M9CarWash.com uses hot water within this range to ensure that your car is cleaned effectively without causing any harm to the paint or other materials.

When it comes to washing your car, I think one of the most debated topics is whether to use hot water or cold water.

I would say both options have their advantages and disadvantages.

Do Car Washes Use Hot Water?

Yes, car wash uses hot water between 100-130 degrees Fahrenheit (37 to 54 Celsius). The use of hot water in car washes ensures that water and soap help dissolve dirt and grime more effectively than cold water, making it easier to remove tough stains.

Do Car Washes Use Hot Water
Car Wash Water Comparison

Car Wash Water Comparison

Hot Water Pros

  • Effective Cleaning: Hot water is more effective at breaking down and removing dirt, grime, and oil.
  • Sanitization: Hot water can kill bacteria and other microorganisms, providing a more sanitary clean.
  • Quick Drying: Hot water evaporates faster, which can help the car to dry quicker and reduce water spots.
  • Less Soap Needed: Hot water often requires less soap to clean effectively, which can save money.
  • Comfort: In colder climates, washing a car with hot water can be more comfortable for the person doing the washing.

Hot Water Cons

  • Potential Damage: Hot water can potentially damage the car’s finish if it’s too hot.
  • Wax Stripping: Hot water can strip away wax, requiring more frequent waxing.
  • Increased Energy Use: Heating water uses more energy, which can be costly and less environmentally friendly.
  • Risk of Burns: There’s a risk of burns if the water is too hot.
  • Uneven Drying: Hot water can cause uneven drying, leading to water spots.

Cold Water Pros

  • Safe for All Surfaces: Cold water is safe to use on all car surfaces and won’t risk damaging the finish.
  • Preserves Wax: Cold water is less likely to strip away wax, preserving the car’s shine.
  • Energy Efficient: Using cold water is more energy-efficient as it doesn’t need to be heated.
  • Less Risk of Burns: There’s no risk of burns when using cold water.
  • Cost-Effective: Cold water is generally more cost-effective as it requires less energy to use.

Cold Water Cons

  • Less Effective Cleaning: Cold water may not clean as effectively as hot water, especially for oily or greasy stains.
  • Longer Drying Time: Cold water takes longer to evaporate, which can increase drying time.
  • More Soap Needed: Cold water often requires more soap to clean effectively.
  • Discomfort: In colder climates, washing a car with cold water can be uncomfortable.
  • Doesn’t Kill Bacteria: Cold water doesn’t kill bacteria or other microorganisms.

Ideal Temperature for Car Wash

The ideal water temperature for washing cars is anywhere between 100-130 degrees Fahrenheit (37 to 54 Celsius).

Choose Hot Water

Hot Water vs. Cold Water for Car Wash

The ideal water temperature for washing cars is anywhere between 100-130 degrees Fahrenheit (37 to 54 Celsius).

But never at 25 Degrees.

Hot Water

Hot water is typically used in professional car washes to help lift dirt and grime more effectively, making it easier to clean the car’s surface.

Lifts dirt and grime more effectivelyDamage car paint if too hot
Breaks down wax finishes and other contaminantsTime-consuming to heat water
Saves time and effort when washing carRequire specialized equipment

Cold Water

It is the traditional method of washing cars and is often used by car owners who wash their cars at home.

While this may not be as effective at removing dirt and grime as hot water, it still is a safe and effective way to clean your car without causing any damage.

Another thing is that it is readily available and easy to use, unless you have an unlimited electricity bill, cold water is your best bet for effective, routine wash.

Safe and effective way to clean carMay not remove dirt and grime as effectively as hot water
Readily available and easy to useRequire more time and effort to clean car
Does not damage car paint or other surfacesRequire more time and effort to clean the car

As you can see, both hot and cold water have their own pros and cons and you have to choose depending on your needs and preferences for that day.

Car Wash Systems and Water Temperature

As I said, the temperature of the water being used can make a big difference in the cleaning results, cleaning power, speed, and efficiency of the car wash.

Commercial Car Wash Water Systems

Temperature: 120°F (49°C) to 140°F (60°C), depending on the car wash system.

Commercial car washes use high-pressure washers that are connected to a boiler and they heat the water to a high temperature to clean the car.

So, the high-pressure and hot water combination will better help remove dirt, grime, and other contaminants from the surface of the car.

Self-Service Car Wash Temperature Settings

Temperature: 40°F to 50°F (4°C to 10°C)

In Self-service car washes, the temperature is not user-controlled.

That is why, please ask the owner or the manager about the temperature before you wash your car in case you have PPF or need extra protection.

DIY Car Washing and Water Temperature

Temperature: 80°F (27°C) to 100°F (38°C)

Before I owned a car wash, I used to have these questions too and wonder what temperature water should i use.

I would also recommend not going hotter than 120°F (49°C) as that would severely affect the coatings of the car.

Water Temperature for Automatic Car Washes

Most automatic car washes use water temperatures ranging from 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

It uses a combination of hot and cold water to clean cars and varies depending on the location, time of year, and type of wash.

Is it safe to wash a car with hot water in the winter?

Yes, it is safe to wash a car with hot water in the winter. In fact, car washes are designed to operate in a broad temperature range, typically from about 0°F to 100°F (-18°C to 38°C).

But if you live in an extremely rainy cold area, some automated systems may shut down temporarily during extreme cold to prevent water freezing and potential damage to the equipment.

In that case, hot water can be beneficial in providing a thorough and effective cleaning process, even in colder temperatures.

Can Using hot water at a car wash damage the vehicle’s paint?

Using hot water between 100 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit at a car wash will not damage the vehicle’s paint.

But if you use too hot, it will certainly cause damage to the car’s paint and your car paint will fade or peel.

Ideal Water Temperature Range for Washing a Car

The ideal water temperature range for washing a car is between 100 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.7778 to 60 Celsius.

This temperature range is hot enough to dissolve dirt and grime effectively, but not so hot that it causes damage to the car’s paint.

Should I use warm or hot water for car wash in the wintertime?

It is recommended to use hot water for car washes in the wintertime.

Car Washing Made Easy with M9CarWash.com

I own M9carwash and we offer different types of car wash – hot or cold. We also have multiple types, of self-serve car wash or have our expert Jim do it for you.

We have membership plans, so if you are interested, book an appointment with us.

So why wait? Book your wash with us today and experience the difference for yourself!

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