Many people have asked us how to best use a self-service car wash. Regular washing and waxing of your vehicle is important to retain it's value and keep it looking good. Especially in our winters where the roads are covered with salt (and therefore so is your car). You should be washing your vehicle at least once a month but more frequently in the winter so that you don't allow road chemicals to sit on your paint.
In Saskatoon there are a few options when you think about a car wash. Each option has it's strengths and weaknesses and the chart below outlines them.
Car wash options in Saskaton.
If these are the four choices you're working with we recommend choosing the self-serve version. Yes it can take some time (usually 10-15 minutes depending on your vehicle) but you get the most bang for your buck as far as how clean you can get your vehicle and you can control what comes into contact with your vehicle therefore limiting damage.
Below you will find our tips on how to get the most our of your self-serve car wash.
#1 - Come prepared!
You should have a wash mitt or car sponge, a bristly wheel cleaner, a terry-cloth towel and a chamois. These items do not take up much room in your vehicle but will help you tremendously when it comes time for a wash. Put them in a little bucket in your trunk or under your seat.
Vehicle wheel brush
#2- Clean your wheels first and bring your own wheel brush
Wheels are the dirtiest part of your car. Salt, soot, road grime, brake dusk etc. If the car wash you're at offers a setting specific to wheel cleaning use that soap but attack with your own wheel brush. Work on one wheel at a time from the top down. Make sure to rinse your wheels off first (don't want the more abrasive soap sitting on your rims too long).
#3 - Soap spray (don't bother with the pre-soak as it's usually just diluted soap at a lower pressure)
From the top of your vehicle down soak everything with the high pressure soap. Focus on the seams, cracks and corners with that high pressure. Be sure to check your weather seals before this step as you might need to use more caution if they're shot.
Get out that wash mitt and use it to wash off the dirt, bugs, bird poop etc. Don't use the foam brush. There is dirt grime left in it from the last person and rubbing that all over your vehicle is the easist way to scratches and a sad looking paint job. IF you have no wash mitt (you forgot step 1 didn't you) and you MUST use the foam brush be sure to attack the brush with the rinse setting on the sprayer before you actually use the brush on your vehicle.
#4 - Rinse time
Time to get the soap off your vehicle before it drys and leaves those little spots everywhere. Switch the sprayer to rinse and start at the roof. Make columns from the top of the car to the bottom and watch the soap head down the drain.
#5 Spot free?
Did you look at this option and say "ya right". Us too. Well it turns out that this setting actually delivers. Spot free rinse is super filtered water that evaporates faster without leaving a residue. Does this negate the need to hand-dry? We don't think so.
#6 Time to dry
Move your car out of the wash bay (unless they have free drying time!) and get out that chamois you brought. Run the chamois across your whole vehicle. Start with the wide open spaces - hood, doors, trunk - as they will be the first to showcase water spots. Wring out chamois as needed.
Open the doors, trunk and hood. Grab that terry cloth and scoop out the gunk that's hiding there while it's still wet.
Enjoy your clean vehicle!
Or wait... did that still sound like too much work? Book in for an exterior clean with us at YXE Quickclean and skip from "hello" to "enjoy" www.yxequickclean.ca