How to wash your car at a self-service car wash

How to wash your car efficiently and quickly at a self-service car wash

You were promised a complete cleanliness for 100 rubles, were handed a high-pressure water jet, but in the end you got solid stains and streaks? The thing is that you should also know how to use such car wash, and we will try to teach you.

The season “tanks don’t fear the dirt” has opened almost everywhere, which means that everybody will go to a car wash, and most likely at the same time. For those who likes to do everything fast, cheap, but in a human way, there are self-service car washes. Yes, yes, that’s where you pay and wash yourself. So what’s the secret to success here?

“Read the manual,” or one thing at a time.

This is the first thing we were told in response to the question of how to properly and, most importantly, really well wash the car yourself. And it’s true, because almost all owners hang up in a very prominent place the instructions for use of equipment. But apparently, such a briefing is not enough. So let’s go over all steps in order and in detail.

All self-service car washes offer visitors at least five options: pre-wash, main wash, rinse, waxing, glossing and drying.

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Sometimes there’s the option of washing the rims, which is thought to take 15 seconds. But if you decide to use it, remember that you should not touch the paintwork during the wash.

So, you gave the machine your money, took the gun out of its casing and choose the program:

Prewash. It is designed to soften and lift the dirt without damaging the covering of a car. You need to spray the entire car from top to bottom. At that, the gun should be held at a distance of 25-30 cm.

As we were told at the car wash Splash, there is no need to try to wash off all the dirt at this stage, because the chemical contained in the solution “works with the dirt, but does not wash it off. Supposedly, this step should take you 45 seconds.

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Basic Wash. The name says it all. By varying the distance and angle of the gun, you need to thoroughly rinse all the dirty places with hot water and foam. Here the water is supplied under tangible pressure. This procedure should take 120 seconds.

“To get the best effect, you should apply the solution and rinse off in horizontal movements, moving gradually from bottom to top along the sides of the car, first washing the sides, then the front and stern, and finally the roof, trunk and hood,” the specialists of the Splash wash advise.


Rinse. The mode is needed to wash out the foam. Here you can do without thorough zeal, because rinsing should not be the last stage. It takes 60 seconds.


Waxing. A thin coat of wax will protect your car from the dirt, dust and chemicals that eat away at the snow and that are so generously sprinkled on the roads. It also takes 60 seconds to wax.


Shine and drying. This stage, as it turns out, is just as important to the result as the main wash. By selecting the option, the driver can rinse the car with special demineralized water, flavored with a substance that allows the car to dry faster. At the same time, you do not need to wipe the car after the procedure. In addition to protection, the coating should acquire a shine. Experts give 120 seconds for drying and glossing.


The last program is very important – rinsing, but not with regular water, and through the so-called osmosis. This is demineralized water of very fine filtration. If the customer stops at the regular rinse, it’s just regular tap water, which will leave streaks and streaks. It is the latter program that allows the car to leave clean because it has a dryer added to it. But this is not a big hair dryer, as you might think, but a substance that helps water quickly roll off the paintwork.

Tatiana Rakus, CEO of BKF Servis (manufacturer of self-service washes)

The main problem is that a client does not wash in all programs, choosing only active foam (powder) and water wash, without using wax and osmosis (purified demineralized water), so the car gets dirty faster and takes longer to dry.

Roman Matsirin, Executive Director of the company “Modern Technologies” (engaged in the installation of self-service sinks)

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Self-service car wash, how to use and is it worth washing?

Self-service car washes began to appear more and more often instead of conventional sinks. Many people have probably already had a chance to try out what it is, and many are yet to find out. So, what is a self-service car wash. It is a car wash where you wash your car yourself without help from the car washers. The principle is the following, you drive the car in the box, you buy at the machine or from the cashier tokens for washing or just put bills into the washer machine itself and the pressure starts to come out of the washing gun with water. It would seem to be easy to mine yes mine, but in fact it’s not so simple. All existing self-service washers have several modes, and each mode must be used to wash the car relatively clean. Using one mode will only partially wash away the dirt and when it dries will result in dilution, the car will still look dirty. According to the idea of manufacturers of such washing complexes, it should take an average of 10 minutes to wash the car. And the average cost in Moscow is 50 rubles for 2-3 minutes. Thus, we get that the car wash the average size will cost about 200 rubles. In this case, after washing you are likely to be in the mud speckled, because no matter how to spin, but at some point under the jet will fly dirt in your direction. In addition, in winter the car is likely to be immediately covered with a crust of ice and you won’t be able to wash it properly at all. Next follows an article that I found on the Internet, it basically describes everything as it is.

