Frequently Asked Questions

Some interesting facts
The clear-coat surface layer protecting your car's finish is less than five-thousandths (.005) of an inch thick; thinner than an ordinary household plastic garbage bag. This doesn't provide much of a barrier between the metal body of your car and the variety of abusive weather conditions that your car is subjected to throughout the year.

It's been proven that weekly car washing is the single most important factor in prolonging the appearance, as well as the resale value, of a car. Dirt traps moisture against the paint and promotes rust. Cleaning a car's finish weekly in an environment such as Fairfield County will eliminate the corrosive action dirt, salt and pollution can create. Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center suggests a periodic application of wax.

Connecticut car owners wishing to preserve their car's appearance and value should wash their car at least two to three times a month to protect against long-term damage from salt, acid rain, and other harmful elements. It is also important not to neglect your car's undercarriage which bears the most exposure to these harsh elements.

Whether you do it yourself or have a professional wax treatment, get it done! Wax leaves an invisible barrier on the paint which protects the finish from many harmful substances. Choose from one of our Unlimited Plans to give the best to your car. Remember, clean cars last longer and hold their value better!

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Q:
Why should I wash my car?
A:

 Washing your car will protect your investment as preventative maintenance prolonging the life, performance, and value of your car.

Q:
How often should I have my car washed?
A:

It depends on the external factors that your car is exposed to. Keeping the clear-coat finish of your car, as well as the car's underbody clean and in good repair is the most important step in maintaining the appearance and value of your car.

Connecticut offers moderate to high corrosiveness for cars due to the effects of acid rain, road and airborne sea salt. Road and marine salts are estimated to cause more than $14 billion in damage each year to American cars. Connecticut experiences a wide range of weather conditions, from high heat and humidity during the summer, to prolonged cold and snow in the winter. Where there's snow and ice, there is road salt and your car should be washed within a few days to avoid the beginnings of corrosion.

Additionally, environmental groups such as the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") and the auto industry alike concede that acid rain, a serious problem in urban and industrial areas within the United States, also causes damage to automotive coatings. When moisture evaporates, the acid remains - often forming a blemish that looks like a splattered raindrop. Acid rain eats through a car's finish, permanently etching it, so it's important to wash a car soon after each rainfall. Once damage is done, the only solution is to repaint. Effects are most noticeable on cars with dark or metallic finishes.

If you park your car outside, drive long distances, or live in a heavily wooded area, you should wash your car more frequently to avoid other damaging elements such as dirt, tree sap and even bird droppings (which is very acidic and if not removed quickly, will permanently damage your car's finish).

Connecticut car owners wishing to preserve their car's appearance and value should wash their car at least two to three times a month to protect against long-term damage from salt, acid rain, and other harmful elements. It is also important not to neglect your car's undercarriage which bears the most exposure to these harsh elements.

Protect Your Investment... Rain or Shine: Acid rain, rock-salted streets and other problem-causing elements are specific conditions faced by cars in Connecticut. Consequently, properly preparing your car for the elements is needed. When bad weather comes, whether it's snow and ice or sun and rain, it brings with it airborne contaminants including corrosive particles carried by raindrops or snowfall. Also damaging are sand, gravel and the anti-icing/de-icing agents that soak into road asphalt and get flushed to the surface by rain. The answer: keep your car garaged if possible, and wash it regularly.

Here are some car cleaning tips to protect your investment in your car and keep it looking great. We recommend:

  • Weekly – Treat your car to an Exterior-Only Wash or, if the interior needs attention, to a Full Service Deluxe Wash or a Full Service Supreme Wash. For cars with ABS brakes, it is important to add Wheel Brite to your wash service package to remove the brake dust from the wheels. If Wheel Brite is not used regularly, brake dust builds up and can become difficult to remove – over time it can pit the wheels causing permanent damage.
  • Monthly – Get the added protection of an Exterior-Only Ultimate Wash with Simoniz Double Bond with Teflon or, if the interior needs attention, to a Full Service Ultimate Wash.
  • Provides regular underbody rinse and rust protective treatments.
  • Provides triple foam polish and clear-coat sealant.
  • Simoniz Double BondTM is applied to your car during the car wash so it takes no additional time. Teflon, which is known for its "non stick" properties, helps keep the contaminants and pollutants that attack your car everyday from adhering to your paint. The next time it rains or your car is washed, water will bead up and fall off like never before.
  • Quarterly – Repair and recondition your clear-coat finish with an Express Wax. Employ our other detailing services (Mat Express, and Interior Super Clean) as needed to maintain the interior condition of your car.
  • Semi-Annually – Full Service Detail. These recommendations are based on normal driving conditions in typical weather. Actual driving conditions and weather variances may dictate the need for more or less frequent servicing.
Q:
Is it important to wash bug residue off my car?
A:

Absolutely! Don't wait! Bug residue forms an acid that starts to eat at a car's finish immediately! Bugs (and bird droppings, too) should be washed off as soon as possible, especially if the car is new or does not have a fresh coat of wax.

