Mobile Car Washing, Auto Detailing and the Weather in California

California is a hot spot for mobile auto detailers and mobile car washers, why? Well, a lot has to do with the number of cars and the excellent weather. So, I wasn’t too surprised when someone from Sacramento, CA asked me a number of questions about the weather issues, particularly rain and how that effects the mobile car wash business. You see, he is considering starting such a small business enterprise himself and asks:

“Calif being the sunshine state we are lucky to have good sunny days,. When the rain comes would I still be able to work.”

Ah very good question, yes the weather, well eventually we figured that out and got it down to a Science. When cleaning fleets, rain helps you go faster, you use less water too, pre-soaking is seconds rather than minutes and rinsing is too. Cleaning concrete, shopping carts, signage, QSRs (, Decks (, well the rain is your friend. And as far as snow is concerned, well we have that licked too:

California market is good for a number of reasons, but has huge drawbacks too. The regulatory climate is insane and some upset small business owners say that the bureaucracy has its head up its rear-end most of the time. Ronald Reagan had some good quotes about that, much more critical than I have ever been.

Now then, this does not mean Rain is not an issue, it is, a big issue, but smart planning, good organizing, lots of accounts and being about to jockey the schedule is where you can win, turn the lemon grove that mother nature brought you into Sunkist Lemonade by the train loads. Oh cleaning trains is also a good business.


Then there are all those tomato trucks trailers outside of Sac, we cleaned those in the rain, should have gotten on TV for that; Most Dirtiest Jobs! Yuk, but it sure paid good. Next, the future entrepreneur asks me another great question: “People tend to let their cars go in the winter and not wash them as often. How could I keep working in the winter months, switch to planes?”

Yep, people, i.e. – personal cars, SUVs, office lot washing or Corporate onsite employee car washing, can be an issue in winter and in Sac, depending on the year, El Nino for instance, it can be challenging for that sector of the business. Switching to planes is not that easy, planes are an all year-round endeavor anyway, and you need to know what the hell you are doing, have accounts, lots of insurance and your employees need to be a higher caliber, perhaps pilots themselves and back ground checked too.