Why You Shouldn’t Take Your Car To An Automatic Car Wash

Automatic car washes may seem convenient, and they definitely are, but that convenience can sometimes come at a cost.

Many people don’t know this, but automatic car washes can cause additional damage to the paint of your vehicle every time you bring your car through it.

Today we’re going to touch on why that is, and why we recommend always getting a hand wash. Ideally, we recommend hiring a professional that offers car detailing services.

why not to take your car to an automatic car wash

Efficiency Not Quality

Automatic car washes are ultimately designed to be as efficient as possible. They aren’t designed to give your car the attention it deserves.

Because of that, there isn’t much attention paid to the effect the cleaning process can have on your car’s paint.

When it comes to keeping your car cleaned and protected, it’s usually best to go with an option that prioritizes quality over speed.

Why Car Washes Damage Your Paint

The main reason automatic car washes can damage your paint are the methods they use to clean your car in the first place.

Any automatic car wash that uses spinning brushes to clean the surface of your car are usually doing more damage than good.

The spinning brushes are usually made of materials that are not good for your vehicle’s paint. On top of that, they’re usually moving at speeds that you wouldn’t normally be washing your car at.

That combination can cause scratches and swirl marks to form on your paint, and the more you take your vehicle to automatic car washes, the more damage you could do to your vehicle’s paint.

Also, you have to factor in how much dirt and debris have been picked up by those spinning brushes over the days, weeks, and months of washing other cars.

All of the debris doesn’t just disappear, but it will still be hanging around on those brushes to then be used on the exterior of your car. This too will cause scratches and imperfections to form on the exterior of your car.


There are some automatic washes that use a more contactless approach, and those can be a decent choice if you’re looking for something fast. That said, they still won’t offer the quality of detail that you’ll get from a hand wash or a professional detailer.

We’re a bit biased, but we always recommend going with a professional car detailing company in Salem Oregon.

It will save you time, save you headache, and get your car looking the best it can possibly look.

Check out our other post on steps to detail your car properly.

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