Washing your car isn’t just a great pastime; it’s a fantastic maintenance routine. But how often should you break out the suds and sponges? While there’s no hard-and-set answer to this question, we have a few guidelines all car owners should consider.
For general maintenance, you should aim to wash your car once every two to three weeks. People who park their vehicles outdoors could bump this up to once per week, especially when there’s inclement weather. Any time you notice stains like bird poo, insects, or tree sap, it’s best to clean your car ASAP.
Let’s go into greater detail on how often you should wash your car depending on your environment. In this post, we’ll also share some fantastic cleaning and waxing tips to keep your vehicle in pristine condition.
How Often Should You Wash & Wax Your Car?
Regularly washing and waxing your car is a great maintenance routine, but be careful not to overdo it. In this first section, we’ll take a closer look at universal questions car owners have about washing their vehicles.
Ideal Washing Schedules For Top-Selling Car Models
As mentioned in the intro, most car experts recommend washing your vehicle once every two to three weeks. If you have specific questions about a particular make & model, however, you might want to check out this brief “cheat sheet.”
Below, we’ll run through the recommended washing schedules for some of America’s most popular car models. You will also find plenty of helpful links to car manufacturers with official cleaning strategies.
How Often Should You Wash A Ford F-150?
According to the F-150 online forum, the majority of Ford F-150 owners claim they wash their trucks at least once every week. Roughly 24 percent of Ford F-150 owners say they break out the sponges once every two weeks, and about 13 percent are in the once per month camp. The rest of the survey respondent either said they wash their F-150 once every two months or once every day.
Anyone who owns an F-150 or any other Ford model should read through the company’s blog post on proper cleaning techniques. Also, please don’t forget to check out VEHQ’s exhaustive Ford F-150 page for even more helpful tips.
How Often Should You Wash A Chevy Silverado?
Chevy dealers often recommend washing a Silverado once every one to two weeks. This regular maintenance will improve your truck’s performance while also protecting its paint job from wear and tear.
You can learn more about the Chevy Silverado family on this official link. By the way, VEHQ has an entire tab dedicated to Chevy Silverados for those who are interested.
How Often Should You Wash A Nissan Rogue?
According to the forum NissanClub.com, roughly 56 percent of Nissan owners wash their cars once per week. About 30 percent of Nissan owners wash their cars twice per month, and only about 12 percent wash them twice per week. You can learn more about caring for your Rogue on this Nissan blog post.
As a side note, Nissan is developing a powerful self-cleaning technology known as Ultra-Ever Dry. To find out more about this exciting project, you can visit Nissan’s official post here.
Should You Ever Wash A Jeep Wrangler?
The Jeep Wrangler is one of those few car models that looks better with a bit of mud. Although this vehicle was designed for off-road adventures, it’s a good idea to clean off excess dirt at least once per month to help prevent corrosion.
Most Jeep owners online say they wash their vehicles either once per month or once per year. The more off-road adventures you go on, of course, the more often you should give your Jeep a thorough cleaning.
Is It Bad To Wash My Car Every Week?
No, it’s not wrong to wash your car every week. Indeed, in certain circumstances, weekly washes might be better than the standard biweekly wash.
Weekly washes are most beneficial for people who don’t have the luxury of a garage. This is especially true in coastal regions and places that experience a ton of snow in the wintertime. There’s a lot more salt flying around these two areas, which will lead to increased car corrosion.
People who have to park their cars in wooded areas might also want to consider weekly car washes, especially if they notice excessive tree sap. Folks who live in Southern states that experience those dastardly lovebugs also tend to wash their cars more frequently in the spring.
Is It Bad To Wash Your Car Every Day?
Honestly, who has the time for daily car washes? Plus, even if you had the free time to spare, why would you spend it doing this chore?
Daily car washes aren’t just a significant drain on your time and energy; they will increase the risk of unintentional damage. No matter how careful you are, the more often you expose your car to cleaning chemicals, sponges, and towels, the higher the odds you’ll cause a bit of wear-and-tear.
Even if your car was pelted with bird poo, it’s not required you give your car a full wash every day. Use some of the tips listed below to get rid of localized stains.
Should I Wash My Car Even If It’s Going To Rain?
In most cases, it’s best to wash your car a few days before or after a rain shower. Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate with our schedules. So, what do you do if you haven’t washed your car in a while, and a downpour is approaching?
