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Automatic vs DIY car washes – here’s the lowdown

  • Car Wash
  • Natasha Young
  • 6 minutes

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Most people see their car as their travel buddy, a labor of love and an investment that has paid off. This means that maintaining its health, regardless of cost, should be a top priority. Each car washing method has a fair number of users. Since both automatic and DIY car washing has their advantages and disadvantages, the debate over which method is best has intensified. In this blog, we get into the nitty-gritty of automatic v/s DIY car washes. 

Black car in automatic car wash center

Automatic car wash 

Practically every industry is moving toward the employment of automation. Automatic car washes have their advantages and disadvantages, but many people prefer them for a variety of reasons. 


  • Gentle on the car’s exterior: One of the most prized components of a car is its paintwork, and the owner should take great care to preserve it. Body paints get ruined by scratches caused by harsh brushes. On the other hand, the gentleness and effectiveness of the automatic car wash procedure are gentle. It leaves your car’s exterior with very minimal to no damage. 
  • Automation: As there is no chance of omitting any of the steps input into the machine’s memory, its output is faultless. Handwashing at home depletes one’s energy, and humans aren’t faultless. People who are overworked are more prone to make mistakes and leave behind dirt and dust on a vehicle’s body. With no room for fatigue, the automatic car wash claims to be capable of cleaning even the most difficult-to-reach parts of the vehicle. 
  • Cost-effective and saves time:  Modern carwash processes used by automated carwash save time and water. You can save money because of the minimal water usage and the short time it takes to clean the vehicle. An automatic carwash may take as little as five to ten minutes. And is an option most professionals would take. 
  • Customized: With automated washing equipment, carwashes can be tailored to their customers’ specific demands. Automated processes allow them to perform a variety of coat maintenance procedures in a short period of time. 


  • Water spots: In certain automated car washing, the air dry or final hand cloth dry may not be completely successful, especially if outdated equipment is employed. This might leave wet streaks on the car’s body. 

Read: How to prep your car before an automatic car wash

DIY car wash 

Despite the perception that DIY car washing is time-consuming, its advantages make it a viable option for the foreseeable future. DIY car washing has several advantages and disadvantages which need to be addressed before going for it.  


  • Customized: DIY car washing is often considered to be a success because the user has had direct touch with the vehicle. Use a hand wash and additional coating methods in tandem. Taking the time to dry the automobile following operations like claying and waxing improves the odds of removing all of the dirt off your vehicle. Buckets and sponges used for automobile handwashing are typically less expensive and may be purchased at any store. 
  • Improved accessibility: Some portions of the car’s body that machines can’t reach can still be cleaned by hand.  


  • Abrasion: As a result of the paint being so fragile, the most common concern with DIY car washing is the risk of scratching or damaging the paint. Rags and sponges get densely packed with hard items due to the gradual accumulation of microscopic dirt particles. If you use a sponge or cloth that has built up these thick spots while scrubbing over painted surfaces, you may end up with a few scratches. 
  • Shoddy finish:  Even while it is feasible to find the dirt and attempt to remove it, the muscles of the body may not always be strong enough to deal with the sticky nature of filth. Soap residue left on car coatings may also diminish the appearance of automobiles. 
  • Time-consuming: To wash one’s hands, one must exert a lot of effort. They are more prone to fail if the muscles are fatigued. To top it all off, hand washing an automobile is time-consuming, and at times may need hours of labor. 
  • Water wastage: Many automatic carwashes have an advantage over manual cleaning in terms of water use. 

Read: All you need to know about clean cars and fuel efficiency

Automatic v/s DIY car wash 

In order to get the most out of your car, you have to decide what you’re willing to give up in order to get the most out of it. When it comes to most things, it all comes down to your level of wisdom.  


Automatic car wash is the clear winner in terms of quality. They employ high-pressure hoses, foam cannons, microfiber towels, vehicle shampoos and conditioners, clay bars, and polishers and waxes to clean your car. And when issues like winter salt accumulation cannot be avoided, they provide the finest solutions. 

Because salt not only causes corrosion but also damages a car’s undercarriage, it is a detriment to one’s vehicle. Bugs, birds, and brake dust are some of the most typical issues that necessitate precise cleaning techniques. In addition to yielding subpar results, utilizing household cleaning supplies such as a water hose, sponge, and dishwashing soap can severely harm a car’s paint.  

When using low-quality sponges and brushes instead of high-quality items, scratch marks may occur. In addition, prolonged exposure to direct sunshine may cause a car’s finish to become rough or even burnt in some cases. Professional carwashes give their consumers convenience in addition to their obviously high-quality service.   


Typical auto owners who want to save a few dollars. They choose to clean their vehicles themselves rather than pay a professional to do it. Do-it-yourself car washing at home is almost free, save for a few basic cleaning supplies. There are car care facilities that provide affordable car wash services. It’s better to look out for discounts and promotions. We recommend you to visit Way.com or download the Way app (available on iOS and Android) if you are looking for the best affordable car wash in your neighborhood. 

Final Verdict 

When it comes to Automatic v/s DIY car wash, an automatic car wash is the best and most convenient option. However, some automobile models, such as high-end luxury vehicles, are best cleaned by hand in order to maintain their sparkling appearance. An automated car wash is clearly superior to a DIY car wash when the advantages and disadvantages of each are weighed against one other.


Struggling to find the best car wash for your car in your neighborhood? We recommend you to visit Way.com or download the Way app (available on iOS and Android). Enjoy a safe and touch-free car wash experience with Way. Just scan and drive away with a spotless car!

Read our blogs for information on the best airport parking and hourly parking spots near you and the most affordable insurance for your car.


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