It’s about that time for you to get your car washed, which means you have some decisions to make. What kind of car wash are you looking for? Do you have the time to get a high quality car wash? What is the best option for your car?
Getting an automatic touchless car wash might cross your mind. You drive in, get sprayed down, and leave, with almost no work from you at all. It seems like it would be quick and easy, but is it safe for your car?
What Is a Touchless Car Wash?
Using a touchless car wash method means that the only things touching your car are soap and high pressurized water. Your car is first rinsed off with water, then it receives a layer of soap, and finally the soap is washed off with high pressure streams of water.
It may seem like a quick, and easy option when it comes to washing your car, but its effects can actually leave your car in an even worse condition than when you brought it in.
Let’s take a drive through an automatic touchless car wash to see some of the cons up close and personal.
Harsh Chemicals in Touchless Car Washes
We begin with the actual cleaning portion of this trip. Because there is no physical contact from cloth or towels in a touchless car wash, you lose that elbow grease needed to effectively remove dirt.
To compensate, touchless car washes use soaps containing high concentrations of harsh chemicals with a higher pH. This shortens the life of the wax and sealants on your car by messing with the chemical balance in the products.
Wash after wash, the soaps quickly strip away layers of your finish, and after just a few washes, the soap can even begin to strip the paint from your car. Without good sealants, your car is more susceptible to the various physical elements you encounter with driving; you lack protection from rain, hail, road debris, and more dirt.
Your car will appear dirtier, sooner, driving you to get yet another cleaning.
Power Wash Your Car
Next, your car needs to be rinsed off to remove the soap that was added, along with the dirt and debris that is still sitting there. Touchless car washes use high pressurized streams of water to blast anything and everything from your car. This aggressive and unsafe method breaks up the dirt buildup and sends waste flying across the surface of your car.
Consequently, you end up leaving scratches on the paint and plastic parts of your car. If you get more washes, there is a higher chance of the water chipping and possibly rusting parts of your car’s finish.
Conditioning Water in Automatic Washes
Your car is almost through, it just needs one final rinse. In order to efficiently run touchless machines with high pressure water, the water needs to go through a conditioning process. Basically, the water is “softened” through a process of adding salts and electricity, which removes larger minerals, making the water flow through the machines easier and faster.
Using water recycled from the car washes before yours is an eco-friendly characteristic of most car washes. The runoff is collected, filtered, used to rinse off your car, collected, filtered, and used again.
However, the reconditioning of water creates a buildup in the concentration of salt in the water, and will leave a foggy film of dried salt on the surface of your car. In touchless car washes, the water runoff carries a lot more debris because it is the water doing the heavy lifting in the cleaning process.
On the bright side, this layer of salt basically replaces the layer of your finish that was broken down earlier.
What You Should Do
Your car is dried off, and we are finished with our automatic touchless car wash journey. Now that it’s done, your car looks… not so great.
The safest and most effective way to wash your car without the damage is by simply using car wash specific soap with a soft cloth. While this can be done by hand, we invite you to stop by one of our automatic car wash locations that use cloth brushes and quality car washing equipment to negate the effects touchless car washes.
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Here at Flagstop, we believe in giving you the highest quality clean with the use of the safest car wash methods.
We offer that quick, easy, and affordable car wash with our express soft cloth and foam wash express soft cloth and foam wash method. This process gives you a high quality clean, while also being gentle on your car’s finish.
For a more in depth car wash, check out our full service interior and exterior packages.
Trust only your own two hands? Our self service provide all the materials needed to give your car the care it needs.