A car wash (also written as "carwash") or auto wash is a facility used to clean the exterior and, in some cases, the interior of motor vehicles. While there are many types of car washes, most fall into the following categories: Mechanized car washes, especially those with brushes, were once avoided by some meticulous car owners because of the risk of damaging the finish. Paint finishes have improved as have car washing processes, and this perception of vehicle damage is much less today. However, this perception was the motive behind the rise of facilities utilizing "brushless" (cloth) and "touch-free" (high-pressure water) equipment, as well as modern "foam" washing wheels made of closed cell foam. In today's modern car wash facilities, whether tunnel, in-bay automatic or self-serve, soaps and other cleaning solutions used are designed to loosen and eliminate dirt and grime.
Contributions by Joyous!, Hektor, and Nopetro.