Q:
Why should I use a professional car wash?
A:
  • To protect the environment.
    • Washing your car in the driveway is one of the most environmentally unfriendly chores you can do at home.
    • Soap and detergents used in home car washing pollute our ground water, streams and lakes.
    • Many types of corrosives and toxic substances get deposited on streets and highways and end up on your car. As a result, driveway car washing generates storm water run-off containing lead, zinc, cadmium, phosphates, motor oil, asphalt, antifreeze and other contaminants. Moreover, chemicals in soaps and detergents used in driveway car washing typically contain additional contaminants that are harmful to water quality.
    • Unlike household waste water that enters sewers or septic systems and undergoes treatment before it is discharged into the environment, what runs off from your car goes right into storm drains—and eventually into rivers, streams, creeks and wetlands where it poisons aquatic life and wreaks other ecosystem havoc. Never mind that it's harmful to pets who could lick it up… 
  • To save water. 
    • The International Carwash Association reports that professional conveyor car washes use less than half the water of even the most conservative home car washer.
      • According to one report, washing a car at home typically uses between 80 and 140 gallons of water, while most commercial car washes average less than 45 gallons of water.
      • Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center uses, on average, only 3 gallons of fresh water per car washed. Furthermore, we recycle 100% of the water we use, and dirt and road grime debris are disposed of properly. Additionally, we only use EPA Certified biodegradable soaps.
  • To protect your car. 
    • The way you protect your car's appearance has a direct effect on the life and overall value of your car. That's why it is important to let a car wash professional do it. Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center has professionally trained and Simoniz certified technicians. We constantly look for better and more efficient ways to deliver you the cleanest car possible.
    • Professional car wash equipment is operated by sophisticated computers that map out your car and apply cleaning solutions and polishes at the right time, volume and temperature. These computers control all of the dilutions and chemistry that go into cleaning your car, so that each car is consistently properly washed.
    • Hand washing your car may produce scratches that dull the finish.
    • Two university studies (University of Texas and the Technical University of Munich, in cooperation with Mercedes-Benz) prove that a single hand wash produces scratches one-tenth as deep as the paint's thickness – too many scratches to count. This repeated abrasive scouring destroys the paint's ability to achieve or maintain a close shine, or to provide protection against rust and corrosion. Tests have shown that the average backyard hose is not able to supply enough water along with detergent action to avoid damaging the car's finish. A professional car wash is able to provide tremendous amounts of water along with appropriate mechanical action which the backyard hose is not able to supply. This important and interesting study at the University of Texas concluded that today's modern car owner is much better off washing his car in a professional car wash rather than in his own driveway.

For more information, please see:
Hand Versus Professional Car Washing Study
University of Texas at Arlington Report

Q:
Can my car get damaged from using a professional car wash?
A:

No. Professional car washes utilize an effective mix of soft cloths and/or water pressure to clean cars without damaging them. Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center's equipment is designed to consistently clean every car safely. It does the same high quality job at 5pm as it does at 8am.

If your car is in good condition, it will be fine. A tiny fraction of all cars professionally washed incur damage each year as a result of a pre-existing condition, it may have a problem during the wash process, i.e., a broken clip on a license plate frame may break off passing by our 70 hp blowers just as it could driving down the highway.

Q:
What are the major causes of rusting?
A:

Rusting is simply oxidation of an untreated surface as it comes in contact with the elements. Aside from a deep scratch or paint chipping, the biggest culprit is moisture. Since dirt attracts and traps moisture like a magnet — especially in those hidden places behind chrome and trim and the car's underbody — a dirty car is the instigator of almost all car rust.

Q:
There seem to be so many different types of car washes. What do they do?
A:
Conveyorized Tunnel Car Wash 
This type of car wash loads your car onto a conveyor and guides it through a series of detergent applications, car wash equipment and a rinse and blower system. There are a variety of different types of conveyorized car wash operations outlined below.

