Question: Isn’t rain a natural, cost-effective car wash?

Answer: No! Rain and snow contain dirt and pollutants from the air (commonly referred to as acid rain) and it can eat away at the finish on your car. After acid rain falls on your vehicle, the water evaporates, leaving a film of acid. Concentrated by sunlight, this acid can become so strong that it will “eat” through your car’s finish, ruining the vehicle’s paint and appearance.

Question: If my car has a high gloss clear coat finish,
do I still need to wax it?

Answer: Yes. Most new cars have a clear coat finish which can be easily damaged by acid rain. Even with minimal time outdoors, any clear coat finish will begin to deteriorate after two years. The suns’ ultraviolet (UV) rays, salt and road wear also damage cars. Wax is an effective and efficient way to shine and protect your vehicle’s finish. It is recommended that a car receive a professional hand wax twice a year, along with a professional car wash once a week.

Question: What if I don’t have the time or money to wash and wax my car regularly?

Answer: To maintain the value of your vehicle, you can’t afford not to professionally maintain the appearance of your car. And if you compare a professional car wash to a driveway wash – factoring in cleaners, waxes and water use – you will find that a professional car wash is not significantly more expensive than washing it yourself – and most professional car washes take less than half of the time of the typical driveway wash.

Basic Car Care Tips for Optimum Car Appearance:

* Wash your car once a week at a professional car wash.

* Always wash your car after a rain or snow to remove acid rain and road salt.

* Wax your car every six months. More frequent waxes may be needed if you live in a sunny climate or own a red, black or white car, as these colors are more susceptible to UV rays and need greater protection from the sun. (Don’t forget to wash after a day at the beach! Sea salt is also hard on your car.).

The International Carwash Association (ICA) represents 3,000 professional carwash and detail operators, operating over 25,000 car wash shops, as well as car care manufacturers, distributors and suppliers from around the world.


Provided as a public service by the International Carwash Association.