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Car Wash Pros and Cons – Which one’s best for you?

  • Car Wash
  • Renee Martin
  • 6 minutes

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Let’s face it – with the¬†multitude of car wash options at your disposal, making the right choice for your car can be a bit of a doozy!¬†Can’t decide between touchless, brushless, automated,¬†or self-service¬†car washes?¬†Worry no more – we’re answering all your queries on the various¬†types of car washes, along with a detailed list of¬†car wash pros and cons¬†for each! Read on¬†to¬†know more.¬†¬†

Car Wash Pros and Cons ‚Äď Which one‚Äôs best for you?

1. Hand Washes:

Most¬†auto detailers¬†agree that the best way to¬†get¬†your car¬†squeaky clean¬†is¬†by giving it¬†a¬†professional¬†hand¬†wash.¬†Although there are¬†a few different ways to do a hand¬†wash,¬†the bottom line is that¬†the vehicle will need to undergo handson treatment.¬†These include conventional two-bucket processes to the use of high-tech, pressurized foam cannons.¬†Most detailers¬†start with a pre-wash,¬†which covers¬†the vehicle with snow foam¬†that is¬†rinsed¬†off the car.¬†The vehicle is then¬†brushed¬†down¬†with a film of¬†soapy¬†suds, which¬†is applied using specialized¬†soft wash mitts.¬†The foam¬†helps¬†break down¬†dirt and grime,¬†while¬†the¬†wash mitts help break them loose¬†from the car’s surface.¬†The car is then rinsed off and¬†carefully¬†dried by hand.¬†Hand washing¬†is one of the most efficient methods of¬†car cleaning¬†out there, but¬†be aware¬†that it’s also one of the costlier options¬†in the market.¬†

Pros: 

  • Provides deep cleaning of your car’s surface¬†
  • Minimal scratches left behind¬†

Cons: 

  • Timeconsuming process¬†
  • Costlier than automated car wash procedures¬†
  • Harder to do in cold weather conditions¬†Uses up a lot of water

CAR WASH PROS AND CONS

2. Waterless Washes:

A waterless wash process uses only a spray-bottle cleaning product,¬†which is applied and then removed using multiple microfiber¬†towels.¬†The car’s surface is simply sprayed down with¬†the¬†waterless wash¬†cleaning product,¬†which is¬†wiped¬†off¬†with a microfiber¬†towel or cloth.¬†Keep in mind that¬†the¬†waterless wash products,¬†despite their¬†claim to lubricate your vehicle’s surface¬†adequately,¬†also leave your car’s surface prone to scratches.¬†This type of car wash procedure is, therefore, often a¬†DIY and¬†last-resort option to go for, especially while out on the road¬†or when¬†there’s not enough access to water,¬†and¬†enough space for a hand wash.¬†

Pros: 

  • Less time consuming than other car wash methods¬†
  • No water usage involved¬†
  • Minimal¬†equipment¬†required¬†¬†
  • Limited space required for cleaning

Cons: 

  • Leaves your car prone to scratches
  • Difficult to remove heavy dirt, mud, and grime

3. RinselessWashes:

This method is a hybrid of the¬†hand and waterless wash processes. It involves diluting your¬†rinseless¬†wash product in a bucket of water, which arrests suds from being produced¬†–¬†eliminating the need for a rinse afterward. Simply wipe down the cleaned area,¬†and you’re good to go. A popular method chosen by car detailers is the ‘Garry Dean Process,’¬†which requires the soaking of multiple microfiber towels in a water-filled bucket. One of these microfiber towels is wrung out and set aside for drying the car off,¬†while the soaked ones are used for cleaning the vehicle’s surface. Ideal for those that have limited access to water,¬†this method is favored over the waterless wash procedure as it leaves behind¬†fewer¬†scratches.¬†¬†¬†

Pros: 

  • Faster than the hand wash process¬†
  • Minimal water usage involved¬†
  • Reduced chances of scratches¬†

Cons: 

  • Needs more equipment that waterless washes¬†
  • Cannot remove heavy dirt or mud

CAR WASH PROS AND CONS

4. Automatic Washes:

Often called¬†tunnel washes, this¬†wash type¬†involves driving your vehicle¬†into a¬†mechanical¬†structure which features a¬†conveyor belt¬†that¬†moves your car through a series of blowers and brushes. This¬†automated car wash¬†procedure¬†is¬†one of the most popular options available,¬†and its ease of use is highly attractive to customers across the board.¬†This no hassles method of having your car washed is light on your wallet and what‚Äôs more, takes hardly any time at all. Picture driving into one of the¬†automatic car washes¬†in a grimy car and voila, within minutes, you‚Äôre left with a speaking clean exterior.¬†Needless to say,¬†automatic car washes¬†are inexpensive and consume very little of your time, which is why it’s one of the most¬†convenient¬†and affordable¬†car wash options out¬†there.¬†

Pros: 

  • Cheap and inexpensive procedure¬†
  • Consumes the least amount of time¬†

Cons: 

  • Leaves car prone to heavy scratches¬†
  • Abrasive chemicals used¬†can¬†damage the car’s surface

CAR WASH PROS AND CONS5. Brushless Washes:

An offshoot of the automated car wash, the brushless wash procedure swaps out the hard and tough bristles¬†in the¬†wash bay¬†for soft strips of cloth¬†that claim to be less abrasive on your car’s surface. This couldn’t be further from the truth, however. Most customers aren’t aware that brushless washes can be as damaging to their vehicle’s surface as an automated wash¬†process. The dirt left behind on the strips of cloth used for the cleaning method tends¬†to mar the¬†surface¬†of your vehicle over time.¬†What’s more, the brushless process also uses harsh chemicals that can ruin your car’s finish and sheen.¬†

Pros: 

  • Cheap and inexpensive procedure¬†
  • Less amount of time involved¬†
  • Not as abrasive as a brush automated wash

Cons: 

  • Leaves car prone to heavy scratches¬†
  • Abrasive chemicals used¬†may¬†damage the car’s surface¬†
  • Unlikely to remove heavy dirt and grime

Car Wash Pros and Cons ‚Äď Which one‚Äôs best for you?

6. Touchless Washes:

Touchless car washes offer¬†cleaning services for your car that eliminate the use of any brushes, bristles,¬†and hand wash procedures. The entire wash process is instead conducted¬†using chemical cleaners,¬†highpressure water¬†washers, and pressurized air.¬†Customers should note that touchless washes are¬†entirely different from brushless ones and are often confused for one another. Make sure you ask ahead to find out the exact procedures that will be employed on your vehicle before committing. It also helps to¬†do a little research and¬†ask¬†what kind of chemicals are being used at the service station, to ensure these don’t¬†harm¬†your car’s surface and finish.¬†

Pros: 

  • Less expensive procedure than a hand wash¬†
  • Quick process¬†
  • Minimal likelihood of scratches

Cons: 

  • More expensive than automatic and brushless washes¬†
  • Abrasive chemicals used¬†to¬†damage the car’s surface¬†
  • Unlikely to remove heavy dirt and grime

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