Pros and Cons of a Hand Carwash vs Automatic Carwashes

by admin   |   February 8, 2021
hand carwash

A dirty vehicle isn’t just an eyesore or an inconvenience. It can be a health hazard. Why?

Bacteria have the potential to grow on either the exterior or interior of your car. When this bacteria is breathed in, it can cause health issues. Breathing difficulties, preventable illnesses, and allergy flares are a few examples of what this bacteria could cause.

Dirt on the outside of your vehicle can also cause scratches and chips in the paint. If any debris makes its way into your engine, it can cause excessive wear and tear, among other issues. In the long run, a dirty car can cost you a small fortune in entirely avoidable repair costs.

When it comes time to clean your vehicle, there are two main options. You can choose a hand carwash or an automatic carwash. You can wash your car by hand yourself or hire a professional to do it.

But how to choose?

There are pros and cons to both primary car washing options, and choosing a professional hand carwash has additional benefits over doing it yourself. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know to make an informed decision about what’s best for your vehicle.

Hand Carwash vs. Automatic Carwashes

When it comes time to wash your vehicle, there are three basic options. You could wash your car by hand, hire someone else to wash it by hand, or you could use an automatic carwash. Each option has a set of unique benefits and downsides, as discussed below.

Hand Carwash

A hand carwash is usually done using a special sponge or rag with soap and a garden hose. Although many people choose to hand wash their cars on their own, it’s often more convenient to have a professional do it.


The main benefit to having a hand carwash is your car gets much cleaner. The person washing your vehicle can pay extra attention to stubborn dirt or grime, where an automatic wash wouldn’t. The cleaning can also be much more detailed, getting into all the grooves, nooks, and crannies of your vehicle’s exterior.

Many professional hands washes companies will also detail the inside of your vehicle for you. This can provide added convenience when available. If interior detailing is important to you, be sure to ask if it’s offered ahead of time.

When your vehicle is hand-washed, your paint is also protected. This method of car cleaning is significantly gentler than automatic options. The person washing your car can even adjust their strength to be even more gentle if necessary.


There are limited downsides to a hand carwash. The only real downside is that the process takes considerably more time than automatic carwashes. This extra time, however, does result in a significantly cleaner and more protected vehicle.

Having a professional wash your vehicle by hand may also cost a little more. The additional time and attention are the primary reasons for the increased prices. Most people agree the extra investment is worthwhile in protecting one of their most valuable assets, however.

Doing It Yourself vs. Hiring a Professional

The pros and cons above can be applied to both washing your car yourself or hiring a professional to do it. There are, however, a few extra benefits to hiring professionals. These include:

  • Professionals will do a better job cleaning your vehicle
  • It’s more convenient for you
  • They have the right tools (like sponges, microfiber clothes) to do the job efficiently
  • They’ll often come to your home to clean your vehicle (so there’s no need to go anywhere)

If possible, it’s highly recommended you hire a reliable professional for your hand carwash. If you need your vehicle cleaned on short notice and a professional isn’t available, it’s fine to supplement with doing it yourself.

Automatic Carwash

An automatic carwash is a large machine you drive through. The device uses moving parts to clean your vehicle with soap and water. Some carwashes offer additional features, like paint sealants. Although this is one of the most popular car cleaning options, numerous pros and cons are associated with using these automatic cleaning machines.


Using an automatic carwash is a quicker and more convenient option. However, as you’ll see in the section below, this trade-off can potentially come at a great expense.


Automatic carwashes have the potential to malfunction. Depending on how it malfunctions and at what point during the wash, several things could happen.

The worst-case scenario during a malfunction is your vehicle gets damaged. The damage could be anything from scratches and dents to serious body damage. Scratches and dents can occur when using an automatic carwash, even if it functions correctly.

Automatic carwashes offer unreliable cleaning. The varying parts are designed to move in a specific way, which isn’t tailored to your particular washing needs. This means there could be a lot of dirt and grime left after your wash, which defeats the purpose.

Do You Have More Questions About a Hand Carwash vs. Automatic Carwashes?

There are pros and cons to both washing your car by hand and automatic carwashes. Generally, there are more benefits to having your car washed by hand. Whenever possible, it’s best to hire a professional for your hand carwash.

Do you have more questions about a hand carwash vs. automatic carwashes? Or do you want to inquire about our professional hand carwash services?

Contact us today. One of our associates would be happy to answer any questions you still have. They can also set you up an appointment if desired.

Was this post useful?

    Get in Touch

    Got a Question for Us?


    2313 Old Dixie Highway Kissimmee, FL 34744


    407-970-5857 | 407-729-1947


          Get Your Loyalty Card Today

    Earn a FREE El Classic Wash!

    Visit Us
    carwashkissimmee loyalty card