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Ten million residents in Los Angeles County means that little can actually be secret, but there are some hidden beaches that just might surprise you and become a new favorite.

Summer is heating up and throngs of people will be out searching for a place to plant their beach chair where the spray of the surf in the breeze will cool them down on a hot summer’s day. So where can you go to enjoy a day at the beach without crowds of beachgoer’s ruining your fun time?

These beach options are must do’s for those who want to experience surfing, swimming, rock-climbing, hiking, and sunbathing away from crowded, over-used beaches. Let us introduce you to adventure beaching at its finest, while guiding you toward a relaxing and serene day in the sun.

The 6 Best Hidden Beaches in Los Angeles that you Must Experience

1. El Matador State Beach

32215 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265-2529


This Malibu hidden stunner will become a favorite beach getaway at first sight. El Matador State Beach is one of three “pocket beaches” that make up the Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach area.

El Matador hidden beach

Accessed from a somewhat steep path from the street and cliff-side parking area above, this picturesque beach will not disappoint. Mammoth rock formations punctuate the beach which adds to the overall atmosphere and helps to create some of the most stunning photo opts you’ll find in the area. Don’t be surprised if your visit is shared with both amateur and professional photographers alike conducting photo shoots. The beach itself is somewhat narrow, so arrive early to get a good spot. Bring a picnic as there is no food service available. There are also no lifeguards on duty. Portable toilet facilities are available in the upper parking area.

Hopefully, your time at the beach will coincide with low tide so that you can more fully explore caves, tide pools, and hidden nuances of the rock formations.

2. Abalone Cove Shoreline Park

5970 Palos Verdes Dr S, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275


The Abalone Cove Shoreline Park is the perfect spot for those into hiking and nature watching. Part of the Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve, the area is rich with possibilities which often includes views of whales migrating offshore, pelicans, and sea lions swimming in the surf or sunning themselves.

A haven of natural beauty and great vistas, the Abalone Cove Shoreline Park beckons park goers to hike the many trails of the beach park’s share of the 64 acres that encompass the ecological reserve. While famed for its nature-rich tide pools, the City of Rancho Palos Verdes has closed the portion of the beach and tide pool areas at Portuguese Point of Abalone Cove Shoreline Park due to the unstable cliffs above the area and falling rocks.

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park hidden beaches

Beach park grounds are open every day from 9 a.m. – dusk (closed December 24th-25th and New Year’s Day). This is a protected area so enjoy a hike, comb the beach for sea glass and unusual rocks, take lots of pictures, but leave behind any treasures you find for others to enjoy as well.

3. Leo Carrillo State Beach

35000 W. Pacific Coast Highway Malibu, CA 90265


This inviting beach park is a part of the larger Leo Carrillo State Park and includes a 1.5 mile stretch of outstanding beachfront perfect for swimming, windsurfing, and beachcombing.

The beach is divided into two distinct beach areas, north beach, and south beach. The dividing line is noted as Lifeguard Tower 2, visible from the bluff which overlooks the beach. Access to either beach area is gained through parking areas on the Pacific Coast Highway or from inside the Leo Carrillo State Park Campground.

Leo Carrillo State Beach hidden beaches

North beach is described as a family-friendly, dog-friendly beach (pets must be on-leash). Closest to the campground area, this open, sunny section of beach is just right for a day of play in the surf. Bring your own food and goodies as there are no food service options in the area.

South beach is home to coastal caves, offshore reefs, and tide pools ready for the adventurous to explore. The combination of rocky outcroppings, surf-worn stones, and silky sand make this a beautiful beach. This is also a great place for kayaking and body surfing.

4. Topanga Beach

18700 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265-5525


Located at the bottom edge of Topanga Canyon in the southern area of Malibu, Topanga Beach is a surf haven for locals and visitors. The waves and ocean swells make this beach a destination for surfers.

Some may find a small area for swimming and bodysurfing but oftentimes lifeguards will call swimmers to come in. Non-surfers can enjoy a day of sunbathing and fun while experiencing the compelling exploits of surfers just off the beach, great sunsets, and scenic views.

Topanga Beach hidden beaches in los angeles

There are restrooms, showers, and a picnic area which make for a much nicer day at the beach. Care should be taken as the sand is littered with rocks. At low tide, exploring the exposed beach area is a treat but it is suggested that water shoes be worn due to slippery areas amid the rocky terrain. A partial rock wall enclosure at either end of the beach helps to make the beach feel secluded, protected, and appealing for parents with small children.

Note: This beach is not dog-friendly.

5. Point Dume State Beach

7103 Westward Beach Rd Malibu, CA 90265


Point Dume State Beach is one of the most beautiful hidden beaches on our list. This secluded stretch of sand is a favorite of locals, visitors, and rock climbers. Rock climbing is the activity of the day for experienced adult climbers with the proper equipment.

If you’re not a climber, a trail will take you up to the top of Point Dume where, standing above the beach, you’ll find stunning, scenic views of the beach ocean, and the city skyline in the distance. A peek over the cliff will also expose the secret “Pirates Cove,” a hidden, exclusive cove where you’ll undoubtedly encounter local sea lions.

Point Dume State Beach hidden beaches

Point Dume State Beach features rocky coves, headlands, and hiking trails. Facilities include picnic areas for your convenience while spending the day swimming, snorkeling, scuba-diving, windsurfing, or watching the area’s wildlife including gray whales during their December-April migration. The beach park is open from sunrise to sunset.

6. Lechuza Beach

31711 Broad Beach Rd., Malibu, CA 90265


Lechuza Beach is a secluded, hidden gem close to El Matador Beach. There is an accessible entrance off of Broad Beach Road and Bunnie Lane.

Although Lechuza is a public beach, parking and access is granted through a residential neighborhood area with on-street parking. Walk down the path (there are two different paths) and then wonder at the truly inspirational sight once the beach comes into view.

Lechuza Beach hidden beaches

The character of this sandy cove is similar to El Matador with huge rock formations adorning the beach. You’ll feel as though you’ve found your own little safe haven at Lechuza. Enjoy a day of sunbathing, exploring tide pools, walking, and soaking in the relaxation of this oasis. Not ideal for surfing or swimming due to the many rocks and gentle waves, this beach is perfect for a restful sunny day lounging on the sand.

Somewhat sheltered by its location and shape, the beach is near-ideal when escaping windy days. You won’t regret a day at Lechuza. It may become your favorite place to just be.

Do you have a favorite beach, outdoor venue, or summer plans to share? Tell us about it HERE in the comment section below.

Have a dirty car?

Call Washos to take care of it. We will thoroughly clean the inside and outside of your car at your home or office. No need to wait.

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california glamping

Glamping, or glamour camping, is a way to experience the outdoors and appreciate nature without foregoing the basic creature comforts. There’s no shame in glamping. Whose idea was it that a night on the hard, cold ground and a sore back in the morning made camping more legitimate?

Grant yourself a relaxing reprieve from the connected world and enjoy your rapport with nature. From luxury tents to yurts, cabins, and glamour lodging, glamping is about experiencing the epitome of diversion and repose in the midst of nature’s wonder.

We’ve compiled the best, and most unique, options to give you a head start on your California glamping adventure.


At Safari West, glamping gets wild! Deemed the “Sonora Serengeti,” Safari West offers tours and day trips through a prized wildlife conservation facility, but it’s the nights that adventure glampers truly treasure.

Stay in one of the luxury canvas tents imported from Botswana, each with a private deck, en-suite bathroom, hot and cold running water, and polished wood floors. Slumber to the sounds of the Serengeti; the nature calls and rustle of the animals. Space heaters and electric blankets are provided, as is a free continental breakfast.

safari west california glamping

Dining is available on-site at the Savannah Café where the South African traditional Braai (akin to BBQ), is served up from a custom wood-fired grill. This is truly a one-of-a-kind glamping experience.

Safari West
3115 Porter Creek Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95404



The ultimate glampers dream in California is personally-designed luxury camping produced by Shelter Co. This designer event company can perform miracles!

shelter co glamping

Whether you want a romantic private escape, you need accommodations for a family reunion, wedding, or even a corporate event, Shelter Co. delivers.  Shelter Co’s experienced technicians can deliver a complete set up, including accommodations, furniture, dining configurations, optional amenities, and concierge services to turn your dream glamping experience into an unbelievable reality.



Glamping in Big Sur is indicative of the rugged central California coast. The natural beauty of the area abounds with wildlife and opportunities to commune with nature. Treebones is a premier Eco-Glamping resort.

For over twenty years, guests have found their way to Treebones to experience glamping in an environmentally friendly atmosphere. Treebones luxury yurts offer comfortable queen or king-sized beds, hot and cold running water, and spacious redwood decks outfitted with Adirondack chairs where guests can savor the peace and tranquility of the hills and the ocean below from the privacy of their yurt.