Full-Service Car Wash 
This is the most thorough type of car wash.  Your car will have the exterior cleaned, the inside of the windows, as well as a vacuuming of the car's interior and a towel-dry of the exterior while you wait.

Exterior-Only Car Wash 
This type of car wash cleans, shines and dries the exterior of your car while you remain in it. You drive your car into the entrance of a long, tunnel-like bay. The front left tire, on the driver's side, is positioned on the conveyor track, and you put the car in neutral (do not touch the steering wheel or step on the brake). It uses the same equipment used for a Full Service car wash. In many cases, this does not include a towel dry. However, Monroe Car Wash & Detail towel dries EVERY car. This is a fast, convenient way to protect your car from the elements, and typically takes less than 5 minutes.

Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center offers 2 service lanes, Full Service on the right and Exterior-Only on the left.

In-Bay Touchless Automatic Car Wash 
This refers to touchless car washes that are often affiliated with gas stations and convenience stores. At a touchless in-bay automatic car wash, you drive your car into a bay following the directions on the signs, and the equipment goes around the top of your car, cleaning it with properly balanced detergents and high-pressure water streams. The absence of friction requires the use of harsher chemicals and longer dwell time to compensate for the absence of friction.  Over time, this will erode the clear-coat surface of your car making it vulnerable to harsh elements such as UV rays and acid rain.  If using this type of wash always make sure your car has a good coat of wax to protect it.
Q:
Won't frequent washing harm my car's finish?
A:

No, most car owner manuals state, frequent professional car washing with clear coat treatments, polishes and waxes protect your car from damaging effects of weather, acid rain, and UV ray damage.

Q:
I've seen spots on my roof and hood near my windshield. What causes this?
A:

By using your windshield washers on hot sunny days. Washer fluid that blows off the windshield burns the paint, causing the spotting. It is best to use the washers when the car is cool, such as at night or on cloudy days.

Q:
I notice a layer of residue periodically on my car's finish. Is it harmful?
A:

You are referring to black particles that come from areas of heavy road traffic. It is emitted from the gritty abrasive substance coming off tires as they wear. Also, chemicals from diesel smoke and other emissions in the atmosphere settle on the car's surface and can damage your car's finish if it is not properly removed immediately.

Q:
What if I don't have the time or money to wash and wax my car regularly?
A:

To maintain the value of your car, you can't afford not to professionally maintain its appearance. And if you compare Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center to a driveway wash — factoring in cleaners, waxes and water use, you will find that we are not significantly more expensive than washing it yourself — and we do all the hard work in much less time than it would take you at home.

Q:
What is the best way to protect my car from Acid Rain and what does the US Environmental Protection Agency say about it?
A:

From the EPA website:

The auto industry is fully aware of the potential damage and are actively pursuing the development of coatings that are more resistant to environmental fallout, including acid rain.  The problem is not a universal one, it does not affect all coatings or all vehicles even in geographic areas known to be subject to acid rain, which suggests that technology exists to protect against this damage.  However, until that technology is implemented to protect all cars, or until acid rain is adequately reduced, frequent washing and drying cars, as well as keeping them stored indoors, is the best method for consumers who wish to minimize acid rain damage. 

Over the past two decades, there have been numerous reports of damage to automotive paints and other coatings.  The reported damage typically occurs on horizontal surfaces and appears as irregularly shaped, permanently etched areas.  The damage can best be detected under fluorescent lamps, can be most easily observed on dark colored cars, and appears to occur after evaporation of a moisture droplet.  In addition, some evidence suggests damage occurs most frequently of freshly painted vehicles.  Usually the damage is permanent; once it has occurred, the only solution is to re-paint.

The general consensus within the auto industry is that some form of environmental fallout causes the damage.  "Environmental fallout" is a term widely used in the auto and coating industries referring to damage caused by air pollution (e.g. acid rain), decaying insects, bird droppings, pollen, and tree sap.  The results of laboratory experiments and at least one field study have demonstrated that acid rain can scar automotive coatings.  Furthermore, chemical analysis of the damaged areas of some exposed test panels indicate elevated levels of sulfate, implicating acid rain.