How to use self-service car washes properly? Self-service car wash outlets are increasingly appearing along the roads. It is enough to “feed” the machine with a couple of bills – and the car owner is given the freedom of action. But not everybody is able to make a perfect wash. Why? It would seem, it is only necessary to wash a car, what is difficult? But if you do it based on intuition, the result will not always meet expectations. Therefore, you need to clearly follow the instructions. As a rule, a carwash provides a set of five (the number can vary slightly) options. Two kinds of washes – preliminary and basic, then rinsing, waxing and finally shining and drying. It is not uncommon to see a “chip” – washing of the disks. Its peculiarity is that a special liquid cannot get on the car’s lacquer coating. This type of washing, according to creators’ idea, should take maximum 15 seconds. As soon as a machine has “swallowed” bills, you can take out a gun and choose the necessary option. Pre-wash Its main task is to moisten the dirt, but to do it gently so as not to damage the paint coating. To achieve the best result, you need to water the car evenly, starting from the top. You should not try to wash off all the mud plaque at once. In fact the task of chemical elements in liquid, as we remember, is just to soften it. It takes 40-50 seconds for preliminary washing. Here everything is clear. Handling a gun with hot water and foam, it is necessary to wash off fruits of previous washing. In theory, two minutes are enough to make cleanliness. To get a good result, you need to wash the sides of the car first, then the “nose” and “stern”, and then – everything else. Rinse This option is necessary to remove the remaining foam. It only takes a minute, because rinsing is not the end of the wash. Rinsing is not done with normal water, but with a “distillate” obtained by a special filtration process. Waxing protects your car from dust, dirt and all kinds of chemicals. The procedure takes 60 seconds. Shine and drying The final stage of water treatment is one of the most important. By choosing this option, the car can be doused with a head of demineralized water, which contains substances that “specialize” in the rapid drying of surfaces. So, it is not necessary to wipe the “steel horse” with a rag. “Magic” substances not only protect the lacquer coating of the car, but also give it a shine. The procedure takes exactly 2 minutes. If you follow the instructions clearly, the car will be absolutely clean and shiny after washing. But many car owners neglect the rules, stopping only at “basic wash” and “rinse” modes. Practically nobody uses wax. Because of this, it takes much longer for the car to dry, and, on the contrary, it gets dirty much faster. Wash in 10 minutes According to the creators’ idea, a client at a self-service car wash should make it in about 10 minutes, going through “all circles” of options one by one. But the visitors, which are full of reviews on autoforums, not always agree with it. The main claims are that often there is weak pressure, and instead of foam – slightly washed water. With such a “set”, you can only knock down dust or snow. Sometimes some modes do not work or concentration of chemical “lotions” is not strong enough. Owners of car washes are responsible for “chemistry”.

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It is they, not the visitors, who regulate the concentration and force of the pressure. Ideally, when it is “main wash” mode, the gun should be held at a low pressure. If the pressure is weak – it is a service problem which should be eliminated. Still it is possible to meet such self-service sinks rarely, where it is possible to regulate “chemistry” and pressure independently. It is very convenient, of course. Given not always perfect working capacity of car washes, car owners have already learned to adapt to them, having developed their own “modes”. Someone soaps a car first and waits a few minutes to let the chemical “grip”. Others keep the gun almost right next to the car, waiting a certain amount of time after each procedure. Still others swap the options around. Bottom line Self-service car washes, even if they work properly, can only handle a faint coating of dirt. Ideally, with fresh: get dirty – drive in – get washed. Therefore, it is not necessary to wait for miracles, if it is necessary to bathe the car, which stood for a week after mud bath. Crusts of a dried on a plaque are too much for car washes. Only the most ordinary car wash, where professionals are responsible for washing.

I want to add from myself that I’ve been to such washes several times and the result is the following. Yes with not strong dirt (dust, bird droppings, small stains from arrival in a puddle, not dried up dirt) car wash copes with hurrah, but if the car was not washed more than 2 weeks and there was bad weather, however you did not wash it at self-service car wash most likely the result will hardly be satisfactory. And one more thing at many car washes there is a brush through which the foam is fed, by no means use it, cracks off all the varnish at the moment, then you have to polish the car. In conclusion I will conclude that if the car is really dirty overpay 200 rubles and wash it at a normal car wash.

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