When we have time (and energy) we’ll wash our own cars at home. Sometimes even with a power-washer! (Be careful to only use the widest nozzle setting – usually 40 degrees).

But there are an array of different places to give your car a quick refresher – and often not for too much, and certainly minus the time and energy wasted getting all your stuff out.

Some of us don’t mind the elbow grease and calorie burning, but others may be really strapped for free time, so we understand.

And keep in mind – there are basic car washes (like to just get the grime off after a storm) or “auto spas” that do full-on detailing. For the purpose of this post, we’re referring to basic.

Do you get your car washed?

Anyone know where you can find a bikini car wash in NJ?

Fully hand-wash car washes

If we pay for a car wash, our preferred place is one that does it fully by hand. Just the exterior. No frills, except that wheel glaze, which we hate!

Only $6, but you typically find places like this much more easily in higher-population urban areas.

I think they usually get the car cleaner, and with less chance for damage to the paint surface – or your wheels.

Do you get your car washed?

Quick and easy!

Do you get your car washed?

The old-fashioned way.

Automatic Car Washes

The fully automatic car wash industry these days is essentially supplied by a monopoly of a company, Coleman Hanna. It’s a safe bet that pretty much most independently-owned automatic car washes have their equipment. Nothing wrong with that from a business perspective. Supply vs. demand right?

But we’re not fans of gimmicky places like Shammy Shine, for instance. Too much going on – and “packages” and so on. Annoying to say the least.

Do you get your car washed?

Oil change and a car wash?

However, some offer oil-changes as well. I’d be a bit nervous getting my oil changed at a car wash. Sort of like getting dental work at a shoe store. Hmmm.

Although, some places like GreenWay in Whitehouse have 30-day unlimited washes for I think just $10 or $20. A fairly good deal for those who like having a shiny car every other day. Or those who like going off-roading?

Do you get your car washed?

Borderline Obsessive Compulsive?

Self-serve car washes

Lastly – there are some automatic car washes that also offer “Bays” that people can wash their car manually themselves. Just pay for water and vacuum and you’re all set.

In fact – I recall there is one in Hackettstown that is just a free-standing array of bays!

Do you get your car washed?

For the almost Do-It-Yourself person.

More car washing today than yesterday?

Based on my observations – I’d be willing to bet, per capita, that fewer people get their cars washed in 2018 than just 20 or 30 years ago.

Back when my car was my most worldly possession, I’d definitely “take care” of it a lot. I guess it was an extension of my identity, and I was proud of it.

Thinking back – what an utter waste of time and money. All those cars I took care of are gone. And the thousands of dollars I recall spending JUST FOR VANITY, kind of makes me embarrassed these days.

Today, much more important to me – is a clean (on the inside) car. No clutter or other crap. That means so much more than the exterior. Heck, a couple good rain storms – and the car starts looking perked up a bit. But it probably isn’t a bad idea to put a coat of sealant on the paint once a year (they make them last that long – and work pretty good!)

That said – looks like it’ll be a fairly rainy week ahead. So it’s all just an idea for next week!

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NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.

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