Whether your car came to your driveway straight from the showroom or straight from your kid’s soccer practice (complete with juice boxes, snacks, and sweaty clothes), it needs to be washed just the same! New or old, your car will appreciate a regular wash, but just how often should you wash your car? Let’s find out.
How often is enough?
As a general recommendation, try to wash your car every other week. At the very least, you should aim for once a month. However, this regularity depends on several factors:
- Where you live, weather, and season
- How much you drive your car
- How you store your car (in a garage, under a tree, in a driveway, or in the street).
Washing your car on a regular basis is more than simply keeping it looking nice and shiny—it can also protect your car! Common debris such as tree sap, bugs, lots of dust, pollen, or bird droppings can lead to corrosion if not properly cleaned.
How often should I wash my car in winter?
While washing your vehicle is almost always more enjoyable in warmer months, you should probably wash it more frequently during the winter, especially if you live in an area where the roads are treated with salt. Too much salt build-up can lead to rust, and it makes your car look awful. Luckily, salt is easy to spot, which will help you decide if you need weekly washing or something less consistent.
To make things easier on yourself, consider using a car wash subscription service during the winter!
Car interior cleaning tips
What about your car’s interior? For the most part, you have more flexibility when it comes to cleaning your upholstery, floor mats, and between your seats. However, any spills—or moisture in general—should be handled quickly to prevent staining, mildew, and unpleasant odors. And if you eat in your car regularly, be sure to remove any leftover food to prevent bugs!
The only notable exception is leather, which should be cleaned and conditioned every three months or so to prevent cracking!
What about waxing?
Waxing is key to a clean car, but it can be expensive if you don’t have time to do it yourself. Sometimes, though, it pays to have it done by a professional!
While waxing your car adds an important layer of protection, you can get away with only doing it once or twice a year. Just don’t forget—it’s easy to lose track if you don’t have a consistent schedule.