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Automatic vs. Hand Wash—Which is Better for Your Car?

Regularly removing dirt and other contaminants from your vehicle’s coat and applying a protective coat of wax is essential to maintaining a beautiful exterior. When it comes to washing, should you go to the automatic car wash or wash by hand? When you have the time, the pros at ABC Paint and Body recommend hand washing, and here’s why:

You Find the Spots that Need Attention

A car wash is actually a misnomer. For complete exterior care, a wash is just one step. To completely remove all contaminants, you will likely need to use a clay bar. When you hand wash your car, you identify the spots where road grime and other gunk is stuck on, so you know exactly where claying is needed.

You Dry Your Car

Automatic car washes use air drying, and this tends to leave water spot. If the car wash includes complimentary hand drying by their staff, you can never be sure about the cleanliness of the towels they’re using, and tiny particles of debris can scratch your exterior coating. When you hand dry your car, you can be sure to use a clean, soft-fiber cloth.

You Do Full Car Care

Automatic car washes wash your car, and that’s about it. But for full exterior protection, you need to polish and wax, too.

The Best Time for Automatic Washes

Automatic car washes may not deliver the level of cleaning and protection you can with hand washes, but they do have uses. When you are simply pressed for time, automatic washes can remove most of the debris and road grime so that you can concentrate on deeper cleaning and exterior protection. Automatic washes are also ideal after long road trips and/or treks down dusty trails to immediately remove excess dirt and debris. This prevents contaminants from damaging your exterior and/or becoming embedded, which requires a lot more effort to remove.