Soft Cloth Vs. Touchless | Valley Car Wash The great debate continues over ways to wash the exterior of a car. Which method is a better way to clean a vehicle in the case of soft cloth vs. touchless? Both sides have valid arguments for and against each option. It simply comes down to perception and personal preference.      

The Soft Cloth Car Wash (also known as cloth or friction)

  • Soft cloth is an excellent way to lift organic matter (bird droppings, bugs, pollen, dirt, etc.) and inorganic matter (road film, hard water spots, salt, etc.) off a vehicle’s surface.
  • A soft cloth cleans the hard-to-get places (front by license plate, rocker panels and rear of vehicle) most effectively. It also rids the “eyebrow” on upper windshields caused by wiper blades.
  • Soft cloth can exacerbate preexisting conditions. If something on the vehicle was partially broken before, chances are it may be more damaged after the wash.
  • If the surface of a vehicle is not properly sprayed or conditioned before reaching the soft cloth, it can use the soils against the car and cause scratches.

Touchless Car Wash (also known as touch-free or brushless)

  • Nothing touches the vehicle for this wash type, meaning that the chance of car damage is greatly reduced.
  • Sensors can “see” the vehicle and follow the contour of car for a more effective wash.
  • Touchless car washes are able to wash many different vehicle types (oversize. duallys, etc.).
  • If your car is really dirty, touch-free has developed a reputation for not getting the job done efficiently.
  • Touch-free can take longer, resulting in extended wait times.
  • Touch-free is heavily reliant on chemicals for cleaning. If not correctly monitored, improper chemical ratios can cause staining on a vehicle’s paint.


Time, quality and even environmental concerns all come into consideration when choosing which wash to go with. Ultimately, it’s a matter of preference for you, the vehicle owner. After all, you have many different choices when it comes to selecting a wash type that works best for your needs.