A Black Car’s Worst Nightmare

Black Porsche 911 Turbo

Automatic Car Washes, Scratches, and that “Hot Wax”

It’s no secret that hand washes are better than automatic car washes. Time spent washing is directly related to the quality of car your car is getting; hand car washes are a natural option, but why? Ever wonder what’s really going on in an automatic car wash? Read on and witness why you won’t be going back to that $3 “QuickWash” anytime soon..

First we’ll discuss volume. The sheer volume that a typical 8 minute automatic car wash gets is incredible. They’re designed to pump out as many cars as possible, in the least amount of time – this is not the best philosophy if you’re going to be caring for the cars. At the same time, the machines that do the cleaning (those big spinning brushes or heavy noodle-looking things) are built to last a long time. The bottom line is that these machines are seeing far too many cars in a day. More cars means more dirt, and this means dirty equipment is being used over and over and over again.

Incase you haven’t noticed, many of these places are filthy. I don’t mean the rickety old chairs in the waiting area, and I don’t mean the overflowing garbage in the bathroom… I’m talking about what they’re using to clean your car. Those moldy cotton towels that seem to leave more behind than they do absorb (and haven’t been washed in days), those dangling noodles that have touched thousands of cars before yours (that are digging that dirt into your finish). If they don’t keep up their own appearance, how well do you think they’re going to work on your car to better its appearance? Makes you sick, right? Well every time you enter an automatic car wash, your car is basically sleeping with each and every car that the car wash has “cleaned.” Oh, and the car wash likes to share its germs.

For the readers with black paint, we feel for you. Black paint is the highest maintenance paint there is, and although it can look great, it’s getting trashed by the automated wash down the street. Those high-speed brushes carry dirt and grit from the many cars before yours, swiftly grind it against your car’s paint, and leave you with a fist full of swirl marks. Most people don’t realize it because they add the “hot wax” for $1, which they love because the “hot wax” is jumping on those minor swirls and scratches and filling them in right before your eyes. Luckily for the car wash, you wont see it until the wax runs of… in about a week.

These are the truths of automatic car washes, so consider yourself warned. It’s not that hard to search for a hand car wash near you, that’s what Google is for. Do your car a favor and treat it to something special, a hand car wash.

Don’t forget, you can always show your car the love it deserves by washing it yourself at home with a car wash kit!