71895 Hwy 1

South Big Sur, California 93920



Looking for glamping opportunities in Santa Barbara? Just 20 miles to the north, you’ll find the El Capitan Canyon Resort.

Located on over 300 acres of wooded coastal hills, this destination takes glamping to a new level. Choose from 12’ X 14’ Safari tents on raised wooden platforms or from a variety of cozy cabins, some of which include fireplaces, kitchen appliances, indoor bathrooms, soaking tubs, telephones, and more.

All glamping accommodations provide willow beds and casual western-themed furnishings. The “resort” designation refers to the wide range of available amenities and services including a general store with gourmet fare and daily meal specials, a heated swimming pool, concierge services, and all of the extras you’d expect to find in a traditional resort.

At El Capitan, nature lodgers can experience the natural beauty of stunning groves of sycamore and oak trees, enjoy the quiet meandering of the El Capitan creek (at certain times of the year), and use the cruiser bikes provided, hike, or drive to visit the glorious, sandy beach below.

11560 Calle Real

Santa Barbara, CA 93117



Located below Ventura County’s Topatopa mountain range just outside of Santa Paula, this delightful family retreat offers guests an outdoor experience with an activity-filled twist. Cozy rustic accommodations for glampers include tepees, glamour tents, and deluxe cabins which include a partial kitchen, private bedroom, and bath. Traditional KOA campsites are also available.

ventura ranch koa glamping

The Ventura KOA has made its mark with 76 acres of pristine views, area wildlife including roaming peacocks, ziplining, arts and crafts, a rock climbing tower, jumping pillow, playground area, gem mining, the Bigfoot Watering Hole, and pool. The pool is a seasonal pool, open usually from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This is a great option for active family glamping.

7400 Pine Grove Road

Santa Paula, CA 93060



Dog friendly, Mendocino Grove goes above and beyond to provide glampers and their families the comforts of a truly delightful, pleasure-filled vacation without all of the hoopla. Accommodations include fully-furnished classic (12′ x 14′) and family (16′ x 20′) tents situated on wooden platforms.

Mendocino Grove camp

Tents come with comfortable beds and warm, comfy bedding including down comforters. Rustic redwood decks boast relaxing, leather butterfly-chairs to cradle you as you witness the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the area and the mammoth trees surrounding your campsite.

A quarter of a mile from your campsite is the Big River Beach and trail, and a two-minute drive will get you to the quaint village of Mendocino where you’ll find fantastic food options and shopping. Mendocino Grove is contentment personified.

9601 CA-1

Mendocino, California 95460



Just minutes from the Russian River, this trendy, forested camping retreat offers customized Airstream trailers with all of the comforts of home. Here, you camp among the tall redwoods in a quaint, unassuming setting, curated to be a true concept experience.

While the AutoCamp concept takes you back to a bygone era, the retro airstreams are tricked-out like a comfy-cozy hotel room and include flat screen TVs, spa bathrooms, walk-in showers, kitchenettes, and have free Wi-Fi for your enjoyment and convenience. Right outside your front door you’ll find a patio with a small table and chairs, lounge chairs, and a fire pit.

There are tents available for the fall and Airstreams for the winter. Tents come down on November 1, but Airstreams are available all year round.

Autocamp Russian River

Photo courtesy of Aubrie Pick

Property amenities include the mid-century modern clubhouse, fire pits (indoors and out), the on-site Canteen with food and beverages, free bike rentals, picnic area, and hammock among the redwoods. The friendly staff are happy to provide plenty of intel on area activities from hiking, kayaking, dining options, day trips, and more. AutoCamp takes concept glamping to an 11!

14120 Old Cazadero Rd

Guerneville, CA 95446



The Jalama Beach Campground is about as far away from civilization as you can get and still be on a California beach. A beautiful spot, the campground is off of a one-way road fourteen miles off of Highway 1, just south of Lompoc.

Once settled in one of the seven cabins, there’s only one place to go … the beach. The cabins, operated by Santa Barbara County, overlook the stunning Jalama beach, a habitat for a wide variety of marine wildlife. If you’re lucky, you might see whales or dolphins swimming off-shore, or catch a glimpse of the sea lions sunning on the coastline.

The general store is well-equipped and includes a grill which produces some great food and is famous for its clam chowder and hamburgers. The cabins are newer and provide all of the comforts of home including television but you’ll need to bring your own bedding, towels, and food stuffs. Reserve early! Cabins are booked at least six months in advance.

9999 Jalama Rd.

Lompoc, CA 93436



Shangri-la is has come to San Luis Obispo County, California on the enchanted Central Coast in the form of the Wellspring Ranch Bed & Breakfast. A beautiful eco-retreat on a 160 acre secluded parcel of wooded splendor, this glamping couple’s sanctuary is a great mix of the outdoors and high-end amenities.

Wake with the sun to a hearty fire and breakfast and then head out to visit wine country, go hiking, to the spa, yoga, and more or just stay and lounge in your comfortably appointed accommodations. This quiet retreat has 6 lodging options from bedroom lofts and cabana yurts, to the Luxe Airstream.

There is a maximum of fourteen guests at any one time. Don’t miss your chance to visit Wellspring Ranch for glamping B&B style.

9150 Santa Rita Rd.

Cayucos, CA 93430



Come the Sierra National Forest and savor the pleasure of nature without all of the hoopla that goes with so many other locations. Sierra Mountain Lodge is an all-suite facility just twenty-four miles from the closest entrance to Yosemite National Park.

Studios and one & two bedroom suites feature flat-screen TVs, kitchenettes, and separate living rooms. Roomy and comfortable with everything you need to be at home while visiting Yosemite, this lodge is just the ticket to restore balance between nature and the busy world beyond these mountains.

45046 Fort Nip Trail

Ahwahnee, CA 93601


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We’ve been inspired by the opening of one of the coolest Los Angeles Rooftop Bars – Spire 73, to offer up our suggestions for a change of perspective where the perfection of LA nights can be celebrated in the most unique way possible: on the roof.

The great thing about LA nightlife is not the fact that it continually evolves in the most dynamic and inherently impressive ways (which it does!), but that there’s something for everyone if you know how to find it.

Come for the views, music, food, drink, and people, then stay for a night out that you won’t soon forget.

1. Spire 73


900 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

Spire 73 is LA’s newest, and the Western Hemisphere’s tallest, open-air cocktail bar. You’ll find this new outdoor venue on the 73rd floor of the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Spire 73 is perched 1100 feet above Wilshire Boulevard with its dramatic, steely lines surrounded by glass to shield patrons from wind. Modern, ultra-cool textures embrace seating options including lounging benches, caged cabanas, and mid-century modern themed chairs. Well-placed stone fire pits warm, and divide, seating areas, serving to add a measure of intimacy for patrons.

In addition to the impeccable atmosphere, Spire 73 boasts signature cocktails and offers dedicated culinary masterpieces rivaling the extensive drink menu and their selection of whiskey.

2. Mama Shelter

Mama Shelter Rooftop Los Angeles


6500 Selma Ave, Los Angeles

“Mama Loves LA” and Los Angeles loves Mama Shelter. The rooftop bar of the Los Angeles location of the French hotel chain, Mama Shelter, is right in the heart of Hollywood and beckons those seeking a respite from the glitz and pretentious side of LA to the welcoming arms of this laid-back oasis.

Mama’s rooftop bar is reminiscent of a Caribbean beach hangout without the beach, colorful, comfy couches with blankets and pillows, tables and chairs, and bar seating amid scattered heat lamps offer opportunities for lounging and enjoying the ambience of this eclectic rooftop bar and lounge.

Customers can relax playing board games while enjoying the Mediterranean inspired menu infused with a SoCal finesse. Mama Shelter’s signature cocktails thrive on a take of mom-inspired titles including “Throw Mama from a Train,” “Mom’s Night Out,” “How I Met Your Mama, “and “Mama Mia.”

Image Source: UrbanDaddy

3. Upstairs Bar at the Ace Hotel

Upstairs Bar at the Ace Hotel  LA Rooftop Bar


933 S Broadway Los Angeles

The Upstairs rooftop bar the 1920’s era Ace Hotel is proclaimed as having been inspired by the famous Les Deux Café of Hollywood. This intimate bar scene offers a chill vibe with dim, soft lighting, good music and lots of comfy seating areas.

Lounge around the concrete pool, people watch the rich mix of clientele, or bask in the comprehensive views of downtown LA. Events differ every night of the week and include live bands, DJs, pop-up vendors, themed parties, and more.

While the plastic drinkware used to serve your beverages may put some off, you will find the establishment’s take on traditional favorites a fun and unique offering. And if oysters are your thing, try the oyster happy hour special or the frozen drink of the day.

Image Source: AceHotel

4. Skybar

Skybar West Hollywood Rooftop Bar


8440 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood

Skybar is the LA hotspot credited with starting it all; a glamorous rooftop bar at the Mondrian Hotel. Multi-level seating areas which include a gorgeous pool with poolside service and, as many say, the most stunning views of Los Angeles, make Skybar a standout.

