How Often Should You Wash Your Vehicle?

Going to a car wash weekly or even bi-weekly can be pricey. Washing your car at home takes a good hour or two. Now some people don’t mind washing their car daily or every week, and that is great, but some people don’t want to wash their car until someone writes “Wash Me” on the back of it. Prolonging the amount of time between two car washes can cause serious damage to your vehicle, such as chipping paint, rusted rims, and etching from dried bird dropping and splattered insects that were on your windshield for too long. We don’t wash our cars solely for the aesthetic purposes, we do so to keep the resale value of our vehicle up for when we want to eventually trade in our car.

So how often should you wash your vehicle? Well, it depends.

Where You Live
The elements change in every state and where you live in that state. If you live near a beach, you will experience more sand and salt that can rust your vehicle. If you live in the mid- west or urban areas, you may experience tree sap falling onto your vehicle. If  you live in a mega city, you experience more acid rain than others. All these things can seriously harm your vehicle’s exterior if you leave your car unwashed for a long time. Now, you may have to wash your vehicle more often if you leave it parked outside with no covers opposed to in a garage. Heat can even damage your car if you do not wax your vehicle often. So, if you can, keep your car covered or in a garage if you have one. The best time to wash your vehicle in these conditions is every week or bi-weekly unless you have your car protected. In that case, you can wash your car once every three weeks or once a month.

In a normal commute, you may run into some insects and they may splatter onto your car. Or maybe you park in a parking lot that has lights above that birds love to perch on during the day and they can’t help but to use your car as target practice. If this is the case, you are going to need to wash your car more often. If insect guts or bird droppings dry up on your car, they can cause serious damage once you decide to remove them, such as taking off the pint or chipping away some of your glass. Also, while commuting, you are going to experience more dust, pollen, and debris in the city, but especially on highways. A general rule: the more time you spend commuting, the more often you should wash your vehicle. If you have an abundance of exposure to the elements at home and commuting, maybe washing your vehicle twice a week is needed.

How to Protect Your Vehicle

Well firstly, get a shampoo that’s meant to wash cars. Usually using home products does not lift the debris off your paint and may even damage the exterior. Keep in mind that shampoo is mostly meant for cleaning, not so much protecting after the wash. If you want to keep your exterior protected from the elements, you want to get a good wax. You do not need to wax as often as you shampoo, but some people put on an extra coat each time to keep their car looking clean and for the added insurance of protection. The best material to use to dry is microfiber because it will not scratch your paint but use different cloths for your tires and body of the car, so you don’t accidentally get grease on the body of the car.

We’ve been talking a lot about exteriors, but the interior is just as important. Vacuuming regularly and cleaning out the inside from wrappers and receipts just makes your car look and feel better. If you have leather, bring that wax, and go over the interior. Leather can stat to crack and wrinkle if left untreated regularly, most notable on the steering wheel and edges of seats. If you keep little details like this in prime condition, the resale value should be even higher than just keeping the exterior nice.

Keeping a car nice is a hassle, but think of it as getting a haircut regularly, or showering. You want your car looking nice because then you feel better for keeping it in top condition. Washing your car is not only a short-term chore, but rather a long-time investment that will pay off once you decide to sale or trade in your vehicle.