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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Handwash or Touchless



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      11-10-2006, 09:54 AM   #1
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Handwash or Touchless

I live in a condo and can't wash my car myself.I'm wondering what is the best option to use; the local hand wash where 4 guys clean the car in 10 mins or the touchless rollover wash at the Esso station.

thanks
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      11-10-2006, 09:58 AM   #2
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None of those options are entirely 100% safe:

A hand wash is only as good as the attendants diligence in drying the car.

A touchless wash depends on stronger detergents that can strip the wax off the paint.

I've done the handwash and I still get microscratches Our paint really is soft.

Best practice if you have to depend on carwash places is to treat your car with sealants like zaino or klasse. They provide a layer of protection.

I have zaino on my car now and do follow up monthly washes with the detailer (Shimshimhada). Fortunate enough to have him located nearby.
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      11-10-2006, 10:01 AM   #3
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None of which are my choice. But if I had to pick, something tells me to use the touchless carwash over the 4 dudes. Machines are not known to be bias so that help a little on the psychological schema of thing.
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      11-10-2006, 10:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txusa03
None of which are my choice. But if I had to pick, something tells me to use the touchless carwash over the 4 dudes. Machines are not known to be bias so that help a little on the psychological schema of thing.

yeah but they still have to rely on the same 4 dudes to dry which is the critical stage...
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      11-10-2006, 10:07 AM   #5
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we have true touchless where I live, there are massive blowers that blow water right off the car's surface and no need for human assistance. There are still some water in the joints but it does it job over all.
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      11-10-2006, 11:18 AM   #6
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A good layer of Collinite once in a while will last through many and all touchless washes, despite their harsh detergents.
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      11-10-2006, 01:43 PM   #7
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If I were you I would do the handwash and keep some micro-fiber towels in the trunk. When they start to dry it, stop them and give them the micro-fiber towels. That way you will avoid their scratching crapping towels.
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      11-10-2006, 01:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcrain
If I were you I would do the handwash and keep some micro-fiber towels in the trunk. When they start to dry it, stop them and give them the micro-fiber towels. That way you will avoid their scratching crapping towels.
hahaha, if you do that, they will be offended and are more likely to cause more swirls. A microfiber cloth is not gona stop me from scratching your paint. Wanna test me out, I have some finger nails taht cannot wait to scratch the paint?
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      11-10-2006, 05:39 PM   #9
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I had a customer who tried this exact approach in that he had his own MF drying towels that he would ask the hand wash attendants to use. It is a practical approach and can be effective if you approach them the right way. If your only two options are a drive through type "touchless" or the handwash I'd vote for the hand wash and very amicably ask them if they wouldn't mind using my towels.
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      11-10-2006, 11:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GF
I live in a condo and can't wash my car myself.I'm wondering what is the best option to use; the local hand wash where 4 guys clean the car in 10 mins or the touchless rollover wash at the Esso station.

thanks
Ah, that's the type of hand wash place you were telling me about before. I get it now. I thought is was one of those DIY wash bay places. If that is the case, I vote for the touchless wash during the winter months. For the warmer months, try finding a DIY wash bay type of place. They must have one in Montreal. Bring your own soap and wash mitts as I suggested before.
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      11-11-2006, 02:47 AM   #11
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I use the touchfree carwash went I don't have the time to hand wash my car. I don't let any other person to clean my bimmer sometimes went I really want the car to look good but don't spend too much time I use Meguiar's NXT Spray Wax but if I don't have the time, sometimes I get the turtle wax easy spay wax and spay it all over the car and Turtle Wax F21 wheel cleaner and enter the touchfree carwash, it works great
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      11-16-2022, 06:06 PM   #12
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Hello all. I've only had my obw for about a month and a half so I've only needed one car wash since my road trip from chicago to nyc and back. That was at the dealership (they'll wash the car anytime for free) which is about 20 miles from me (Don't want to drive 20 miles just for the car detailing alexandria va). Right next to my house is a hand car wash i've used on my jeep wrangler a bunch of times. My question is it okay to go through one of those types of washes or is a touchless wash recommended since the dealership did the "ceramic coating" to the obw? Thanks for the input!