A destination bar to experience the posh nightlife of the quintessential LA bar scene, Skybar is a place to see and be seen in LA; the definition of what is often assumed to be the overall nature of LA. Skybar still utilizes its secretive Sunset Strip entrance and maintains its nightlife cred among locals.

With vine covered walls trimming the all-embracing window-like views of this West Hollywood venue, this Latin style bar and lounge provides sinuous nooks and unconfined seating areas which encourage inclusion as much as they do privacy. After dark is when the action really begins at Skybar with world class DJs and pulsating music filling the air while customers enjoy the fresh tastes of the bar menu and house specialty drinks like the Redheaded Moscow Mule.

Image Source: TimeOut

5. The Rooftop at the Standard

The Rooftop at the Standard view los angeles bar


550 S Flower St, Los Angeles

The Rooftop at The Standard in downtown LA offers sweeping, bird’s eye views of downtown LA and the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance. The spacious rooftop bar encompasses two levels which include a classic style German Biergrten in addition to the u-shaped bar, a heated swimming pool, an AstroTurf deck, and a dance floor hosted nightly by popular DJs.

An outdoor fireplace accentuates the lounging area comprised of plush couches and standard table and chair seating. On the upper level, you’ll find he Rooftop’s unique waterbed pods, adding to the conspicuously arresting atmosphere; after all, why submit to the ordinary?

Food and drink are on par with the amazing atmosphere of this bar and lounge. Looking for a refreshing new favorite? Try the watermelon beer. This Los Angeles rooftop bar is a favorite among locals, especially when taking out friends from out of town.

This a true LA experience.

Image Source: MrandMrsSmith

6. L.P. Rooftop Bar

L.P. Rooftop Bar Los Angeles


603 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood

With striking views of the Sunset Strip and the Hollywood Hills, this casual-chic, trendy LA rooftop bar still manages to emit a laid-back vibe. The elongated rooftop bar of the E.P. & L.P. Asian Eating & Drinking house at Cienega and Melrose is replete with purposeful eclectic contradictions in terms of its décor and atmosphere, food, and clientele.

Think neon signs and strewn low-light bulbs, Asian influenced street food and a “secret” bar snack menu, and a place to go and be seen for the young LA crowd. Food options are especially good if yours is an adventurous palate. Try the special churro with the mouth numbing (literally) chocolate Szechuan pepper dessert.

The rooftop also contains Frankie’s Bar, dubbed a “secluded nook” in the rear corner of the rooftop footprint with its famous neon sign “Where Love Lives” if you want some privacy.

Image Source: Revere Magazine

7. High Rooftop Lounge

high venice beach rooftop bar


1697 Pacific Ave, Venice

Set above the Hotel Erwin, the High Lounge is the one and only rooftop bar and lounge in Venice Beach. The High Rooftop Lounge offers a casual atmosphere with panoramic views including, according to locals and tourists alike, the best sunset views in LA.

This is a hotspot in Venice Beach with a good mix of patrons. Large sofas offer plenty of seating for large parties, and fluffy blankets and heaters are provided if it gets chilly. Nights are full of activity and excitement with live DJs and daily drink specials for your pleasure.

The Mezcal cocktail comes highly recommended, and favorite food options include the sliders and fresh guacamole with chips. After a full day in the surf and sun, this is a great place to unwind and let loose with a group of friends.

Image Source: High Venice

8. Perch LA

perch la rooftop bar


448 S. Hill Street, Los Angeles

Perch LA is a restaurant and bar encompassing the13th-15th floors of the Pershing building in Downtown Los Angeles. A flight of stairs up from the 15th floor, you will find the Perch Rooftop Lounge.

A fitting locale, as the 360 degree view of the downtown cityscape makes you feel as though you are perched dramatically above it all. This rooftop lounge is unique in that it has an upscale ambience but is unassuming, and relaxed.

Nightlife is busy most nights with the potential for a wait before entering. Some nights offer live music, otherwise DJs provide the background music for the night’s revelry. The bar has a renowned selection of fine French wines and delicious signature cocktails.

Ask for a Midnight in Paris to start the evening on the right foot. Choose gathering around a cozy fire pit to enjoy music, delicious cocktails, and magnificent views, by making Perch your nightlife destination in Los Angeles.

Image Source: TimeOut

9. W Hollywood Rooftop Pool – WET

W Hollywood Rooftop Pool - WET


6250 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles

If you’re looking for a late afternoon respite from the hustle of West Hollywood, check out the rooftop pool bar at the W Hotel in Hollywood. This famous pool bar, WET, is not your ordinary pool bar. Primary use is reserved for guests of the hotel, but outside patrons can gain entrance through reserving a daybed or cabana.

Some of the hottest DJs in LA spin from 1-5 pm with the exception of the herald Sunday Pool Party where attendees will enjoy the rowdy awesomeness of an all-out exclusive LA pool party from 1-7 pm (tickets must be purchased online). At night, the dress code is “dress to impress” upscale. Men are required to wear collared shirts and closed toe shoes to access the bar. Regular hours for the adult pool bar are 1-8 pm.

Image Source: W Hollywood

10. Filifera

filifera rooftop bar los angeles


1550 N El Centro Ave, Los Angeles

Atop Hollywood Proper Residences, Filifera is one of LA’s newest rooftop bar and lounge alternatives. This exquisite space, located on the 22nd floor, provides breathtaking views of the Hollywood Hills and the surrounding area while serving small plate bites and skillfully crafted drinks such as the Mezcal Margarita or the Passion Fruit Fizz.

The relaxed, easy going atmosphere invites you to enjoy a consummate night out on an LA rooftop among the stars while socializing in impeccable surroundings and listening to live music or attending any one of their scheduled events, film screenings, or culinary happenings.

Locals looking for a new haunt will appreciate the fact that Filifera is in the process of stationing itself as a favored place to go and may want to take this opportunity to be among the first of its regular clientele.

Image Source: LiveHollywoodProper

So … what are your favorite bars in LA?

Share your recommendations down below!

Give your car the TLC it deserves!

Washos will come to your home or office at your convenience. Get $5 off your first car wash with “LOVETHEBLOG”

washos cta 2


Automotive Clay Bar is an engineered resin mixture that auto detailers use to remove contaminants and pollutants from the surface of your car’s paint, glass, fiberglass, and metal. Detailing clay can be natural or synthetic. However, synthetic clay bar is most common these days.

Since clay bars are clay-like, they are very elastic. This elasticity means they can be easily molded and stretched. This is perfect for using on cars we need to roll, flatten and pull the clay bar for different sections of the vehicle.


I. What is Clay Bar Treatment?

II. How Does Clay Bar Treatment Work?

III. What is in a Clay Bar Kit?

IV. What are the Best Clay Bars?

V. How to Use a Clay Bar

VI. Clay Bar Alternatives

I. What is Clay Bar Treatment?

A Clay Bar Treatment is the process of using a clay bar to remove containments from the surface of your car. Common containments that pollute and slowly destroy your vehicle include things like rail dust, brake dust, and industrial fallout. These pollutants can penetrate through paint, glass, and metal and settle on those components even after several car washes and polishing.

what is a clay bar

When detailing clay is used correctly, it is 100% safe, and nonabrasive. In fact, it is less abrasive than polishing or buffing the surface.

How frequently should you do a clay bar treatment?

At Washos, we recommend claying twice a year, but you can do it as often as you want as long as you know what you’re doing.

It’s pretty easy to determine whether you should clay right now. Massage your hand along your car. Do you feel roughness? If so, it’s time to clay and draw those particles out of the paint.

II. How Does Clay Bar Treatment Work?

As we mentioned earlier, auto detailing clay bars are a resin mixture designed to remove containments from surfaces. When you glide the clay bar along the surface of your car, it picks up anything extending from the surface. The dust and dirt get stuck to the clay, and so you’ve successfully removed the containment.

An important note to keep in mind is that you always spray lubricant or detailer spray before claying. The lubrication stops loose debris from scratching your car.

Clay is better than polishing because the polishing process sometimes removes a thin layer of paint, while claying is nonabrasive.

III. What is in a Clay Bar Kit?

If you’re just starting out with claying, we recommend buying a clay bar kit. You can find these kits being sold on Amazon and automotive product websites. We recommend Meguiar’s G1016 Smooth Surface Clay Kit. It is highly rated and has everything you need to get started.

clay bar kit

In a typical clay bar kit, you will find:

  • Clay Bars

Clay Bars usually come in 2 to 8 oz. bars. Typically, 2 ounces is enough to do three or four vehicles. We estimate that one 2 oz. clay bar will last you 18 months to 2 years if used on the same car.

