Hand car washes are operations in which employees wash cars manually. Hand car washes are distinct from self service or automated car washes in that they do not involve the use of any automatic washing equipment, nor do they require the customer to participate in washing in any way.
Exterior and interior washing is an important part of car maintenance. It can help to increase the longevity of a car by removing accumulated contaminants like dirt and corrosive materials like road salt. This also improves the aesthetic quality of the car. Hand car washing is an alternative to automated car washes or self service car washes. Some customers, particularly those with expensive or antique cars, are unwilling to trust their vehicles to automated washing equipment. In such cases, the individual attention of an employee can be an attractive alternative. Because hand car washes offer the individual attention of at least one person, they can be more expensive than automated or self service car wash systems. During the process, workers wash the exterior of cars with towels or mitts, hoses and soap, and they sometimes offer waxing or interior cleaning for an additional fee. Interior cleaning can include vacuuming, carpet shampooing and window cleaning.