Who Wants to Wash My Car?

My car is really dirty.

I mean, it has a lot of dirt and dust on the outside.

Why so dirty?

Two reasons:
1. I live in Los Angeles, where it rains only rarely in the summer, so there is no rain to “clean” it.
2. I really, really hate washing my car.

When people in the United States want to wash their car, they have many choices. They can use hoses (long, thin tubes that carry water) and buckets (containers for water) in their driveway (the paved area between the street and a garage).

But many Americans (like me) are lazy and would rather (prefer to) pay someone else to do it.

So they take their car to a car wash.

The most basic type of car wash is the self-serve car wash. In a self-serve wash, the car is driven to an area where there are coin-operated machines (machines that do something when one puts round, metal pieces of money into them).

One machine has a hose that will produce (make; give) hot or cold water, with or without soap, depending on which buttons (small things that are pushed to make a machine do different things) are pushed.

Another machine is attached to a vacuum (machine that sucks dirt from carpets and floors) to clean a car’s interior.

People often use self-serve car washes if they don’t have a place (such as a driveway) where they live to wash their car.

Automatic car washes are more popular because they are easier. The driver simply drives through the car wash, which is a small building.

Hoses spray (send liquid into the air) water and soap onto the car. Then large roller brushes (long, round tubes with pieces of cloth that move quickly in a circle) rub the car until it is clean (see photo).

Next, hot air is used to dry it, although usually not perfectly. After the car leaves the car wash building, workers dry the rest of the car with towels.

Driving through the car wash takes only a minute or two and it usually works pretty well, unless the car is very dirty.

When people want their cars to be really clean, they pay more for a hand wash, where a person or a group of people wash the car by hand (manually, without a machine).

A hand wash usually comes with a wax, too. Wax is a material you put on your car to protect it. A hand wash takes longer and is more expensive, but it is the best way to get a car really clean.

So what will I do – self-serve, automatic, or hand wash?

Probably none of them. I’ll just wait until it rains again in the fall.


P.S. I forgot to mention that my first job as a teenager (I was 15 years old) was at . . . a car wash! It was “automatic” but my job was to wipe the cars dry. I worked there for three months and hated every minute.

P.P.S. If you like this little culture lesson, consider starting an Unlimited English Membership, where you can get more than 1,800 daily and cultural English lessons. See here for details: https://tv.eslpod.com

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