 The popular term "acid rain" refers to both wet and dry deposition of acidic pollutants that may damage material surfaces, including auto finishes.  These pollutants, which are released when coal and other fossil fuels are burned, react with water vapor and oxidants in the atmosphere and are chemically transformed into sulfuric and nitric acids.  These acidic compounds then may fall to earth as rain, snow, fog, or may join dry particles and fall as a dry deposition.  All forms of acid rain may damage automotive coatings.  However, it has been difficult to quantify the specific contribution of acid rain to paint finish relative to damage caused by other forms of environmental fallout, by the improper application of paint or by deficient paint formulations.  According to coating experts, trained specialists differentiate between various forms of damage, but the best way of determining the cause of chemically induced damage is to conduct a detailed chemical analysis of the damaged area. 

 Because evaporation of acidic moisture appears to be a key element in the damage, any steps taken to eliminate its occurrence may alleviate the problem.  These steps include frequent washing followed by hand-drying, covering the car during precipitation events, and using protective coatings to protect the car's original finish.

Q:
What do you mean by 'unlimited?'
A:

Come in once a day, every day or as often as you want, weather permitting.

Q:
How do you track plan subscriptions?
A:

Your Registered car's license plate allows us to track each car. There are no sticker or cards to worry about. Our Greeter will input your license plate number into our computer outside at the Greeter's station and hand you your paid receipt. You will then be waived onto the track allowing your car to be washed if you purchased an exterior wash plan or to be vacuumed and washed if you purchased a full service option.

Q:
Why should I join a subscription program? Isn't that only for Netflix?
A:

We believe our customers want and deserve a clean car at a reasonable price. Not just on the day they get the wash, but all the time. However, we all know, rain, bird droppings, a snowstorm can turn a freshly cleaned car into a dirty one. With a Freedom Unlimited Wash subscription plan, our customers can forget about choosing the best day to get a car wash, and focus on having a clean car all of the time. Pay once and enjoy a clean car all month!

Q:
Is there a minimum term for the plan?
A:

No, you may cancel at any time.  It is a monthly subscription program that continues until you cancel with 5 days notice.

Q:
How Do I Sign Up for the Freedom Unlimited Wash Plan?
A:

Stop in at Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center and see our manager or Greeter to sign up. Your Registered Car's information and license plate will be input into our database and you will be ready to enjoy unlimited car washing. Your swiped credit card will be automatically billed the full amount every 30 days until you cancel. Enjoy your clean car!

Q:
How do I pay?
A:

Your swiped credit card will be automatically charged the full amount on the same day each month (or every 30 days) until you cancel. Any other purchases, such as wash upgrades, detail services, air fresheners, or soft drinks will be paid for separately at the time the item or service is requested.

Q:
How do I cancel?
A:

Freedom Unlimited Wash Plan is a month-to-month subscription, there is no long-term commitment or contract, no hidden cancellation charges. If you want to cancel your subscription, give us written notice (via email or online at www.MonroeCarWash.com) 5 days before the end of the subscription period. No refunds or credits will be given for partial periods as you pre-paid for the 30 days.

Q:
Can I use my Freedom Unlimited Wash pass for more than one car?
A:

No, the program is car-specific and limited to the car that corresponds to the registered license plate on the account. Switching license plates without completing an Agreement Amendment or Cancellation Form is considered fraud and grounds for the Company terminating Member's Program Benefits immediately and no credit will be given to Member for remaining paid portion of the current month. This program is for personal use only: no taxis or limos.

Q:
Can the Freedom Unlimited Wash Plan be combined with other offers?
A:

Since this is a discount program, we don't offer multi-discounts. For example, coupons cannot be used for nor will VIP Club membership benefits accrue for cars enrolled in any Freedom Unlimited Wash plan.

Q:
Can your wax/polish products be used on a fiberglass surface?
A:

Fiberglass is coated with a gel coat, which reinforces the material. This resin is similar to paint and is susceptible to oxidation, scratches, stains, and normal environmental etching. Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center recommends applying a car wax regularly to maintain gel coat cleanliness, shine and protection.

Q:
What is 'detailing'? Is detailing my car really necessary?
A:

