How to Use Free Vacuum at Car Wash? – 2 Easy Tips

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how to use free vacuum at car wash

Don’t you just hate it when dirt, crumbs, and pieces of trash accumulate in your car interior and make it unsightly and uncomfortable? It would require some thorough vacuum cleaning in addition to your regular exterior car washing.

But the additional task of vacuum cleaning doesn’t have to cost you extra because some establishments offer car wash with vacuum free and unlimited. 

So, is it possible to vacuum my car for free? The answer is yes. Read on as we show you how to use free vacuum at car wash, which is super easy.

Tips to Use Free Vacuum at Car Wash

How you can avail of a free vacuum depends on the car wash establishment. In some, you have to pay for a car wash or membership to be able to use the free vacuum, while in others, you can use free vacuum at car wash without car wash or any other requirement.

How to operate the free vacuum also varies. In some, you just have to park your car in a vacuum station and pull out the vacuum nozzle, while other car wash vacuum stations require the push of a button.

There are also some that require you to select the “Free Vacuum” on the car wash touchscreen machine. This article will teach the aforementioned step-by-step in two methods: the central vacuum system method and the free vacuum token method.

Method 1 - Central Vacuum System Method

What to Prepare

  • Paid car wash or membership – Either of these is usually required in some car wash establishments for consumers to be able to use the free vacuum.
  • Or nothing – In some establishments, you don’t even have to pay for anything else to use the free vacuum.

Step 1. Clear Out the Car Interior


Pick up the bigger pieces of trash that aren’t suitable for the vacuum, such as papers, paper cups, plastic bags, etc.

Trash cans are usually available in vacuum stations, so you can easily dispose of your trash. You can do this step at home.

Make sure to also get rid of the clutter in your car, so there won’t be anything getting in the way of your vacuum cleaning. You can either place them outside while you’re cleaning or store them in the glove compartment or trunk.

Also check for things you wouldn’t want the vacuum to suck in, such as coins, paper bills, jewelry, etc. Keep them stored in a safe place.

Step 2. Park Your Car Into a Vacuum Station


After having your car cleaned in the car wash tunnel, head onto the vacuum area. Find an available vacuum station, and park your car in it.

Step 3. Take Out the Floor Mats

It would be best to take the floor mats out first to be able to thoroughly clean the mats and the floor beneath them. When you have taken the mats out, shake the loose dust and dirt out of them.

After you’ve shaken the mats, set them aside, so you can start vacuum-cleaning the car interior.

Step 4. Pull Out the Vacuum Nozzle From the Vacuum Station

Operating a centralized car wash free vacuum can usually be easily done by just pulling the nozzle out of the vacuum station. Just like that, the vacuum is ready for cleaning.

In some vacuum stations, however, you would need to push a button below the nozzle, which is still very easy.

Step 5. Start Vacuum Cleaning From the Upper Parts of the Interior, Going Down


Some vacuum stations provide an additional claw nozzle so that you can switch nozzles according to your vacuum cleaning needs.

  • The best way to vacuum would be to start at the dashboard, followed by the seats, tunnel console, cupholders, trays, seat sides, compartments, and finally, the floor. That way, you would avoid having to re-vacuum the lower parts when contaminants from the upper parts fall off.
  • You can move the front seats forward and backward and recline them to vacuum hard-to-reach or hidden areas.
  • When you’re finished vacuuming the car interior, you can move on to the floor mats outside. Most vacuum stations also have floor mat holders where you can clip floor mats one by one for vacuum cleaning. Make sure to also vacuum the back side of the floor mats.

Step 6. Return the Vacuum Nozzles


After vacuum cleaning, put the vacuum nozzles back in their designated places. In some vacuum stations, you might have to press a button to turn it off after using it.

Method 2 - Free Vacuum Token Method

What to Prepare

  • Free Vacuum Token – You will get this from the car wash touchscreen machine.

Step 1. Select Your Desired Car Wash Services Plus the “Free Vacuum” Option


In some car wash establishments, you must also select the “Free Vacuum” option on the touchscreen machine when selecting your desired car wash services. Then the Free Vacuum Token will come out in a designated compartment.

Take the token, and keep it for later when you use the free vacuum after your car wash.

Step 2. Head to a Vacuum Station After the Car Wash and Insert the Free Vacuum Token

After the car wash, drive to a vacuum station. But before you insert the token, taking out the floor mats first and shaking out the loose contaminants on them would be a good idea. 

Step 3. Insert the Free Vacuum Token in the Vacuum Machine’s Slot

The vacuum will be turned on when the token is inserted, and you can start vacuuming. You can refer to steps 5 and 6 of the previously mentioned method on vacuum properly.


Cost to Use a Vacuum at a Car Wash

In some cases, you may have no choice but to pay for vacuum cleaning. Like if you won’t be getting a car wash or membership that is usually required for the free vacuum or if the free vacuum isn’t being offered. In those situations, using a vacuum at a car wash may cost you around $0.50 to $3.00

Related: 4 Steps to Cancel Zips Car Wash Membership

Where to Vacuum Car for Free

You’re probably wondering, “Where can I vacuum my car for free?” As mentioned before, you can avail of a free vacuum in car wash establishments, but you have to check first whether a car wash, indeed, offers them.

Two ways to know if a car wash offers free vacuums is by checking on their website or calling them to inquire. You can also find out what car washes have free vacuums by searching on Google for “car washes with free vacuums near me”.

Moreover, when looking for a free vacuum gas station is another option. Also, just check first if a gas station offers free vacuums or search “gas stations with free vacuums near me” on Google.


Free vacuums at car wash establishments are very convenient because they save you money and how to use free vacuum at car wash is very easy. How you can avail of the free vacuum and how to use it differs in establishments.

Still, it’s good to have an idea about those things beforehand. That way, you’ll know what to do and be prepared when you go to a car wash and use their free vacuum.

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