Cold winter temperatures combined with snow do not make for a very easy or fun wash experience outside at home. Hoses can freeze, which can then cause pipes to crack or burst. Driveways can turn into sheets of ice while washing, and soap and water can freeze onto the vehicle. Some may be fortunate enough to have a heated garage with drains for indoor washing, but the reality for most of us is that we do not have that option, and many may not have a garage at all.
First and foremost, a good rule of thumb is to wait until there is a slightly warmer day, where the temperature is above 30℉, to wash your vehicle. This way you will avoid having water freeze onto the vehicle and potentially freeze shut door handles, locks, and doors, preventing you from getting back into the vehicle. Going to a touchless coin-op, or self-serve, car wash is a fast and cost-effective way to clean your vehicle, or clean the majority of it if it is heavily dirty, to then perform a Hoseless Wash or Waterless Wash at home in the garage, which we explain below. Touchless self-serve car washes usually use warmer water, along with weeping systems that will slowly drip water out of the high pressure sprayers, to avoid freezing issues. Some touchless washes even have heating elements in the concrete to prevent the bay floors from freezing.
IMPORTANT: You want to be very careful not to use very hot water on a very cold car, as the large temperature difference may cause windows and windshields to crack!
- 5-Gallon Bucket with Grit Guard and Gamma Seal (Wash)
- 3.5-Gallon Bucket with Grit Guard (Wheels)
- Car Shampoo 16oz (or your favorite soap)
- (2) 10” Wash Pad
- Wheel & Tire Cleaner in 32oz Dilution Bottle
- Angled Wheel Brush
- Rubberized Wheel Brush
- Fender Brush
- Ultra Plush Drying Towel
- Graphene CS3 16oz
- Borderless Grey Towels (2)
- Graphene Tire Dressing
- Pro Tire Hex Grip Applicator
To save time at the Coin-Op Touchless Car Wash, it’s best to prepare as many things as you can at your home or apartment before heading out on the road. Fill your 5-Gallon Bucket with about 3-3.5 gallons of warm water, put the 2 wash pads into the water, then spin on the waterproof Gamma Seal Lid and place it into the trunk or cargo area of your vehicle. Pre-fill a 32oz Dilution Bottle with Wheel & Tire Cleaner and place it into the 3.5 Gallon Bucket, along with the other wheel and fender brushes. Place the other 16oz bottles into the 3.5 gallon bucket as well. Put any applicators, and towels into a trunk organizer or detailing bag and then into the vehicle.
Washing your vehicle at the Touchless Car Wash is similar to your everyday wash but with an altered process. During winter, the temperatures are lower which means water won’t dry as fast on the surface of your vehicle slowing the process of water spotting. Now, to reduce the usage of the pressure washer wand and consolidate the rinsing of your vehicle you will first get your bucket with wash pads out, place Car Shampoo onto the wash pads and inside the bucket. You want to utilize the soap on the wash pads maximizing the amount of lubricity while washing. Now, insert coins or swipe your credit/debit card to initiate that pressure wand. Make sure you are on the “high pressure rinse” setting, not the spot free rinse. You want the maximum amount of pressure out of the wand for your initial rinse. Rinse your entire vehicle. Focus on the dirtiest parts of the car (bottom half, front of car, rear of car, etc.). Once you have done your initial rinse, activate the suds in your bucket by blasting the pressure washer wand onto the wash pads in your bucket. This will generate thick suds in your bucket and in/on your wash pad. Put the pressure washer wand away and press stop on the wash bay controls. Now it’s time to wash your car. Grab one wash pad and begin washing, starting with the parts of the car that are exposed to the sun. The reason for this is to neutralize the water that will most likely dry first on the car. Adam’s Polishes Car Shampoo and all of Adam’s Car Soaps neutralize hard water encapsulating the minerals in the water eliminating the chance for water spotting. It is more safe to have Adam’s Car Soaps dry on your vehicle than it is to have hard water dry on your car. So wash the parts of your car in the sun first then wash the rest of the vehicle. Make sure to consistently flip your wash pad and rub it against the Grit Guard in the bucket. This will ensure you are not dragging or wiping with heavy sediment in your wash pad. Use one wash pad for one side of the car and the other wash pad for the other side of the car. Another tip is to wash from the top down. The bottom of your vehicle is the most dirty.
After you have washed your vehicle with the Car Shampoo and Wash Pads it is time to move onto the wheels and tires. Keep your bucket with water and soap but swap out your wash pads for your wheel cleaning tools. Using Adam’s Wheel & Tire Cleaner, spray down the face of the wheels, barrel of the wheels, tires and fender wells. Using your assortment of wheel cleaning tools, thoroughly clean your wheels, tires and fender wells. Clean all four wheels, tires and fender wells, then it’s time to rinse the entirety of the vehicle.
For and in depth, comprehensive “How To” video of How To Wash Your Car At A Self Serve Car Wash, watch the video below: