Are Touchless Car Washes Safe For Your Paint?

The idea of running prized possessions through a computerized system is unappealing to many car lovers.

Having car washes with drive-through access is convenient. Touchless car washes are becoming increasingly popular. Perhaps you’ve used one before without realizing.

With a touch-free car wash, you don’t have to use a cloth or applicator to clean the surface of your automobile.

With high-pressure hoses, your car will be washed and rinsing automatically in a tunnel.

Are Touchless Car Washes Safe For Your Paint

A network of sensors lines the tunnel, which allows the hoses to clean and follow the vehicle’s distinctive shape.

Because the car isn’t manually washed, strong chemical soaps are used to compensate.

Applied to the car, these applicators reduce swirl and scratch marks, which are characteristic of them.

In that regard, let’s examine both the advantages and disadvantages associated with this car wash.

How Do You Define At Home Touchless Car Washing?

While a drive-through car wash uses powerful water jets, a touchless car wash does not.

In place of brushes that rotate or strips of fabric with undulating patterns, high-pressure water jets are used.

In all likelihood, you have used touchless car washes without realizing they differ from automatic car washes.

If you don’t pay attention to how you clean, you won’t notice any difference. If you drive from one end of the lot to the other, the wash quality will be different.

Manually cleaning your paint’s surface is a better alternative than high pressure.

To dissolve the bonds between road grime and your car’s transparent layer, touchless car washes often use a mix of acidic and basic cleaning agents.

Using a touchless car wash generates cleaner results thanks to these chemicals.

However, the results are often more than satisfactory, even though it may not always produce the same results as a regular car wash.

Touchless Car Washes: Pros

The main benefit of touchless car washing is that the applicators do not scratch or touch the car.

Your car’s finish and color will determine how quickly you can create micro-scratches and swirls with a mildly abrasive cloth or sponge.

You will notice this especially with darker cars. Micro-scratches, however, can dull light-colored surfaces over time.

Free Applicator

Traditional car washes scratch cars because of the brushes and products they use.

To minimize the risk of scratching your vehicle, Touchless car washes use powerful water pressure only for rinsing and washing.

Thanks to sensors, the hoses follow your car’s contours for a thorough clean.


Water is recycled as much as possible in touchless car washes. The collected water is cleaned, stored, and reused.

Thus, the amount of water consumed is drastically reduced, which is particularly beneficial now that conserving water is a priority.

To an environmentally conscious driver, a regular car wash may seem wasteful. Automated systems reduce stress and reuse water whenever possible.


A ding can also occur at a traditional car wash.

As you move your car between cleaning stations, it may be damaged by broken rollers, distracted employees, or even by the people moving it.

Thanks to automation, touchless car washes do not pose these risks.

A Specialized Wash

It takes a lot of time to reach certain parts of your car. Mud can build up in your car’s undercarriage over time.

A dirty wheel rim can cause your car to spin irregularly and shake when you are driving fast.

It is virtually impossible to clean your car’s undercarriage and wheels without a car lift or if you are incredibly diligent.

By using high-pressure water, the muck can easily and quickly be removed.


Due to the reduced need for labor and supplies, touchless car washes are typically much cheaper than traditional car washes.

These services can also be completed quickly, reducing turn-around time.

Quick And Easy

The simplicity and convenience of touchless washing make it appealing. Just pull up, and your car will get a good clean with the sprayers.

An effective soap is then used throughout the vehicle using sensor automation. An effective blow-dryer is then used to dry the vehicle.

Using this method, vehicles are able to pass in and out quickly.

Disadvantages Of Touchless Car Washes

It seems that touchless car washes seem to offer only benefits.

But before you rush to the car wash, be aware of some concerns because the technology has not yet been perfected.

Cleaning Not Adequate

Some areas of your vehicle cannot be reached despite intense high-pressure spraying. Hoses move with your car due to sensors.

Even so, they cannot reach the tiniest corners.

It is true that there are some areas of your car that a touchless car wash cannot clean, including the underside, but it is also true that the reverse is also true.

The hoses will never be able to reach all parts of the car because of the differences in car designs and wheel rims.

The interior of your car may only be cleaned by 80% when using a touchless car wash.

Even though your car will typically be clean, you may need to come back with a cloth to clean some difficult-to-reach places.

Regular maintenance cleaning can be performed with a touchless car wash.

Dangerous Chemicals

Dangerous Chemicals

In touchless car washes, stronger chemicals are needed because it isn’t being rubbed.

A strong solvent is necessary to remove all the debris accumulated by your car during its daily commute, even with high-pressure hoses.

Although no washing method is 100% risk-free, strong chemicals can further damage your car’s paint.

In the event that these chemicals are applied too frequently, the clear coat may gradually deteriorate.

Recycling Water

In addition to benefiting the environment, reusing water may also damage your car’s finish.

The risk of health problems still exists even after regular filtering and reconditioning. Your vehicle is pre-rinsed using touchless washing.

Incorrectly cleaning your car may result in debris remaining on it.

It is possible to cause more scratches when using water pressure to move the grit.

High-pressure hoses cannot be used in order to clean a delicately finished car that has already begun to bubble or peel. The car should be washed by hand instead.

Do You Need To Wash Your Car Often?

Your place of work and where you live determine your commute time.

It is possible for your car to become filthy very quickly or remain clean for a long time depending on where it is located.

An extended period of dirt on your car is not recommended. It can be difficult to remove dirt from the car if you do this.

When dirt adheres to your car’s paint, you’re more likely to remove the paint along with the dirt when you wash it.

Thus, make sure to keep your car free of dirt for as long as possible.

How Safe Are Touchless Car Washes For Paint?

Although touchless car washes are considered safer, there are risks involved. Read on to learn more.

Pressure Of Water Is Too High

Touchless car washes use much higher levels of pressure as a means of compensating for the lack of friction.

A dirty car’s particles can be thrown over the paintwork by the jets because of their increased power.

The clear coat of a car will be damaged if it is subjected to this type of washing regularly paint, in addition to the scratches.

Harsh Chemicals

It is possible to break down the dirt on the paintwork with very powerful and harsh chemical detergents used in touchless car wash systems.

To avoid prolonged exposure to harsh chemicals, I strongly advise against wearing clear coats.

Water Treatment

For these touchless systems to operate with high-pressure water, the water must first be conditioned.

Salts are used to “soften” the water, removing more extensive minerals and allowing it to flow through the systems more easily and quickly.

In water reconditioning, salt builds up in the water, which can leave a film of dried salt on the paintwork.

Strip Protection And Ceramic Coatings

After several trips through a touchless car wash, you can expect the ceramic coating on your paintwork to have deteriorated or been removed entirely.

When you have spent the time and effort to protect your paintwork, it would be pointless to partially remove or diminish its long-term effectiveness.

Final Thoughts

In general, it is safer to wash your car with a touchless car wash than with other types.

While you are cleaning, protect your paint by not allowing anything to come into contact with it.

With a touchless car wash, you don’t need to touch your car at all.

The touchless car wash is generally effective, but it is not a substitute for a traditional car wash.

They can provide a full physical wash for your car if you do not have the time. 70% to 90% of the dirt will be removed.

To remove all dirt and toxins missed by touchless car washes, give your car a complete, hands-on wash after a couple of touchless washes.