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Do car washes scratch your car? Busting this popular car wash myth [VIDEO]

  • Car Wash
  • Samuel Green
  • 4 minutes

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Are you afraid of visiting car washes? Do you think automated car washes cause scratches on your vehicle? In reality, it’s one of the safest options to get your car cleaned. Read on to know why.    

Some vehicle owners have a common misconception that professional car washes – especially drive-thru car washes – can damage your car’s finish, which is far from the truth. In this post, we will tell you why drive-thru car washes are safe and hassle-free. What’s more, we’ve also included top tips you can follow to avoid damage to your four-wheeled friend.

Do car washes really scratch your car?    

If you’re someone who thinks automated car washes scratch your car and damage your car’s exterior, then you’re sorely mistaken. Drive-thru car washes are one of the safest options out there. But, do you want to know one of the main reasons for scratches and swirl marks on a car? Oftentimes car owners themselves are the culprits! According to experts, vehicle owners’ improper handwashing techniques are the main reason for scratches.    

However, it would be best to be cautious of locations that use older equipment or follow unsafe washing procedures. For example, some locations still use abrasive brushes to clean your vehicle, which can cause scratches on your car. Also, some locations do not clean the equipment regularly. During the cleaning process, scratches can be caused on your car when the dirty equipment comes into contact with your vehicle.    

drive-thru car washe

Why should you wash your vehicle in a drive-thru car wash?   

Drive-thru car washes offer you a quick and hassle-free cleaning experience. If you’re someone who never finds time to clean your car at home, then visiting a drive-thru car wash near you is a great option. You no longer have to spend hours scrubbing the dirt off your car; drive-thru car washes can make your vehicle squeaky clean in no time.   

Do car washes scratch your car?

Although drive-thru vehicle washes are affordable, regular visits can put a dent in your wallet – this is where we can help you. Start using the Way.com app or website to get your car cleaned at a top-rated car wash near you for the lowest possible prices. You can now enjoy a safe and contactless car wash experience with Way.com. Just scan and drive away with a spotless car! 

Top tips to avoid damage

  • For a scratch-free cleaning experience, you can visit locations that use soft cloth applicators instead of abrasive brushes. The cloth applicators are gentle on your paint and don’t cause any paint damage.   
  • You can choose a touchless car wash if you own a Tesla or other expensive cars. In this method, no cleaning equipment directly contacts your vehicle – which means the chances of scratches are very minimal.   
  • Avoid facilities that employ the towel dry method. The towels used can be filled with dirt on a busy day. The dirty towel, when used on your car, can cause micro-scratches. So, if you notice a dirty towel, it is completely okay to drive back without drying your car. A wet car is better than a car filled with scratches. 
  • While using a pressure washer, always begin the process with lower pressure and increase gradually. Sometimes the force of the water can chip off the paint. Also, use less force on parts like headlights, glass, and mirrors. Standing a little away from the vehicle could do the trick if the pressure washer is not adjustable.   
  • Sometimes spending a little time reading about the establishment can save you all the trouble. Before choosing a location, read about the cleaning techniques, equipment, and prices. Also, take a look at user reviews on sites like Way.com

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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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