Looking for a car wash? Particularly in Japan’s urban areas, houses tend not to have their own car parks/driveways or gardens. Nor do they tend to have an outdoor water tap through which to connect a hose. Well, OK, maybe some people who are able to buy a detached house will have these, but for people living in rented apartments and mansions (マンション), when they want to wash their cars, they usually have to look for, and go to, the nearest car wash.
It’s the same for me, too. Although in my case, the nearest car wash is a 30 minute drive from my house. There are car washes equipped with ‘car washing’ equipment, or with staff who will wash your car for you, near my my house, but make no mistake, at these kinds of places your car will get scratched. Even if you only use them one time. People who drive white/light grey cars may not notice this.
Of course, if you know your cars and your paint jobs, going to a ‘DIY’ car wash may not be a problem. However, I think most people don’t know too much about their cars, and paying the professionals to wash it can be expensive.
So, I’d been thinking about this for about a half a year, how to get around the hassle of washing my car (without it getting scratched) … without going to a car wash, without using gas, without access to an outdoor tap, without the high cost. Basically the quickest and easiest way, without all of this. And all of a sudden, I found it.
Thinking outside of the box a little, with a power/pressure hose, the kind that they usually use for farm work, you can wash your car and meet all the criteria above.
I bought power/pressure hose from a nearby home center, but you can also get it on Amazon a little cheaper (4,700yen).
The important qualities of this hose is that it’s battery powered and it has two nozzles. Most spray hoses you buy in Japan only have one. Oh, and this one can actually handle 5L of water!
After giving it a try, I found that in total, I replenished the water 3 times, and so used 15L in washing one car.
With this jet spray, you can choose between left and right nozzles, and it also has a ‘spray’ setting. My recommendation is to set it at ‘spray’ from both nozzles and give your car an ‘overall’ wash. Then, when you’ve finished with the car wash soap, set one nozzle to ‘spray’ and the other to regular ‘hose’, and you can then rinse away the soap at the same time as giving the car a strong blast!
The picture below will give you a better idea of what I mean. You may be worried about the power being too strong, but if you try for yourself, you’ll see that there is no problem with this. (Of course, compared to the power hoses used at a car wash, the power here is weaker).
The water comes from here.
Use 6 separate batteries like the ones below. Be careful to select the right ones.
Put the batteries in, in the correct way.
The power button.
Only two settings with the power button; ‘on’ and ‘off’.
It’s also possible to buy ‘hand pumped/pressurised’ hoses. They are about 1,000 yen cheaper than the battery-powered one that I bought.
A breakdown of time and cost when using a regular car wash facility …
30mins - travelling to the carwash
30mins - washing
30mins - travelling back from the carwash
I use about 500 yen in gas for the journey, and the car wash costs about 600 yen. That’s a total of 1,100 yen. The time taken is about 1 hr 30 mins. With this hose though, no travel was required and I’ll only have to wash the car 4 times to start saving money. I’m confident my new power hose isn’t going to break before then, so over the course of a year I think this will mean a good cost-performance!
Frankly speaking, for people who like cars, I really recommend this method of car wash. You should try it. It’s cheap, effective, doesn’t require an outdoor water tap, and there are no time restrictions.