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Many people are interested in how to use a self-service car wash. If you want to wash your car yourself, what options should you use and what order should you use them to get the best results?
Before you begin, take a look around the car wash bay to make sure everything is in order. Most professional carwashes maintain their equipment regularly with routine checks and maintenance, however, it is still a good rule of thumb to look around and make sure a previous customer did not abuse the equipment.
Once you have determined that the bay you are in is good to go, gather your form of payment. Once a car wash is on, you can usually add more time during your wash if you need it. Just keep an eye on the timer as you wash.
Now for the actual self serve car washing…. For a basic clean car use the following options: Presoak, Foaming Brush, High Pressure Rinse. For a more detailed wash, you may want to use some of the additional options.
Every self service car wash is slightly different, but most have the following choices;
Tire Cleaner, Presoak, High Pressure Wash, Foaming Brush, and Wax. There may be additional options available in your neighborhood carwash. For example, we offer a Triple Foam Wax, a Clear Coat Protectant and Rain-X Complete Protectant in some of our locations. In others, we may offer an in-bay dryer.
If your tires are in need of a little attention, you would want to begin with the Tire Cleaner. Apply it to your wheels and rims and let it sit while you soap the rest of your car. This will remove the brake dust and grime from your rims.
The next crucial step is Presoak. It is a low-pressure spray that should be applied over the entire vehicle from the top down. The special pH formulation of presoak allows it to start breaking down dirt and grime immediately.
For the actual washing of your vehicle, you typically have High-Pressure Soap and/Or a Foaming Brush. It is a personal preference as to which soap you would like to use. If you choose the Foaming Brush, make sure your spray the brush down first with a high pressure rinse to ensure a previous customer did not leave any debris in the brush. Whichever option you choose, you want to apply the soap from the top down.
Once your vehicle is soapy, select the high pressure rinse. Again, work from the top down in a side to side motion. Make sure your rinse your wheels (especially if you used the tire cleaner) and your underbody as well.
At this point, your vehicle should be clean. You can now follow up with the waxes or other protectants to further care for your finish. For example, our Turtle Wax Triple Foam will add a layer of protection to your finish and allow your vehicle to dry faster. Our Clear Coat Protectant helps combat the effect of sun, acid rain, salt and dirt on your vehicle surfaces. Lastly, Rain-X will bead and repel water for greater visibility, give your surfaces great rust protection and even out minor surface irregularities.
Your vehicle is now clean, shiny and protected!