  • A Microfiber Towel

Microfiber towels (sometimes called microfiber cloths) are one of the most essential tools used by car detailing experts. A microfiber is an incredibly tiny synthetic fiber. It is approximately 1/100th the diameter of a human hair. The fiber is made from a blend of two materials: polyester and polyamide. Polyester and polyamide are blended at different ratios to create different types of microfibers. This results in a broader range of microfiber towels for unique applications

  • Detailer Spray or Lubricant

It is essential to use the detailer spray or lubricant before starting the claying process. The lubricant form as a thin film over the surface so that they clay bar doesn’t stick to the surface or damage it with the debris. Additionally, it is harder to clay without lubricant since the clay doesn’t glide over smoothly

There are two common types of clay lube: quick detailers and a combination of water and shampoo solution. At Washos, we recommend using detailing spray over the water and shampoo solution.

The solution may damage the clay bar, which will lead you to using more clay. The detailer sprays are engineered to complement the clay bars and give them that smooth flow across a variety of surfaces.

IV. What are the Best Clay Bars?

Clay bars come in different colors, at various price points, for multiple purposes. However, the most critical factor for you to consider when deciding to buy a clay bar is aggressiveness. Clay bars aggressiveness generally ranges from consumer grade (medium grade) to professional grade (fine grade).

Consumer grade (medium grade) clay bars are gentle and will need more work when cleaning extremely contaminated surfaces, while professional grade bars are aggressive and will swiftly remove contaminants.

If you know what you are ready and have plenty of experience claying, then only do we recommend buying the professional grade (fine grade) clay bars. The fine grade bars are more effective against dirt, but they can also damage your paint easily.

The Meguiar’s G1016 Smooth Surface Clay Kit is an excellent kit for beginners.

How to Store Your Clay Bar

Store the clay bar in its original case, or in a sealed plastic bag. Spray it with the lubricant to keep it wet. Do not allow the clay to freeze and do not store it in temperatures above 200° F.

V. How to use a Clay Bar

use detailer spray

Carefully follow these steps to learn how to use a clay bar on your car:

1. Clean your car

wash your car

Before using a clay bar, we suggest that your vehicle should be washed and dried to eliminate most of the surface containments.

2. Use detailer spray

Start by spraying a small area of your car with the lubricant or detailer spray. Keep the sprayed area less than 2 feet.

3. Glide the clay bar

The next step is to gently slide the clay bar back and forth across the freshly lubricated area. You can initially anticipate the surface to pull the clay while it is taking out all the contaminants. When you can feel the clay gliding effortlessly, then you will know that the area is clean.

4. Check the clay bar

You should keep monitoring the clay to verify that you’re using a fresh side. After you’ve used both sides, you can fold the clay a couple of times, press it, and then straighten it. You can now continue, but you should keep checking to see if any pieces of dirt could damage the surface of your car.

diy clay bar treatment

If the clay seems to be discolored, or rough, then you should throw it away and start with a fresh piece of clay.

5. Check your work

After you’ve finished claying an area, wipe the area down with a microfiber towel. You can also use the lubricant to remove any clay residue. To check if it’s clean, slide your fingers across the paint. If it’s smooth, then you’re solid. Otherwise, you will need to re-clay that area. Remember to re-lubricate as required.

Repeat these steps until you’ve cleaned the entire vehicle. You can use clay on glass and chrome, too.

6. Finishing up

You can finish up with a wax. The wax will fill any gaps left from the contaminants and it will shield your paint from corrosion.

clean and shiny car

VI. Clay Bar Alternatives

A popular alternative to clay bars is mitts or clay mitts. They’re efficient and do the job as well. A typical clay mitt is a rugged microfiber mitt with one side made of a rubber polymer coating that picks up surface contaminants like tar or bugs.

There is one downside to using mitts though. They are known to cause more damage to the paint than an automotive clay bar. If you use a mitt, then make sure you’re generous with the lubricant to avoid any damage. The most popular mitt brand is Nanoskin Autoscrub Wash Mitt.

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Compared to other dreaded irritants to your car’s paint like overspray, tar, squashed bugs, or other debris, water spots sound pretty tame. The fact is, that water spots have the potential to damage your paint every bit as much as many other troublesome contaminants.


I. Overview of Water Spots

II. Washing Your Car

III. The Vinegar Method

IV. The Clay Method

V. Water Spot Remover Products

VI. Conclusion

I. Overview of Water Spots

Types of Water Spots

Water usually comes in contact with your car in one of three ways including overspray (sprinklers, etc.), rain, or washing your car. So how can a little bit of water hurt your car’s finish?

Water contains varying amounts of minerals and microscopic debris, or particle pollutants, which can not only dull your car’s finish but have the potential to do real harm to your vehicle’s paint.

Types of Water Spots

1. Regular Water Spot

Regular old tap water can cause a buildup of total dissolved solids (TDS) on your car’s paint. Naturally occurring minerals are found in water. Hard water is rich in dissolved minerals, especially magnesium and calcium. These minerals lead to water spots, or limescale, hard chalk-like deposits that can prove difficult to remove.

2. Bonded Mineral

Particle pollutants include microscopic particles from sources such as forest fires, smoke from wood stoves, emissions from industrial plants and vehicles, and dust from construction sites. These tiny particles can either fall on your car in the form of dust or mix with rainwater to plague your paint’s finish.

Rainwater is always acidic to some degree. Acid rain, as we know it, is rain with higher amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids absorbed from the atmosphere. These contaminants combine to create water spots and leave behind hard deposits after the water evaporates. These deposits can bond to your car’s paint and even erode the clear coat If not removed properly.

3. Etching

Etching is typically seen when water spots are baked into the finish as a result of high heat or direct sunlight. Severe etching can require the use of an abrasive means to correct the situation including wet sanding for severe cases. A qualified professional is recommended in this scenario as improper handling and application can lead to irreparable damage to the car body.

II. Washing Your Car

Let’s first consider the most straightforward avenue for removing water spots from your car. A solid start is a complete wash and dry. Yes, you know how to wash a car, but here are a few tips and reminders to make your car washing experience more efficient and successful.

Many dealers recommend using portable deionizers or in-line water softeners for car washing. While water quality is an all-important aspect of water spotting prevention, many consumers do not own or can’t afford these extras.

Buy a few gallons of distilled water at your local grocery store to use as a final rinse after washing your car and rinsing with your ordinary tap water.

remove water spots

What you will need

  • Bucket of warm soapy water
  • A bucket of warm rinse water (for sponge or mitt)
  • A hose
  • Washing mitt
  • Sponge
  • Microfiber drying towels

Tips for Washing your Car

  • Avoid washing your car in direct sunlight. A shaded area goes a long way to help keep your entire car wet during the washing process so that water does not dry on the car and lead to more water spots.
  • Be sure that you rinsed all loose debris away from the car. Never wipe a dry car or begin washing before rinsing away debris or you may inadvertently scratch the finish.
  • It’s preferable to use a washing mitt with long strands that will not grind debris into the car.
  • The all-important rinse bucket will keep your mitt or sponge clear of dirt and grime as you wash so that you are not depositing that dirt onto other areas as your wash. Be sure to replace dirty rinse water as needed.
  • Wash the wheels first to prevent soot and grime from splashing on the clean car.
  • Have plenty of clean drying towels on hand. Never air dry your car as evaporation is not your friend. A thorough drying process will go a long way to preventing new water spots and will leave your finish looking much nicer. We recommend using good quality microfiber towels.

III. The Vinegar Method

White vinegar is a low pH form of acetic acid and is a great hard water spot remover. The minerals found in hard water such as calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) have a high pH factor and usually respond well when treated with vinegar or other low pH removers.

What you will need

  • Common food grade white vinegar
  • Distilled water
  • A small bucket
  • A sponge,
  • Clean microfiber towel
clean microfiber towels

Prepare the vinegar solution by emptying equal parts of white vinegar and distilled water into the bucket.

Tip: Distilled water allows for a more acidic solution as it is free of any minerals that may weaken the pH of the vinegar.

Step 1

Test a small area using a clean sponge wet with the vinegar solution. Apply to a water spot and allow it to remain for up to one minute to loosen, and hopefully dissolve, the water deposit. Rinse and gently wipe the area dry.

Step 2

Continue to apply the solution to affected areas, keeping the water spots wet with the vinegar mix for at least 1 to 2 minutes. Gently wipe the water spot, rinse thoroughly with water, and towel dry.

Tip: Use a light touch. Do not aggressively rub the spot as this may lead to a scratched finish.

Step 3

The vinegar solution will likely remove any sealants or waxes. If you use a vinegar solution to remove hard water spots, re-apply paint sealant or wax to restore and protect your car’s finish.

IV. Clay Method

clay bar car

Detailing clay can be effective at removing contaminants in water spots such as metal fragments, ash, dust, and other particle pollutants. It also works well on removing water spots from car windows and the windshield where the hardened residue does not penetrate the glass surface.

