When it comes to saving water, cleaning your vehicle in a car wash takes the cake— we even wrote about it in a past blog post! But what about when it comes to protecting the finish?

The Study

The International Carwash Association via a special Carwash Research Foundation Grant to the University of Texas at Arlington conducted extensive car washing tests to determine the effect of professional washes versus bucket and sponge on various car finishes.

What They Found

The results? A professional car wash wins again!

According to the study, a single home hand wash on a vehicle can produce scratches that penetrate as deep as 1/10 of the total thickness of the automobile’s paint.

Study findings from The University of Texas align with those completed over a decade ago by the Technical University of Munich, Germany in association with Mercedes-Benz, which showed that similar damage was done to a vehicle when using materials in the average home car wash, including detergent, a low water volume like that found in residential hose nozzles, buckets of water, sponges, and towels.

Additional tests from the University of Texas further concluded that washing a vehicle by hand can produce so many marks on the car’s finish that they are almost impossible to count. The tests also showed significant declines in surface reflectance and shine readings. By comparison, when vehicles were washed using professional full-service car washes, there was virtually no change in the surface reflectance or shine to be found.

What We Offer

As we shared in past blog posts, the average garden hose does not have the same pressure that a professional car wash system provides. When you take a trip through our Sudzy Salmon car wash tunnel, you will note the high pressure used to clean off dirt, bugs, and grime.

We offer a modern hybrid tunnel wash superior to touchless car washes, and especially hand washing in the winter. Sudzy Salmon uses humans with pressure washers in a controlled environment to remove the big stuff, before sending your vehicle through a high pressure wash, followed by a friction wash with closed cell foam cloth which does not hold dirt, and finally, a high pressure rinse. This is done to ensure the dirt film is removed before we apply clearcoat protectant or high-end carnauba waxes to protect your vehicle from the next layer of dirt.

The Catch 22

While cleaning your vehicle is ultimately a Catch 22—remember Car Washes Don’t Scratch Your Car, Dirt Does—the professional wash has been put to the test and it beats hand washing, every time!

See you at the wash!

Sudzy Salmon Car Wash
13120 Old Glenn Highway
Eagle River, Alaska
Ph: 907-622-SUDZ (7839)
[email protected]

First Class Experience with an Alaskan Touch