Touch Less versus Soft Cloth Car Wash

What is your preference of a car wash? Touch less or soft cloth car wash? Truthfully both touch less and soft cloth car wash have their advantages and disadvantages. Many professionals will advocate for each type, while many people prefer one versus the other and simply don’t want to switch. Both sides have valid arguments on which car wash option is the best way to go, but like many things in life it comes down to perception and personal preference.

Soft Cloth Car Wash 

Soft cloth car washing is the process where a vehicle passes through multiple stages of curtains. The process begins with pressurized jets removing heavy debris and granular dirt, followed by a rotating drum that passes over the top of the vehicle as soap is applied. Next, the vehicle passes through a second drum in which chamois strips are attached to finish off the car with some degree of a polish.


Car Wash in Burlington

  • The same process we use to exfoliate our faces, soft cloth car wash does the same to exfoliate the dirt, debris, water marks and more on the surface of your vehicle.
  • Soft cloth car washes get to the hard to reach places, such as the front of the license plate, the upper and lower areas of the windshield, rocker plans and the rear license plate areas.


  • Soft cloth car washes carry mold, dirt and other particles from the previous car wash. Even though the cloths are used to exfoliate the surfaces of your vehicle, this is done by using dirty cloths, therefore removing only partially the dirt and debris on the surface of your vehicle during the car wash process.
  • Proper amounts of soap and water need to be applied in order for the surface to be properly exfoliated. If the cloths do not have enough soap/water combo, the dirt that they push along will only cause scratch marks to the clear coat of the vehicle.
  • Soft cloth car washes do not get the proper maintenance that they need. Jets often get clogged over time, resulting in poor spray to the vehicle getting washed. In addition to the jets, chamois strips often go a long time without being replaced, therefore passing on the dirt from previous car washes to your vehicle’s wash.

Proper Exterior Cleaning


Touch Less Car Wash 

There are two types of touch less car washes that many people consider touch less; do it yourself car wash using a high pressure washer and the drive-through high pressure touch less car wash. Let’s stick to the latter, simply because the do it yourself car washes still involve you touching the vehicle during the drying stage.



  • Nothing touches your vehicle, other than soap, water and high pressure air used to dry the vehicle.
  • Latest technology of exterior vehicle washing.
  • Longer process, usually resulting in wait times


  • Common sense will tell you that without proper contact/scrubbing/exfoliating, no amount of pressure will remove the debris from the exterior of the vehicle.
  • Longer process versus soft cloth washing, usually resulting in wait time on good car wash days.
  • Touch less car washing heavily relies on chemicals for cleaning, usually resulting in improper chemical ratios that can stain the vehicle’s clear coat.
  • Poor drying process, resulting in areas left not dried and resulting in water spots over time.

Final Word

As with many things in life, you get what you pay for. Neither soft cloth or touch less car washing cost very much, but both have limitations. In order to truly get rid of the dirt and get into the hard to reach spots, hand washing is the way to go. The process slightly takes longer than both options above, and it even may cost slightly more, but the results are far more superior. Time, quality, budget and environmental concerns all come into consideration.

The car wash industry is highly competitive, and there are many choices when it comes washing the exterior of your vehicle. Making the right choice is necessary in order prolong the life of your vehicle’s exterior and uphold its resale value.

If you’re simply looking to get a proper high detail car wash, stop in to see us at Budget Auto Detailing or call 905-633.8880.