When searching for a reputable car wash, in order to get the service one desires, it is important to understand the terminology used in the industry. Below are several important terms to know when in the market for a car wash.
Tunnel Wash - A car wash in which the vehicle is moved through the facility on a conveyor. The vehicle will pass through several stations from presoak and wash to spray on wax, rinse, and final dry.
Chemical Car Wash - A waterless car wash in which chemicals wash and polish the car's surface.
Steam Car Wash - A car wash system in which jets of steam and micro-fiber towels are used to wash the car. Some sort of soap may or may not be injected into the scrubbing towels.
Mobile Car Wash - A car wash system which is portable. Usually consisting of a large water tank mounted to a truck, the detailer uses a pressure sprayer to wash the car. Typically, the detailer also provides polishing services to the automobile owner as well as vacuuming the interior and window cleaning.
Self-Serve Car Wash - A car wash system which is typically coin operated. The vehicle owner is supplied with a water wand often called a jet wash or high pressure sprayer. Self-serve car washes typically offer different phases to select from such as presoak, rim cleaner, wash, wax application and spot-free rinse.
Bikini Car Wash - A car wash in which bikini-clad women will hand wash an automobile for a donation or straight fee. This type of car wash is a common summertime fundraiser. Businesses such as restaurants sometimes use this type of car wash to draw customers.
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The washing, polishing and general washing of cars can either be carried out by their owners or by businesses hired to carry out this service for others without the time, ability or inclination to do so. Referred to as auto detailing, this service can restore both the interior and exterior of a vehicle to pristine condition. Trucks, in particular, may require a concerted wash with soap and water after long cross-country drives.
Whether a vehicle owner hires an outside company to conduct this service, or does so him or herself, car upkeep should typically proceed along regular lines. Such auto detailing functions may be oriented either primarily toward aesthetic or utilitarian interests. The former category generally focuses on buffing and polishing vehicles, as opposed to simply cleaning them. Car owners might choose to wax and shine exteriors by hand. Spots of paint might also need to be reapplied to car exteriors.
Auto detailing in the latter form will focus less on waxing vehicles than on protecting them against rusting and an overall state of deterioration. For instance, professionals might be hired to restore vehicle bumpers and tire rims to their original working state. In either case, car owners may also wish to vacuum the interior of their cars, though they may wish to allow time for the exteriors to dry. On a similar note, vehicle owners should also keep windows clean in order to maintain full visibility and avoid the occurrence of accidents.
In addition to the two previous options mentioned for auto detailing, car owners might also select other approaches. For one, they could hire mobile car cleaning services. They could also buy cleaning accessory products. In any case, vehicle owners can accordingly maintain their cars both in appearance and usability.