How Often Should You Wash Your Car?

Can you risk damaging your car if you wash it too often? How often should you wash your car to achieve the best results? Here's the ultimate guide.

While your car does not necessarily stink when it is not clean, a dirty car is a ticking bomb that should be dealt with.

Dirt, dust, and bird poop among other things, does not only make your car look bad, but also harms the paint of the car.

This begs the question – “How often should you wash your car?”.

A good rule of thumb is to wash your car every two weeks, but sometimes you should take your car for a wash sooner than that.

Not only is it important how often you should wash your car, but also how you wash it.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know how to keep your car in a pristine condition with minimal effort.

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When Should You Wash Your Car?

spraying or washing car undercarriage

Washing your car every two weeks will hold in many cases, however, there are many situations where you should wash it even sooner.

For example, the weather condition and the climate play a big role when it comes to washing the car.

A car wash is much more needed in climates with cold temperatures and snow, than in a warm and dry climate.

The main reason why you should clean your car more frequently during winter is due to the road salt and snow slush.

Road salt will cause corrosion and rust, but it can be prevented by taking the car at least for a rinse once every week.

If possible, you should also wash the undercarriage of the car as much of the salt will stick under the car.

Not only does snow and wintertime prompt a short washing interval. If you have taken your car for a long drive on the highway, many bugs and dirt will set on the car paint.

If this is the case, it is advisable to wash off the acidic bugs and dirt to protect the paint.

Also, if the car is really dirty even after three days after a thorough car wash, it is advisable to rinse the dirt.

How Should You Wash The Car?

hand holding soapy sponge washing car

Should you polish and wax your car every time you wash it?

Is handwash the way to go or is an automatic car wash better?

Can you use dish soap to wash your car?

Many questions, and luckily the questions are not hard to answer.

When it comes to washing the car, handwashing is always the way to go. An automatic car wash will often scratch your car.

It may be tough to follow all the new detailing and maintenance progress that is rapidly evolving.

Luckily, at Auto Chimps, we make sure to keep you updated with everything you need to know when it comes to maintenance.

Polish and wax should not be applied every car wash, as a matter of fact, polish should not be used more than once a year, while wax can be applied once every few weeks.

In most cases, a simple water rinse and a hand wash with car shampoo will be sufficient.

Make sure to use a good car shampoo (not dish soap), with a balanced pH value from a trusted manufacturer.

Many shampoos contain ingredients that the manufacturers claim make the results better. This includes 2-in-1 wax shampoo.

This, together with a microfiber mitt is enough to maintain your car and keep your paintwork in pristine condition.

Washing Your Car Too Much

Summer Car Washing

Now when we have established that it is important to wash your car, you may wonder if you can wash your car too much.

Every time you are washing your car, you are risking scratching your car. Avoiding scratches is almost impossible.

This is why waxing is important. When you wax your car, you are providing an additional layer of protection to your paintwork.

The layer will be thinner and thinner after each car wash, which means that the wax must be reapplied after a while.

If you wash your car more frequently, you must also wax it more frequently. If you do not, you will get to the clear coat of the paint, and in more serious cases, the basecoat, and the primer.

Any scratches that occur under the clearcoat will need extensive car scratch repair which can lead to an expensive bill.


car wash

Washing your car is important and should be done regularly.

For most people, washing the car once every two weeks is sufficient.

If it turns out that the car has become more dirty than usual after a long trip or alike, it is recommended to at least rinse of the dirt.

If it is snowing you should wash your car more frequently due to road salt and snow slush.

When washing your car, make sure that you use appropriate soap, and do not forget to rinse the undercarriage, especially if it has been exposed to road salt.

You cannot wash your car too much, however, make sure that the car always has a layer of wax. More frequent washing will lead to a faster decline of the wax layer.

Because of that, it is important to wax the car in a closer interval if the car is washed more frequently.

If not, you risk damaging the deeper layers of the paintwork.

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Bajro Muric
Bajro Muric

Bajro is a big car enthusiast with a love for writing and teaching. He writes about anything regarding cars - from common problems and fixes to racing.