THE APARTMENT AND CONDO DWELLER
Before the advent of the modern car wash, those who were robbed of a dedicated garage were forced to maintain their vehicle in a conspicuous wide-open area, or at least a semblance thereof. Historically speaking, a man by the name of Thomas Simpson introduced the first semi-automatic car wash in 1946, and since then car washes started to propagate throughout the United States. As car wash technologies started to expand, so did the features and options that came along with each location. For those of us that reside within an apartment or condominium, here are a few tips and tricks for a healthy and clean washing regimen.
1. It's always best to avoid the "automatic" car washes, simply because the brushes that accompany each location are far too abrasive against your paintwork. The correlation that I always draw from is that of shaving. You would never voluntarily shave with a razor or instrument that was too rough for your skin. Thus, it's imperative that you choose a car wash that is more self-service oriented.
2. As I had mentioned in one of my previous posts discussing a healthy washing regimen, it's always ideal to utilize a two bucket washing method. If your vehicle has sufficient space, bring two buckets along with a dedicated shampoo or washing solution. If for any reason you lack cargo room, you can always opt for an accessory called a gamma seal lid. These lids are specifically formulated to seal any liquids during the transport process, plus they're guaranteed never to spill during the transportation process.
3. Often times, you'll come across a self-service car wash that will provide you with a long-handled brush. Under no circumstances should you ever use them! While these brushes may look resourceful, they will invariably contain small pebbles, dirt, debris, and other unwanted matter. Further, if I had a nickel for the countless times other vehicle owners have abused these brushes, I could easily become a millionaire!
4. Depending on which car wash you visit, there are additional features that will facilitate the washing process. One feature that is always advantageous is "spotless rinse". Although not superior, this feature will remove a majority of sediments and iron deposits that were already sprayed with the water that was initially used when rinsing your vehicle.
5. If time is not a factor, keep your vehicle parked in your dedicated spot so as to provide your vehicle with shady conditions. In this way, you'll decelerate the potential of developing water spots and iron deposits from forming onto your paintwork.
6. Logistically speaking, try to visit your trusted self-service car wash during times in which there's a lull in regards to customer traffic. When my wife and I used to live in downtown Chicago, we were sometimes overwhelmed by the depressing long lines of people awaiting their turn to wash their vehicle.