5 Reasons to Never Use A Car Wash

Last updated on December 23rd, 2022 at 08:13 pm

A blue BMW parked in a car park

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Taking your vehicle to a car wash may seem like a quick and efficient way to clean it. However, car washes can cause more harm to your vehicle than good. From mineral deposits and acid-etching chemicals to those whipping brushes, we would recommend that you think twice before taking your vehicle to your local car wash. With that in mind, discover some of the reasons why you should not take your vehicle to a car wash. 

5 Ways A Car Wash Can Damage Your Car

Abrasive brushes can cause damage to the exterior of your vehicle

The main reason why you should never take your car to a car wash is because the abrasive brushes. They can scratch the paint on your vehicle. While a lot of the newer car washes have gotten rid of those old abrasive brushes the slapping of these brushes against the side of your vehicle can still result in problems. After all, the brushes are covered with all of the grime from the vehicles before yours. This is why hand washing is highly recommended. 

It is important to stress that your paintwork can be scratched and effectively ruined no matter what type of vehicle you have. You may think that your car is durable and that you have nothing to worry about. Yet no paint job can withstand what can effectively be like sandpaper against the surface of your car. The problem only gets worse and worse if you use car washes on a regular basis. 

Strong cleaners can include chemicals that etch the glass

You may not give a lot of consideration to the chemicals that are being sprayed onto your vehicle but a lot of the cleaners are bad news for your car windows. Yes, they may be great at dissolving grime, dirt, and rust, but a lot of them will contain powerful hydrofluoric acids. If the acids are not diluted correctly, they can etch the glass.

Mineral deposits can impact your car’s paintwork as well 

Another reason why we do not recommend taking your vehicle to a car wash is because of the mineral deposits that can be left behind on a sunny day. It turns out that your vehicle likes filtered water just as much as you do! Mineral deposits can be left behind on your car’s paint after hard water has been used. This happens when the water evaporates too quickly afterward, which often occurs during the summer months. This can leave behind permanent water spots. 

High water pressure used can mean an expensive paint job on your hands

You also need to be mindful of strong water pressure. You may not be bothered by the small chip in your vehicle’s paint job right now, yet if it is blasted with high water pressure, it can expand and this may result in an expensive repair job. A fast blast of water at close range can do some serious damage when there is enough pressure used. If pressurised water gets underneath the paint, it can force up the exposed edge and more paint will peel away. 

Your mirrors, windshield wipers, and antennas are vulnerable to damage

You should also give a bit of thought to your mirrors, windshield wipers, and antennas. If you have a private number plate from the likes of Platehunter, take this into account. A lot of the new vehicles will hide their antenna under a shark fin design on the roof of the vehicle. However, this is not always the case for all cars, especially older models. Exposed antennas on older vehicles can snap, as can windshield wipers. A lot of people who take their vehicles to a local car wash end up having their windshields broken or bent. This happens more often than you may expect. Another problem is that the water pressure can end up chewing up the plastic gears that enable the wipers to move. Your side mirrors are also very vulnerable to damage when going through a carwash.

What Is The Best Way To Wash A Car?

It is clear to see that there are a lot of risks going to a local car wash. This is why it is always recommended to have your vehicle clean by hand. Not only will this protect the longevity and appearance of your vehicle, but it will result in a much better clean as well because the level of attention to detail is much greater.

Always use a car specific soap to get the best results. Start at the top of the car and let gravity do some of the work when rinsing. While a power washer may be useful, you can still get great results washing your car by hand and using a hose with a spray attachment.


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