Hand wash or machine wash? Use the garden hose and some soap in your driveway or pay for a hand wash at the local car wash? Which is better in helping maintain the finish of your automobile?
In tough economic times people cut back on things they consider to not be essential. Those expenses that we consider splurging. Think about cayenne car covers , though. Saving money on the care and maintenance of your car could be doing harm that will cost you more in the end. So you have decided to cut out that weekly visit to the car wash. For a fraction of the cost, you can wash your car yourself in your driveway with the same results.
So you head to the local automotive parts store and purchase the best equipment for the job. Or perhaps you already have the cloths, sponges, a bucket, some soap and a hose at home. It can’t be that difficult, can it? After all you are saving money.
Well did you know that in the long run you may be doing more harm to that factory finish than you realize? Even with good care and thorough cleaning, those sponges and towels that you use can eventually get contaminated with dirt and particles. These will scratch the paint and the clear coat, causing your car to be less shiny and allowing water and dirt in. You may not be able to remove all of the detergent that you’re using with your garden hose, because it’s not powerful enough. Soap reside that stays on your car can get baked into the finish.
The Technological Institute of Munich in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz conducted a study to compare methods of washing cars. The results indicated that the best way to protect the luster and shine of your can’s factory finish is to take it to the local car wash. The test used two identical sedans and these sedans were covered with a variety of road grime and dirt. Then they asked regular people to clean the cars. These participants didn’t know what the purpose of the study was. They were asked to clean the cars in whatever way they normally would clean a car.
Electron microscopes were used to determine the thickness of the factory finishes and after the washings noticeable scratches were visible on the surface, some of them went as deep as 10% into the finish. These scratches were attributed to the dirt and particles trapped in the rags and sponges that were used by those doing the cleaning.
The cars were then taken to commercial car washes and run through the system. There were no appreciable scratches or degradation of the paints surface.
Keep your car looking new by taking care of the exterior surface. As a final caveat, note that some commercial car washes are hand washes and they may use dirty, grimy rags and sponges that will damage your car. Some of the automatic car washes use plastic brushes that can also damage the paint. Look for an automatic car wash that uses sponge brushes, as they are softer or better still a touch-less car wash that uses high pressure water instead of brushes.
Remember though that no matter how you wash your car, each wash will remove a certain amount of wax, so the more you wash the more wax is removed and this must be replaced in order to further protect and prevent further damage and keep you car looking new. You may save money by washing yourself but protecting your cars finish can help you obtain more money when and if you sell or trade in your vehicle.