How to Speed Up Your Car Wash Experience
Let’s face it—when it comes to regular automotive upkeep like washing your car, faster is better. You already know how important it is to get regular washes and waxes to maintain the integrity of your vehicle, and you love the way it looks as it sparkles under the sun. It’s finding the time to incorporate this experience into your regular routine that’s hard to get a handle on.
Fortunately, a car wash is like most tasks that require regular upkeep. Although the first few visits might take more time than you’d like, over time, you can speed up your car wash so that you’re in, out, and on your way in just ten minutes or less.
- Weekly/Bi-Weekly Visits: As mentioned above, the most important thing you can do to make your car wash fast is to get them done regularly. That way, instead of deep cleaning each time you visit, you’re simply touching up the work you’ve already done. With regular maintenance, sometimes you can skip the long soaking stage and deep scrubbing to get right to the rinse and wax.
- Vacuum First: If you’ll be washing the interior as well as the exterior, head inside first. Shake out the mats by hand and run a quick vacuum over the seats and floor. (For an even faster experience, you can ban eating and drinking in the car, as these are the most common interior mess culprits.)
- Pre-Wash/Tire Soak: The pre-wash and tire soak cycles should come first, and for good reason—the pre-wash can work while you focus on the tires, and the tire soak can work while you hoist the scrub brush. Although you might be tempted to skip the order of the self-serve car wash, we highly recommend you move linearly through the process. They’re put in that order to help you get the most out of your wash.
- Skip the Drying: Hand-drying your car after a wash is a great way to prevent water streaks and spots, but you can skip it on a time crunch. Allow your car to air dry by taking it on the freeway or other fast roadway instead.
- Bring a Friend: You know what they say—many hands make light work. Stop by the car wash when your spouse, parent, or child is with you, and put them to work. One of you can scrub while the other rinses; you can both hand-wipe problem areas. By working together, you can significantly cut back on wash times.
- Keep a Washing Kit on Hand: It’s often best to handle problems as they arise instead of waiting for your weekly car wash visit. Keep a cleaning kit in your glovebox or trunk with window wipes, a dusting cloth, a car-friendly spray, and a buffing cloth. That way, you can take care of bird splatter or bugs while they’re still wet rather than allowing them to dry and cake on.
- Carry a Garbage: A garbage can or sack in your car isn’t the most appealing interior decoration, but nothing will make your regular clean easier than simply tossing out the trash and putting in a fresh liner. You can save vacuuming and deep upholstery cleans for rarer occasions.
Time is money—especially at a car wash where each quarter buys you a few minutes of clean time. Move quickly and efficiently, stop by every week, and you’ll never spend too long cleaning your car again!