Last edited by mapujece; 11-19-2022 at 09:06 PM..
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      01-28-2023, 07:03 PM   #13
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To state the obvious, doing it yourself with clean wash mits, two bucket method and clean microfibers is really the only "right" answer short of a higher priced detail. The 4 guys are likely going to be using the same sponges they used for the previous 100 cars and will almost certainly swirl your paint. The autogeek detail forum is an awesome resource but beware of the rabbit hole haha. I take my wife's car through the touch less wash every once in a while in the winter but 90% of the time do it myself.

Edit: with all that said if it's your only option the 4 guys gas station wash should be fine, even if they swirl it, it shouldnt be doing any permanent damage, might just need a polish every year or other year.

Last edited by 39Xallday; 01-28-2023 at 07:18 PM..
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      01-28-2023, 10:23 PM   #14
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My routine, self serve jet wash:

1) at home 2Ē of hot water with a good slug of shampoo in a bucket, submerge 5 Micro fibre towels and kneed to mix/soak. Put 2 drying towels in your pocket and then put bucket in your trunk
2) drive to jet wash, rinse as much dirt off as possible then drive out and park
3) pull out wet MF towel fold twice and wash one pannel. Fold/flip/swap towel to next clean side and wash next pannel.
4) drive back into a bay and rinse your car, then drive out and park up again
5) dry your car.
6) drive home and put towels in washing machine

This takes me 1 hour. You could do a two bucket method. I just find my method easier as I donít want gallons of water sloshing about when I drive to the jet wash. Plus my bucket can stay in the trunk and I grab a new towel out when needed. Works great with the e91 rear glass opening.
More towels you use, the less likely of swirls.
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      01-30-2023, 11:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runnin'Rich View Post
My routine, self serve jet wash:

1) at home 2Ē of hot water with a good slug of shampoo in a bucket, submerge 5 Micro fibre towels and kneed to mix/soak. Put 2 drying towels in your pocket and then put bucket in your trunk
2) drive to jet wash, rinse as much dirt off as possible then drive out and park
3) pull out wet MF towel fold twice and wash one pannel. Fold/flip/swap towel to next clean side and wash next pannel.
4) drive back into a bay and rinse your car, then drive out and park up again
5) dry your car.
6) drive home and put towels in washing machine

This takes me 1 hour. You could do a two bucket method. I just find my method easier as I donít want gallons of water sloshing about when I drive to the jet wash. Plus my bucket can stay in the trunk and I grab a new towel out when needed. Works great with the e91 rear glass opening.
More towels you use, the less likely of swirls.
I second this. It costs me around $12 at a place like that to wash my car. I always wash my car really early in the morning or holidays when nobody is there. Most self serve carwashes don't let you bring your own sponge, bucket, and car soap. I fill up my bucket at the spot.

I'd wash my car at home, but the water in new jersey is horrible and leaves dirt stains after drying. Since the water is dirty, I cant use a microfiber to dry off.
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      01-31-2023, 10:25 AM   #16
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I own a black car and the previous owner did the bare minimum so it's covered in swirl marks. I've spent the past year or so using compound, polish and wax to bring it back, so I don't run it through a carwash. I'd suggest learning the two bucket method or have quarters for the self car wash in your area.
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      03-05-2023, 01:38 PM   #17
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Handwash or touchless

Both local hand wash and touchless rollover wash have their pros and cons, and the choice depends on personal preference. A local hand wash where 4 guys clean the car in 10 minutes can provide a more thorough cleaning, especially for hard-to-reach areas. However, there is a risk of scratches or damage to the car's paint if the workers are not careful. On the other hand, a touchless rollover wash is an automated car washing technique that uses high-pressure water jets and detergents to clean the car without any physical contact. It is cost-efficient and wallet-friendly since it does not require manual labor. However, some studies suggest that machine-based car washes may be better for your car's paint than washing it at home with household sponges or towels. It is important to note that drive-thru car washes can also cause damage to your vehicle if they use harsh chemicals or brushes. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide which type of car wash best suits their needs and preferences.
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