How to choose the right type of car wash

Choosing the right car wash isn’t as simple as you might think. To select the best car wash for your vehicle, it’s important to first decide how much you want to spend, how much time you want to invest in washing your car, and how important the resale value of your vehicle is. With this handy guide, you’ll be able to pick the right car wash for you.

Washing your car by hand

A hand car wash is the most time consuming method of washing your car, but it is the most thorough and also the least likely to damage your car’s paint work. The best method for hand washing your car (or for someone you’ve hired to hand-wash your car) is to rinse all the excess dirt from the paint, then use warm, soapy water to wash your vehicle, then rinse. Next, you’ll want to thoroughly dry your vehicle with a chamois leather cloth doing your best to eliminate any streaks. Finally, apply a high-quality protective wax. You don’t want to apply wax in direct sunlight; and you don’t want to let the sun dry your car or you’ll get sunspots (where drops of water evaporate). This approach will leave your car sparkling clean and should take approximately two hours if done properly.

Don’t have a driveway or a hose? There are a number of do-it-yourself washing stations for you to choose from in any city. These washing stations provide you with sprayers, water, and sometimes soap or other amenities. All you have to do is provide the elbow grease.

Hand car washing services

If you don’t have time to do this yourself, try using a hand car washing service. Although this is the most expensive method, you can be assured of high quality results and you’ll have saved yourself a couple of hours. Many car washing services now offer a valeting service, so you can get the interior of your car cleaned as well as the exterior. When selecting a hand car-washing service, be sure that they are fully insured in case your car is damaged while in their care.

There are also a number of mobile waterless car washing services, which use different types of products to clean your car. This is definitely worth considering if water restrictions are something you face in your area.

The classic automatic car wash

The last method to consider is using an automatic car wash. This is the fastest and cheapest method of washing your car. Many gas stations have an automatic car wash that you can simply drive through to get your car cleaned. However, the stiff brushes that are used in this process can leave tiny scratches in your vehicle’s paint work. Over time, these scratches accumulate dirt and dull the appearance of your paintwork. They can also lead to rust if the scratches are deep enough. If you’re looking to maintain your paint (and car value) over time, you’ll probably want to steer clear of this option and go with a by-hand car washing service.

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