Car Wash comparison

Drive Thru Brush wash

The absolute worst choice for caring for your car! The brushes can clog with dirt, spinning furiously over your paintwork, far too harsh for this century’s paintwork !  

Drive-Through Laser wash

 This is where it gets tricky; a common misconception is that if it is a “Touch-Free” car wash, then it cannot possibly hurt your vehicle as there is no brush contact. However, here’s the fact most customers don’t know. A Laser-Wash works like this: Normally sprays 2 coats of Detergent, followed by a rinse, then a “spray wax”. The biggest problem is in the first step, these types of washes rely on a harsh chemical to remove dirt, acid based for the first coat, then a strong alkaline for the second coat (They react with each other which is designed to dissolve the top layer of dirt) which will strip off any protection on your paintwork, (i.e. Polish or wax) so your vehicle is basically stripped back, keep going back and over time it may damage your top layer of paint. The spray wax certainly looks good as it’s going on but just watch how it does nothing to “bead” the water (except on your glass, because glass is non-porous). This is an indication of the level of protection left on your vehicle, if the water’s not beading on your paintwork , it’s not protected. Another common problem with Laser-Washes is fading of Headlights; the Pre-soak can strip away the Acrylic coating on your headlights over time, causing “Yellowing”. Bull bars, mag wheels and other alloy parts of the vehicle can eventually turn a whitish shade.  In my experience a Laser-wash will only remove the top layer of dirt, if you want to test this, after you go through a Laser-wash, take a soft white cloth and wipe it on parts of the paintwork (especially the side panels) and see if it’s clean!    

Do-It-Yourself Wash bay.

Probably the safer option if you’re not set up to do the wash at home properly. There are a few things to bear in mind before you use this option; ALWAYS clean the brush before you use it, chances are the last person didn’t clean the brush, and it’s full of dirt! (And also clean it after you use it for the next person !) The Pre-Wash spay in the wash bays is also usually an Alkaline based chemical, so it is eating into your polish /Wax if you use it. Best option is to skip this part of the process and use the high pressure soap to remove as much dirt as possible before you wash the vehicle (The foam brush is still slightly Alkaline) . Don’t be ashamed to take your own bucket and sponge(Better still a microfiber wash mitt) with a good quality Carnauba shampoo, this will lessen the chances of putting scratches in your vehicle. I find the other issue with using wash bays is that you cannot avoid the rubber hose on the brush ‘banging’ against your vehicle, probably scratching it in the process.  

The preferred intensity method

The vehicle is first sprayed with a high-pressure rinse to remove as much dirt/dust as possible.  

A thick layer of Carnauba wax foam is applied to the vehicle (Neutral PH so won’t damage your vehicle) and left to dwell for some time.  

A second high-pressure rinse is then used to remove the dirt /dust that the Carnauba wax soak has softened. 

The vehicle is now ready for its hand-wash, using “Meguiars” Gold Class” Carnauba Wax. This is done using a micro-fibre wash mitt, lessening any chance of “dragging” particles across your paintwork.  

A final high-pressure rinse is applied before towel-drying, using Micro-firbe towels to ensure a scratch free finish. 

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