How to Use Automatic Car wash

How to Use Automatic Car wash

Have you ever wondered what your car would say if it could talk? Probably something like, “Can we hit up the Soapy Shark already? I need to freshen up!” Whether you’re a seasoned car wash veteran or a newbie who’s just Googled “how to use car wash,” you’re in the right place.

In this guide, we’re diving into everything you need to know about using an automatic car wash. From preparing your car to drying off and everything in between, we’ve got you covered. So buckle up, and let’s get ready for a sparkling clean ride!

How to Use a Car Wash

Most automatic car washes offer a variety of wash packages. Choose the one that best suits your needs and budget. You can usually pay at a kiosk or to an attendant. Don’t forget to take your receipt if needed. 

Follow the signs and the attendant’s directions to properly align your car with the conveyor or tracks. Inside the car wash, the process typically starts with a pre-soak to loosen dirt, followed by a series of brushes and sprays that scrub, rinse, and wax your car. Finally, powerful air dryers remove excess water.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using an Automatic Car Wash

1. Find an Empty Bay

The first step is to park up in an empty spot. Make sure the area is clear and you have enough space to maneuver your car comfortably.

2. Get Your Car Ready

Next, you need to prep your car. Close all windows and sunroofs tightly, secure any loose items inside, and remove the antenna if it’s removable. Take a quick walk around your car to check for any existing damage and note any special instructions your car might need, like covering certain areas or avoiding high-pressure sprays. This is crucial for understanding how to go through an automatic car wash effectively.

3. Pre-Soak the Vehicle

Once you’re ready, start the pre-soak process to loosen dirt. This is often the first stage in an automatic car wash, where a pre-soak solution is applied to the entire vehicle.

4. Tackle the Tyres and Engine

Pay special attention to your tyres and engine area. Ensure that these parts get thoroughly cleaned, as they tend to accumulate a lot of dirt and grime.

5. Proceed with the Wash Cycle

After pre-soaking and tackling the tyres, drive your car into the wash bay. Follow the signs and the attendant’s directions to properly align your car with the conveyor or tracks. Drive slowly and carefully until your wheels are in the correct position.

6. Inside the Car Wash

Once inside, the wash process will begin with a series of brushes and sprays that will scrub, rinse, and wax your car. Finally, powerful air dryers will remove excess water. Remember to stay inside your car with the windows up, keep your car in neutral if using a conveyor system, and avoid using the brakes unless instructed. Do not try to open your doors or windows during the wash.

7. Drying Off

Many car washes have air dryers at the end, but you might still need to hand dry any remaining water spots. Soapy Shark provides microfiber cloths for this purpose. Use them to ensure your car is completely dry and free of water spots.

8. Final Inspection

Once you’re out, do a quick inspection to ensure your car is as clean as you expected. If you notice any missed spots or issues, address them promptly. Take advantage of Soapy Shark’s amenities like washcloths and buckets if needed.

Do’s and Don’ts of Using the Car Wash

  • Do stay inside your car with the windows up.
  • Do keep your car in neutral if using a conveyor system.
  • Don’t use the brakes unless instructed.
  • Don’t try to open your doors or windows during the wash.

Using a car wash is a simple process that can leave your car looking brand new. We hope this quick guide was useful to you in understanding how to use an automatic car. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and effective wash every time. 

Ready for a clean car? Visit Soapy Shark in in Okeechobee or Lake View for a professional car wash. We do the dirty work while you enjoy the ride.

How Long Does Automatic Car Washes Take

How Long Does Automatic Car Washes Take

At Soapy Shark, we believe that a clean car makes for a happy car—and a quick car wash makes for a happy driver! Automatic car washes aren’t just a treat for your vehicle, they’re a swift escape from the mundane task of hand-washing. Knowing how long an automatic car wash will take helps you squeeze in that sparkle without derailing your day.

So, to answer the main question…

How Long Does an Automatic Car Wash Take?

The duration of an automatic car wash typically ranges from 3 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of car wash and services selected. 

Here’s a closer look at the different options and what influences their time frames:

1. Automatic Car Washes

Automatic car washes provide a quick and efficient cleaning. Generally, these can take anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes. This type of car wash is ideal for those who need a fast and effective clean without the intricacies of full-service options.

