Home / Tips / Washing – Choosing the best option

Washing – Choosing the best option

Keeping your vehicle looking good between details can be a challenge.  Bad weather, sun, and road grime, make it difficult to maintain the beauty of your recently detailed vehicle.  The single most important thing you can do during this period to keep your vehicle looking great is, giving your vehicle a “car wash”.  Although your vehicle was polished and waxed during your most recent detail, giving it a good weekly wash will help keep contaminates and particles from building up on your vehicles paint requiring another detail and potentially causing premature paint damage. 

Whether it’s a gas station, mechanic shop, or a professional detailer, you have many choices when it comes to getting your vehicle washed.  However, all these car wash options aren’t necessarily equal.  They range in both quality and price, so how do you go about deciding which option is best for you?
Well to start off, let’s go with the obvious.  The cheapest way to wash your vehicle is to do it yourself.  All you need is a small amount of automotive soap and about an hour of your time.   However, unless done correctly, hand washing can damage your vehicle’s finish.  An improper washing technique, such as reintroducing brake dust or other contaminates onto your finish from a dirty mitt or sponge creates the potential for severe scratching.  Not thoroughly rinsing your vehicle prior to washing or using dirty water can produce the same result. Additionally, using inappropriate cleaners for example, dishwashing soap, can also be detrimental to your vehicle’s surface.  It’s certainly possible to give your vehicle a good safe wash at home; you just need to be extra careful and ensure you’re using the correct products.

The second option for getting your vehicle washed is the automated car washes.  They come in two basic categories; the older brush wash process and the newer “touch-less” or high pressure washes.
The basic automated brush car wash process involves a rotating nylon brush, oversized foam, or cloth strips that are dragged over your vehicle.  Although this type of washing technique can be effective, if the brushes and pads aren’t cleaned after each vehicle, the potential exists for the dirt and grime from prior washings to be introduced onto your vehicle.  This contact can be very abrasive, potentially leaving fine scratches and –swirls–. Additionally, since this option is “automated”, it lacks the personal attention to ensure that all the dirt has been removed from your vehicle.

Contrary to what you might think, “touch-less” automatic car washes are actually better for your vehicles finish than washing it yourself according to studies conducted by Mercedes Benz and The University of Texas.  They use high pressure jets of water to blast away the dirt and grime. The lack of contact prevents marring and micro scratching that can occur from hand washing to appear on your vehicle.  These washes are normally only a few dollars at your local car wash or gas station and can go a long way to help maintain that newly detailed look.

The last option is a professional vehicle detailer.  Although the cost is slightly higher than automated washes, you have the peace of mind that your vehicle is being washed by a professional.  Their experience and careful hand washing process combined with the right products ensure high quality results.  .

No Comments

Comments are closed.