Wash the car yourself: accessories & instructions for hand washing in the car wash

Take a quick trip to the car wash? Never ever, if some vehicle fans have their way. Do you also belong to the “Wash your own car” team? Then you are right here! In this guide, we will show you how to wash your car by hand and what else you need to know about hand washing your car. Is this allowed at home ? Can you wash the car on Sunday ? And can you use home remedies to wash your car ? So many questions – let’s start with one of the most important ones!

Self-service wash bay vs. private property: Can I wash my car at home?

Just between us: Yes, it is relatively tempting to wash the car in the yard. No one behind you, waiting for space, all the equipment within reach… If only there weren’t the environmental protection factor. In large parts of Germany it is forbidden to wash the car on private property. 

Car washing as an administrative offense – where and why?

  • Can the washing water, together with the chemical additives, get into the groundwater ? If so, you are not allowed to wash the car on private property.
  • Washing cars is always forbidden on unpaved ground  (e.g. a meadow) . Anything else is considered an offence.
  • Do you wash on solid ground and is there an oil separator to prevent the dirty water from going into the sewer? If so, ask your responsible water authority. In such a case , it depends on the municipality whether washing the car at home is allowed.


Regulation may be a nuisance, but remember – ultimately it is all about groundwater quality. So the regulation applies for good reason. 

So you have two options if you want to wash the car yourself: 

  1. Check with your local government if washing your car at home is allowed. (Most likely not.)
  2. Find a self-service car wash near you.

The self-service wash bays are available at many car washes . Speaking of which – is it even worth hand washing if you have to go to the car wash anyway?

Wash the car yourself or a car wash?

Which is better, car wash or wash yourself? That depends on the condition of your car as well as that of the car wash . 

An old car with a correspondingly worn paintwork is not happy about the scratchy brushes of a similarly old car wash. A modern car with a robust paintwork can withstand the (occasional) treatment in the car wash. 

As is so often the case, the bottom line is: It’s complicated. After all, you never know exactly how well the washing machine you trust is maintained and whether dirt is still stuck in the brushes that wipe your car. The safest solution is therefore: hand wash in the car wash .  

Basics: wash the car yourself in the car wash

You can let off steam in a self-service wash area – hand washing is allowed in the wash box . There, the waste water is disposed of in such a way that it does not get into the groundwater. 

It is particularly practical that you have a high-pressure cleaner available for the self-service car wash. This makes the pre-wash much easier, among other things.

When & where can I hand wash my car?

Wash box well and good, but where can you find such a place to wash your car yourself ? And does it really work every day or are there regulations for Sundays and public holidays? 

Find car auto washes nearby

To find washing boxes nearby , you can – of course – simply ask Google. Alternatively , enter your postcode in the Yellow Pages and then see which self-service car washes are available in your state. With a bit of luck you won’t have to drive too far. 

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