Soft touch car wash involves gentle scrubbing with soft cloths or foam brushes. Typically, these processes take about 5 to 10 minutes, balancing efficiency with a deeper clean that helps preserve the vehicle’s finish.

2. Touchless Car Washes

Touchless car washes use high-pressure water jets and detergents to clean the car without physical contact, and they usually take between 3 to 7 minutes. They are excellent for maintaining the paint’s integrity while providing a thorough wash. 

3. Full-Service Car Washes

For those who prefer a comprehensive cleaning, full-service car washes provide both exterior and interior cleaning. This includes vacuuming, window cleaning, and sometimes even waxing. Since these services are more detailed, they can take from 10 to 30 minutes to complete. If you’re new to automatic car washes, our guide on how to use an automatic car wash can help you get started.

Factors Affecting Car Wash Duration

Several factors can influence the time it takes for an automatic car wash:

  • Size of the Vehicle: Larger vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, may require more time in the car wash due to their size.
  • Level of Dirtiness: Vehicles covered in mud or road salt typically need longer wash cycles to ensure all the grime is removed.
  • Type of Service Chosen: Basic washes are quicker, while premium options that include waxing or undercarriage cleaning take longer.

At Soapy Shark, we cater to all your car wash needs, offering a variety of options tailored to fit your schedule. Whether you’re looking for a quick wash or comprehensive detailing services, we have the flexibility to accommodate your preferences and time constraints. Choose the service that best fits your needs, and let us take care of the rest!


This brings us to the end. We hope we answered your questions. The duration of an automatic car wash can vary based on the type of wash, the condition of your vehicle, and the specific services you select, but one thing is certain that the time you spend cleaning your car is well-worth it!

At Soapy Shark, we strive to provide efficient and high-quality car wash services that fit into your busy schedule. Whether you need a quick touchless wash or a detailed full-service clean, Soapy Shark is here to make your car shine! Visit us today to experience convenience and cleanliness that meets your expectations! 

Ready for a clean car? Visit Soapy Shark in in Okeechobee or Lake View for a professional car wash. We do the dirty work while you enjoy the ride.

What Are Different Types of Car Washes

What Are Different Types of Car Washes

Keeping your car clean is essential, but with so many car wash options out there, how do you choose the best one for your vehicle? From automatic to touchless car washes, each type offers unique benefits and drawbacks.

At Soapy Shark, we take pride in our car wash expertise and want to help you make the best choice for your car’s care.

Let’s dive into the different types of car washes, their pros and cons, and answer some common questions along the way.

Types of Car Washes

Automatic Car Washes

Automatic car washes are convenient and quick. You drive your car onto a conveyor belt, and it moves through various stages of washing, rinsing, and drying. These machines use brushes, cloth strips, or high-pressure jets to clean your car.


  • Fast and efficient.
  • Typically affordable.
  • Widely available.


  • Brushes can potentially scratch your car’s paint.
  • Not as thorough as a hand wash.

Just FYI, Soapy Shark located in Okeechobee and Lake View is an automatic professional Car Wash. 

Self-Service Car Washes

Self-service car washes provide you with the tools and equipment to wash your car yourself. You typically use a high-pressure hose, soap brush, and various cleaning products available on-site.


  • Control over the washing process.
  • Usually cost-effective.
  • Can be more thorough than automatic washes.


  • Requires physical effort and time.
  • May not have the best quality tools.

Hand Washes

Hand washing your car involves manually cleaning it with soap, water, and microfiber towels or sponges. This method is often considered the most thorough.


  • Gentle on your car’s paint.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Can be customized to your car’s needs.


  • Time-consuming.
  • Can be more expensive if done by professionals.

Touchless Car Washes

Touchless car washes use high-pressure water and strong detergents to clean your car without any physical contact. This reduces the risk of scratches.


  • No contact with your car’s surface.
  • Quick and convenient.
  • Reduces risk of scratches.


  • May not be as effective on heavily soiled cars.
  • Strong chemicals can be harsh on your car’s finish.

Mobile Car Washes

Mobile car washes bring the car wash to you. Professionals come to your location with all the necessary equipment and clean your car on-site.


