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What is a Touchless Car Wash?

C.B. Fox
C.B. Fox

A touchless car wash uses high-pressure streams of water and chemical sprays to clean a car without touching it. The main benefit of this type of car wash is that the paint on the car is not damaged the way it can be by car washes that use brushes. Though these car washes offer a quick and easy way to clean a car, they are not as effective at removing dirt as car washes that come into direct contact with the car.

When a car enters the car wash, it is first sprayed down with water. Once the car is wet, a cleaning solution is sprayed over the car. The cleaning solution is allowed to sit on the car for a time and then is washed off. After the car is cleaned, high pressure air is sprayed across the vehicle, which dries it and prevents the formation of water spots.

A freshly washed minivan.
A freshly washed minivan.

There are many optional features in a touchless car wash that a person can choose to have applied to their car. These car washes can clean the undercarriage and the wheels in addition to cleaning the body of the vehicle. It is also possible to add a coating of wax through the same touchless system. These options are completed before the car is dried.

There are a variety of different solutions that may be used to clean the car in a touchless car wash. The soap used can be scented or colored and is often mildly acidic or alkaloid. This slight deviation from normal parts hydrogen (pH) helps to loosen dirt from the vehicle. Many touchless car wash stations also offer solutions that do not harm the environment.

Many vehicle owners choose to use this type of car wash because the system protects the car’s paint job. There are also no rollers or mechanical pieces that can come into contact with the car and damage the mirrors or antennas. Additionally, a touchless car wash can be completed quickly, which makes it a good option for a person without time to wash the car by hand.

Although touchless car wash stations are a popular choice for vehicle owners, they do not tend to leave a car as clean as a traditional car wash. Much of the dirt that is on a car does not come off without some sort of physical contact with the car. The high powered water system used by a touchless wash may not be enough to remove layers of grime from a vehicle.

Discussion Comments


I was skeptic about how well touchless car wash equipment could clean my car, but I was in a rush one day and decided to give it a try. The car wasn't as clean as when I spend a couple hours cleaning it, but it wasn't bad for a quick job.

What impressed me most of all was the lack of spots. It dried well and the finish looked good.


Sporkasia - One reason you might not want to use the touchless car wash equipment is because those aching muscles actually get your car cleaner. The bottom line is how important is it that your car be really clean as opposed to clean enough?


Why would you not use an automatic touchless car wash? I absolutely love them! I end up with a clean car and no aching muscles from scrubbing.

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    • A freshly washed minivan.
      By: jamalludin din
      A freshly washed minivan.