Be aware, however, that claying may not resolve water spots from mineral deposits. Read our detailed guide to claying your car here.

What you will need

  • Detailing clay bar
  • Clay lubricant (with a spray bottle)
  • Microfiber towel

Step 1

Lubricate a defined area with a clay lubricant to prevent scratches to the finish as the clay bar is moved over the surface of the car.

Step 2

Gently move the detailing clay over the area. The clay bar will grab areas where contaminants and grit are present.

Step 3

Work on noted spots from multiple angles.

Step 4

Continue to lightly rub the clay bar over the area until it glides freely without grabbing at the surface.

Tip: As the clay bar becomes soiled, it can be folded to expose a clean portion of the bar.

Step 5

Wipe each section with a clean, dry microfiber towel when finished.

V. Water Spot Remover Products

  • Meguiar’s A3714 Compound Water Spot Remover – 16 oz. Meguiar’s is a trusted brand and used by many in the automobile field. This formula is designed for water spot residue on paint, chrome, and glass surfaces, and is safe for clear coats. It should not be used on satin or matte finishes and should be spot tested before use.
  • Boat Bling HS – 0032 Hot Sauce Premium Hard Water Spot Remover – 32 oz – Environmentally safe and biodegradable, this specialized formula works to remove water spots without stripping the wax or sealants from your car’s finish. Silicone sealants and high gloss polymers in Boast Bling work to end water spots and keep your car’s shine at its best.
  • Eraser Water Spot Remover 16 Oz – Gel. For Paint, Glass, Windows, and Mirrors – This gel formula removes hard water spots by eradicating the mineral deposits left behind by water. The fast acting, acidic mixture softens minerals but will not scratch paint, metal, or glass surfaces. Great for windows!

VI. Conclusion

When all remedies fail to remove water spots on your car, etching may be the reason. Older, hardened water spots lead to etching of the paint’s surface, leaving a cavity in the finish. Etching then leads to increased water retention and encourages a build-up of contaminants as the sunken cavity, however slight, tends to attract and hold water.

Abrasion of the car’s surface may be needed at this point to level the finish. The paint is an important factor as to the level of difficulty with this process. We recommend seeking a qualified professional to complete this process.

Preventing Water Spots

As with any maintenance and repair, prevention is critical. The best way to get rid of water spots on your car is through routine care.

  • Keep your vehicle clean – Wash your car on a regular basis and never air dry.
  • Always use a clean, soft towel or microfiber cloth to dry your car thoroughly.
  • Use a quality car wax or sealant to keep your car’s finish protected and looking good.
  • Watch where you park – Avoid areas where sprinklers or overspray is likely to occur.
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Whether your pet only rides in your car occasionally, goes to work with you every day, or you consider yourself the proud parent of a furbaby that rides along wherever you go, pet hair in your car can be a problem. Read on for the eight best ways to remove pet hair from your car.

You have had your furry friend lay on blankets, you vacuum your car regularly, and still, you find pet hair embedded in the upholstery of the seats, the floor, and probably every nook and cranny of the car which leaves you wondering, how did that get there?

Of course, we love our pets dearly. Banning them from the car is not an option. So how do you remove, and keep, your vehicle’s interior free of pet hair?


I. 8 Ways To Remove Pet Hair

II. Rubber Glove

III. Velcro Curlers

IV. A Balloon

V. Duct Tape

VI. Pumice Stone

VII. Dryer Sheets

VIII. Wire Brush

IX. Squeegee

X. Preventing Pet Hair

I. 8 Ways to Remove Pet Hair

It goes without saying that you begin any hair removal process with a good round of vacuuming. Extracting the loose hair is the first step, and goes a long way to rid your car of the majority of the hair.

While this is an all-important step, it is the stubborn, embedded strands that are troublesome, so let’s get down to it.

Tip: Invest in a hand-held vacuum that is easy and convenient to use. A user-friendly, handy appliance will be used more often, and your routine will have a better chance of success. We recommend the Lolldeal Car Vacuum ($21.99 on Amazon).

vacuum cleaner for floor mats

II. Rubber

One of the most common tools for removing hair from your car’s carpet or upholstery is a rubber glove. That’s right, just like the bright yellow glove worn to scrub toilets (but don’t use that one!). You can use a household rubber glove typically used for cleaning. If you choose this option, it’s good to get the ones with nubs on the palm side of the glove. You can also use a latex glove (or Nitrile glove if you have an allergy or are sensitive to latex).

Wearing a dry glove, run your hand over the seats and carpeted areas of your car, wiping from top to bottom and in one direction only. You can dampen the glove if the dry process does not produce the results you want. Moisture adds weight to the hair and helps it to clump.

A sponge or wet washcloth can be used in the same manner if you do not have rubber gloves on hand. You can also find gloves on the market that are specifically designed to remove pet hair, but you might want to try a regular household rubber glove first.

III. Velcro Curlers

This is a simple process that only involves running, or rolling, the curler over the surface area. This method works best on sturdier materials such as carpeting/flooring. This way can be used on upholstery, but you should try out the curler on a small test area to make sure that it won’t snag the fabric or make it pill.

The curlers can also bend which makes it handy to reach corners and tight spaces. Designate a few curlers for this purpose and keep them separate from others.

IV. A Balloon

Ever thought of using a balloon? An inflated balloon uses static electricity to attract pet hair. As you run the inflated balloon over the surface area, hair collects on the balloon which can then be wiped clean, reused as needed, and discarded when done.

This method does a reasonably good job at removing simple, loose pet hair, but would not be effective on strands that are embedded.

V. Duct Tape

Save the lint roller for your clothes. Packing tape or duct tape can be used to pick up those pesky hairs left by your pet. This method is as conventional as using a lint roller for removing pet hair from fabric, but lint rollers are expensive and less effective on pet hair embedded in your seats and flooring.

Although you can use either type of tape, packing tape has a lighter touch and is less likely to leave a residue of any kind. Wrap the tape around your hand with the adhesive side out and press firmly. Just lift, and see the results. You will have to replace the tape as you go to maximize effectiveness.

VI. Pumice Stone

Pumice stone is a cost-effective and reliable choice for removing pet hair from your car’s interior, especially the flooring and car mats. Careful testing of any seat fabric in your vehicle is required to ensure that you do not damage your upholstery.

What you will need

  • A pumice stone (Fur-Zoff Pumice Stone $8.70 on Amazon)
  • Spray bottle
  • Fabric softener
  • Water
  • A small bucket

The pumice stone method is best completed with the use of a fabric softener solution to break any static bond in the flooring and loosen the hair, and also serves to soften the abrasive quality of the pumice stone. Wipe the surface area in one direction as a back and forth motion may further embed the hair.

To rid the stone of debris, simply spray the stone with the softener solution or dip into a rinse bucket during the process to quickly wash away hair from the stone.

Tip: A fabric softener solution of 7-parts water to 1-part liquid fabric softener is a great way to help release pet hair, freshen your upholstery, and eliminate static cling in your car. This solution can be used with any pet hair removal method.

VII. Dryer Sheets

Arm yourself with a fresh, unused dryer sheet to effortlessly remove pet hair from all surfaces of your car. No need for water or any other solution. Just run the dryer sheet over the surface of the seats, flooring, and console to pick up dust and pet hair.

dryer sheets smoke smell

VIII. Wire Brush

A wire brush is a handy tool for retrieving those hard to get, stubborn strands of pet hair that just won’t budge. This method works in much the same way as using a pumice stone.

Often, pet owners use a wire brush as the end-step of their cleaning process to ensure that they have removed all traces of pet hair and debris. Some prefer a rubber-bristle brush which you can purchase for under $10, and many times for under $5.

IX. Squeegee

Don’t you just love an inexpensive, multi-use tool?

A squeegee is a perfect tool for removing pet hair from your vehicle’s interior. The rubber blade catches hair as you move it against upholstered seats or flooring. Move in a single direction from top to bottom. Wipe the hair from the blade and continue the process.

You can find low-cost squeegees at most stores and in varying sizes to suit your needs. Easy to clean and reusable, this tool is a great value and makes hair removal a snap. And you can clean your windows afterward!

X. Preventing Pet Hair

While it is impossible to prevent pet hair from infiltrating your car entirely, there are a few ways to lessen the amount of hair left behind:

Tip 1

Give your pet a good brushing before you go out. If your furry friend is agreeable, you can even use your vacuum to make sure that all loose hair is safely kept away.

Tip 2

Buy a pet seat cover for your car. These finds keep fur, dirt, and mud from soiling your car seats. These can be conventionally washed and put away between uses.

Tip 3

It is important to keep pets contained, and in some states, it’s the law. A comfortable pet harness or crate will keep your pets safe and keep the spread of hair to a minimum.