  • Convenient.
  • Personalized service.
  • Saves time.


  • Typically more expensive.
  • Dependent on the quality of the service provider.
  • Only available at some places.

FAQs About Car Washes

Do car washes scratch your car? 

Some automatic car washes can scratch your car if they use abrasive brushes. However, if the automatic car wash uses up-to-date professional machinery and instruments then the chances of scratches are significantly lower. Modern car washes often use soft cloths or touchless systems to minimize the risk. It’s also essential to regularly maintain your car’s exterior with wax or sealants to protect the paint.

How often should you wash your car?

It depends on your driving conditions, but a general rule of thumb is to wash your car every two weeks. 

What is the best type of car wash for my vehicle? 

This depends on your needs. For a quick and convenient wash, automatic or touchless car washes are ideal. For a more thorough cleaning, hand washes or self-service options are best. At Soapy Shark we offer amenities like microfiber cloth, buckets to help you wash your car with the thoroughness and detail of a hand wash.

Is hand washing always better than other methods? 

While hand washing can be more thorough, it depends on the tools and products used. Improper techniques can also damage your car’s paint.

Are touchless car washes effective? 

Touchless car washes use high-pressure water and strong detergents to clean your car without physical contact, reducing the risk of scratches. However, they may not be as effective on heavily soiled vehicles.

How do I choose the right car wash? 

Consider your car’s needs and your personal preferences. If you value convenience, an automatic or touchless car wash might be best. For those who prefer a detailed clean, hand washing or a self-service option is recommended.

What should I avoid when washing my car? 

Avoid using abrasive materials and harsh chemicals. Instead, use soft cloths, gentle detergents, and follow proper techniques to prevent damage to your car’s paint.


There are various types of car washes available, each with its own pros and cons. Whether you prefer the convenience of an automatic wash or the thoroughness of a hand wash, keeping your car clean is essential for maintaining its appearance and value. 

If you are in the area, Visit Soapy Shark in Okeechobee or Lake View for a professional car wash.

How to Wash Car Windows Without Streaks

How to Wash Car Windows Without Streaks

Cleaning your car windows might not seem like the most glamorous task, but it’s crucial for safe driving and maintaining your car’s overall appearance. There’s nothing more frustrating than wiping your windows only to find them covered in streaks and smudges.

If you’ve ever tried to drive with a windshield and windows full of these annoying marks, you know the struggle is real.

So, let’s dive into the art of window washing — Soapy Shark style!

How to Wash Car Windows: Step-By-Step

First things first, let’s gather our cleaning arsenal. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Glass cleaner (preferably ammonia-free)
  • Water (distilled if possible)
  • A bucket

Having the right supplies on hand makes the process much smoother and helps achieve that streak-free finish. Before you get started, park your car in a shaded area to prevent the cleaner from drying too quickly and leaving streaks.

If you’re planning a full interior clean and car wash, take a look at our guide on How to wash car seats for more tips!

Start From the interior Windows

It’s best to start with the inside of the windows to avoid any dirt or dust from the outside being transferred inside. Plus, cleaning the inside first helps you spot any missed spots more easily.

Here’s how to clean the inside windows: 

  • Spray the Cleaner on the Cloth. Avoid spraying directly onto the window to prevent drips and streaks.
  • Vertical Wipe, then Horizontal. Start by wiping in a vertical motion, then go over it horizontally. This crisscross method ensures thorough cleaning.
  • Don’t Forget the corners and Edges. Pay extra attention to the corners and edges where grime tends to accumulate.

The goal is clear, streak-free windows that give you a perfect view of the road ahead!

Cleaning the Outside of the Windows

Wash your car to clean the exterior of the car, windows and windshield. 

  • Rinse First: Give your windows a quick rinse with water to remove loose dirt and debris.
  1. Apply Cleaner and Wipe: Use a separate cloth for the outside to avoid cross-contamination. Apply cleaner and wipe in circular motions for those stubborn spots.
  2. Circular Motion for Stubborn Spots: If some spots are particularly stubborn, a little elbow grease in circular motions will do the trick.