A detailed car makes your car look, feel and smell like new.  A professionally detailed car will increase its resale value. Detailing services can restore almost any car back to showroom quality, or close to it, even if your car has been exposed to a troop of messy kids for years. Sun, salt, and magnesium chloride deteriorate the exterior, as well as the interior. The interior is thoroughly scoured: carpets, floor mats and seats are cleaned, shampooed and deodorized, and panels and vents are dusted and conditioned. The exterior is buffed to remove minor scratches. A wax and polish follows. A detailed car saves the cost of paint, vinyl top, rubber and interior items (leather seats, trim, vinyl dash, etc.)... all of which are very costly to replace. Put simply, detailing protects your investment. An appointment can range from three to five hours, depending on the car's condition. Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center technicians have each completed a Simoniz Detail Certification program to ensure the highest quality care and service for your car. Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center utilizes many specifically approved chemicals and tools to recondition and protect your car. One tool we offer is auto claying. Claying removes contaminants from your paint, that otherwise would distort wax applications. We also use a two-stage polish and wax process. The first stage, polishing, is intended to remove minor scratches and imperfections. Our premium polish is a "true-cut" product, meaning that it removes certain scratches, it doesn't merely cover them up. The second stage, waxing, utilizes a premium wax that protects your car from harmful contaminants and the sun. Wax keeps your paint from drying, cracking, and oxidizing. We use premium dressings to detail all of your interior and exterior trim, leather, and wheels. Dressings are applied after the surfaces are cleaned to provide protection and a "new" appearance.

Q:
Why should I detail my car?
A:

Possibly one of the least understood and most valuable services you can have done to your car is a full service detail. You have a major investment in your car, and keeping it looking like new protects that investment. New and used car dealers have known for years the value of cleaning a car before showing it to a prospective customer. The better it looks, the more likely it is to sell. You see a great looking car and assume it has been maintained well. On average, the resale value will increase by $1,000. This is a great return for a small investment. By now, you have probably found out that the many claims regarding "Permanent Glaze" and "Lasts Forever No Wax Shield" are simply not true. If you are serious about keeping your car beautiful, increasing the longevity, and commanding the HIGHEST POSSIBLE RESALE VALUE, then professional full service detailing is the way to go. Our staff will carefully clean and polish your entire car, revitalizing that new car look and feel using the finest products and methods available. Let the Monroe Car Wash & Detail certified detail professionals help you keep your cars looking great and ensure you get the best return on your investment.

Q:
How often should I have my car detailed?
A:

Typically, a high quality wax will last about 4 to 6 months depending on paint color, weather conditions, and time of exposure to elements (sun, salt, acid rain, bugs, sprinkler water, etc.) are all factors that affect the longevity of the finish.

Q:
Does detailing increase a car's value?
A:

In a word, YES! When we put this question to used car managers of large auto dealerships, they said that they often have two identical cars on the lot, both the same year and model with the same equipment. Even though they were mechanically the same, the finish of one looked as if it were just off the showroom floor. The second was noticeably rusted, dull and spotty. The difference in price? $1,000! Appearance is the first thing people look at in a used car. If a car's appearance turns the buyer off, no amount of persuasion can get them in the car to start the engine. The moral of the story? Proper care of your car's appearance is an investment that will pay off at trade-in or sale time!

Q:
My car is new, do I need a detail?
A:

Having your car detailed right after you buy it is the perfect time. By protecting your car from the start, you keep harmful contaminants out of the paint. Letting your car get to the breaking point before having it detailed will cost much more in the long run.

Q:
I'm about to sell my car or return my lease, can a full service detail help?
A:

Most certainly! By having Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center professionals detail your car before you sell it, you can increase its value. Let's face it, most people don't know much about the mechanics of a car, but if it looks great they will be more willing to buy it. Let us make your car worth more money. By having us detail your leased car before you return it, we can save you money. We know firsthand how dealerships work and what they look for on lease returns. Let us save you money.

Q:
I've heard that a brand new car should not be washed or waxed for a certain period of time. Is this true?
A:

That may have been true 25 years ago, but a car's new clear coat surfaces needs proper care from the moment you drive it off the dealer's lot. The most important thing is that you wash the car properly. Initial errors can result in water spots, setting stains and loss of luster. Without the benefit of multiple layers of protective coating that a car receives over the years through regular waxing, mistakes on a new car may not be correctable.

Q:
How often should I wax my car?
A:

If you wash your car every week, a wax should be applied at least three times a year to protect the paint coat. Waxing every 90 day is sufficient for cars exposed to the highest level of environmental elements (like UV rays and acid rain).

Q:
My car interior smells badly. Can this be fixed?
A:

Smells can be treated through several different approaches. One is by using an odor eliminator spray. The second is by using an ozone machine. Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center has a professional ozone machine that will remove odors within a car once the interior has been properly cleaned and the cause of the odor treated. Ozone treats the entire car, even ventilation systems, on a molecular level. While we do not guarantee complete removal of interior smells, utilizing our on-site resources can remove most unwanted interior smells.

