The magic of your local car wash is that it can clean a winter’s worth of road salt, dirt and grime off a vehicle in one pass. But it’s not magic, it’s science working on your behalf. And that science is performed by chemists knowing exactly what chemical cleaners are needed to shed that dirt while protecting all a vehicle’s different materials and finishes.
Where some cleaners such as laundry soaps need to factor in multiple combinations of stains and fabric types, car wash chemists have a good idea the surfaces and types of dirt and grime (tar, asphalt, oils, sap and road salt) they are dealing with. This allows them to formulate more effective cleaners.