Automatic Washing vs. Hand Washing

It has been said that automatic car washes scratch the paint and are harmful to the finish. This is false. A few years ago, Mercedes-Benz had the Technological University of Munich do a comparative study of hand washing vs. automatic washing with “Foam Brite”. In this study, vehicles on the street were washed 26 times to duplicate the number of times a car might be washed in a year.

One test group was hand washed and the other was machine washed.

Upon completion of the test, microscopic photos of the paint were taken and it was found that there was more scratching, marring and damage to the paint of the hand washed cars than those that were machine washed.


It was determined that when a vehicle is hand washed, the first time the sponge or mitt used to wash the car touches the dirty surface, the minute particles of sand and grit get into it. Each subsequent time the sponge or mitt is rubbed onto the car’s finish during the washing process, the action is like a piece of fine sandpaper. On the other hand, the washing material used at the car was is “Foam Brite”, which is bombarded with shampoo and water during the washing process. This forms a barrier between the washing material and the paint, preventing swirls or scratching. Plus the constant mist of water being shot on the brushes keep them clean of dirt and grit at all times.

Auto-Detailing (1)


  • Read all posted wash instructions prior to using the tunnel. Obey all wash attendant instructions.
  • The Auto Spa will NOT be responsible for vehicles with “NO Standard Accessories”
  • The Auto Spa will NOT be responsible for vehicles with previous damage (whether unknown to the owner or not) corroded mirrors, radio antennas, exterior moldings damaged will be the customers responsible.