Is a Hand Car Wash Really the Best Option in 2021?

by Esteban   |   April 19, 2021
hand car wash


I know you want to take good care of your car and keep it looking its best for years to come. But what’s the best way to do that? Should you go for a professional wash, an automatic wash or hand car wash your car yourself at home? Each of these has advantages and potential downsides. I’ll talk you through the pros and cons of giving your car a hand wash so you can make an informed decision.

Pros and Cons of Hand Washing Your Car

Where to start? There are several pros and cons of hand washing your car – I’ve outlined a few below.


  • Offers opportunity for detailed cleaning
  • Lower cost if you DIY


  • Time consuming
  • Potential damage to paint job
  • Environmental impact
    Now let’s take a deeper dive into each of these pros and cons.


Offers opportunity for detailed cleaning

It’s hard to deny that hand washing your car at home is the most traditional approach to keeping your car clean. And no one’s going to wash it with as much loving care as you, right? If you’re an enthusiast who really loves spending quality time with your car, a hand washing could be a great activity for you.

Hand washing gives you the opportunity to check out your car at close range and give it a detailed scrubbing. No automatic car wash gives you the same level of detailed cleaning. And this is true whether you hire someone to hand wash your car or you do it yourself. A thorough hand washing from someone who knows what they’re doing generally means a cleaner car.

hand car wash

Lower cost if you DIY

If you’re washing your car yourself at home, chances are it’s not a very expensive venture. You’ll have to shell out some money for basic car-washing supplies, like buckets, soap, sponges, wipes, etc. – but you’ll pay for most of your home car wash with your own manual labor. You also may see an uptick in your water bill when you wash your car at home, but the overall impact is usually pretty small.


Time consuming

There’s no way around it: a detailed and thorough hand washing of your car takes time. And sweat. And elbow grease. And strength. You have to put in the time and effort to make sure you’re getting every area of your car clean, and you can’t rush it. So if you’re committed to hand washing your car yourself, you’ll have to plan and make time for it. Or you can take your car for a professional hand wash.

Potential damage to paint job

Here’s the bitter irony: all that loving, closeup, tender car you give your car could actually damage it. Depending on the products you’re using and your scrubbing and rinsing technique, hand washing could do some serious damage to the quality of your paint job. Some car owners end up accidentally dragging grime, dirt and debris all over the car’s paint job, doing more harm than good.

For example, a lot of people use dishwashing detergent to wash their cars, which should be a non-starter. Dishwashing liquid can strip the wax off your car and also leave behind a residue. Don’t do it. If you find yourself reaching for the dish soap, you may want to go for a professional hand wash instead of going for it yourself.

Environmental impact

When you wash your car yourself at home, all the water runs into your storm drains and ultimately into local bodies of water, where the sediments, metals and phosphates can cause damage to the water quality and to local aquatic life. On the other hand, a professional wash by hand or an automatic car wash must follow appropriate ordinances about the disposal of wastewater, which makes them safer options for the environment.


Here’s the real truth: you don’t have to choose just one method for washing your car. When you have the luxury of time and want to DIY, go for it. If you’re in a hurry, drive through an automatic car wash. And when you want a professional level of detail, come see us at Freedom Classic, where you can be confident of a thorough and detailed hand car wash with no damage to your car’s paint.


Should you hand wash your car?

Guess what? We really can’t answer that for you – it’s ultimately up to you. If you know what you’re doing and are willing to spend the time and physical labor it takes to give your car a detailed hand washing, then go for it. Otherwise, if a hand wash is important to you, you may want to have your car professionally cleaned.

Are hand car washes bad for your car?

Only if they’re done badly or with disregard for your paint job. Sometimes using the wrong chemicals/cleaners or scrubbing too hard can actually damage your car’s paint job, so just make sure that whoever’s hand washing your car knows what they’re doing and has access to cleaning products that are both gentle and effective.

How much should I charge for a hand car wash?

Ultimately, that depends on the level of service offered and the size of the vehicle being Each o washed. A basic car wash can cost anywhere from $5 to $30, and the price increases as the level of detail work increases. Washes that include waxing, vacuuming and detailing will cost the most. And if you want to get super fancy, you can charge even more if you go to the customer’s home and wash the car there.

What do you need for a hand car wash?

If you’re going to hand wash your car yourself, you just need a few basic items: access to water, of course, so get ready to drag out that garden hose. You also need buckets, cleaner/soap, sponges , scrubbing brushes and dry microfiber cloths. You can also get fancy with various waxes and finishes, but those will take you beyond basic supplies.

Refrence links

Hand Car Wash

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