There are plenty of risks that go along with automated car washes, but that doesn’t stop the average driver from taking their car through simply because it’s convenient. So, are touchless car washes better for your paint? Absolutely, but even the best touchless car wash has its pros & cons.
But why is that exactly? Let’s get into it.
What Is a Touchless Car Wash?
There are two main types of automated car washes. A touchless car wash and car washes that use those giant spinning brushes. Most people who care to keep their paint scratch and swirl free (I’m looking at you, guy with the black paint), prefer touchless washes because the brushes used in the other car washes can get clogged up with dirt, rocks, and other kinds of nasty debris from the previous vehicle. Those abrasive particles get spun around and dragged across your paint, leaving swirls and scratches.
The best touchless car wash in your neighborhood should be completely brush free. These car washes work by first spraying a chemical solution on your car to loosen grime and then spray off the loosened debris with high water pressure jets.
Is It Better to Hand Wash Your Car?
This may surprise you, but touchless washing does NOT replace the need for a quality hand wash. Touchless car wash soaps aren’t designed to get your vehicle 100% clean. You’ve probably even noticed after you got home from a car wash that it completely missed your bumper or there may even be a visible layer of road grime left behind.
Depending on how frequently you wash your car, this is pretty much expected. But why’s that?
Think about the dishes you leave sitting next to the sink for days before you end up washing them. All that gunk hardens and becomes a pain to remove. You end up filling your sink with dish soap and hot water and letting the crusty dishes soak (more wasted time). Then once they’ve soaked, you’re still going to have to scrub them. Simply rinsing with water isn’t going to cut it at that point.
Even with industrial strength car wash detergents, the same thing applies to your vehicle. So yes, it is better to hand wash your car than to take it through an automated touchless car wash.
How To Get The Most Out of Touchless Car Washes
I get it. Your time is valuable and washing your car by hand may seem tedious and time consuming, so a touchless car wash may seem like a convenient time saving solution.
The good news is that there are simple things you can do to maximize the end result you see from a touchless car wash. The easiest thing you can do is to make sure to seal your paint with a protective coating. Protective coatings like wax or ceramic coatings add an extra layer between your paint and harsh elements like rocks, dirt, and other debris from the road. These coatings make it difficult for dirt and grime to stick to your surface and make your next wash much easier.
If you don’t want to take your car to a professional detailer to install a ceramic coating or put a fresh coat of wax on, there are easier and cheaper options you can do right at home.
Remember how I said even the best touchless car wash doesn’t replace hand washing? Well, since you have to hand wash every now and again anyway, this is the perfect time to apply an easy spray on car wax. These types of protectants can be applied with a foam cannon, standard pump up sprayer (like the ones you use to spray lawn chemicals), or even in a spray bottle. These types of spray on protectants help to keep your paint safe for 30-90 days depending on your driving habits and storage.
Simply having a protective coating on your vehicle will make your touchless car wash results way better.
Does a Touchless Car Wash Damage Ceramic Coating?
Ceramic coatings can cost a lot of money to have professionally installed or can take a long time to do yourself. So it’s definitely a good idea to take care of it! Even with the softest microfiber wash mitt and car wash soap with high lubricity, you’d probably be surprised to know that a touchless wash is the better option. Any amount of friction will wear away ceramic coatings or wax protection over time. And yes, that even applies to water, just at a much slower rate.
When you’re washing with a mitt or brush, the extra friction from rubbing the soap on the paint does wear down the coating, even if it’s just a little. But the main concern is the particles of dirt and grime that the wash mitt or brush holds onto. If you’re used to washing with the two bucket method to remove debris, that’ll definitely reduce some of the risk of micro scratches, but there is still the chance for rogue particles you can’t see.
Touchless car washing removes this possibility since you’re not applying force with a brush or mitt. The chemicals do all the work of loosening the grime so you can rinse it off with a pressure washer easier.
And the best part?
Thanks to the water and dirt repelling qualities of a ceramic coating, my vehicle comes out completely clean every time. That’s how I get the best touchless car wash for my car without ever touching a brush or mitt to my paint.
This brings me to my next point…
The Best Touchless Car Wash - The DIY Solution
Sure, hitting up the drive through touchless car wash may give you time to scarf down your cheeseburger and fries on the way home from work, but a DIY touchless car wash will give you better results and take the same amount of time or less.
With rising prices of gas and everything else in our lives, I’m always looking for a more cost effective way to do everyday tasks. With these soaps, I can get the best touchless car wash for only $2.30 worth of chemicals per wash. If that sounds like what you're looking for, have a look at our touchless soaps.
Everything you need for the best touchless car wash:
1. A pressure washer with trigger and rinse lance
2. Foam Cannons or Foam Gun
3. Touchless car wash soaps
Two-step touchless washing is the best touchless car wash you can ask for. This is because you’re using two different types of soap with two different jobs. Dirt and grime sticks to your surface through static electricity, so all you need to do is break that static bond and the grime comes right off. The step one is a low pH presoak that neutralizes the positively charged particles stuck on your surface. Once you’ve pre soaked with the first step, leave the soap on there. The second step get’s foamed right overtop of the first. Step two is a high pH solution that neutralizes the first step and also the negatively charged dirt particles. The chemical reaction between these two soaps breaks the bond that makes dirt stick, so you can easily pressure wash it off!
If you want to see how you can get the best touchless car wash right at home, watch this video to see the process from start to finish.