Some car owners are diligent with their car maintenance and wash their car every week. Others may not get around to it until someone etches “Wash Me” into the dirt on the surface of their car. Most of us strive for a happy medium.
What many people don’t realize is that washing your car regularly does more than just make it shine; it’s maintenance to keep your car running longer.
Why is this important?
The importance of regularly washing your car can’t be overstated. Washing your car regularly not only lets you feel the pride of a freshly cleaned vehicle, but also keeps the resale value of your vehicle high.
Your car is constantly exposed to dirt, dust, rocks, pollutants, tree sap, bugs, bird droppings, salt, and water. All these contaminants, if left on the surface and undercarriage of your vehicle, can cause serious damage.
Washing your car every two weeks can be difficult when you have a full schedule. But, don’t worry! Here are a few factors to consider when wondering how often you should wash your car, along with a few easy ways to keep your car clean.
If you aren’t sure if you’re washing your car enough, take the following factors into consideration:
The area you live in is a key factor to consider when determining how often you should wash your car. Is your car exposed to heavy rains, hot temperatures, or frequent snowfall? Are you surrounded by trees? Each area has its own unique elements that can damage your car.
Heavily forested areas with an abundance of trees are prone to birds, bugs, and tree sap that can damage your paint and interior if left on your car’s surface. Knowing what your car is exposed to can help you determine how often you need to wash it. If your car is affected by any of these elements, consider washing your car every two weeks.
Driving Distance and Frequency
The distance and frequency you drive your car can greatly affect your need to regularly wash your car. Most of us use our cars every day with trips to and from work, plus a few errands. Others use their cars far less frequently, choosing to walk or use public transportation.
If your car spends most of its time sitting in a garage with only a handful of trips a week, it’s safe to wash your car once a month. However, if you’re driving your car to work every day along with side errands, your car will need more frequent washes. Driving on roads regularly will expose your car to dirt, dust, rocks, and much more. If you drive your car frequently, you should wash it every two weeks.
Weather and climate conditions have more influence on your car than you may think. Heat, cold, rain, snow, and other environmental factors all cause damage to your car, whether the damage is immediately visible or not. Conditions, like heat, can soften the paint on the surface of your car, allowing small dirt particles to melt and scratch your paint. The cold of winter isn’t safe for your car, either. Areas exposed to frequent snowfall often use road salt that can cause corrosion if not washed away from your vehicle promptly. Salt exposure can cause rust and micro-scratches to the paint and undercarriage, leaving permanent stains on your car.
Many car owners will thank the rain for cleaning off their car, but what they don’t realize is that rain carries its own damaging particles. Heavy rains cause water to collect on the surface of vehicles and trap contaminants, leading to rust and discoloration. If you live in an industrial area, the rain may also be contaminated with air pollutants, creating acid rain. If your car is exposed to weather conditions like these, you should wash it every two weeks.
Where do you store your car? Is it in a garage, on the street, under trees, or on your driveway? The most damage done to your car on a regular basis is exposure to the elements. Cars kept in relatively climate-controlled areas won’t need to be washed as frequently as cars left exposed to the elements. Protecting it whenever possible can help you maintain your car’s shine.
Snow, rain, pollution, tree sap, bird droppings, and much more can cause damage to cars in uncovered areas. Storing your car in a covered spot is the best way to keep it looking nicer, longer. Structures like garages are the best options to avoid birds, droppings from trees, pedestrians, and debris tossed by other cars as they pass. If you leave your car in areas where exposure to contaminants is less controlled (like on the street or under a tree), you should wash it every two weeks.
How you like your car to look is the biggest factor when considering how often you should wash your car. Do you want your car to look showroom shiny with a sparkling interior, or are you okay with a little bit of dirt and clutter? Your car is a representation of you and your personality.
Are you a clean freak or a clutter bug? Or are you something in between? You can best determine how often you wash your car by how clean you would like your car to look. Remember: the better you want your car to look, the more often you should wash it!
To keep your car in the best possible shape, have a full detail every 6 months. Washing your car regularly can help keep your car looking nice, but a professional detail will clean every inch of your car.
If you’ve cleaned the outside of your car but want the inside to shine, too, you can do so with a few easy tips:
- Use a small vacuum cleaner to reach all the crevices and nooks food crumbs hide in.
- Keep a plastic trash bag in your car for easy, quick cleanup.
- Throw away a piece of trash every time you get out of your car.
- Store your car in a garage or under another protective structure.
Experts suggest washing your car every two weeks and getting a detail twice a year to make sure it stays in good condition. However, with our busy lives, that may not always be possible. Doing little things throughout the year can make a huge difference when it comes to your car’s appearance and maintenance.
Download our guide for six easy ways to care for your car all year long!
At Premier, we believe our mission is to create happiness through professional detailing and our purpose is to exhibit a philosophy of servanthood! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or visit our website. Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well!