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Benefits of Automatic Car Washes vs. Hand Washing

With the hot summer days upon us, you may be in the mood to go out on your driveway and wash your car by

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hand washing a soapy car

With the hot summer days upon us, you may be in the mood to go out on your driveway and wash your car by hand rather than going to a car wash. But which is better? Both have their advantages and disadvantages so we are going to do a deep dive into the benefits of automatic car washes vs. hand washing. 

Gentle On Paint

It may sound crazy, but the extra care and attention you give your car by hand washing it can lead to the ‘sandpaper effect.’ The buildup of tiny dirt and sand particles on sponges and rags can lead to a lot of damage to your paint job. Contrast that with an automated system, where the equipment offers a gentle wash, and is in many cases, touch free.

Saves Time

Hands down, going through an automatic car wash takes far less time than washing your car by hand. While it’s easy to get set up to wash your car (just grab your hose, bucket, and soap), it’s quite labor intensive. It could even require a step ladder to reach the top of the vehicle, depending on its size.


Automated car washes offer a level of consistency not found with a hand wash. The automation takes the human error out of the equation and offers a reliable wash every time. No one gets tired, no one forgets a step, you get what you order. Automated car washes can also reach places that hand washing cannot. For instance, it’s not easy to wash the underside of your car yourself, but at a car wash, it’s as easy as choosing that option!

close up of tunnel car washEnvironmentally Responsible

Using a commercial automated car wash is a smarter choice for the environment because it typically uses less water than hand washing at home. Additionally, the wastewater is either recycled or treated before it gets discharged. An automated car wash is also a much more sustainable option. Hand washing a car sends dirty water, full of gasoline, oil, soap, and other chemicals, directly back into the storm sewers. This can wreak havoc on the local ecosystem and wildlife.

More Options

There are lots of options available to you when you go through an automated car wash, options that you may not have at home. As mentioned before, it’s difficult to hand wash the undercarriage of your vehicle, but at a car wash it’s just another option. Adding a coat of foam wax is as easy as selecting the car wash with tri-foam. Looking for a quick wash to remove dirt and dead bugs in the summer, or the layers of road salt in the winter? Selecting the basic wash will give you exactly what you’re looking for.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to washing your car, there’s no question that it’s much easier and faster to use automatic car washes vs. hand washing. Hand washing your vehicle can be time consuming, laborious, and isn’t as eco-friendly as going to a car wash. But the truth is, most people probably do some combination of both, especially in pleasant weather. Get in touch today to learn more about the products Reliable Plus has to offer!

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