How Often Should I Wash?

Keeping your car clean is one of life’s pleasures. That procedure of measuring out a capful or two of car wash, tipping it into a bucket and getting the hose in.

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Keeping your car clean is one of life’s pleasures. That procedure of measuring out a capful or two of car wash, tipping it into a bucket and getting the hose in. Then there’s the wash itself; spraying down the car, using a new microfibre cloth, drying it off with a clean chamois.

Once it’s done, it stands there, gleaming proudly in the sunlight. Right, that’s one Sunday morning down. What about next week?

Well…that depends. How much driving has been done? Where has it gone? Current thinking says a fortnightly wash is all that’s required, but like anything, it’s circumstance dependent.

For most, a fortnightly wash is enough to keep the paint gremlins at bay. But for those that live in high wind environments, dirt, or salt air areas, then once a week, and maybe even more, could be the go.

The fine balancing point here is the water and dirt level. Cars are designed with drainage holes in the doors, front guards, and depending on the type, perhaps somewhere in the rear.

Should that mix not be cleaned out properly then there is the seed for rust. If more frequent washing is performed and drainage channels don’t drain….

Another factor is the quality of the detergent used. Some are quite strong and overuse could, could, fast forward the protective gloss covering paints have. As a result, overwashing may actually be a not so good thing.

But if a gentler wash is used then a weekly wash would be ok. Then there is the drying. If a car’s surface isn’t dried properly then residue here could be the catalyst.

Salty areas are also a particular area. Frequent washing requires the same judicious procedure and same careful drying, however good rinsing is a necessity. Proper washing out of the cloths reduces the chance of salty residue.

The bottom line here seems to be: twice a month, but depending on location and circumstances. As always, care should be taken in regards to washing methods, materials, rinsing, and drying.

Where do you live that requires more than a fortnightly car wash? Let us know your tips for happy washing.