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The Ultimate Dilemma: Hand Car Wash Vs. Automatic Car Wash

Hand Car Wash Vs. Automatic Car Wash
What is better, a hand car wash or an automatic one? While most of us choose the method that seems most convenient to us, the impact of the decision could affect your car and your wallet. WheelZine will give you a clear insight on which washing method is best for your automobile.
Shalu Bhatti
Last Updated: Mar 10, 2018
auto
Quick Fact
According to a study done by the University of Texas, hand-washing your car once can result in scratches in the finish, that can be as deep as 1/10th of the total thickness of the paintwork.
For most of us, our car holds a great deal of sentimental value, wherein we can bear a scratch on us but not on our car!

Most of us prefer hand washing it on our own, as we fear that the 'harshness' of an automatic car wash may cause potential damage to its glossy finish, after all, who doesn't want to keep their car as good as new forever! However, proper research and study, involving esteemed organizations, including the University of Texas and the Technical University of Munich, state otherwise.

As surprising as these findings may be, they are an outcome of a systematically done, in-depth study, breaking the myth of an automatic wash being a bad choice for your car.
Points of Comparison
Most car owners go through this dilemma, whether to take out time to 'carefully' hand wash the car with caution, gentleness, and patience, or to let it go through the automated system involving chemical detergents, brushes, and pressure sprayers? This section consists of a list of different points that played a crucial role in making automatic car wash a clear winner. These points include time, tools, efficiency, and longevity of the paintwork.
Car Wash
Hand Car Wash vs Automatic Car Wash
Tools Involved
The Technological University of Munich had conducted a study in association with Mercedes-Benz, wherein average car owners were asked to hand wash the car 25 times (the average number of times a car gets washed in a year). Car owners were given the freedom to use the everyday tools of their choice―garden hose, sponges, towels, low water volume, and the like. The end result was shocking, wherein dense scratches were formed as deep as 10% into the overall thickness of the paint. The sand particles tend to accumulate within the pores of the sponge used for washing, which acted like sand discs scrapping the surface of the car. Also, The water pressure supplied by the everyday garden hose nozzle was not capable to thoroughly wash off the detergent from the finish of the car, which is likely to cause potential damage to the car's finish.

On the other hand, an automatic wash uses the right amount of hydraulic pressure, specialized detergent, evenly moving cloth pads and curtains to give your car the much-needed pampering it needs for a long-lasting paintwork.
Time Consumed
You definitely need a weekend, and a good 30 minutes to an hour to thoroughly wash the car. This becomes a little hectic in our busy schedule. 'Automatic' the word induces a sense of speed and comfort, doesn't it? There is a reason why we have switched from manual modes to automatic ones in various facets of life. We have already mentioned that this method is the way to go, wherein you can get your car washed within 10 minutes or so. You save time, energy, and the finish of the car.
Environmental Effects
A hand car wash is likely to cause a lot of water pollution, as the detergent-filled water seeps through the soil, spreads in the air, and perhaps reaches the surrounding water bodies. Not that this is not an issue with automatic car wash, but the International Carwash Association has commissioned various studies to take needful steps to conserve and reclaim water in the car wash industry in a standardized manner. The amendment of these has resulted in a significant percentage of water conservation.
Avid automobile fanatics, especially those who have a sentimental attachment with the car, tend to treat it like a baby. However, in the light of the aforementioned findings, it has become more than evident that automatic is the safest, efficient, time-saving, and gentlest method to keep our car as good as new. So, do away with the idea of taking things in your hand when it comes to your car cleaning, and let the professionals handle this area, efficaciously.