheels as it will definitely leave spotting, so don’t drive for a couple of hours before you start. The wheels are probably the dirtiest part of the vehicle, so wash them before first.
Use a power hose to spray the tyres, wheels and inside the wheel-arches, and remove as much grit as you possibly can. Then, using an old sponge, mitten or wash cloth, thoroughly wash the wheels with acid-free cleaner. An old toothbrush can be used to scrub the hard-to-reach areas. For metal rims a good quality polish should be used, applying with a soft cloth and polishing with a clean duster.
Wash the van
Use the right soap. Don’t use harsh products such as bath or surface cleaners which will remove the protective wax coating, stick to a recognised brand of car washing products. Don your wash-mitten, which is easier to use than sponges or cloths, plus the thicker pile holds the dirt they collect instead of moving the dirt around and scratching the paint. You don't believe us ? Check it on Ladbrokes.
Use two buckets, one for the soapy water and one with clean water. Rinse off the mitt in the clean water after washing each section. Start to wash from the roof of the van, working downwards. Then either rinse the whole van with clean water in a bucket or a hose pipe, making sure you get into all the crevices.
Dry the van
Leaving the van to dry on its own doesn’t work. It will end up covered in water spots. After rinsing, immediately use your chamois or drying cloth and dry the van as quickly as possible. Old towels make excellent drying cloths. Microfibre cloths are perfect for drying and polishing mirrors, handles etc. Open the doors and dry the inside door jams.
Polish the van
To keep your van looking as good as possible, for as long as possible, wash and polish it regularly. A hand wash alone won’t bring the paintwork up to a good shine unless you polish. Choose a renowned car polish and apply in small sections. Then quickly polish the section before moving to the next. To keep a protective barrier on your paintwork, apply two coats of car wax at least 4 times a year.
Clean the interior of your van
Make sure you have all your cleaning equipment ready. Firstly, a vacuum cleaner with a hose and all the attachments and an extension cable. Then a garden hose pipe, cleaning cloths, window cleaner and upholstery cleaner, whether for fabric plastic or leather.
Take out the mats and collect any rubbish and trash it. Vacuum as much as you can, including the dashboard. A brush attachment for the vacuum should be used on the seats. The long crevice attachment will reach between the seats and other hard to get to areas.
Shake and vacuum the floor mats. If you have rubber mats, hose them off and leave to dry. Spray vinyl cleaner onto the vinyl surfaces, dashboard and door trims,clean, then buff gently to achieve a nice shine. Spray all the windows with window cleaner and briskly rub, then polish with a clean duster, leaving no streaks. Now give your van a good spray with air freshener, to get it back to that new car smell that we all love.
Most of us don’t have the time, or maybe the inclination, to hand wash our vehicles, but it really is better than taking it to an automatic car wash with the big, scratchy brushes. And every once in a while treat your van to a complete valet service, where they hand wash and polish until it looks like new. This being said, click here to read everything you need to know about company van taxes.