12 Tips on How to Practice Self Service Car Wash

Self service car wash: While washing your car at home will save you money from having to go to a professional car wash, it can also be incredibly inefficient on water. The average car wash at home uses an astounding 40 to 140 gallons of water for a single vehicle. In places where there’s a drought or an effort to conserve water, keeping a clean car can become problematic. Luckily, there are various methods that you can use to reduce your water usage, such as using a nozzle on your garden hose or washing your car in a shaded area. In addition to these water saving methods, using a waterless cleaning solution can reduce your water usage to a single cup per car.

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Self service car wash

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1. Purchase a waterless car cleaner.

There are various waterless car cleaners on the market. Take a look at critical and user reviews for different brands. Relate customer experiences and choose the brand that you trust the most. Waterless car cleaners can be purchased at some department stores, most major automotive retailers, and online.

  • Some popular brands of waterless car wash include, Meguiar’s Wash & Wax Anywhere, WOW Classic & Sports Box Kit, and Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash.
  • Some car washes like Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash use eco-friendly or biodegradable ingredients that aren’t harmful to the environment.

Self service car wash

2. Dampen a microfiber towel with a waterless car cleaning solution.

Soak a microfiber tower with a cleaning solution produced specifically to clean cars. Waterless cleaning solutions allow you to wash your car with minimal or no water. Make sure that cloth is completely saturated before beginning to clean your car.

  • Microfiber cloth is non-abrasive and works better than regular rags at cleaning your car and preserving its paint.
  • Do not use a household soap or dish detergent because it could strip the protective wax from your car.
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3. Spray your car with the same cleaning solution.

Fill a spray bottle or use one that comes with your product to moisten a small section of the car that you want to clean. You should only need three to four sprays for this. Do not spray over the entirety of the car because the solution could dry before you get to wipe it. Work in small concentrated sections of the car before moving onto another section.

  • Get a car cleaning solution that helps break down dirt rather than moving it.

Self service car wash

4. Wipe your car in a circular motion with your cloth.

Take the cloth saturated with your cleaning solution and work it into the surface of the car.  You should start to see the solution start to suds or streak across where you are wiping. Go over each area for around 10-30 seconds.

5. Rinse off the cleaning solution with a damp microfiber cloth.

Place your microfiber cloth in a bucket filled with a cup of water, or run it under your sink for five seconds. Once it’s saturated, go over the areas that you scrubbed with your cleaning solution. Continue to do this until the remainder of the solution is off your car, and there is no leftover residue or fogginess.

Self service car wash

6. Dry the area with a dry microfiber cloth.

Once the area is rinsed, work the area in a circular motion with a dry microfiber cloth. Once you’re done drying it, the area that you’ve cleaned should look shiny and reflective. Make sure that you dry each section thoroughly so that you aren’t leaving any chemicals behind on your paint.

  • As an alternative, you can also use a squeegee to help dry areas of your car.

7. Repeat until your car is completely clean.

Repeat the process and move to different portions of your car until the entirety of the car is clean. During this process, you may have to use a lot of microfiber cloth, so make sure to be as conservative as possible and reuse them when you can.

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Self service car wash

8. Purchase a nozzle for your hose.

If you don’t have a bucket and must use a hose, make sure that you buy a nozzle that will allow you to regulate water flow. The average hose will waste 10 gallons of water per minute, meaning that for a 10-minute wash, you’ll have used 100 gallons of water. A turnoff nozzle will allow you to rinse your car quickly and turn off your hose while you scrub again.

  • You can purchase a nozzle for your hose at most home and gardening and department stores.
  • The cost of hose nozzles range from $14 to $20.

9. Research eco-friendly car washes in your area.

The average car wash uses less water on average than doing it yourself. Search for eco-friendly car wash businesses that actively try to reduce their water usage. There are also other car washes that recycle harmful chemicals like dust, sediment, and detergents and prevent them from entering the storm water system.

Self service car wash

10. Use a bucket of water instead of an open hose.

Using a bucket and a wet sponge or cloth to rinse your vehicle will help you save water.  Fill your buckets with three gallons or less of water. Instead of washing your car down with a garden hose, rinse your car by using a wet cloth or sponge dipped in clean water. When your water gets dirty, empty it out and get a fresh bucket.

11. Wash your car less.

 An easy way to reduce the amount of water you’re using to wash your car is simply to lessen the frequency in which you are washing it. Determine how much time elapses between washings and adjust it to a longer span of time.

  • For instance, if you wash your car every two weeks, consider trying to go without a car wash for two months.
  • Citizens in Los Angeles, California took a pledge not to wash their cars for 60 days as a response to an on-going drought.

Self service car wash

12. Wash your car in a shaded area.

Sunlight can cause water to evaporate quicker, which could increase the amount of water you need to use to rinse off your car.  Find some shade, such as under foliage or an outdoor roof.

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