Car Washing Ritual

Martha Scott

There's really no ritual =-- just washing the car. Since "lockdown", I've been doing it at home -- hose, bucket, soap, towels. It's rewarding (but them I have a Soul not a limo -- LOL) and not that much more time to do it here as at the car wash.


Growing up, there really weren't any car washes and EVERYONE washed their car at home -- it was a mostly Saturday ritual (so the car would be clean for Sunday) and and a first chore often for a child.


I really enjoy doing it at home and it saves me between $5 and $7 a week (depending on the kind of wash I do) plus I get the back end really clean (if I do automatic my car is short enough that the back end really doesn't get done all that well).


How many of you wash your car at home . . . now? or always?

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Comments (22)
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Bookwoman

We used to wash our cars at home, but now take them to the carwash about twice a year. We don't do a lot of driving (especially these days!), and the cars are garaged, so they don't get dirty too often.

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chloebud

Martha, you made me question when car washes first started. I checked online and it said the first car wash business opened in Detroit in 1914. I just don't remember many people using them when we were growing up. I have to admit it's a job I truly dislike, so I've been going to the car wash for years. The lowest price I can recall was $6 years ago. Now I pay about $18 for a "basic" wash...plus tip.

ETA - Definitely don't go once a week. We're in SoCal, and our cars mainly get more dusty-dirty, even parked in the garage.

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adellabedella_usa

Nope! Never been my ritual. I've found I dislike the chore. I don't like spending money like that either so I clean it less often. I think my vehicle has been cleaned twice since March. I haven't been driving it. We don't have salted roads in winter either so I pick a car color that doesn't show dirt as much and live with it.

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morz8

I haven't gone through a car wash since I was single and that was decades ago. DH would be most unhappy if I did use one.

He's the car washer (and waxer, he protects our vehicles). In rainy weather, its every week. Neighbors used to tease him about washing his truck in raingear, but when doing forestry consulting it was his 'rolling office' and he felt he deserved a clean office from which to work. He vacuums car and truck regularly, takes the floor mats out and cleans them. If he's been exceptionally busy, the windshields and headlights are at least cleaned. I never have a dirty car either inside or out to use. His truck is as clean as my car, I'm confident getting in and using it even wearing light or white clothes.

OT - but my brother was sent to work in Alaska one year and I flew up to fish with him. We traveled a little, he had a company car. Very tired, and not especially organized, we found ourselves arguing over who should be driving one evening. 'You drive, I'm so tired I can't see'. 'I can't see either, how close are we to our hotel, and are we on the right road...'. We came to agree we should have had my DH with us to keep us in shape - the headlights on the car were so dirty from Alaskan roads they were all but obscured with mud but that didn't occur to either of us.


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Fun2BHere

I only have my car washed about twice per year. It does get dusty even in the garage, but I don't like wasting water. I never got into the habit of washing a car myself because I lived most of my young adulthood in apartment complexes with no access to water. Then, for a time, we were not allowed to wash our cars because of drought conditions.

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Elmer J Fudd

From my teen years to early adult years, I washed my own car very regularly, almost always weekly. I like having clean cars but I've fallen out of the habit of doing it myself. Now (pre-pandemic) I go to hand washing/brushless car washes and I'm satisfied with the result. It's expensive but I'm happy to pay others to do it so that i don't have to. I make sure they stay well waxed and I sometimes do that myself, grudgingly.

All but one car is garaged and those stay pretty clean. The outside one needs more frequent washes.

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maifleur03

I remember when the neighborhood garage was where you had your car washed if you did not do it at home. I do not remember exactly when car washes started to be built so it seemed like every area had one. In this area you are cautioned about running any soapy water into the storm drains so most people use some type of car wash.

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Uptown Gal

Always used to wash our own cars...not so much anymore though. I always

thought it was a great "thinking time".

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graywings123

I mostly wait for rain.

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Michael

I keep my cars clean and detail them at least 4 times a year. Most washes are done with low pressure washer to remove grit and surface dirt, followed by an Optimum No-Rinse wash. Glass is cleaned on a weekly basis.

When there is traffic film on the paint I'll do a conventional hand wash followed by towel drying with an Express wax.

For many years I used high end polishes sealed with high end German waxes, some required 8 to 24 hours cure time between coats. Over the years science has produced express waxes that can be used while drying the vehicle. I use them most often.

I loathe dirty cars and that's why I don't own any.

When I take my car for dealer service, there's a NO WASH sign on dash.

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Elmer J Fudd

People are fanatic about keeping their cars clean in California. A bit more so in SoCal as in NorCal but it's shades of the same thing.

I may be a bit younger than you, maifleur, but car wash establishments with a conveyor belt arrangement have been a fixture on (usually) busy streets in my state for my entire adult life. They're all over, now often in truncated versions at gas stations. As customers have started developing a dislike for the mechanical brushes and the paint surface scratches they cause, many of the same facilities (moving belt and all) are still used but the wiping and scrubbing is done by hand by workers standing alongside the moving cars.

