Going Through a Car Wash Can Cause Damage, Expert Warns


To be honest, we’re all a little embarrassed when our car is so dirty our kids are drawing in the dust. Unlike a bedroom, people see your car, so it probably shouldn’t look like it spent days twirling around in a tornado. There’s no great excuse for not cleaning your car, especially when car washes are so convenient. That being said, we recently came across an article citing that taking your car to a car wash can actually cause some serious damage.

Wait, what!? Cleaning your own car can be a pain, especially when you’re a busy mom. That’s why these services exist! Well, as it turns out, it looks like we’re going to have to start cleaning ourselves. Speaking with JALOPNIK, Paul Lamberty, who is responsible for “all automotive OEM and refinish coatings research and development within North America” for BASF (a top-tier supplier to the automotive industry) explained:

“It’s like painting your car with a wet sandblaster. Some of those car washes, seriously, I’ve seen them where the brushes are gray to brown with dirt. I don’t care what car wash it is, if it rubs that media on the surface of the paint finish, your paint can be stripped away.”

Lamberty assures that going through a car wash a couple of times isn’t going to completely destroy your car, but, eventually it will create what’s called a “spiderweb scratch.” That definitely doesn’t sound good. If you need to get salt off your car this winter, it’s probably best to put in some elbow grease. Lamberty suggests using lots of water to get all the grit gently off. He follows up by suggesting using a soft clay and some towels to ensure a nice shine.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, FHM.

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