Although it’s quick and easy to run your vehicle through an automatic car wash every time it gets a bit dirty it can also get rather expensive. An often considerably cheaper alternative is making use of a self-service car wash. This offers you a number of advantages over trying to wash your car in your driveway – you are provided with all the tools and gadgets you need, as well as the dedicated space – but it does also involve a little hard work.
If you do choose to go the self-serve route the next time you wash your car there are certain things you can do that will ensure that you get the biggest bang for your buck and the cleanest possible car. So, before you put your cash or card into that car wash point of sale system next time take a look at this quick guide to more efficient self-service car washing.
Park the Right Way – When you pull into the car wash bay make sure that you get as close to the center as possible, as this will give you the space you’ll need to move and actually do a good job.
Vacuum First – A self-service car wash vacuum is a standard feature but it’s usually considered a separate charge from the actual wash itself. You should make use it first though so that your nice clean, freshly washed car is not dirtied again by dust you vacuum out after the fact. As you’ll be charged by the minute remove car mats and garbage before you begin to avoid wasting time and money once it switches on.
Be Prepared – If you want to get the most out of your allotted time – most self-service car washes operate on time limits – you need to be prepared before you begin. Bring your own clean towels to dry off your car and make sure they are close to hand. And as time is money before you pay for the service to begin point the washing wand at your car and set the controls to pre-soak. As you will be charged by the minute in most cases this will save you a few seconds, and therefore few cents, as most machines start up the second your payment has been accepted.
Wash Efficiently – Probably the most efficient way to wash a vehicle in a self-service bay is to do the pre-wash first, followed by the tire cleaner, and then go back and do the soap and rinse. Never used a car wash before and not sure what to do? Check a few videos on YouTube before you head out so that you are not left wondering – and wasting time – once you’re there.
Dry Off Properly –If you don’t dry your vehicle properly, then a lot of your hard work will be undone. As soon as you are done washing pull out of the bay and find a clear spot on the lot to work. Ensuring that the towels really are dry and clean begin by drying off excess water using gentle, circular motions. Many self-service car wash facilities do offer post car wash waxing tools as well, but that will be a waste of money if the car isn’t dry and smear free before you begin.