For the longest time, this has become a point of debate for car enthusiasts of all levels. Everyone knows that keeping your car clean is essential, but not everyone agrees on how often you should clean it. Some would say that cleaning your car on a specific schedule is too much, while others would say that it is too little.
With this topic still a hot point of debate, we try to get our side of our debate in. Ultimately, it would still be up to you to decide, but here is our take on how often should you wash your car.
Why Should You Keep Your Car Clean?
There are multiple benefits of keeping your car clean. In fact, many experts would recommend that periodic car washing should be a part of your maintenance routine, regardless of what type of car you own. Before we dive deep into the details, you should first understand the benefits of actually washing your car in the first place.
Here are some of the best reasons why you should keep your car clean.
- Keeps your car highly presentable. – Keeping your car clean is an easy way to score some style points with your car. Even if your ride is not the most high-end, it can attract a lot of stares if it has that spot-on, showroom-level shine. On the flipside, even a nice car will look bad if they are not regularly cleaned. Giving your car a regular wash will help keep it in great shape. It can even help bump up the value of your ride if you are planning to sell it.
- Removes elements that can potentially damage your car. – During your rides (and even while in storage at your garage), your car gets exposed to the elements. It can accumulate dirt, dust, droppings, and other kinds of impurities while you are using it. Meanwhile, it is still exposed to temperature, moisture, and other potentially corrosive factors even while it is stationary. Regular cleaning can help prevent these elements from ravaging your car’s framework and running parts.
- Essential for hygienic reasons. – Keeping your car a clean and safe place to be is important, especially with the rise of infectious and allergic diseases. Regular cleaning of your car will help prevent the buildup of dust and other allergens, as well as deter the growth of bacteria and molds that can cause infections and bad odors. With regular inside-out cleaning, you can maintain optimal hygiene inside your ride.
How Often Should You Go for a Car Wash?
Different people have different takes on how often you should go for a car wash. It doesn’t matter if you are doing the washing yourself or you have a professional to do it for you. It is important that you stick to a particular schedule when you are going for a car wash. This is especially so if you are using your car regularly. So how often should you go for a car wash?
Most experts would recommend that you wash your car every two weeks. This is considered as the magic number by most as it would prevent the buildup of dirt, salt, and debris in your car that can cause paint damage or even rust. It will also help prevent your interior from becoming a breeding ground for allergens and bacteria.
A general cleaning schedule every two weeks should be more than good enough to keep your ride clean inside and out during regular use.
However, there are specific instances when cleaning should be done more frequently. If your car regularly logs high mileage (ex. 100 kilometers per day), you should consider increasing the frequency of your cleaning sessions to a weekly basis.
Washes should also be scheduled more frequently if your car is being used for business purposes (ex. delivery, taxi). You should also increase the frequency of your car wash sessions if you are regularly passing through rough terrain. Lastly, you are free to wash your car as needed, especially when there is obvious buildup of dirt and grime in it.
Most car wash services also offer waxing and detailing services. They are not done as frequently as maintenance cleaning as they are more labor-intensive and expensive. However, they are more than worth the price of getting them.
Not only can these procedures provide extra style points for your ride, but it also helps in maintaining the quality of both your exterior and interior parts. Waxing, detailing, and other special tasks are usually recommended at least twice a year. A good quality detailing job will make your ride look and feel new.
Should You Do a Car Wash at Home?
A car wash is considered as one of the most basic tasks in car maintenance. Traditionally, this is just done in your garage, and can be performed even with just minimal equipment. However, car washing is one task that is often not done the wrong way, and may end up creating less than ideal results.
Still, car washing is something that you can easily do at home. As long as you have the right equipment and approach, you can get that showroom level shine. Here are some basic tips to washing your car at home.
- Get the right equipment. – Getting the right car washing equipment will help you get the best results. First, get soap that is specifically designed for cleaning cars, as using other soaps and detergents can end up damaging your paint. A clean cloth, a vacuum cleaner and appropriate fabric solutions are what you need to clean up your car’s interior. Microfiber towels are effective for drying out your car after a wash. If you have known skin allergies, we recommend that you get a pair of gloves as well. Having a power hose is optional and highly effective for blowing out deep-seated dirt, but your typical garden hose should do just fine.
- Check specific care details on your ride. – Some cars have particular instructions you should take note of when you’re cleaning them. Take for example the interior. A cleaner designed for leather may not be the best for cleaning cloth, carpet, or other materials. More often than not, there are specific instructions for cleaning seats and carpets, and you need to follow that to prevent damage. Also, it is not recommended to experiment with harsh cleaning ingredients as it can damage the paint and other surfaces.
- Start washing. – It is most recommended that you wash your car in a segment-for-segment basis so you can thoroughly clean it. The general process of cleaning the exterior is generally this: add water, apply soap in a wiping motion, rinse the soap off, and wipe the surface dry. Air-drying your car is generally not recommended as it can leave streaks that result to sub-optimal cleaning. Make sure that you clean even the hard-to-reach areas such as wheel wells. When cleaning the interior, it will be nice to remove the carpets and seat covers for better cleaning. Wipe and vacuum surfaces, and apply disinfectant if necessary.
So how often should you wash your car? It generally depends on a per-owner basis. But as a rule, we recommend every 2 weeks. We recommend you do it more often if you use your car frequently or you drive in harsh weather or environments.