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Car wax has come a long way since it was first developed in 1800 using animal fats to polish and shine carriages. Today’s car waxes are produced using finely-tuned processes that have elevated the use of natural waxes that include vegetable wax, beeswax, and oils, as well as synthetic bases, to shine and protect your vehicle like never before.


I. What is Car Wax?

II. What is Carnauba Wax?

III. What is the difference between Car Wax and Car Polish?

IV. What are the Best Car Waxes?

V. How to Wax a Car

VI. How Often Should You Wax Your Car?

I. What is Car Wax?

Car wax is a formulated blend of waxes, oils, and solvents which can include crude oil distillates, ethanol, mineral spirits, petroleum, naptha (commonly used as a thinner for wood varnishes and paints), and more.

A wax compound adds a layer of protection to the paint and can also bring out the best of your vehicle’s luster and shine. While waxing brings out the beauty of the paint, it’s most important job lies in its power as a protectant. A good wax will see your car’s paint through moisture, UV rays, intense heat, a battery of pollutants, and will help prevent the dreaded oxidation process.

car wax bottle

II. What is Carnauba Wax?

Carnauba wax is a plant-based, vegetable wax that is produced using the leaves of the Brazilian Palm tree referred to as the “Tree of Life.” The waxy substance protects the trees from the sweltering sun of South America.

Carnauba wax is the preferred wax of car enthusiasts and collectors, and is commonly agreed to be the ultimate wax base for many car wax formulations. Natural carnauba is blended with oils, petroleum distillates, solvents, and other like ingredients in order to be worked into a useable car wax product.

Carnauba wax

A car wax that specifies a percentage of purity in terms of carnauba refers only to the purity level of the carnauba wax used in the product, not the amount of natural carnauba wax in the formula itself.

Carnauba will give you a one of a kind finish. It can bring out an outstanding, glossy shine and create a showroom finish for your car. It is noted, however, that carnauba wax will have to be used more frequently than synthetic wax products.

III. What is the difference between Car Wax and Car Polish?

Before we go any further, let’s make sure that it’s understood that car polish and car wax are two very different things.

Car polish is used as a remedy. Polish removes the dirt, grime, grease, and scratches that are left behind after a good washing. Solvents within the polish allow it to remove, or at least reduce, impurities on the paint surface and will bring out the shine.

Car polish should be used in a multistage process of caring for your vehicle’s paint because, while it can make your car look great when finished, it does not seal or protect the paint. Waxing is the only true way to protect your car’s paint and should be completed after the polishing step.

IV. What are the Best Car Waxes?

The best wax varies by need.

Natural Car Wax

A true car wax is created with a naturally-occurring wax base such as carnauba wax, beeswax, or the like. Waxes can be categorized into cleaner waxes and finishing waxes and which one you need depends on your particular vehicle. A paint sealant is a synthetically-produced product.

Cleaner Wax

A cleaner wax is often called an All-in-one or One-step product. These waxes contain chemicals, and sometimes abrasives, to clean the paint, remove oxidation, polish, and allow a layer of protection for your car.

Finishing Wax

A finishing wax has no cleaning ability. Finishing Wax is the final step of a dedicated multistage process that includes washing, a thorough cleaning, the use of a compound, clay bar, or swirl remover, and a polishing step. It can also be used on an otherwise near perfect paint job in showroom or, at least, excellent condition. A finishing wax lends itself to a highly-prized mirror finish and an ultimate protective layer for your car’s paint.

5 of the Best Car Wax Options for Your Car:

1. Meguiar’s G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax

Meguiar has formulated the ideal liquid wax for maximum durability, protection, and that deep mirror shine that you’ve been looking for in your car’s paint. This synthetic polymer wax is made up of an advanced formulation that shields your car from water and other harmful influences, and application is a breeze with Meguiar’s ThinFilm technology.

2. Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax

Utilizing 100% natural carnauba wax at its base, this liquid wax has been refined to perfection. One of the biggest advantages of this product is the ease and flexibility of application. No perfect conditions required here.

Butter Wet Wax can be applied in direct sunlight, on wet paint, by hand or machine. In just minutes, you can have the pure, deep, wet shine of a showroom vehicle. Chemical Guy’s newly improved formula “Melts like butter into paint” and is better than ever in protecting your vehicle from the sun’s damaging rays, road tar, water spots, and bird droppings.

3. Wash Wax All by Aero Cosmetics

Let’s talk about the most environmentally-safe product choice. Aero Cosmetics developed this Wash Wax All product over 30 years ago for use with aircraft, but it’s now a booming success with vehicle owners. This one product does it all concept has been verified to satisfy all of its claims.

Wash Wax All is biodegradable, can be used with water or as a waterless wash and wax, is safe for interior detailing as well as the exterior, is a sealant yet cleans, and is the economical big hitter. One 128 ounce bottle can complete 15-16 applications for under $3.00 each. Now you can wash and wax anywhere, at any time, for your convenience.

4. Car Guy’s Liquid Wax

Car Guy’s Liquid Wax is a popular alternative. This liquid wax is one step in a multi-stage process. Durability is key with CG Liquid Wax, as users can expect continued protection and shine for up to one year.

The long-lasting mirror finish is achieved through the use of new additives developed through polymer nanoscience that has yielded changes to the chemical properties of their liquid wax. Car Guys suggest using their Hybrid Wax Sealant after application of the liquid wax to realize the best benefits of this product.

5. Collinite’s No. 845 Insulator Wax

Thinking a little outside the box: Try what others have found to be a fantastic alternative; Collinite’s Insulator Wax. Collinite’s Wax was originally developed for power companies as a protective measure for high-voltage power lines. In the last 40 years, applications have included marine and industrial applications and today it’s increasingly known for its outstanding performance on passenger vehicles.

No. 845 Insulator Wax is a high-grade formulation that is safe for your car’s clear-coat and requires little buffing. Use Collinite’s Insulator Wax as part of a multi-step process. Note specific instructions on proper use/liquefying step of the process. Gorgeous results are long-lasting and dependable. An advanced level of protection and impressive beading properties will sell you on this product.

You can read Consumer Report’s Car Wax Ratings here.

V. How to Wax a Car

1. Gather The Equipment

car wax equipment
  • A trusty bucket and clean sponge is a must. Ideally, have more than one on hand, one for soap and one to aid in rinsing.
  • Microfiber towels
  • Car washing soap
  • Clay bar and clay lubricant (optional)
  • Car polish (if desired or if using a finishing wax)

2. Prepare your car’s surface

  • Wash your car to remove surface debris. Make sure to begin with the wheels to avoid having any dirt or grime splatter on the car surface as you progress.
  • Use a clay bar on the freshly-washed car to remove contaminants, pollutants, excess grime, and tar. Rub the clay bar across the wet surface until the paint is smooth and free of contaminants. A clay lubricant can be used to keep the paint’s surface lubricated while claying. Read our guide on how to do a clay bar treatment here.
  • Use other compounds or swirl removers as needed.

3. If Applying an All-in-One or One-Step Cleaning Wax Product

Some of the preparation above can be accomplished if using a cleaning wax. Apply the specific steps as needed for your vehicle. A cleaning wax requires some elbow grease as it is designed to also clean the paint. A cleaner wax should be worked into the paint surface. The worse the condition of the paint, the more energy you will need to exert.

Methods vary by product as cleaning waxes come in paste, liquid, and spray forms. Read and follow the instructions of the product you choose carefully for best results.

4. Polish your car

Note: Do this step especially if you are using a Multi-step process ending with the use of a finishing wax. This step is not required with the use of a One-Step or All-In-One cleaning wax.

Once your car feels smooth, it’s time to polish. Apply the polisher to a clean cloth if polishing by hand (a dual-action polisher can be used if you have one on hand, and is safe, easy, and saves time).

Apply in one small area at a time, concentrating on any areas where marks, scratches, and other damage exist. After a short time (a minute or less), wipe off the polish residue while still wet.

Next, apply the polish to the entire surface of the car, working in small areas at a time. In the end, you’ll have a vibrant and glossy finish as the polish will correct the paint, remove a vast majority of fine scratches, and will bring out the natural beauty of the paint.

5. Apply the Car Wax

Apply the Car Wax buffing
  • Apply car wax using the recommended procedure outlined in the product’s specific instructions. Unless noted otherwise, the wax is normally applied in the shade to prevent trouble buffing the residue from the paint.
  • Apply car wax to a dry vehicle unless the product’s instructions say otherwise. Wet paint can cause streaks. Apply the wax in small, circular motions. Apply a thin layer of wax to the entire paint surface.
  • Let the wax dry. Times will vary by product. Generally, a hazy, or matte appearance will let you know that it’s time to buff away the wax. Use a clean microfiber towel to remove the residue, rotating the towel frequently to prevent caking.

Admire the results of your hard work!

VI. How Often Should You Wax Your Car?

How often you need to wax your car depends on the type of wax you prefer to use, your driving habits, environmental conditions in your area, and your specific car and what you expect from it.