The goal is clear, streak-free windows that give you a perfect view of the road ahead. For an exterior-cleaning combo, check out how to choose the right soap and how to hand wash your car guide. 

Do’s and Don’t: Tips for a Streak-Free Shine

  • Use Distilled Water. Using distilled water can help prevent mineral deposits that cause streaks.
  • Avoid washing in direct sunlight. Cleaning in direct sunlight can cause the cleaner/water to evaporate too quickly, leaving streaks behind.
  • Use Newspaper for polishing. For an extra shine, try giving your windows a final polish with newspaper (just make sure it’s suitable for your cleaner).
  • Don’t use Paper Towels. They can leave lint and fibers behind.
  • Avoid Ammonia-based Cleaners. These can damage window tint and leave a residue.

This brings us to the end of our guide. We hope you found useful tips to wash your car windows without leaving a streak. And if DIY isn’t your style, Soapy Shark offers detailing services that will leave your windows spotless.

And for the ultimate clean, visit Soapy Shark for professional car wash services. Visit us in Okeechobee or Lake View for a professional car wash that gets you back on the road looking great. We do the dirty work while you enjoy the ride.

Can You Power Wash a Car?

Can You Power Wash a Car?

Are you looking at your pressure washer and wondering if it could be your car cleaning superhero?

At Soapy Shark Car Wash, we understand that cleaning your car is about choices: the quick power of washing versus washing your car the way it is meant to be washed – with care and in a proper setting.

While power washing can seem like a quick fix for dirty cars, the questions remain, is it as safe and effective?

Before you crank up the PSI and potentially damage your precious ride, let’s pump the brakes and dive into whether it’s actually a good idea to power wash your car. We are answering all your questions about washing your car and more here.

Can You Power Wash Your Car?

Yes, you can power wash your car, but it should be done with caution to avoid damage. Power washing can be a quick and effective method to remove heavy dirt and grime from your vehicle’s exterior, but it requires the right technique and tools to ensure it doesn’t harm the paint or finish.

What is Power Washing?

Power washing, or pressure washing, uses a high-pressure stream of water to clean surfaces more effectively than traditional cleaning methods. It’s commonly used on buildings, driveways, and various types of vehicles, including cars. The key to power washing a car safely involves using the appropriate pressure settings, nozzles, and distance to avoid causing any damage.

Benefits of Power Washing Your Car

Power washing cleans your car quickly and thoroughly, efficiently removing dirt, mud, salt, and other residues from your vehicle’s surface. This method excels in reaching hard-to-access areas and the undercarriage, where dirt and grime accumulate the most.

It also saves you time and effort compared to traditional cleaning methods, allowing you to maintain your car’s cleanliness with less physical strain.

Risks of Power Washing Your Car

While a pressure washer can effectively remove dirt and grime, it carries significant risks of damaging your car if not done properly. High-pressure water can strip paint from your car, damage seals, and penetrate into electronic systems, potentially causing serious long-term damage.

Furthermore, using a pressure washer improperly, such as holding the nozzle too close to the car or using a high PSI setting, can quickly lead to paint peeling and other forms of damage. Older vehicles or those with pre-existing body damage are particularly susceptible to these risks.

Quick Guide: How to Safely Power Wash Your Car

If you want to use a power wash or pressure washer to wash your car, technique is the key.

  • Choose the Right Equipment: Use a pressure washer with adjustable pressure settings and an adjustable nozzle that provides a wide spray pattern.
  • Keep your distance: Stay at least 30 inches away from the surface of your car.
  • Choose the right nozzle: Use a wider angle nozzle to disperse water pressure and protect your paint.
  • Test first: Always test the water pressure on a less noticeable part of your car to ensure it won’t cause damage.
  • Use the Correct Technique: Move the spray in a sweeping motion to evenly distribute the water pressure and prevent concentrated streams from hitting the same spot.

This brings us to the end of our discussion. We hope you found this guide useful. If you’re keen on learning more about maintaining your car’s sparkle without the risks associated with power washing, check out our comprehensive guide on how to hand wash your car. It’s packed with expert advice on achieving a thorough clean safely and effectively.

Prefer to leave it to the professionals?