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maifleur03

Elmer I did not mean those conveyor belt things but in the midwest what appears to be an open ended quonset hut that you drive in. Get out, then use the hose through several cycles to wash, rinse, etc. They have a drain with a mesh over it in the center of the floor for the water to run into. Some places used to reuse that water for the wash cycle which made things very interesting to remove the splatters from your clothing. Car culture was here for a few but most just wanted something that ran, looked half way decent, and they could place all of their family members in it.

The conveyor type was in this area in the 1980s.

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Bluebell66

I washed my own car as a teen, but not as an adult. From what I understand it's bad for the environment to have all the junk your car collects on the outside going into the standard garage or street drain. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I like to think that the wash water at an actual car wash is somehow processed so it's not as damaging.

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mary3444

The 2 cars get washed weekly & waxed 3/4 times a year. The 2 trucks get washed when dirty so I would say every 2/3 weeks & waxed 2 times a year. Both hubby & I want a clean car. The cars are garaged but are black so you see the dust on them when they are out. When it rains or you hit the car with water you can see the water bead up on the finish which means lots of wax for protection. Would cost much to much money going to a car wash.

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amylou321

SO has a ritual. he waits until I am running late,even if he has been home all day and had time to wash it if he wanted to. Then he starts washing my car. He says "I'm just gonna rinse it off really quick, nothing major." Then spends 20 minutes washing it, whilst i squirm with impatience, constantly checking the time. I don't even notice if its dirty or clean. A dirty car bothers him though.

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OklaMoni

Back when I was house hunting I would say, I need a garage, and will take an attached house along with it.

With other words, my car lives in the garage. It doesn't get to come out often either. Yes, even in the garage, it will get dusty.

So far, I have washed my car once this year. It was a rainy day, and I went out with a bucket of soapy water, rags and wore a rain jacket. Once done with the soapy stuff, I left it out till I felt, it was rinsed well, and drove it back in the garage.

My bicycles don't fare much better. I do clean and lube the chains, but wash it off rarely... maybe once or twice a year.


Since I didn't drive in Germany... I found and used a car-wash my first time, when I lived in Ponca City, Oklahoma.

Moni


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DawnInCal

It depends on how much time I have and what I feel like doing. Sometimes I wash it in the driveway, carefully dry it and polish all the glass and vacuum, other times I take it to a self serve drive through, and still other times I take it to a car wash that involves human attendants. There are also times that I just hose it off to remove the dust. Living at the end of a dirt road, our cars almost always have a layer of dust on them during the summer months.

Hubby is fussier than I, either opting to wash his vehicle himself or taking it to a full serve car wash that doesn't involve moving brushes. But, then, he drives a new pickup and he's very careful about getting scratches on the paint.

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olychick

It's such a waste of fresh water to wash cars at home. At least here, the car washes recycle the water, so it is used to wash many cars instead of using all that water on just one.

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chisue

I often detailed my cars, starting with the Austin Healey 3000, a small convertible. (Ah, but do you know how long it takes to clean wire wheels? I washed/detailed our cars often through our early marriage years, but neither of us have washed one in at least two decades. Once past our first apartment, we've always had a garage, and the suburbs are pretty clean.

We went to just one car after DH retired. I realized I was mostly *dusting* the second one in the garage. Each of us favored the XJS; the sedan just 'sat'.

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Alisande

This got me thinking about car washing rituals when I was growing up in NYC. I have no recollection of any of our cars being washed. They were parked on the street. I guess we relied on rain.

These days I wash my cars at home during warm months and use automatic car washes in winter, mostly to wash the salt, etc., off the undercarriage.

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Jasdip

As a teenager with my first car, a '74 Roadrunner, I was hand-washing that thing all the time. The neighbours swore I'd take the paint off of it.

I like the notion of hand-washing and keep telling myself I'll do it, but I haven't yet. We'd run the car through the car wash......hubby liked the do-it-yourself spray ones. I did it recently and thought it was more pia than doing a good job, I was always panicking I'd run out of money before I was done.

I put out a request for some car soap on Freecycle. A member who've I've traded stuff with in the past responded. He said he'd give me some, and also mentioned that he does car detailing. He'd wash my car and clean the inside for $20, or give me the shampoo, whichever I preferred.

I said 'let's do both!' So I took it in, and he did the outside, the windows, rims, the dash, cleaned the floor mats, wiped down the leather seats, trim, and a light coat of wax. It looked great!

So I still have my bottle of shampoo and I have permission for the landlords to do it. I wish there were some shade though. Once we have 'normal' summer temperatures, none of this 30C+ crap, I'll do it. Hopefully I find it as relaxing as I think.

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Raye Smith

Amy - when your car is being washed why not just take his?

Some upscale neighborhoods are making is against the deed restrictions to wash cars at home and some don't allow owners to mow their own yards.

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