Most waxes commonly suggest that car wax is reapplied every three to four months. Some products will claim that you only have to use them up to once a year. But, as you can imagine, there are variables that limit this potential.

How Often Should You Wax Your Car?

Overall, taking care to shield your car from the elements on a regular basis will help to increase the time between waxing. Seeking shade, and avoiding trees where birds love to flock help a great deal, but there’s only so much you can do when it comes to environmental concerns. Smog and air pollutants are not your paint’s friend.

Car Wax plays an all-important part in the proper care of your car exterior. It’s not all about vanity (but hey, you want your car to stand out, right!). Your car is a big investment, and car wax helps to protect that investment and increase the life of your car’s paint.

Happy waxing!

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The car wash industry is incredibly dynamic. This is an industry that’s been growing and changing considerably in recent decades, and consequently, it’s filled with exciting opportunities for entry and innovation.

1) 12 Shocking Statistics About the Car Wash Industry That You Need to Know

You’ll probably be shocked to learn, for instance, just how much revenue car washes generate each year, both within the United States and globally. Likewise, you’re likely to be surprised by how many owners of car wash businesses have only recently entered the industry. As the number of cars on the road continues to increase precipitously, we can expect even more demand for car washes and auto detailing. Read on to learn more about some of the most mind-boggling statistics backing up these noteworthy trends, and perhaps to gain insight into your own ideal point of entry into the car wash industry.

1. The car wash industry has been experiencing considerable growth, both short- and long-term.

The growth that’s being seen in the car wash industry is notable. In 2012, for instance, 2.1% more cars were washed than in 2011. (That may not seem like much, but consider that in five years a continuation of that trend would amount to a more than 10% increase.) (Source: Brandon Gaille) Likewise, on a longer time-scale of almost two decades, there have also been major increases in the industry: more than 19.2% more consumers used a car wash in 2014 than did consumers in 1996. (Source: Big Man Washes)

2. This growth is predicted to continue—industry revenue growth for the car wash and auto detailing industry is forecasted at an average yearly rate of 3.3% up to 2018.

There are multiple factors behind this trend. First, consumer discretionary spending—in other words, purchase of non-essential, but typically desirable goods and services—is expected to climb. Second, sales of both new and used cars reflect the likelihood of growth in the related car wash industry—more cars on the road means, of course, more need for car washes. Third, professional car washes will be sought out by those with increasing environmental awareness, because car washes use considerably less water than home washing—potentially reducing water use by more than two-thirds. (Sources: Big Man Washes & San Diego Car Care)

3. In the United States alone, there are 16,000 car wash establishments, whose yearly revenues add up to a shocking $9 billion.

In the United States alone, there are 16,000 car wash establishments, whose yearly revenues add up to a shocking $9 billion.

For the sake of clarity, the term “establishments” refers to both single-location businesses and individual locations of businesses with multiple locations. Additionally, these are businesses that do the following: cleaning, washing, and waxing for all kinds of vehicles, not just standard cars. When you start looking at this at a global scale, the numbers are even more striking, as there are a total of over 150,000 car wash locations worldwide. (Source: Dun & Bradstreet)

4. There’s plenty of room for new businesses to get in on the action in this growing industry.

Luckily, this isn’t an industry that’s dominated by a few big chains. On the contrary, the vast majority of car washes are owned by small business owners—90%, to be exact. This suggests that it’s an industry that doesn’t require a massive initial investment to enter. And keep reading to find out just how incredibly lucrative it can be. (Source: Brandon Gaille)

5. Plentiful opportunities for entry into the car wash industry are also bolstered by the fact that it has very low capital intensity relative to other industries.

Capital intensity describes the degree to which businesses require high-cost investments in fixed assets to produce goods and services. As of 2012, business owners in the car wash industry spend an average of $0.11 for each dollar they spend on labor. This is because manual labor makes up a major part of the service of car washes, and the average car wash establishment has about 9 or 10 employees. Being a business in a less capital-intensive industry means you’re less likely to experience high levels of depreciation (decreases in the value of your assets as time passes). (Sources: Detail Xperts & Investopedia)

6. Roughly 38 gallons of water are used each time a single car is washed.

Roughly 38 gallons of water are used each time a single car is washed.

That’s a major environmental impact, especially when you consider that daily, an estimated total of about 8 million cars are washed at car washes. That adds up, in fact, to about 304 million gallons of water used for car washes per day, globally. This suggests that there’s room in the industry for green, eco-friendly car washes that would provide the same services while reducing costs to the environment—that niche is definitely something new businesses should consider. (Source: Brandon Gaille)

7. As a result of these factors, there are lots of new car wash owners in the industry, many of whom are experiencing considerable success.

As of 2012, the International Carwash Association states that 37% of car wash owners have owned their businesses for five years or fewer. And they’re potentially making big profits: a survey by Auto Laundry News shows annual profits of anywhere from $55,000 to $100,000 for self-service car washes; meanwhile, full-service businesses can rake in yearly profits of $500,000 to $900,000. (Source: Detail XPerts)

8. The annual revenue of the car wash industry adds up to $48 billion.

Keep in mind that that number also includes gas purchases, as about 65% of car wash locations are savvy enough to also sell gasoline. You might not guess that this is such a lucrative industry when you learn that the cost of a typical car wash averages a measly $15. But these earnings add up to the mind-blowing number of almost half a trillion dollars. (Source: Brandon Gaille)

9. Car washes for heavy users make up 66% of total car washes.

Car washes for heavy users make up 66% of total car washes.

Here, “heavy users” refers to those who use a car wash at least several times per month. They are 28% of total car wash users. (Consumers say their main reason for going to the car wash more often is that it offers positive emotional rewards, making them feel happy.) Meanwhile, 47% are medium users—who go every couple of months—and their washes make up 29% of all car washes. Finally, the 1/4 who are light users (going every 6 months, or less frequently) end up paying for a measly 5% of all car washes. (Source: Big Man Washes)

10. The majority of car washes use in-bay automatics.

There are numerous types of car washes, but the most commonly used are in-bay automatics, which make up just over half (51%) of all car washes. In-bay automatic car washes often involve driving through a conveyor system in which brushes clean your car and high-powered blowers dry it. The next most common are self-serve car washes (wherein the driver uses a high-pressure hose to clean the car themselves), which are 32% of all car washes, and then exterior conveyor washes (where drivers remain in the car as the car moves along an automatic conveyor), at 9%. Finally, full-service car washes are the least common (primarily because they involve hiring attendants who wash the vehicles), constituting only 8% of all car washes. (Source: Focused Car Wash)

11. 72% of consumers who have their cars professionally washed will only do so every couple of months, or even less.

Looking at the frequency of car wash usage, 47% of consumers get their car washed every couple of months, while 20% do so twice a year and 5% only once a year. On the other end of the spectrum, 24% of car wash users will do so more than once per month, and 4% actually visit car washes once a week or more! In surveys, the main reasons consumers give for not getting their cars washed more often is that it’s too expensive or that it’s too time-consuming. (Source: Big Man Washes)

12. Interestingly, and perhaps unexpectedly, winter is the most popular season for car washes.

winter is the most popular season for car washes

This may be a surprise because you’d think people wouldn’t want to get their car wet when it’s cold or even freezing out. However, 32% of car washes happen during the winter. Spring and summer are tied for second place in terms of popularity, with each garnering about 25% of all car washes. Finally, fall is considerably less popular, with only 18% of car washes happening during that season. On average, car wash establishments can expect high traffic in the winter and nearly half as much traffic in the fall. (Source: Brandon Gaille)

As these 12 statistics profoundly demonstrate, the car wash industry is much more significant and value-generating than most people realize. You may actually be able to take advantage of this widespread lack of awareness by gaining access to its underappreciated, yet potentially huge profits.


In this article, we’ll describe the most common types of car wash (specifically at-home, hand, drive-through, self-service, and mobile car washes). You’ll learn about the pros and cons of each kind of car wash, as well as how best to find a car wash near me.

It’s important to make the right decision for particular needs, as you might otherwise end up spending too much money, paying for a wash that’s not thorough and leaves your car dirty, or even damaging your car if it’s a really bad car wash.

Luckily, by the end of this article you’ll be well-prepared to find the right car wash option for your vehicle and budget, helping you keep your car in beautiful, sparkling clean, tip-top shape.


I. At-Home Car Wash

II. Hand Car Wash

III. Automatic/Drive-Through Car Wash

IV. Self-Service Car Wash

V. Mobile Car Wash

VI. How to Find the Best Car Wash Near Me?

I. At-Home Car Wash

Among all of the various types of car washes, washing your car at home by hand will definitely take the most time, but it may be worth it to you depending on your priorities.

At-Home Car Wash

This process method involves the following steps: rinsing all dirt from the outer surface of your car; washing the car with warm water; drying with a chamois leather cloth (focusing on getting rid of noticeable streaks); and then applying a good-quality protective car wax.

