Most people that have classic cars with pristine car finishes will not go through any type of carwash that has brushes. And a good many of them know better than to go through carwashes that wash the car without touching it, because generally they use a flash washing method where they use an acid type soap wash, allow 10-seconds of dwell time which eats the dirt, and then rinse it quickly within a few seconds to prevent it from damaging the paint job or the rubber on the vehicle. Okay so, let’s talk about this for second shall we?
Now then, if you have a fully restored classic car chances are you have gone to great expense to buy aftermarket custom rubber built on original specs, and you have a car which does not have a clear coat, and chances are you have a ton of lacquer, and/or wax on that car. Such a washing technique from a touchless carwash strips off a good amount of wax, and whereas the lacquer finishes probably okay, it doesn’t do much good for it, therefore these classic car owners are right not to take their cars through this type of carwash.
What if the carwash is not a mechanized robotic tunnel carwash, or what if the washing system is not a touchless automatic – what if the carwash is a full hand wash where is soaped by hand, rinsed with a pressure washer, and dried with very extremely soft terry cloth towels, and chamois?
In that case it is okay, providing those doing the soaping are careful and do not pick up any little pebbles or granulars of dirt as they are soaping. If they soap underneath the wheel wells and then use that same wash mitt on the car, it will put fine and minute scratches in the surface of the paint. If they understand how to wash a classic car, and they’re doing it very carefully, that would be fine, but it only takes one employee, perhaps the new guy, that doesn’t know what they’re doing to put scratches in your car.
Sometimes it makes more sense to hire a mobile detailer to come to your house, if you don’t wish to do it yourself, someone who knows what they’re doing, perhaps even the owner of their own little company, and have them do a complete hand wash. If not, I advise you to wash your own car. There are very few carwashes in this country that I would feel comfortable sending you to if you have a pristine and perfect classic car that you’ve totally rebuilt yourself with a perfect paint job and is show quality. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.