Home Car Washing - Water Saver or Water Waste?

The sun is closer, and the days are longer. That means spring is coming, along with warmer weather, and car washing season. Home car washing season that is. It's usually about this time of year that vehicle owners start to get excited about washing their cars in their driveway. It's a classic vision for all home/car owners. The hours spent in the gorgeous summer sun perfecting the ultimate car wash, a frosty beverage and perhaps some great music or a baseball game on the radio.

Before we get too wrapped up in this dreamscape, let's go through a few reality checks. Why do people wash their cars in their driveway, besides comfort and pleasure? Some believe it saves water, is more beneficial for the environment, and does a better job.

While there's no doubt that spending an unlimited amount of time hand washing your vehicle is guaranteed to produce the results you want, all of those myths about being safer for the environment need a little straightening out.

Time to Bust Myths

Washing your car in the driveway saves water!

Quite the opposite, engineering studies have shown that washing your car in the driveway can use up to ten times more water than a professional car wash. Take Valet Car Wash... their automatic car wash uses a small amount of water and squeezes it into high pressure. Computers precisely turn that equipment off and on when required. If it's the personal touch you like while washing your car then use of one Valet's self serve bays. Self serve bays use even less water than automatics and offer a variety of options and functions. Unfortunately car washes are often labelled as water hogs because of their high visibility, however professional car washes in fact use very little amounts of water to keep your vehicle looking like new.

Time for myth #2

Does washing your car in your driveway benefit the environment?

Not at all! It also happens to be illegal in many cities in Canada. When you rinse off your car, all of the water and chemical residues get washed into storm drains, which gets deposited directly into our lakes and rivers. If your driveway happens to be next to your lawn, the water can also leek underground and pollute water tables and harm beneficial soil organisms. At Valet Car Wash, all waste water is sent directly to sewage treatment facilities, so that all chemical residues are removed and the water is purified before returning to the environment.

Lastly, myth #3

Does washing your car at home do a better job?

Some people may swear by it, but when was the last time you tried a professional car wash? At Valet, our automated exteriors start at just $7.08, take only three minutes, and are a fantastic way to get your vehicle sparkling clean without harming the environment. If you really enjoy taking on the task yourself, then look no further than our self-serve bays. They save water, don't pollute the environment, and still provide you with the opportunity to give your vehicle cleaning that personal touch.

Do yourself and the environment a favour. Visit Valet Car Wash today. Located in Guelph, Cambridge, Mississauga, St. Catharines and Kitchener. For more information in regards to environmental effects go to watersavers or reasons to wash your car


Q: Why Valet Car Wash?

A: Simple. Experience, dedication and trust. With over 15 years of experience in the Car Wash industry, Valet Car Wash provides its customers with the most modern equipment and a well-trained staff of professionals. We do it faster, better and cheaper.

Q: How often should I wash my car?

A: Weekly. Washing your car once a week will ensure that your vehicle's surface is being cared for properly.

Q: It just rained or snowed so why do I need to wash my car?

A: This is a critical time to protect your vehicle's finish. Pollutants such as sulfuric and nitric acids from automobile, truck and factory exhaust become trapped in the raindrops or snow flakes that settle on your car. The sun will evaporate the water and leave behind concentrated acid that can damage your car's finish.

Q: Is it safe to bring my convertible, vinyl or canvas custom topped vehicle to a Valet Car Wash?

A: Yes. Our advanced custom computerized system allows us to safely wash all factory convertibles tops.

Q: Will the car wash brushes scratch my car?

A: No.Valet does not use brushes. Valet Car Wash uses 100% soft cloth to clean your vehicle. The foam is cleaned and rinsed thoroughly during every wash with fresh water. Our latest closed cell technology uses foam to gently clean your vehicle's surface. Closed Cell Foam does not have the capability to embed any dirt, stone, water into its material.

Q: Do you use recycled water?

A: Yes, but not in the actual car washing process. The car wash process is accomplished with 100% fresh water.

Q: I have the protective coating on my undercarriage so why do I need to have the undercarriage treatment?

A: Our undercarriage treatment removes salt, sand and other road contaminants that are present year round. The undercarriage of your car also takes tremendous punishment from small stones that are kicked up by your tires. These stones bombard the undercarriage and nick your undercarriage's protection and may expose bare metal. Once rust gets a foothold it will spread regardless of the protection.

Q: The person I bought my car from said I never have to wax my car?

A: This is a common misconception. Newer cars have a type of finish called clear coat. Clear coat is susceptible to the effects of rain, snow, salt, bird droppings, and other environmental pollutants. Therefore, the clear coat finishes need to be cared for. Valet Car Wash uses clear coat safe waxes and polishes both in our car wash applications as well as in our Detail Centers. The waxes are designed to work with your vehicle's finish to help preserve its life and keep it looking new for many years.

Q: Will the wax from the car wash streak the outside of my windows?

A: The wax itself won't streak the outside of your windows. However, grease and oil can get trapped underneath your wipers, which can cause the rainbow like streaks you may see on your window.

Q: What is acid rain?

A: When rain or snow falls it captures environmental pollutants from factory, automobile and truck exhaust. The sun heats and evaporates the water but leaves behind concentrated acid spots which cannot be removed. Prevention is the key here. Keep a good coat of wax on the finish and wash your car, especially after a rain or snowstorm.

Q: What is the best time to come for an interior?

