Using A Self-Service Car Wash

Are you wanting to wash your car and thinking about going to those self-service car washes? They cost a few dollars to use and it’s probably nearby your area. 

If you live in an apartment or you don’t have your own pressure washer and tools, then a self-service car wash is a great option for you. It only takes a few minutes to use and then you can be on your way with a clean car. 

However, there can be several negative cons to using a self-service car wash, depending on how you like to take care of your vehicle. 

In this article, I’m going to cover a few points you probably never herd about. 

It’s Cheap And Everyone Uses It  

As I stated above, this is only going to really matter if you want to take care of your car a certain way. 

Throughout the day, people take their dirty cars to the self-service car wash to wash their car. Using the pressure washer is fine, but when it comes to the brush that dispenses the soap, that’s when we have a little bit of a problem. 

Since everyone uses that same brush all day long, and it’s never cleaned out by anyone, you can bet yourself there are hundreds and hundreds of tiny dirt, rock, and other material stuck in that brush. 

So when it comes time for you to wash your car with the brush, what do you think you’re doing? You’re essentially going to be rubbing those dirt and rocks all across your paint. 

Although yes, your car will look cleaner, as in there’s no more dirty or grime on the paint. But you will also add a lot more micro-scratches and swirls to your paint at the same time. 

Brushes Scratch Your Car 

Over time, the more and more you wash your car with a dirty brush, the more micro-scratches you’re going to get. This is going to have two negative effects: 

  1. Overtime, your paint is going to look dull and hazy because there are so many micro-scratches, the paint is covered in scratches. The only way you can fix this is by proper paint correction (swirl removal) and protection 
  2. Little-by-little, you’re deteriorating the clear coat and eventually will run into clear coat failure. That’s when your paint begins to crack and the peel off. The only way to fix this would be to repaint the panels. 

This might not happen over the course of a couple months, but in a few years, once you’ve done it too many times, the negative effects will take into place. 


That’s probably the worst thing that can happen to your vehicle when you go to a coin-operated self-service car wash. It is cheap, fast, and convenient. But in the long run, you may end up paying more money to get your car fixed from the damage you done to the paint.

But if you have a work truck of some sort, it’s probably not going to be a big deal for you so you can use it all you want. It really depends on how you would like to take care of your car. 


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