Having an apartment garage as one of your apartment amenities can be a worthwhile additional expense, particularly if you want to keep your car safe from inclement weather and you need the extra room for storage. However, having a garage doesn’t necessarily mean you can clean your car on the apartment complex property.
Speak with Your Landlord
If the complex’s policy on apartment garage car washing is not clearly outlined in your rental agreement, your landlord should be able to clear up any questions you may have. Some apartment complexes forbid any car washing on the property, largely because of the use of water, the inconvenience of finding a place at which to hook up your hose and the puddles of soap and water that will remain after the wash. Other apartment complexes allow car washing in a designated parking area, but not in your garage. Still others will allow you to wash your vehicle in your garage.
Washing in Your Garage
If you have the landlord’s permission to wash your car in your garage, there are still a few things you should keep in mind. Firstly, you’ll need a connection to a hose, unless you use a bucket full of water. Secondly, the water and soap will stay on your garage floor unless you have a drain in there. It may be easier for you to wash your car in the parking lot (if you’re allowed) or to use an alternative method.
Alternative: Washing Your Car at a Car Wash
Many apartment complexes don’t allow apartment garage car washing. If so, you’ll need to find another way to keep your car clean. Most cities have car wash facilities. For about $5 to $10, you can take your car to an automatic car wash occasionally. If you want to save money and/or keep potential damage to your car to a minimum, these same car wash facilities usually have at least one stall for self-washing. You can use the car wash’s water for a cheaper price than the automatic car washes (usually a few dollars) and not worry about getting soap and water all over.
Alternative: Waterless Car Wash
You can also save yourself the trip to a car wash and wash your car right in your apartment garage—even if car washing is forbidden in your complex. All you have to do is purchase a waterless car wash solution. You spray on the solution with a spray bottle or aerosol can, wipe the solution across the surface of the vehicle and then buff the solution in a circular motion. There’s no need to pre-rinse dirt or rinse after cleaning with the solution. Waterless car wash solutions can help get rid of dirt, insects and grime and make the vehicle surface shine. It can also add a minimal layer of protectant to keep further dirt at bay.
If you’re concerned about being able to wash your car in your apartment garage, you should consider your access (or lack thereof) to car washing when you decide which apartment complex to move into. If you like an apartment for most other reasons even though it doesn’t have car washing access, then remember that you have alternative options when it comes to keeping your car clean.