Well, the first thing you should do is figure out what kind of storm is going to pass through. Are the meteorologists talking about torrential rain or a light shower? Will there be a lot of mud on the road afterward? What are the chances of harsh acid rain?
For light passing showers, you won’t have major issues washing your car beforehand. A good wax job before a shower will help repel moisture, which is especially useful if acid rain is a concern.
If you’re facing a stronger shower that will produce muddy conditions, however, then it’s best to wait until the storm has passed. You’re going to need to clean all of that gravely-grime off anyway, so why not wait until afterward?
Commercial Car Wash Versus At-Home Hand Wash: Which Is Better?
In reality, there’s no “winner” in the battle between at-home and commercial car washes. Both of these options have pros and cons that drivers must weigh against their preferences.
First off, if you’re only concerned with convenience, then you’re better off going to the local car wash. At-home car washes involve a bit of prep and clean up time, but visiting a commercial car wash usually only takes 10 – 15 minutes.
Of course, since car washes are so fast, they often lack the gentler “personal touch” you get when washing your car by hand. On the flip side, since commercial car washes are so powerful, they are better able to remove stubborn stains.
In terms of cost, cleaning your car at home will always be the cheaper option…even with “Wacky Wednesday” savings.
Lastly, those who are concerned with the environment should opt for commercial car washes. Because commercial car washes recycle their water supply, there’s far less waste compared with at-home washes.
How Often Should You Go To The Car Wash?
Because car washes use powerful bristles and air blowers, you typically don’t need to visit them as often as you would hand-wash your car. Aim to use your local car wash’s service about once per month for general maintenance.
Can You Wax Your Car Too Much?
Typically, you only need to give your car a thorough waxing once every two to four months. Any more than that is considered “overwaxing” and might leave behind cloudy discoloration.
Thankfully, there’s an easy way to tell when your car could use a fresh coat of wax. While you’re washing your car, take a look at how the water molecules are shaped. Water that doesn’t bead up signals it’s time for a new coat of wax.
Tips & Tricks For Washing Your Car
No matter how often you wash your car, it won’t make an enormous difference if your technique is off. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of your regular car wash routine.
Pro Car Washing Tips
Looking to boost your car washing skills? Here are a few hot tips to keep in mind the next time you’re washing the grime:
- Wash the entire surface of your car before you begin cleaning to get rid of loose dirt particles.
- Try not to let the soap dry for too long before rinsing off.
- Start cleaning with the wheels and gradually work your way up.
- Avoid using dishwashing detergent as this can easily eat away at your car’s paint.
- Only use microfiber towels that are specifically designed for cars.
- To avoid streaking and watermarks, don’t park your car in direct sunlight while washing.
To help get you started, take a look at this popular DIY Car Washing Kit on Amazon.
If you have questions about what type of soap is best for your car, then take a look at this previous VEHQ post.
Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Serious Stains
What do bird poo, tree sap, and insect guts have in common? If you guessed they’re amongst the most frequent causes of car stains, then you’re correct. Bonus points if you said all three of these stains could cause permanent paint damage.
Thankfully, there are many easy ways you could get rid of these stains ASAP. Take a peek at the following solutions:
- Spray a bit of WD-40 and wipe the stain away with a microfiber towel.
- Pour seltzer water over bird poo and wash away with water.
- Place nail polish remover on a cotton ball and wipe the sap away.
- Mix baking soda and water to spray bird poo and insect splatter.
- Use commercial-grade wipes and sprays.
For even more info on these issues, please check out the following VEHQ posts linked below:
“How To Get Bugs Off Of Your Vehicle”
“How To Get Bird Poop Off Your Car”
“How To Remove Tree Sap From Your Car (Without Ruining The Paint)”
Keep Your Car Squeaky Clean: Make Weekly Washing A Routine
Washing and waxing are easy ways to improve the appearance of your car, enhance headlight clarity, and maximize windshield visibility. Although the basic recommendation is to wash your car every two weeks, feel free to tailor that suggestion to your unique circumstances.
Wednesday 28th of October 2020
I was surprised when you explained that bird poo and tree sap are the leading causes of stains on cars. My uncle wants to use his holiday bonus to get a custom truck to use for his local business. We have a lot of wildlife in our area, so I'll have to let him know why cleaning the truck body regularly will be important to preserve it.