Visit Soapy Shark Car Wash at our Okeechobee and Lake View locations. We use techniques that protect your car’s finish and enhance its appearance without the harsh effects of high-pressure washing.

Our expert services guarantee your car is cleaned safely and thoroughly, protecting it against damage. Trust our team to provide top-notch care, leaving your vehicle spotless and you completely stress-free.

Do Car Washes Scratch Your Car?

Do Car Washes Scratch Your Car?

Will a car wash scratch my car?
It’s a question as old as automatic car washes themselves and we get this question a lot—because the rumor game is pretty strong with this one.
In this session of Car wash myth busting, we’re discussing some common myths surrounding automatic car washes.
We, at Soapy Shark, understand your concerns with answers that automatically clear your mind.

Types of Car Wash

When it comes to cleaning your prized vehicles, not all car washes are created equal.

There are several types you might encounter:

  • Manual Car Wash Where the good old-fashioned elbow grease meets soap and water. You can do it yourself or find a service station that does it manually.
  • Automatic Car Wash Where machines do all the work while you sit back and enjoy the ride.
  • Touchless Car Washes – For those who prefer a hands-off approach, these use high-pressure water jets and detergents, ensuring that nothing but water and soap touches your car.

While each type has its benefits, automatic car washes are often the subject of myths concerning vehicle safety. Let’s explore why these misconceptions persist and how modern automatic car washes ensure the safety and care of your vehicle.

Are Automatic Car Washes Bad for Your Car?

The simple answer is no. Automatic car washes do not damage your car or car paint. Despite this, some people still hold reservations, often due to misconceptions or experiences with outdated or poorly maintained facilities.

Let’s explore why automatic car washes might get a bad reputation and how modern car washes like Soapy Shark address these concerns:

  • Old Equipment: One major reason automatic car washes might be feared is the use of old, poorly maintained equipment. Older car wash systems might have used abrasive brushes that could scratch paint, giving rise to the myth that all car washes are harmful.
  • Improper Maintenance: Car washes that do not regularly maintain and clean their equipment can inadvertently cause damage. Brushes and cloths that are not properly cleaned can trap dirt and debris, which might scratch the car during the washing process.
  • Harsh Chemicals: Historically, some car washes used harsh chemicals that could strip wax and degrade paint over time. Modern car washes, however, use specially formulated, pH-balanced detergents that are tough on dirt but gentle on paint.
  • Lack of Customization: Older automatic car washes often lacked the ability to adjust settings according to different vehicle sizes and shapes, potentially leading to suboptimal washes that could damage vehicles.

At Soapy Shark, we are acutely aware of these issues and have taken steps to ensure they are a thing of the past. In short, in a well-maintained automatic car wash your chances of damaging your car are less likely.

Some FAQs Related to Automatic Car Washes

To clear up any confusion and address the biggest misconceptions about automatic car washes, here are some frequently asked questions:

Q: Do automatic car washes damage paint?

Absolutely not. Modern car washes use advanced technology with soft materials designed to clean efficiently without scratching.

Q: Can frequent washing damage car paint?

On the contrary, it’s beneficial to wash your car frequently. It helps remove harmful substances like road salt and bird droppings, which can damage the paint more than regular washing. For optimal care, check out our detailed guide on how often you should be washing your car to find the best routine for your vehicle.

Q: What kind of soap should be used in car washes?

A: The choice of soap you use to wash your car is crucial. We use pH-balanced, vehicle-safe detergents that are tough on dirt but gentle on your car’s finish.

Q: What is the best way to dry my car after a wash to avoid scratches?

A: Using high-quality, soft microfiber towels is ideal, or allowing for a touch-free air dry is another excellent option.
This brings us to the end of our guide. We hope we were able to answer some of your questions and dispel some of the myths surrounding automatic car washes.

Ready to see the shine for yourself??

At Soapy Shark Car Wash, we’re not just in the business of washing cars, we’re in the business of caring for them. Our methods ensure that your vehicle is not just clean but protected and preserved against the elements.

Learn more about our services at Soapy Shark Car Wash. Visit us in Okeechobee or Lake View for a professional clean that gets you back on the road looking great. We do the dirty work while you enjoy the ride.