What is a car wash

There are different options for a car wash, which also appeal to different preferences. While one person wants to wash his car as quickly as possible, it is more important for the other to clean the car gently. However, not every option is sensible or even allowed. For example, washing your car on Saturdays on your own property is not easy. In order to protect the groundwater from ingress of oil, a secure subsurface is necessary, which most private properties do not have.


For many car owners who value gentle washing, this turns out to be extremely unfavorable. The best wash for the car is still hand washing, because an optimal result can be achieved with little pressure and a lot of foam. It is not only more thorough than a car wash, but also protects the paintwork, rubber seals and other materials; but only if you use the right cleaning utensils. Coarse sponges, dirty rags or the wrong cleaner can scratch the paintwork or make it dull.

The right cleaning materials

To clean your car by hand, self-service boxes at car washes are ideal. In any case, the car should first be sprayed with a high-pressure cleaner from a distance of 20 centimeters to remove coarse dirt and to prevent it from causing paint damage when hand washing. You should also pay attention to this distance with the tires, otherwise the rims can be damaged. In order to continue to avoid damage to the paintwork, the condition of the foam brush should be observed in a self-service box. Coarse dirt from the previous car is often deposited here, which - especially if the pressure is too strong - can leave scratches on the entire vehicle.


If you don't want to use the foam brush or if you have the option of washing the car on private ground, it is best to have two buckets available for washing: one for clean, fresh water for cleaning and one for rinsing out brushes and rags . This again prevents dirt particles from turning into sandpaper and attacking the paint.


Microfiber cloths are another tool for washing gently and getting into the smallest spaces. In addition, special attention should be paid to the cleaner: Common household cleaners such as washing-up liquid are unsuitable, as they have a grease-dissolving effect and thus damage the paintwork in the long term. It is better to use special car shampoos. To avoid unsightly water stains, the car should be rubbed with a leather cloth after washing. The windows, headlights and mirrors can be cleaned with normal glass cleaner.

Special case of convertible fabric roof

Convertible roofs made of fabric are sometimes a special case when it comes to cleaning. Although new models are robust and can withstand a wash, older models should definitely be washed by hand. In order to protect the roof, it should not be washed with every wash, but ideally only when it is really necessary. First, the coarse dirt is removed with brushes and a vacuum cleaner, then you can rework from front to back with car shampoo or diluted washing-up liquid. The use of a high-pressure cleaner is also possible, but then a distance of at least 40 centimeters should be maintained.


In particular, dirt such as bird droppings or insects should be removed as quickly as possible, otherwise they have a corrosive effect and the upper material can fade. However, you should never treat them with water that is too hot, otherwise the same effect can occur. After washing, it is advisable to waterproof the roof. Only when the convertible top is completely dry should it be opened again, otherwise mold stains and even mold may appear.

Washing systems - this must be taken into account

Car wash systems are ideal for those who cannot or do not want to wash their car by hand. However, there are also qualitative differences here that can have an effect on the car when washing the car: The most important thing is to ensure that soft textile brushes or cloths are used during operation and not hard brushes made of plastic, because these can also remove the paint scratch. But even before entering a car wash, small quality checks can be carried out in terms of cleanliness and smell: If the system smells musty, it is better to go to another.


This applies in particular to convertible roofs that have a plastic window, as this can be scratched and "blind" over time by plastic brushes. In order not to have to worry about any paint damage, the car should be checked for scratches on the car wash after every wash. These must be reported to the operator immediately. It is ideal if, if the worst comes to the worst, it can be confirmed by witnesses that the scratches were not there before the wash.


Basically, it should be noted that although many programs are offered in a car wash, less is often more with a car wash. A standard program is sufficient - it can be used twice if there is a lot of dirt. It is logical: the more often you wash a car, the more the paintwork suffers. In general, the car should not be washed too often, in the best case only if the dirt is visually disturbing or can leave permanent damage, as is the case with bird droppings, for example. Normally, however, modern paintwork withstands common dirt such as mud or insects and is not attacked by it.

You might also be interested in