How to Get In (and Out) of the Car Wash Quickly

If you’re in a hurry and want a quick clean that will leave your car shining, then a trip through the car wash is the perfect solution. With these tips and tricks for both self-serve car wash bays and automated washes, you’ll be in, out, and on your way in no time!

Self-Serve Car Wash

A self-serve car wash will probably cost you less than an automated wash, but it will take more time to get the same clean. By skipping some of the extras and streamlining the way you clean, you can accomplish more for less.

  • Move Systematically from Top to Bottom, Front to Back: Always work from the top-down so you can avoid having to double up on the areas you spray and scrub. Find a method that works for you and cycle through it consistently for each cycle of the wash.
  • Bring a Friend: A car wash always goes faster if you have more hands. Go through the self-serve wash when you have someone with you so you can share the physical duties.
  • Skip the Tires: We don’t recommend that you skip the tire soak cycle every time, but when you’re in a hurry, this is one area where you can cut back. You can also spray the tires early on and let the soap do the hard work while you scrub the rest of the car.
  • Don’t Dry Afterwards: Not drying your car means you’re more likely to have water spots left behind, but that might not matter when you’re in a time crunch. Choose a day that’s clear and bright, and drive off to let the sun do the work.
  • Get Regular Washes: The best way to save time at a self-serve car wash is to get regular washes. By staying on top of your car cleaning maintenance, you’ll never have to spend too long scrubbing away problem areas.

Automated Washes

Most automated car washes are designed to be completed in less than ten minutes, but you can scale back even more with these time-saving ideas.

  • Secure the Antenna and Windows Ahead of Time: Come prepared by rolling up all your windows, removing your antenna, and securing other aftermarket features ahead of time.
  • Skip the Extras: We always encourage people to opt for things like the undercarriage wash, wax applications, and hand-drying, but it’s okay to miss these every now and then. If time is tight, go for the basic package and plan to splurge next time.
  • Visit During Non-Peak Hours: The busiest car wash times are on the first sunny day after a long spell of rain, during lunch breaks, on the commute home after work, and on weekends. If you don’t want to wait in line, try to visit in the early morning or on weekdays. You’re much more likely to get in and out quickly that way.
  • Pre-Pay for Car Wash Packages: Another great way to save both time and money at the car wash is to pre-pay for your car washes with a Monthly Car Wash Membership. Regular customers not only maintain a cleaner car, but you’ll also be able to skip the payment process and get right in!

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