Q:
Why is waxing/polishing my car important?
A:

Waxing and polishing serves three primary purposes:

  • Cleaning a car's finish
  • Improving the shine
  • Protecting the car from environmental damage

Most waxes and polishes contain very mild abrasives, chemical cleaning agents and lubricants. The cleaning agents remove surface oxidation and leave a high gloss, while the clear film acts as a protective barrier for the car's surface.
Q:
Does waxing my car remove the top layer of paint or does car wax add a layer to the paint?
A:

Applying a wax product to your car's finish will not remove paint from your car. Wax contains mild cleaning agents to remove waxy buildup and add a protective layer to your finish.

Q:
What if I want a different wash than the plan I've chosen? What if I subscribe to the Exterior-only plan, but want to a premium wash service outside of by my plan?
A:

Simple. If you purchased the Exterior-Only Plan you can upgrade to any Full Service wash packages any time and only pay the difference between the two packages. For example, if you want The Full Service wash, but are in the Exterior-only plan, pay $16 - $9 = $7 for that wash. Also, if you get an Express Detail service, your wash is already paid for so you only pay for the Express Detail service, but will automatically receive a 10% discount for your subscribed car.

Q:
What is the true role of car washing (home vs. professional) and the environment?
A:

Many people pour untreated contaminants and detergent directly into the storm sewers daily without thinking, not as a sign of disrespect, but simply because they don't know it's harmful. By washing their cars at home, they don't recognize the damage they are causing to our environment. The practice and impact of domestic and community car washing are neither well understood nor adequately acted upon. Please read over the following facts to see the true role of professional car washes and the environment.

The Water
The International Car Wash Association reported that the average driveway car wash uses between 80-140 gallons of water.

The Soap
Although you can, and people often do, use anything to wash a car, the car-care industry recommends using its own products. Turtle Wax (www.turtlewax.com) warns customers that to do otherwise might damage a car's clear-coat finish. Nonetheless, people use everything from dish and laundry soap to vinegar and water or citrus-based cleaners.

All detergents contain a surfactant so that the cleaner rinses off easily with water; some of the most popular types are synthetic phenol-based surfactants. The US EPA identified these as being possible endocrine disrupters that trick the hormone system by mimicking estrogen. In wildlife, the end result is that aquatic species are not able to reproduce, and population levels decline.

Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center uses only EPA approved and certified bio-degradeable chemicals.

The Discharge
Every car wash discharges a fine toxic mix. Depending on what is used to wash the car (let's say water alone is the minimum), driveway car-wash discharge consists of oils, grease, elements from brake linings, rust, trace amounts of benzene and possibly chromium, and a few other goodies. Adding soap to the mix possibly introduces phenols, dyes, acids, and ammonia.

Furthermore, water flowing off a driveway picks up more than dirt; it becomes a thermal plume of warm, even hot, wastewater run-off that can differ from average temperature of a receiving water body by as much as 10ÂșC.

The Commercial Car-Wash
There is a common misconception among the public and decision-makers that commercial car washes are less environmentally appropriate than driveway car washes. The public perceives splashing buckets of suds around at home as the epitome of family values. It doesn't help that the major auto manufacturers' advertising campaigns consistently reinforce the fun of home driveway washing.

The commercial car-wash industry is sometimes blamed for increasing frequency of drought, rising water prices, and all kinds of other evils. Since the mid-1980s, commercial car washes have faced conservation bans precisely because they are deemed to be a waste of water. Florida's current examination of a water conservation certification ranked car washes number two among industry groups to control. Meanwhile, the state has no restrictions on domestic or community car washing.

The reality is that most commercial car washes use 60% less water in the entire washing process than a simple home wash uses just to rinse off a car. Special pressure nozzles mix 50% air in with the water to create pressure without volume.

Information taken from the article "Take Me Out To The Car Wash" by Kevin Mercer as published in The Journal for Surface Water Quality Professionals Storm Water. For the full article, please see: http://www.stormcon.com/sw_0205_take.html
Q:
What's so bad about driveway car washing?
A:

Dirt that collects in wash water, sponges and chamois will scratch your car's finish. The technology used at Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center will not scratch or create "swirl" marks on your car. Not only is a Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center car wash safer for your car, we use less than 5% of the water used for a driveway wash, and we use only biodegradable cleaning solutions to further protect the environment. Also, our dirty water is treated and disposed of properly, while water from driveway car washing ends up in storm drains, which can pollute lakes, rivers and streams.

