How To Use a Self-Serve Car Wash

Did you recently purchase a sport or recreational vehicle that you should probably wash?  Or, have you had issues with taking your car, SUV or truck into an automatic car wash?  If you are looking to a way to wash your vehicle and an automatic wash does not fit the bill, you should consider using the local self-serve car or truck wash.  Most likely there is one not too far from you.

Maybe using a do-it-yourself car wash sounds like a lot of work or too messy, but, it’s actually not.  Most manual car washes in Minnesota have doors that close after you enter to keep the wind and cold out in the cold weather months. At Dusty’s Car Wash, we keep the manual wash at 50 degrees in the Winter and, with the doors closed, it feels pretty comfortable since you have warm water heating up the wash bay.  In the warmer months, most car washes keep the bay doors open so the wash bays don’t become too hot and steamy and they can air out.

How Do I Use a Self-Serve Car Wash?

To use the self serve car wash, just pull up to the wash bay entry door and the door will automatically open in the Winter if there is not someone else in the bay you plan to enter.  If the wash bay is occupied, the door will open once the wash bay is available to drive into.  In the Summer, just pull into an open bay.  Once inside the wash area, park and shut off your vehicle.  There will be a hand wand that dispenses water and there is usually a separate brush that you can use to soap up and scrub your vehicle.  There will be a machine that you can enter payment and then choose each wash selection that you desire.

Depending on the car wash you visit, there will be a machine inside the manual wash bay to pay for the wash.  The machines will accept coins, bills and/or credit and debit cards.  There is usually a minimum dollar amount needed to start the machine and you will get a certain amount of time for that dollar amount.  If you pay with coins and bills, you enter the minimum dollar amount and then just add more quarters/cash if needed after the initial amount of wash time.  The machines will usually “beep” to warn you that the machine is about ready to shut off unless you choose to add additional coins/bills.  If you pay using a credit/debit card, the machine will charge the minimum amount at least and will keep track of your time increasing the charge amount if you use more than the initial amount of time you get.  Just push the “Stop” button on the card swipe machine when you are done so the machine stops charging any more to your card.  The machines usually charge by the second so you are not charged for time you do not use.  For your convenience, at Dusty’s manual wash, we accept quarters, bills ($1, $5, $10 and $20), and also credit and debit cards.  We also provide a coin machine so you can exchange bills for quarters if desired.

At Dusty’s Car Wash, we offer the following menu choices that you can bounce between as you wash your car, truck, boat, 4×4, side-by-side, RV, trailer, motorhome and/or Ice Castle:

Manual Car Wash Options:

  • Pre-Soak
  • High Pressure Soap
  • Tire and Wheel Cleaner
  • Foam Brush
  • High Pressure Rinse
  • Clear Coat Protectant
  • Wax
  • Spot Free Rinse

To start out, it best to spray your entire vehicle with the pre-soak to knock a lot of the dirt and grime off.  Then, we recommend using the tire and wheel cleaner to remove all the dirt and mud from all wheels.  After you get all the visible dirt off, then you can start cleaning with the high pressure soap to start cleansing your vehicle.  Once your vehicle is looking pretty clean from the pre-soak, tire cleanser and high pressure soap, you will want to scrub your vehicle with the foaming brush that dispenses and good amount of soap.  You can lather up your entire vehicle to get it good and clean.  After everything is covered in suds, select the high pressure rinse to wash all the soap off.  If you like, you can spray down your entire vehicle with the clear coat and wax to protect your asset from all the elements until you can visit the car wash again.  Don’t forget to go over your entire vehicle with a spot free rinse to remove excess wax and any remaining hard water droplets so your vehicle is clear and shiny.

It is really important to keep your vehicles clean to help maintain the value.  Pretty much anything that lands on your vehicle, including salt, snow, dirt, bird dropping, sap and all the other natural elements are usually corrosive and can cause the vehicle’s protective coating to deteriorate.  It is really smart to wash your vehicles fairly regularly.  Using a do-it-yourself wash is a great way to thoroughly wash every inch of your vehicle to prevent dirt from building up in the corners and along the trim and edges.

After you have restored the beauty of your vehicle(s) and are ready to hit the road again, just push the button to open the door to exit the wash bay.  Then, pat yourself on the back for taking the time to restore, protect and extend the life of your major assets.

We think you’re going to appreciate using a Self-Serve Car Wash!  If you’re near Milaca, MN we hope you’ll stop by Dusty’s Car and Pet Wash!

Dusty’s Car and Pet Wash is open 7 days a week from 4AM to midnight. For more information, give us a call at (320) 362-3162 or visit our website. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see what’s happening at Dusty’s.