What is Self-Service Car Wash

Self-service car wash can be for people who enjoy washing their own car, desire an inexpensive and quick wash, and need access to coin-operated vacuums to clean their car mats, seats, and flooring for a few quarters. Self-service car washes are usually open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which makes it a convenient option. Often, car washers will find vending machines full of cleaning products such as special polishes and car fragrances on site. Self-service car washes usually have a bill changer machine where customers can exchange dollar bills for coins in order to purchase car washes, use vacuums, and buy products from vending machines. Most machines take either quarters or charge cards. You may need up to $5.00 to clean your car.

To wash your car at a self-service car wash, you will drive your car into an open bay. Make sure you provide yourself with enough room to walk around your car. Most self-service car washing systems have at least a pressure sprayer and a foaming brush on a wand with a nozzle and trigger grip that is attached to a boom that swivels with you as you walk. The sprayer has a coin-operated dial system, which allows customers to choose how they wash their cars; you can go through each cycle on the dial or pick specific options based on your needs. Options usually include:

  • pre-soak (if your car is caked with dirt),
  • wash (light soap),
  • foam brush (heavy-duty soap to help you scrub grime),
  • rinse (to get the soap off),
  • and wax (a light coating to maintain your car’s shine and help your car stay clean for longer)

Dials often offer an option that cleans your tires. The quickest and most effective way to wash a car is from the bottom up. Do the rocker panels first, each side, the windshield, the side and rear windows, and work your way around and up. A timer shuts the water off after a certain period of time. At this point, you can put more coins in to buy extra time or spend time drying your car before leaving.