Many types of corrosives and toxic substances get deposited on streets and highways and end up on your car. As a result, driveway car washing generates storm water run-off containing lead, zinc, cadmium, phosphates, motor oil, asphalt, antifreeze and other contaminants that are harmful to the environment.  Moreover, the chemicals in soaps and detergents used in driveway car washing typically contain additional contaminants that are harmful to water quality.

Unfortunately, most people are unaware that storm water run-off is the most common source of pollution in our streams, rivers, lakes, oceans and inlets, and can have a devastating effect on aquatic life and the environment.  Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center is proud to provide an environmentally safe alternative to driveway and parking lot car washing. We comply with the federal Clean Water Act and other applicable laws and regulations AND we recycle all our water to reduce our fresh water consumption. On average, we use only 3 gallons of fresh water per car, as the pre-soak and wash cycle uses reclaimed water treated by our state-of-the-art reclamation system. We maintain a zero discharge system where excess water is removed by professional EPA certified service companies who transport the recycled water to specific EPA certified water treatment facilities.

Q:
What can I do when washing my car at home to minimize damaging the environment and my car?
A:
  • Don't let the water hose flow continuously. Using a spray nozzle that controls the water flow works best because it flows only when you need it.
  • Use environmentally friendly soaps, not harsh detergents. Stay away from products that contain phosphates, petroleum-distillates, kerosene, silicone, or mineral spirits. If your car isn't too dirty, try using water and a sponge.
  • Use a bucket filled with soapy water to limit the amount of soap and water that runs into the street. Dispose bucket contents into the sanitary sewer system (i.e., toilets and sinks) instead of dumping onto the street.
  • Don't use paper towels. Instead, use re-usable micro fiber towels.
  • When wringing sponges and wash rags, do so in a bucket; not onto the ground.
  • Wash your car on a grassy area that will allow soil to hinder soapy water from entering streets and storm drain ditches.
  • Don't wash your car with hot water.
  • Don't wash your car in direct sunlight.
  • Don't use a strong soap or chemical cleaner.
  • Don't use hard water, especially rusty water.
  • Don't use bleach for cleaning your car.
  • Don't use steel wool.
  • Don't use hard-type brushes.
  • Don't let bug, bird and carbon black residue sit for too long because it will etch the paint.
  • Don't let your car dry in the sun, always thoroughly towel-dry your car with a moist towel.  If you don't towel dry your car the acid in water will leave spots which, over time, will etch the clear-coat surface of your car resulting in permanent damage.
Q:
Are the cleaning solutions Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center uses bad for the environment?
A:

We have the top-of-the-line So-Brite reclaim system that allows us to recycle 97% of our water saving the environment and our precious water supply, as we use only 3 gallons of fresh water on each car.  All of our chemicals are EPA certified and biodegradable, so they are environmentally friendly. In contrast, home car washing uses about 120 gallons of fresh water and does not provide any environmental safeguards. All the chemicals use in home washing seep into the ground water and natural waterways, which is harmful to the environment.

We continuously research and try new types of bio-degradable detergents and chemicals that are reclamation friendly and safe for the environment. 

Q:
Can the brush I use to wash my car make a difference?
A:

It certainly can. Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center does not use brushes.  Instead, we use a combination of new soft-cloth and NeoGlide foam wraps that were formulated in conjunction with acrylic paint manufacturers. With proper lubrication, they remove dirt and have the same resistance on the car's surface as a wet noodle would have rubbing against a glass bottle. If you are washing your own car, take a great deal of care in choosing the brush. The key is lubrication! This means lots of water and solutions with good lubricating qualities.  In most cases it would be preferable to use a very, very clean sponge or towel. Mercedes-Benz recently did a test in Munich, Germany, by washing one group of cars 25x by hand and another group of cars 25x in a commercial car wash. The commercial car washes kept that group's finish noticeably newer than the hand washed group's test cars. In fact, the hand washed group's test cars needed compounding and polishing to restore the original shine and, in many cases, showed scratch marks as deep as one/tenth of the total thickness of the paint! As you can see, the proper equipment makes a big difference.

For more information please see:
Hand Versus Professional Car Washing Study
University of Texas at Arlington Report

Q:
My car has a clear-coat finish, does it still require waxing?
A:

Absolutely. Clear-coat finishes need to be waxed, not only for protective qualities and added shine, but also for the mar-resistant benefits. The biggest problem with clear-coat finishes today is mar (scratch or scuff) resistance. These new finishes resist weathering better than ever; however, abrasive soil, sand, dirt, road debris and other sources of abrasion can leave a clear top coat looking very dull in a short time. Waxing leaves a smooth film which helps prevent these minor abrasions from occurring.

