July 5, 2023 | Kaddy Gibson

Here’s Why You Should Skip The Automated Car Wash

When it comes to keeping a car clean, most people would rather sit through an automatic car wash than scrub their ride by hand. In a world where many of us are always on the go or lack access to private driveways, automated car washes are a quick and easy way of getting the job done. But the fast way isn’t always the best way. Keep reading to learn more about the dangers of automatic car washes and how to properly clean your vehicle.

The Dangers Of Automatic Car Washes

While those big rotating brushes at the car wash may seem like a great way to get a gleaming finish, they often do more harm than good. In addition to dirt from other vehicles, the brushes at automated car washes are full of tiny contaminants that leave swirl marks and scratches on your car. Frequent exposure to these dirty brushes will dull the paint on your vehicle and make it look older. While the damage can be repaired, it is a timely and costly process. So, although a car wash may seem cheap today, you could end up paying a lot more for wax, polish, or a ceramic coating in the future.

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Three Tips For Handwashing Your Car

Handwashing obviously takes more effort than going to an automated car wash, but it is better for your vehicle in the long run. All you need are the right supplies and an hour or two of free time.

1. Work In The Shade

Try to avoid washing your car in direct sunlight or when the vehicle is hot. Heat and UV rays can leave unsightly water spots on your paint, so try to park in the shade or wash the car at cooler times of the day. If you do not have a private driveway, you can go to a self-service car wash and get the job done there.

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2. Go From Top To Bottom

To avoid scratches, start at the top of the car and work your way down. Rinse and scrub the roof, hood, and trunk before moving onto the doors, bumpers, and fenders. In addition to preventing scratches, this will keep dirt from splashing onto areas that you have already cleaned.


3. Use The Right Supplies

Always use car shampoo and polish when cleaning your vehicle. Other cleaning solutions like dish soap and household disinfectants contain harsh chemicals that will strip your car’s wax finish and ruin the paint. Using the incorrect cleaners can also dull chrome parts and damage plastic or rubber bits. You should avoid using brushes with hard bristles, as these can also cause scratching and swirl marks. Use soft bristle brushes, microfiber towels, and shammies to give your car the perfect finish.

Automated car washes are very convenient but should not be used on a regular basis. Handwashing is the best way to keep your car clean and maintain a high-quality finish for years to come.

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