How often should you wash your car? Should you do it daily? Or you just let it get so filthy that you cannot see through the mirrors at all? The answer is really not an exact science. Some people may say that you just have to wash it when it looks dirty. Is there any harm to that?
The answer is both yes and no. Yes, because there is still such a thing called “overcleaning” and doing so might damage the paint and other accessories of your car. It is also a no because there are special cases when you really have to wash it, even if it does not look entirely dirty.
Maybe we are all in agreement when we say that it can be hard to wash a car because let’s face it, it is a huge hassle. On the other hand, if we go to a car wash, we still have to devote time and plan ahead, so as not to be stuck in long car lines. Of course, we are also familiar with the idea of “overpricing.”
We all know that going to the car wash shop, although for convenience, can still lead to a bit of damage to our wallets when we could have done a much better job at home. With that, we are going to give you the exclusive details on how to tell when your car needs washing.
How Often Should You Wash Your Car: The Factors to Consider
The general rule is to have your car washed every two weeks. This is the case when you have nothing special going on. This pertains to a bit of dust, some mud, and other debris. But for you to really have a set schedule on how often should you wash your car, here are some factors to consider:
We told you, this is not very scientific. But the actual look of your car can easily tell you if it needs a quick wash.
- Parking Spot
Where do you park? Do you have your own parking space? Is it open? Will some parts of the car be exposed?
You also have to consider where you live. Do you live in the suburbs? Is there a construction site near you?
This can affect your cleaning days a lot because with the wind there is always dust and other particles that can clog up the tiniest places in your car. If you also live in a place where it regularly rains, you will get more mud as compared to places where it is mostly sunny.
- Use of the Car
How often do you use your car? You should also take into account the distance because the longer and farther you travel, the more elements your car is exposed to.
There are also special cases where you should wash your car immediately or even weekly. Moreover, these cases should not be treated lightly as they can take part in speeding up the break down of your car paint. Take note of the following:
You might not notice them, but you always hit bugs especially when driving on the freeway. You might get a lot of bugs on your windshield when it is bug season. It is important to immediately wash them away because they can get sticky and it will be harder for you to remove in the long run.
The classic car enemy—bird droppings. For these ones, you have to remove them quickly because the longer they stay there, the more they affect your car paint.
Constant exposure to the sun also affects the finish of your car and makes the mirrors change their colors a bit. Giving your car a quick wash and wax can help in reversing the breakdown process.
In today’s world, it is expected that the rain is mixed with something chemical, which can fade the color of your paint. At the same time, it paves the way for rusting. So make sure that there are no puddles of water left in your car or at least do not let moisture to settle in.
- Leaves and Tree Saps
This is another thing that can be as damaging as bird droppings. The sap from leaves and trees do not only fade your car paint, but it can also leave stains. It is better to wash your car entirely if it is almost always parked underneath a tree.
When to Detail and Wax?
Waxing and detailing is part of giving your car a general clean. However, for these two, you really do not have to do it often. Some cars can be waxed only twice a year, depending on the finish of the paint.
Before waxing, you should first know if your car needs it. After all, you do not wax your car just so it will look shiny. Instead, you give it a wax to keep the integrity of the paint. For this, you need a bit of preparation.
Some situations might require you to file certain parts of your car before you put on wax. Other times, you only need to wax it straight and buff it really good.
On the part of detailing, however, this is where your intuition will play its part. Detailing is the complete cleaning of the interior of the car. Meaning, you have to take all of the stuff out, vacuum it, wash it down, and dry it up. For such an arduous task like this, you can do it once a month.
But, sadly, for those people who are prone to having allergies, you have to do it twice a month because dust can easily settle in the nooks and crannies of your car.
Those are things you need to look out for in order for you to know when you should wash your car. Besides looking out for the signs that we mentioned, it is also important for you to take the necessary adjustments when you really do not have the time to clean your car.
Since you are the person behind the wheel, it is up to you if you can afford to drive through that puddle or to park under trees maniacally. What is more important is that you take responsibility for cleaning your car.