Does Touchless Car Wash Do Any Damage to Car’s Paint?

The touchless car wash service is all the rage these days. They’re popping up all over the place for years now, promising to wash your car without ever having to touch it. Sounds great, right? Well, not so fast! Is this newfangled contraption suitable for the car’s paint job, or will it end up doing more harm than good? They claim to be good for your paint because you don’t have to touch your car while washing it. But are they really that great? Or do they just make people feel better about not touching their filthy cars?

What Is Touchless Car Wash?

An automatic car washing system provides convenience at busy gas stations. It also decreases cleaning time and minimizes water usage, both of which are critical in drought conditions like in California.

This cleaning process employs a system of high-pressure jets to clean the car. The water and detergent are sprayed all over the vehicle, and then, a jet-powered vacuum removes the dirty water from the surface.

The system uses various types of cleaning agents and liquid wax for cleaning the vehicle. It ends with blowing the car with hot, dry air. Some service stations offer a hand-dry option.

Some people argue that the touchless car wash might not be as good for your car’s paint as, say, traditional hand-washing. Let’s find out whether it’s true or not.

Is Touchless Car Wash Good for the Car’s Paint?

The old-fashioned way of car washing is still in use, but it’s being replaced by touchless car washes more often than not. These days, there are many types of automatic car washes on the market for consumers who want quick washing while saving money.

This new trend may seem like a good idea to some drivers, but it’s not always going to be beneficial for your vehicle’s paint.

are touchless car washes saf
Touchless washing may harm a car’s paintwork. (Credit: Garage Sino Star / YouTube)

Why is touchless car washing good?

Some people swear they’ve never seen their car in better condition. They say that touchless washes are actually more thorough than traditional ones since the machine is equipped with sensors to ensure every inch of your vehicle gets scrubbed up good.

It also keeps your car in good condition until you manage time for a proper and thorough wash. Is touchless car wash better than traditional washing? It’s arguable, but people mainly choose this option because it’s quicker and cheaper, definitely suits the lifestyle of modern people.

They claim the moisture from these machines is tough on your wax job and makes water spots more noticeable. Also, if the paint is soft or has been recently polished, it can cause scratches which are almost impossible to remove without repainting your entire car!

Why is touchless car washing bad?

If you are not careful, it can cause paint and wheel damage that’ll cost a pretty penny to fix. Let’s see how the touchless car wash can damage the paint.

Poor performance than other methods.

It does not do as good of a job as hand washes or automated friction washes. Automated friction washes use brushes and rollers to clean the car, while hand washes use rags and sponges to give a more thorough clean.

May leave marks on car’s paint.

The machines in a touchless washing service point shoot powerful jets of water at your car’s surface. The water jet’s pressure can be too strong and lead to spots, paint scuffing, and swirl marks. Such damage to the vehicle’s body could lead to a bigger problem down the line.


Incomplete drying leads to corrosion.

Another problem is the blowers used at these service stations. The blowers that dry your car can only do so much, and excess moisture remains around the door depending on the weather. This could be a really irritating problem that can damage the car’s paint and seal during cold months.

There’s no guarantee that the blower can completely dry out the washed exterior. Such incomplete drying leaves spot marks in the exterior finish. If you do not dry your car thoroughly after a wash, water can remain in crevices and create spots. It can also cause rusting if you leave those spots wet for too long. It means that you will need to invest in a car wax or sealant to protect your paint from corrosion.

Harsh cleaning chemicals damage the paintwork.

Some service stations use strong chemicals for good and in-depth cleaning. Such cleaning agents can wear down your car’s finish. You might not be able to see it, but the chemicals can lead to the deterioration of the paintwork. They also run off into storm sewers and end up polluting streams and rivers because they’re not biodegradable!


Are touchless car washes safe for your car’s paint? Well, there are several reasons to believe that it is not. It is the most convenient way to get your car clean, but it’s actually doing more harm than good. With a traditional hand-wash, there is less of a chance for your car to sustain any damage to its paint or get polluting materials on it.