History

Outside of the CSI Building

Founded in 1976 in De Pere, Wisconsin, CSI® began as a pressure wash company focused on cleaning trucks. Through the leadership of founder Dave Krause, CSI® began marketing nationally to the car wash market by developing The One Step®, the first effective frictionless one-step detergent. This invention, together with Advantage®, the first detergent made for reclaim systems relying on associative technology, positioned the company in the industry leading role that it maintains today.

With a focus on innovation, CSI® experienced immense growth and went on to launch a series of new products to the market including Lustra®, Lustra Shield®, and our Earth Ready® product line that reflects our passion for environmental protection. In 2010, the introduction of our Ultraflex® equipment and ultra-concentrated product line again pushed CSI® to the forefront of the carwash industry, and we plan to continue to lead and innovate for many years to come.

Timeline

  • 1976
    • CSI® was founded as a pressure washer company focused on cleaning trucks.
  • 1980
    • The focus of the company was changed to the manufacturing and developing of its own detergents.
  • 1984
    • Began marketing nationally to the car wash market by developing The One Step®, the first effective frictionless one-step detergent.
  • 1987
    • Moved from 4,000 square foot facility to 12,000 square foot facility.
  • 1991
    • Became touch-free detergent experts when Advantage®, the first detergent made for reclaim systems relying on associative technology was introduced.
  • 1992
    • Expanded to a 24,000 square foot facility.
  • 1997
    • Built new 67,000 square foot corporate headquarters.
  • 1999
    • Sold the pressure washer division to focus on providing specialized cleaning and protection products for the transportation industry.
    • Introduced The One Step® NC2™.
  • 2001
    • Became an ISO 9001 Registered Company
    • CSI® proves once again that they are the technological leaders by introducing THEANSWER™, a non-corrosive low pH presoak.
  • 2002
    • Achieved an industry milestone by offering a complete line of cleaning and protection solutions that was HF and ABF free.
    • Introduced the brand “Lustra” to appeal more to the consumer and to help the operator promote his wash.
  • 2006
    • CSI® celebrated its 30th Anniversary.
    • Developed the latest innovations in Polymer Technology, CSI® introduces LustraShield® featuring a Total Surface Gloss.
  • 2008
    • Introduced the EarthReady® environmentally friendly product line and marketing program.
    • The Consumer Experience sales and marketing program developed which focuses on improving the consumer’s satisfaction and experience at the car wash.
    • CSI® received ISO 9001:2008 re-certification.
  • 2009
    • CSI® received ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Certification.
  • 2010
    • Introduced Ultraflex®, ultra-concentrated product line and equipment.
    • LustraShield® with BDR® introduced.
  • 2012
    • Introduced SAS™ – Solution Application Systems
  • 2015
    • Introduction of iLevel Ultrasonic Monitoring System
  • 2016
    • CSI celebrates it’s 40th Anniversary as the global leader in chemical technology for the transportation industry.