A: The best time to come in for an interior is on a rain or snow day. General the wait times on a busy sunny day can avarage from 1/2 hour to one hour. For those of you just looking for the quickest time these days are the best. Come on in our lobby and we'll take care of your interior and then on a sunny day just drive through our wash and get the outside done.

Q: Isn't washing my car in the driveway better for my car and safer for the environment?

A: No. Dirt collects in wash water, sponges and chamois will scratch your car's finish. The technology used today at professional car washes will not scratch or create "swirl" marks on your car. Not only is a professional car wash safer for your car, most use only half as much water as a driveway wash, and use biodegradable cleaning solutions to further protect the environment. Also, dirty water used by professional car washes is disposed properly. Water from driveways washes ends up in storm drains, which can pollute lakes, rivers and streams.

Q: How long will it take to have my car washed in the tunnel?

A: Once you're in the tunnel and the car is "prepped" it takes 3-4 min., depending on which location you visit.

Q: When should I wash bugs or bird droppings?

A: As soon as possible, especially if the car is new. Insect residue and bird droppings form acids that immediately start to eat away a car's finish.

Q: Is the wash safe for convertibles?

A: Yes, please makes sure your roof is properly latched.

Q: What exactly is "Tri-color foaming polish" and what does it do for my car?

A: "Tri-color foaming polish" is the premier foaming paint and clear coat treatment. It's formulated with the blend of the best modern protective polymers (plastic-like coating materials) available today. These polymers immediately bond to your vehicle's finish, developing a hard, clear, reflective layer of shine and protection. So, each time you apply "tri-color foaming polish", you actually deepen the shine and add even more portection.

Q: Is it safe to wash my vehicle when it's cold outside?

A: As we all know, water freezes at 32 degrees fahrenheit (0 degrees celcius). Anytime the temperature falls bellow this you run the risk of things freezing up. But, there are a few simple things you can do to help prevent freezing when it's cold:

  • Park in a garage whenever possible
  • Leave your car running or drive for several minutes after going thru the car wash.
  • Spray lock deicer in your locks after you exit the wash.
  • Put your key in every lock and turn it back and forth a number of times. This helps displace any water that might be present.
  • Take the time to dry off your doorjambs.

Q: Do you wash trucks as well as cars?

A: Yes, we can wash nearly all vehicles. We can wash vehicles as large as the Hummer H2.

  • Vehicles we can't wash in the express tunnel include:
  • Vehicles with rust, broken parts, extensive body damage
  • Extended height full size vans
  • Trucks with dual rear tires or large/oversize knobby tires
  • Vehicles with permanently affixed tri-pod style mirrors
  • Full size original Hummers (we can wash H2's & H3's)
  • Open bed pickup truck with fuel tanks
  • Open bed pickup trucks with debris, tools, or any other loose materials
  • Vehicles with broken plastics or metal parts
  • Trucks or vans with ladders
  • Vehicle with large ladder rakcs, some ski and bike racks
  • Vehicles that sit 4.5" or lower to the ground
  • Vehicles with tires wider than 12"
  • Except for vehicles over 7'2" (86") high you can wash these vehicles in our self-servr bays (where availabe)
  • Vehicles washed at your own risk include:
  • Vehicles with previous damage (loose molding/emlems, blistered, peeling or oxidized paint, etc.)
  • Cracked windshields
  • Low profile tires
  • Objects on antennas or the vehicle (balls, flags, etc.)
  • Power antennas that aren't lowered
  • Ski and bike racks
  • Racing fins, spoilers, or running boards
  • Any non-factory installed tires

Q: What is Fire and Ice Protection?

A: Click here to find out more information on Turtle Wax Pro's Fire and Ice products.

Customer Survey

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    If you’re not a member of our Unlimited Wash club or our VIP discount loyalty club would you like more information on the benefits and savings.


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    Car Care

    Our Car Care Process

    At Valet Car Wash, we combine state-of-the-art technology and traditional knowledge to provide our customers with the best quality car wash. Our friction-based equipment ensures the best cleaning possible.

    The entire process begins with a visit to our Pay Station, where you can choose your wax and interior cleaning options.

    Once you select your cleaning package and preferred method of payment (cash, credit card or wash card), you're ready for your car wash experience!

    Once one of our friendly and knowledgeable attendants has loaded you into the wash, your vehicle will enter pre-soak and soap which are mixed at a precise concentration to ensure maximum dirt removal.

    As you continue through the wash, your vehicle will be cleaned using closed-cell foam and microfibre equipment, guaranteed not to scratch your car.

    If you purchase our Express Protect or Express Extreme washes, you will receive a variety of extra services as you proceed through the wash. The Express Protect wash gives you undercarriage spray (great for removing built up salt and road grime),and extra high pressure rinse (great for removing salt and road grime). Express Protect top cleaning, extra side cleaning, spot free rinse and as well as triple foam protection polish (protects against UV rays, salt and road grime), Rain coat protection.

    Our Extreme wash includes all the great features of our Express Protect wash, as well as Fire and Ice from Turtle Wax and a new 72 hour Clean Car guarantee and a tire shine to give your wheels that new look.

    Our Express Plus Protection and Extreme wash all finish off with a spot free rinse, the purest form of water in existence, and is dried to perfection by our high speed blowers, guaranteed to get your car 90% dry.


    The entire process takes 3 minutes, and we guarantee you will be 100% satisfied each time you visit!

    Have a Question?

    Check out our Frequently Asked Questions Page




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