October 26, 2017 at 12:37 PM
First impressions count. As a tradesman with a van meeting customers at their home or business premises, the initial impression they'll have is not of you personally but the van you arrive in. If you turn up in a dirty van, you're off to a bad start as they'll think that if you can't be bothered to keep your van clean, you probably can't be bothered to do first-class work either. That's definitely not the impression you want to give because as the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. So avoid that at all costs by making sure your van is spotless and gleaming.
While you can always take your van through an automatic car or van wash, the best you can hope for is a superficial cleaning job with spots and streaks appearing and noticeable dirty areas that were completely missed by the uncaring brushes. That's not good enough; do it yourself - properly.
Never wash your van in direct sunlight. It will dry too quickly and unevenly, leaving hard-to-shift streaks and spots. Tackle the dirtiest parts first. Normally that's the wheels, tyres and arches, so wash them thoroughly. A power hose is the most efficient way to remove most of the dirt and caked mud picked up from the road. With most of it gone, it's then easy to see any remaining grime, which you can wash away by hand with a suitable cloth. Hand wash the rest of the van from the top down with good quality cloths and use a soft long-handled cleaning brush to reach all parts of the roof.
Avoid household cleaners and detergents. They're not designed for cleaning vans or cars and may do more harm than good. Acid-free vehicle cleaning products and clean warm water is what you need to shift dirt safely and effectively. Also, make sure you have a separate bucket of clean water in addition to one with the cleaning agent to frequently rinse your cloth.
Remove everything from the interior and clean it as thoroughly as the exterior. Dirt accumulating in the interior may not look as bad, but unpleasant odours, which you probably don't notice anymore, can be very noticeable to anyone unfortunate enough to be within smelling distance.
Don't let your van dry itself. It won't dry evenly and spots will likely appear. Dry it quickly and evenly with a clean chamois or towel. That applies to windows, lights and mirrors, too, which are best dried with a micro-fibre cloth. Finally, apply a good polish designed for vehicle polishing. Different brands of polish may require different methods of application, so make sure you follow the provided instructions for that particular polish.
Now you're ready to make the kind of the first impression that your business deserves.