How you wash your car and how often can be a major determining factor in how the exterior looks and holds up to the environment.
Let's start with how often. How often should I wash my car?
While there is such as thing as over-doing it, or doing it too often - most of the time it just isn't getting done often enough.
For the daily driver, we recommend bi-weekly washes. This will reduce the chance for environmental contaminants (such as pollen, brake dust, sap, carbon deposits) to bond to the vehicle's exterior.
Now the question is, How should I wash my car?
You have several options to wash your car, but there's a right way and a wrong way. There are things to avoid if you want to preserve your vehicle's condition.
I've outlined below several options with a brief explanation of why I do or do not recommend this method:
Tunnel Car Wash:
Beware, sometimes they might even call it a 'soft microfiber wash'. Tunnel car washes see hundreds of cars every week. They are designed for quantity over quality. This means all the dirt, sand, grime and contaminants that the brushes knocked off of the cars in front of yours are now being beat into your vehicle's paint. This causes random defects and swirls in the vehicle's painted finish amongst other exterior issues that can be very costly to repair.
Touchless Car Wash:
(Recommended for Ceramic Coated Cars)
Another option you may find is a 'Touchless Car Wash'. Touchless car washes rely on high pressure and strong chemicals to clean the exterior of the vehicle. There shouldn't be any rotating brushes or flapping cloths in a touchless wash.
This is the perfect bi-weekly wash for a ceramic coated vehicle.
If your vehicle has wax or a sealant, the touchless wash chemicals could strip this type of protection.
Hand Car Wash:
Believe it or not, the good old fashioned hand car wash is the best way to care for your vehicle. And if you can do it biweekly it will be a lot easier than you might think.
A few basic rules to follow when you do a hand car wash:
- Use good quality microfiber towels and wash mitts.
- Do not let your wash mitts, brushes or towels ever touch the ground.
- Any mitts or towels you use on the wheels, do not use anywhere else.
- Avoid washing in direct sunlight.
- Do not allow soap or cleaners to dry on any exterior surface.
- Dry the vehicle thoroughly using microfiber or waffle weave towels. Do not allow water to dry on the vehicle.
The method that I recommend to my clients requires a few items to get started such as a pressure washer and a foam cannon, but once you have the setup its very easy. We also offer recurring biweekly maintenance washes for our clients that prefer we take care of the vehicles.
Please let us know if you're interested in learning more about how we wash your car, we would be happy to send you more information.