How to use a self-service car wash is not a tricky job as it may look like to you. All it contains are some small diligent steps to be done carefully to get through the process of a quick car wash.
Steps for Self Service Car Wash
- Setting Up the Car
- Washing the Car
- Rinsing and Drying the Car
The self-service car wash is an effective and cheap way to give the car a thorough cleaning. Most of the self-service stations are easy to use and similar to operate. You can go to the station with petty cash and basic knowledge of the settings of the self-service station to give the car a deep cleansing for dollars less than automatic stations while getting the more exceptional quality of the cleaning under your control.
Part 1: Setting Up the Car
Park the car in an empty area termed as bay. It is this area where you will be washing/cleaning the car in the self-service station. Park the car in the centre of the bay and check to ensure to get enough space for yourself to walk around the car. Adjust parking if need be.
Remove the floor mats from the car interiors. As floor mats are of rubber or plastic, setting them against the wall will help cleaning them with the spray wand. You must skip the step if the rug is made up of carpet material, or either you don’t want to clean them.
- Locate the spray wand which is generally attached to a stand inside the bay. Please pick up the wand and ensure it reaches the car. You may readjust parking if it is having a problem to reach all around the area.
- You have to point the tip towards the car and press the handle or trigger beneath the nozzle to use the spray wand to release a pressurized jet of water.
Most of the self-wash have 3-5 different spray settings that can be used throughout the cleaning. Get familiarized with the sprayer settings and determine time slabs allotted for each parameter. Machines have three settings – wash, soap, and rinse – while advanced versions have pre-wash and wax settings, too.
Set the “Wash” or “Pre-Wash” setting. Ensuring the dial of the machine is correctly facing to start the car wash. It is advisable to go for the “Pre-Wash” setting if the car is all covered with dirt/debris. Otherwise, you can start by the dial, pointing towards the “Wash” setting.
- Insert money into the self-service machine. Self-service car washes are timer-based and is proportional to the amount of cash inserted for the car wash. As car wash timer starts immediately after inserting money, so be ready to move swiftly.
- Self-service car washes cost between $2-5 per car, depending on the car condition.
- If the machine is not defining work and money criteria, use a small amount of change like $0.75. Add more quarters when needed.
- Take some cash with you some may not accept credit cards for payment.
Try to stand 3-5 feet away from the car while doing with the spray wand. Don’t stand too close; otherwise, the high-pressure stream may damage the paint of the vehicle. Don’t shoot directly into the engine bay.
Part 2 : Washing the Car
- Rinse the car with the spray wand by taking one full lap around the car, spraying and removing superficial dirt and debris.
- Use pre-wash setting in the first lap around the car, if the service station has one.
Washing the car from top to bottom ensures dirty run-off water will thoroughly remove debris away from the car.
Don’t forget to clean floor mats that you opted to remove before starting washing and rinsing of the car wash. It’s easily overlooked as they are placed aloof the car body.
Applying soap must be adequately done using the spray wand by turning the dial on the machine from wash to soap. Pull the trigger to start the soapy stream comes out of the spraying wand. Take a lap around the car to spray soap down the entire car.
- Rinse the foam brush with the spray wand, placed in a stand near the service machine.
- Grit, sand, and mud might be there in the brush from the previous were. So be extra cautious to ensure the safety of the paint of the car. So rinse the bristles of the brush before using it. After cleaning, replace the spray wand into the holder near the machine.
Scrub the car with the foam brush to give the car thorough cleaning experience. As you clean don’t let the foam sit for too long on the car without scrubbing it otherwise, a transparent non-glossy film will appear on the car. Quick laps around the car with the foam brush will help to avoid it.
Paying particular attention to wheel bays is very necessary as wheels accumulate a lot of dirt and grime. You must offer a solid clean with the foam brush with circular buffing motion for best results. It will get the dirty build-up to come out of the bays.
Part 3 : Rinsing and Drying the Car
- Use the spray wand to wash of soap from the car. After finishing scrubbing, put the foam brush back and get the spray wand to take a lap around the car and rinse the soap. Work quickly to avoid a soapy film from developing over the car.
- Ensure that the spray wand is on the rinse setting.
- If a film still develops anywhere on the car, wipe it away with the cloth to rinse the area neatly.
- Wax the car, if the setting is available at the service station. It is straightforward to do. Just take the final lap with the spray wand to put a thin layer of wax to help seal in the clean surface of the body and protecting the paint from dirt.
- Never wax the floor mats.
- If “Wax” setting is unavailable, skip step.
Replace the spray wand to the place where it was found initially at the service station.
Dry the floor mats if opted to wash them. Ensure drying them thoroughly with a towel before placing them back into the interior of the car.