Q:
What causes loss of water-beading on my car's surface?
A:

Normally loss of water-beading on a car is temporarily suppressed by anionic surfactants such as liquid soaps or hard water, which leaves heavy spots if the finish is not quickly towel dried. Also, if the car has not been regularly waxed, sometimes the first coat of wax does not properly bond. It is important that water beads on your car's surface to limit water spots from forming which, over time, can etch your car's clear coat finish.

Q:
How can I remove water spots from glass and paint surfaces?
A:

Most common water spots are caused by mineral deposits. It is important to wash off water spots as soon as possible. If the car is left in the sun for prolonged periods of time (4 days or more), there is a good chance that the water spots will actually etch into the clear coat finish. This makes it very difficult, sometimes impossible, to remove the water spots. This is one of the reasons it is critical to properly towel-dry your car with a moist towel every time it is washed. Vinegar and water does a great job at neutralizing these marks. The Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center also recommends the use of a Magic Clay bar to safely remove water spots.

Q:
What is Simoniz DoubleBond with Teflon?
A:

Simoniz DoubleBond™ is the only Teflon brand protective coating available that can be automatically applied to your car in a commercial car wash. Simoniz DoubleBond™ is applied during the rinse cycle (just after the drying agent) and takes no extra time. Simoniz DoubleBond™ is a film forming process that cures as it dries on your car. The next time it rains or your car is washed, water will bead up and fall off like never before. Additional applications of Simoniz DoubleBond™ will only enhance durability. Independent tests run at the DuPont Experimental Station Show that Simoniz DoubleBond™ will last up to 30 days on a cars surface when continually exposed to the environment 24 hours a day.
Click Here for information

Keeping your car looking like new can save you money in the long run. The resale value of your car can be maximized by properly maintaining your car's finish.

Q:
What is the best cleaner to use on my car?
A:

Since most cars are made up of at least eight completely different surfaces (acrylic paint, vinyl, chrome, rubber, plastic, glass, cloth and sheet metal), this is another complex question. First, let's start with cleaners that are not recommended. Laundry detergents usually have extremely high alkaline levels that hurt the paint's finish. Soaps can damage a finish and even if you should find one that chemically cleans well, it may not rinse off well, leaving a filmy, dull finish. Monroe Car Wash & Detail Center uses cleaners that automatically dispense special solutions in the right proportions. For example, in the summer, we use a higher percentage of bug removing agents. In the winter, we use a high percentage of solutions to combat salt deposits. The beauty is that we change our percentages to fit our area's needs. Monroe Car Wash & Detail Centers' cleaners are formulated for the specific needs of tough Connecticut dirt. To return to your original question — it is impossible to use all the same cleaners that professional car washes and replicate the application/washing process. Nevertheless, you should have numerous types of cleaners on hand. Also be sure to carefully read all label directions. (Special note: the proper amount of cleaner is essential to its cleaning capacity. Should a small amount clean well, a larger amount doesn't necessarily clean better. In fact, too much cleaner of any kind might cause problems.)

Q:
My car's finish has a cloudy, streaky look after it is washed. What causes this?
A:

Connecticut's hot sun and moist atmosphere causes paints, especially dark colors, to oxidize rapidly. This causes the cloudy look. Our car washing process actually cleans your finish and it causes the ongoing oxidation to show more clearly. What is the solution? A coating of wax must be kept on your car's finish to prevent oxidation from happening in the first place. Once the paint is oxidized, it will continue to deteriorate until it is removed completely with cleaners and a machine buffer. A car wash-compatible wax should then be applied at least twice a year. For more information, please go to the Express & Full Service Detail web page or pick up a "Service Menu" brochure by the cashier.

Q:
I wash my car with soft water and my car's finish is beginning to look scratched. Why is this?
A:

The most common problem is not the water quality, but the amount of water used when washing a car. Sand and dirt particles can get trapped in a sponge or mitt and no amount of rinsing can clean them. Therefore, without proper water lubrication, those dirt and sand particles are like washing the car's finish with sand paper. Our's computer controllers ensure that your car receives the exact amount of water and cleaning agents necessary to properly clean your car.  Furthermore, wraps are continuously rinsed, which when combined with the centrifugal force, prevents any abrasives from ever touching the car's surface. Then, your car is rinsed with 100% pure deionized water before it is towel dried.