There are a couple of details to watch out for. First, when you dry your car, don’t dry it in the sun; you’ll get sunspots, which will ruin the look of your car. Second, when you apply the wax, make sure you don’t do so right in direct sunlight.

If you don’t have a hose and a driveway, and/or the numerous supplies necessary to wash your car at home, you may also consider going to a self-service car wash. There you’ll be able to complete the process using their supplies.


  • Probably the most affordable option
  • Relatively convenient


  • Labor intensive
  • The most time-consuming option (takes about 2 hours, typically)
  • You’ll need to buy quite a bit of equipment
  • May cause damage to your car
  • Impossible if you don’t have a hose and a driveway or other spot to clean your car at home

II. Hand Car Wash

Let’s say you want the high-quality, detail-oriented touch of a hand car wash, but you don’t have the time, supplies, or energy to wash your car yourself. Instead, you can have your car washed by a hand washing service.

Hand Car Wash

Unsurprisingly, this will be the most expensive option; however, you’re paying more for a reason, as you’ll almost certainly get good results (assuming you go to a reputable location). You’ll also end up saving yourself time and energy, and for lots of people, that’s more than worth the cost trade-off.

You’ll also find that many hand car washing services also give the option to include their valeting services in your service, so that you can get your automobile’s interior cleaned at the same time.

One thing to be particularly aware of when choosing your hand car washing service: make sure that whichever service you choose is completely insured. Ultimately: hand car washes are the right choice if you’re looking for visually appealing results and don’t mind paying a very high premium for them.


  • High-quality, thorough results
  • The possibility of valeting services to have your car’s interior cleaned simultaneously


  • This is the most expensive option
  • Pretty time-consuming if you have to wait around
  • Less convenient than hand washing your car at home

III. Automatic/Drive-Through Car Wash

An automatic car wash is the quickest method for washing your automobile. It’s also typically the cheapest, after washing your car at home. Lots of gas stations offer this kind of car wash, so it’s typically a very convenient option.

Automatic/Drive-Through Car Wash

To use this kind of car wash, you put your car into neutral and are pulled through a conveyor while brushes, hoses, and blow dryers wash your car. However, despite the convenience of an automatic car wash, there’s a major downside: using this kind of car wash means a pretty high risk of damaging your car’s paint job.

Automatic/drive-through car washes use brushes with very stiff bristles, which are prone to creating tiny scratches in cars’ paint. These minuscule scratches collect dirt and grime, which ends up making your car look dingy and faded over time. Even more alarmingly, larger scratches can actually allow your car to rust—a major problem. Those who are concerned about protecting the appearance and quality of their car should really avoid these types of car washes.


  • Very fast
  • Affordable
  • Easy
  • Convenient, especially because they’re often available at gas stations


  • Doesn’t offer a very thorough cleaning
  • Can cause considerable damage to your car’s paint work
  • There can occasionally be difficulties with drying the vehicle

IV. Self-Service Car Wash

Self-service car washes are similar to at-home car washes since in both cases you’re the one doing the work to clean the car. However, self-service car washes are an option for those who don’t have a hose, driveway, and/or the numerous supplies required to clean your car (for instance, those who live in apartments with no garages).

Self-Service Car Wash

They allow you to, instead, drive up and park your car, spray it with a powerful hose, cover it with soap suds, rinse it off, and then dry the car. Then you can apply protective car wax as needed.

With this car wash option, you get the affordability and overall control of washing your car yourself—but you don’t have to worry, for instance, about buying or storing supplies.


  • Allow you to clean car yourself if you don’t have the facilities or supplies to do so
  • Great option for those who want to have control over the process of cleaning their car and do a very thorough job


  • You’re paying to have a clean car, but you’re still doing all the work yourself—ultimately, you’re paying for the opportunity to clean your own car
  • Depending on your skill and experience level, you might not end up doing a particularly good job
  • Time-consuming
  • Not very convenient, since you have to go elsewhere to

V. Mobile Car Wash

Mobile car washes are a pretty revolutionary option. They involve having a professional washer come to you and clean your car, by hand, from start to finish. It’s basically a mixture of the best aspects of an at-home car wash as well as of a hand car wash service: you get the convenience of an at-home car wash, but also the high-quality, detail-oriented work—and ease—of a hand car wash service.

Additionally, mobile car washes often involve cleaning both the interior and exterior of your car. They’re a great option to consider if you’re looking to have a spotless car, inside and out, and want to save time and effort to do so.


  • With meticulous attention to detail, your car will be incredibly clean and look as good as new
  • Extremely convenient, since you barely have to leave the house
  • Saves your time and energy
  • Low risk of damage to your car, particularly as compared to an automatic drive-through car wash


  • Can be expensive (but that makes sense, considering the high-quality result you’ll receive)

VI. How to Find the Best Car Wash Near Me

When you’re looking for the right car wash for your car, you shouldn’t just drive into any old car wash you notice as you’re, for instance, driving home from work. Instead, make sure you do your research into the various car washes in your area and get a sense of their reputation.

It’s important to do this not just because you don’t want to waste money on a car wash that doesn’t really get your car fully clean, but also because a really bad car wash could actually cause severe damage to your car (including scratches to the paint job that can cause your car to rust and shorten its overall lifespan).

A great way to find a reliable, high-quality car wash is to check out what’s available in your area on Yelp, a site that aggregates reviews from real people. Just enter your town/city’s name or zip code on the site’s main page, and you’ll be able to browse by price and sort by distance, highest/most reviewed, whether the location is open at a particular time, and even features like whether the car wash accepts credit cards. When you do you’re doing your research, make sure you understand what is included in the price of each service offered.

car detailing add on services

Car wash options like automatic/drive-through and self-service are pretty standard; if you’re looking for a quick, cheap option and aren’t too concerned about the quality of the wash, you might as well go with that. However, if you take the time to invest in a car wash, it will do wonders for your car and its eventual resale value—and maybe even for your mindset.

Driving around in a clean car–one that smells clean and looks sparkling new– is a truly satisfying feeling, and it’s one that’s worth the extra investment for many people.

washos cta 2


Halloween is over but we have some car wash horror stories that will freak you out or at least make you laugh.  We gathered information from blogs, forums and other crevices of the internet where we could find the best examples of why automatic and self-serve carwashes are a thing of the past. Here are a few of our favorites:

1. Washing your own car

“Yeah, I have a horror story for you. I actually washed my own car once. Never again.”

2. Not-kid friendly

Automatic car washes can be terrifying. You’re stuck in a confined space with large machines hitting your car while spraying high-pressured water at you, making extremely loud noises as you drive through. It’s no wonder kids and pets are often afraid when they go through one for the first time.

3. Taking a car with an opinion through a self-wash: AI vs Carwash

As shared in “Modern Cars Are Freaking Out In Carwashes“ by Justin T. Westbrook “Modern cars are equipped with all sorts of fancy new safety equipment. A side-effect of all those automated braking systems and other goodies is that your car might freak the hell out in an automated car wash, kind of like trying to get a dog into a bathtub.” We couldn’t agree more! The truth is that a car wash can end up costing you thousands of dollars in repairs if you choose to go the cheaper/faster route.

4. Employee negligence

“I saw my Accord rolling pretty quickly right through the wash track as if she just stopped the car and left it in drive mode. I then see the attendant running after my car trying to stop it, but too late, BOOM. My nearly 1year old Accord crashes right into the back of a bright red Ford Ranger pickup truck as I watched in horror and other employees of the car wash scramble to shut off the machines. I was assured by a couple employees that there was ‘no damage’ to the vehicle and no contact was made between my car and the truck. After I inspected the car once getting home, sure enough, there was damage. ”

Damaged vehicles are a common outcome with automatic car washes. Wash bay curtains are expensive to repair therefore car wash owners don’t always spend time and money fixing small tears that inevitably happen over time. These tares can hook on windshield wipers and antennas that can be found on most luxury cars. Not to mention all the leftover dirt and rocks from the previous cars can cause major damage to your car’s exterior.

5. Woman discovers ultimate horror at a carwash

A veterinarian who took a trip to the carwash in 2013 found a fragment of a human face on the floor of the bay car wash. “Per Courthouse News Service, Kimberly Kriege brought her truck to a Livingston carwash on Sept. 30, 2013, and made a gruesome discovery on the bay floor: part of a human face.” We can’t make this stuff up!

The moral of the story is why drive out of your way and go through these horrors? The reality is, we’re all busy and that’s exactly why we created Washos.  We wanted to bring the convenience of the car wash to your doorstep without the damage, inconvenience and crying children. Washos Pros are fully equipped and trained extensively in all the best practices to care for the interior and exterior of your car.  Feeling green?  Us too. We offer eco-friendly options to make the planet smile and your car squeaky clean!  It’s 2018, why not get a certified detailer at your door with just a few clicks?

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