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Why You Should Hand Wash Your Car Rather Than Using Automatic Car Wash

By Liam Houghton


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Owning a vehicle is, without a doubt, convenient. However, cars are more than just a way for people to get from point A to point B. They are an essential part of everyday life and even reflect your personality and interests. People buy sunshades to protect their vehicle’s dashboard, seats covers to protect the upholstery, and choose which type of fuel will help extend the life of their engine. But despite the obvious attachment and caring, people often neglect the importance of hand car wash.

Washing Car With Hand
Washing Car With Hand

The Importance of a Clean Vehicle

Nowadays, people are so involved in their jobs and daily routines that they often forget to keep their vehicle ‘spic n span’. Nevertheless, this doesn’t reduce the importance of cleaning your vehicle. A clean car can make all the difference in how you feel about your vehicle. Knowing that your vehicle looks as good on the outside as it is on the inside can give you the feeling of accomplishment and pride.

Additionally, for optimal performance, it is essential to keep your vehicle clean both from the inside and out. Dust and air react with oxygen which causes rust on the exterior parts of your vehicle. Not to mention, if you forget to clean your vehicle from the inside, it may result in an awful bad smell. Therefore, keep in mind to wash your car on a regular basis to prevent rust and keep the interior clean to prevent any electronic issues and ensure your vehicle stays smell-free. So, how can you keep your vehicle clean? Well, you can consider hand washing your vehicle or opt for automatic car wash. But, why you should hand wash your car when you can easily use a automatic car wash? Continue reading to understand.

Although most people might argue that automatic car wash is a highly effective means of cleaning your vehicle, it isn’t. The only benefit automatic car washes provide is convenience! Otherwise, if time would not be a factor, hand washing vehicles tends to be better in every way. To understand more, let’s take a look at a few of the benefits of hand washing your vehicle over automatic car wash:

Automatic Car Washes Can Cause Damage To Your Car

After using an automatic car wash, have you ever noticed damage to your car? It can be anything from swirls to scratches. Why this happens is because automatic car wash centers use equipment that is damaged from washing several cars a day but they do not repair or replace the equipment. A lot of the times, they use cheap products which can cause damage to the paint of your car. Moreover, many times there are dirty cars that come in the car wash and leave their dirt behind on the brush or cloth that will scrub your car next. This causes further damage to your car paint. If you care about how your car looks, we would recommend washing it yourself to avoid these minor dings that add up.

Detect Problems – Thorough Inspection

In automatic car washes, since you do not have to do anything, you aren’t aware of any problems or issues that may arise and cause engine faults in the future. The beauty of a do-it-yourself car wash, however, is that not only is it more effective, but when you wash your car personally, every single spot gets checked. Therefore, this can help detect potential problems and discover clear coat cracks, rust spots, and paint damage. Additionally, it can even help uncover small defects that might be fixable then and there, before things get out of hand and end up costing you hundreds of dollars.

Teaching Opportunities – Fun Activity

One of the best things of hand washing your vehicle is it can be a fun activity which you can enjoy with your kids. Your children can get to learn more about how to maintain cars and how to effectively clean each vehicle part. On the other hand, automatic car washes are extremely boring. All you have to do is sit idle on the seats and wait for your vehicle to get washed. Therefore, it doesn’t provide you an opportunity to teach your kids the importance of keeping a car clean.

Community – Gets You Out Of the House

How much time do you spend on the computer and away from your community? Probably lots, right? Hand washing your vehicle gives you the opportunity to get out of the house and finally look forward to something. It allows you to meet neighbors and friends for a change without the use of technology. While it may appear a little old school, hand washing your vehicle is actually fun. It’s like a ritual in which the world stops and you get to see your vehicle being restored to its beautiful shiny and clean self, one step at a time.

Better Results – Effective Cleaning

Automatic car washes produce less desirable results, as compared to hand washes. This is mainly because the lack of immediate and thorough contact with the vehicle in automatic car washes impairs the ability to clean efficiently and completely and free your car from all dust, mud and dirt. On the other hand, a visual inspection by a real person ensures that each and every part and component is cleaned thoroughly, giving your vehicle that ‘I just got washed’ sparkle.

No Money Required – Savings

When it comes to automatic car washes, even $5 per week (the minimum) can end up costing you $240 a year. However, in hand car washes, since there is no need to pay to get your car washed, it results in potential savings. While you might argue that supplies, water and other cleaning agents might cost just as much, they actually don’t. One bucket of water is good enough to clean your vehicle thoroughly, and cleaning agents, wax and other shinning adhesives can easily last you months upon months, allowing you to clean your vehicle more often than usual. So, which option looks better now?

A Mix of Both Methods – When You Don’t Have Time

As mentioned earlier, nowadays where daily commutes and busy schedules are commonplace, it can somewhat be difficult for people to hand wash their vehicle. Therefore, if you have trouble with water regulation, it is advised to go for waterless car wash, which uses special cleaning adhesives to clean your vehicle without the use of water.

Additionally, if you are short on time and cannot hand wash your vehicle regularly, it is better to opt for a touch less car wash (automatic car wash). If you are looking for even better results, then you can combine both forms of cleaning. For example, on regular days you can hand wash your vehicle, but on days when there is more dust and wind, opt for automatic car wash.

As you can see, hand washing your vehicle has numerous benefits over automatic car wash. Nevertheless, if you don’t have enough time, you can always go for a mix of both methods. Or you could get your car hand washed by someone in your area who does it, which is definitely a better choice than automatic car wash.

If you want to learn how to wash your car properly, see this video

Feel free to share your opinion in the comments section below and share this article with others!


About Liam Houghton

Liam has been an automotive enthusiast probably since birth and grew up restoring classic cars with his dad. He still remembers the exact moment when his dad showed him the inner workings of an engine and learned how it works. Also an avid racing fan, especially when it comes to Formula 1, Liam has contributed a unique blend of insight into both the classic car brands and sports car segments on GCB since joining the team in 2016. Learn more about GCB's Editorial Process.

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