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Eco-Friendly Car Wash
updated: Jan 18, 2013, 4:08 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

Though this may seem like a dumb question, but I like to conserve money and natural resources when possible. At one of the local do it yourself car washes with wand sprays, what's the cost effective way to wash the car without adding unnecessary quarters? The spot-free finished look is preferred. Am willing to spend the money for the job to be done right.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 365016 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 04:13 PM

Since it's a timed thing, be real quick!


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 04:14 PM

Spit shine..


 COMMENT 365025 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 04:22 PM

Start with power soap, then power rinse until you have 90 seconds, then spot free rinse until time's up. Then get on the freeway for a few miles!


 COMMENT 365028 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 04:33 PM

I find it cheaper to run my car through the quick wash at the gas station. It's not that much when you fill up with gas.


 COMMENT 365032 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 04:42 PM

I only spend $2.50 I do the soap high power wash then the high powered rinse and if I am fast enough I do the spot free all over the car but if I am low on time I just do the roof and windows. Works like a charm everytime!


 COMMENT 365037 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 04:48 PM

This method uses two cycles ($5.00 at my car wash). Start with power spray to knock the dust off and get the vehicle wet. Switch to foam brush and scrub like crazy until the 1st cycle finishes. You can still scrub after the buzzer goes off for a little while. Then start a second cycle to rinse with power spray, and maybe spot free if you have time. Bring your own towel to dry, the lint free towels in the dispensers are full of lint.


 COMMENT 365056 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 05:22 PM

037's method is the most cost effective way to get a decent clean. It's worth the extra couple quarters to do the spot free rinse. But be aware, it's frowned upon, along the same lines as bucket washing which is against the rules. The guys who own the washes want you car taking up bay space only when you're pumping quarters. That said, I've never had anyone say anything when you're using the brush for a short while after time runs out - just don't be a jerk about it. :)


 COMMENT 365075 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 06:12 PM

Bring someone with you. I used to rinse, statrt the brush with the bubbles, and after my son did about 1/2 the car, I'd rurn it to rinse. He had enough bubbles to finish the other 1/2 of the car while I follered after him and tinsed. It usually saved enoght time for the spot free rinse all in one cycle.


 COMMENT 365085 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 06:42 PM

Do it quickly? It's based on time. Sorry for the snarky but....


 COMMENT 365103 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 07:27 PM

037 thats what i do also


 COMMENT 365104 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 07:29 PM

That foam brush will ruin your car's clear coat and if you have an older car, it will scratch right through to the actual paint. Don't do it!

Just use the suds spray and bring a rag for bird poop or stubborn spots. Then do the spot free rinse. You won't spend as much time (which equals money) and your car finish will not be damaged.


 COMMENT 365106P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 07:33 PM

I do a $2.50 wash; around 1/2 high pressure rinse and 1/2 wax, no soap, no brush, no scratches, start by getting whole car wet as quickly as possible to let the crud soak a bit.


 COMMENT 365108P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 07:36 PM

Interesting responses - am going to try a few of these different methods. Is there a difference in cost or quality of the do it yourself wand car washes in SB?


 COMMENT 365122 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 08:39 PM

If you want to go the eco-friendly route, and like to conserve money and resources... you could consider not washing your car at all? Too far-fetched? How about a quick rinse with the 'old garden hose, no soap? I know it's probably not the answer you were looking for, but I think that's partly what makes it worth saying.


 COMMENT 365215 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-19 08:53 AM

I find a stall recently used with lots of suds, and I use the brush and get all that free suds and start scrubbing,s there is a lot of /
oisture in it. I then rinse high pressure. I common sense and saves a lot of fun cents


 COMMENT 365237 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-19 09:28 AM

If you go through one of those car washes where you sit in the car and it pulls you through, be SURE to turn your radio OFF! I didn't, and it broke my antenna... bummer! Now I've got a $50-$70 fix-it job because of a $11 car wash. :-(


 COMMENT 365289 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-19 01:51 PM

If I'm not mistaken, the self-serve car washes that accept credit cards (e.g. in old town Goleta or behind Zizzo's) will let you use your card but charge you a $4.00 minimum. If you need to keep washing past the $4.00 period, the meter keeps running so that you can finish your washing--it stops the billing when you tell the system you're done.


 COMMENT 365327 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-19 03:41 PM

I love just putting tons and tons of soap on my car with the brush cycle, and just driving out.. people stare at me and laugh


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