Pros and Cons of Kids Car Wash Jobs

Kid washing wheel of a car
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Many children in today's society spend their summers away from school sitting at home playing video games and watching TV. When their parents were children, it was not uncommon to spend hours during the summer months working jobs for kids and running lemonade stands, walking dogs, and mowing lawns for extra cash to spend on goodies. If you want to teach your child the value of hard work, and your child enjoys being outside in the sun, getting wet, and playing with the hose, encouraging your child to run a kid's car wash can be an excellent choice of a warm-weather activity.


  • Flexibility: A car wash is extremely flexible. The individual can choose the hours that he or she would like to work and only schedule the car wash during those times. However, once you commit to a time frame, you'll need to stick with it.
  • An excellent source of exercise: Unfortunately, most people in our country are overweight or obese. It is a sobering statistic, and it often starts in childhood. One of the best ways of ensuring that your child does not suffer from obesity and increase their risk for diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer, is to make sure that they spend a good deal of the summer months outside. Washing cars makes sure that your child will be on their feet. The reaching and crawling associated with cleaning a car can provide an excellent source of exercise. Even if your child is not currently very active, suggesting that they start a car wash may provide them with a great workout without them even knowing.
  • A sense of work ethic: Many children in today's society grow up, attend college, and start searching for a career without ever having worked before. This can be exceptionally hard on a child when they grow older and need to find a source of employment to pay their various bills. A child with no sense of what work is may find it more difficult to become acclimated in any new job or first job if they have never worked before. It is a great idea to show children the value of their work at a young age. Encouraging them to start a business such as washing cars during the warm weather months can give them a sense of worth and pride in a job well done.
  • Fun: If your child enjoys recreational activities, washing cars can be a fun summer job for him or her. Your child can use this time to meet neighbors and have fun.


  • High responsibility: Children do not always play nice. Dealing with automobiles can be a risky business if your child tends to be rough. Strict supervision over children while washing another person's car is a must. Car washes are probably more suited for an older child than for a younger one, as they have a greater sense of responsibility, and are less likely to accidentally scratch or ding someone's car.
  • Location and cleanup: Where will your child hold their car wash? Finding a suitable location is key. First of all, if they want to wash cars on your front lawn, they may find a limited market of customers among your neighbors. Also, you will have to deal with the muddy grass and the soapy walkway. It is important to explain to your child their involvement in the cleanup process before they begin to wash cars.
  • Variable pay: A child washing cars will obviously receive a great deal less money for cleaning someone's automobile than an adult at a professional car wash. Most people who would bring their car to a child's car wash are not expecting a professional detailing job. They are certainly not expecting an interior clean or chrome polish that you might get from a professional. This means, of course, that a child will not receive a great deal of income from washing someone's car. They can expect to make as much as, if not slightly less, than an automated service such as a drive-through car wash.

What Kids Learn About Money

  • Responsibility: Your child will learn how they must be responsible with the cars. He or she will appreciate the value of the dollar more once he or she has to earn it.
  • Costs for supplies: Your child will also realize that they need to invest money upfront for supplies and their income will be reduced by those costs.

Having your child obtain a summer job is an excellent idea. For children who are too young to work for a retailer or fast food restaurant, a car wash can be a nice source of income. It can teach them how to work hard, and how to earn and save money. It is a great way to teach your child the value of hard work and provide them with a fun source of summer exercise.