How Often Should You Wash Your Car? What Experts Recommend

If you are a new car owner, you may be wondering how to wash your car at home, and how often should you wash your car in the winter or summer? What should you use to wash your car, and how much does it cost to wash a car at home? Isn’t it? But among all these questions and worries, the thing that might confuse you the most would be now knowing exactly how often should you wash your car and wax it.

Automobiles have long been man’s best friend, and of late, it has become a woman’s best friend too! Some people own cars just for the sake of owning it (of course they have all the money to show off!) while others own a car for useful purposes like driving to their workplace or even for commercial purposes.

But the sad reality is that not everyone is equally dedicated to the maintenance of their cars. And when you do not maintain your vehicle correctly, it ought to develop some or other kind of internal and external issues.

how often should you wash your car
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How often should you wash your car? Or how often should you change the gear oil or mobil of the car? These are some of the questions that might inflict the sense of car owners on the maintenance of their car. It may be that you own an SUV, a luxurious car, or a regular car, but the maintenance of any car is as essential as owning them!

These days, car maintenance has become easier with modern technologies replacing the age-old techniques like you can use the car cleaning kit to wash your car, or you can use a portable vacuum cleaner for cleaning the interior of your car and other such things!

Today we shall focus on such few car cleaning tips and tricks. So, keep reading and learn everything you need to know about car wash frequency in the winter or summer, car wash types, car wash cost, and most essential things to wash your car at home. Now, let’s begin!

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How Often Should You Wash Your Car?

While automobile experts suggest that you should wash your car every two weeks to make it look like a new one, if you are more possessive towards your vehicle, then you can also wash it once a week or even more frequently. Issues like how many times should you wash your car or how often you should take your car to the car service station depend entirely on how you drive your car and where you drive your car.

Supposedly if you drive your car every day and the car is run on salty roads more often, then you need to wash your car very frequently as the salt in the air is likely to accumulate in the paint of your car, and it can eradicate the paint of your car.

But if you do not use your car regularly and take it out once a while and most of the time it remains covered in your garage, then it is not necessary to wash your car too often, and you can wash it once in 3-4 weeks also!

These days, as the technology has improved so much, it is recommended that you use the modernized car wash tools and equipment to clean and wash your car, rather than using the age-old techniques. It is also a fact that washing your car too frequently won’t damage it anyhow, but if you wash your car improperly, then you can face the wrath of damages done to your dear vehicle after washing it!

Even if you do not get the time to wash your car often, you should at least clean it frequently so that the rust and dust do not accumulate on your car and harm the paint or the interiors of the car. You can quickly get the things you need to wash your car at home and so, it is not much of a problem to wash your car at home frequently. If you own a car and already have two minds about how often you should wash the car, it might be a bit clearer to you by now!

Must check: After How Many Kilometers Car Tyres Should Be Changed?

How Much Does It Cost to Wash a Car?

The car washing cost depends on a lot of factors. If you take it for a washing service, it can cost you more. But if you buy the things you need to wash your car and wash it at home, it can generally cost you a little less than the wash at the service station. In general, if we calculate the cost of car washing, then it can be anything between $10 to $100.

The basic car wash equipment can cost you around $20 to $25 if you plan to wash your car at home all by yourself without hiring anyone else to do the same. Again, if you hire someone to wash your car, then the additional cost of hiring the person would be added to the actual cost of the equipment.

If you opt for basic car wash, then it won’t cost you much. But if you go for optional services like wheel cleaning, waxing, undercarriage wash, clear coating, interiors washing, etc. then the car washing expense can increase!

When you wash your car at home, these additional services can cost you around $2 to $5 each! But then if you want a showroom like shine on your car you have to compromise a little on your car washing budget.

List of Essential Things You Need to Wash Your Car at Home

Once you know how often should you wash your car or wax it and how much does it cost to wash a car, now it’s time to learn what do you need to wash your car at home. Yes, we are talking about the car wash tools and equipment.

When you wash your car at home, there can be many questions that can cross your mind like – Can you use dish soap to wash a car or what are the things that you might need at home to wash your car and other such things!

If you already have car washing kits at home, in that case, you might not have to buy too many things to wash your car. But if you are a new car owner or new to car washing, you have to buy some of the most essential things you need to wash your car at home.

Most of the basic stuff that we need to wash our cars is already available at our home like water buckets, towels, long pipes for water spraying, etc. The other essential things that you need to wash your car properly at the comfort of your home (in the driveway to be precise) are mentioned below:

If you have all these above-mentioned car washing tools at home, then it would be easier for you to clean your car in the most appropriate way! What you need to wash your car? I hope this question is sorted now.

You might also like to know: How to Remove Deep Scratches from Car at Home

How to Wash Your Car at Home: A Step by Step Guide

If you are in the preliminary stage of car washing and have not washed your car all by yourself before, this step-by-step procedure might help you deal with your car wash as a beginner. The best way to wash your car at home is to divide the washing schedule into three categories; pre-wash preparation, washing, rinsing, and drying.

Let us discuss the detailing of these three categories of car washing at home:

Step 1: Preparing for a Car Wash

This step generally refers to making the car ready for a wash. It means that you must gather all the essential car wash tools and equipment (such as pressure washer, car wash soap, car wash mitt, microfiber towels, etc. as we have already explained in the above paragraphs) and keep them ready for washing your car so that you do not miss out on anything in the middle of washing your car.

Then you must fill the two buckets: one with normal water and another one with the soap or shampoo water separately. I would recommend you use a premium quality car wash soap or car wash shampoo for better results and the safety of your car’s paint.

It is also suggested that you wear old and car-friendly clothes as it is common to get dirty during car washing. Many car experts even recommend getting a microfiber auto detailing apron to wear when you wash your vehicle. It’s because if you wear any unusual clothes with zip-up hoodies, belt buckles, style bracelet, or big buttons, then your car paint might get scratched.

After you have gathered all the car wash tools and equipment, the next pre-wash step is to prepare your car for the wash.

So, the first thing that you must check is whether your car is parked in a shady area, which restricts it from direct sunlight as it can dry it beforehand, leaving unwanted streaks on the car body. Also, keep the car window closed and check for the wipers and antenna as well.

Step 2: Washing the Car

The next step is obviously washing your car, but can you wash your car too much? Well, NO! Avoid washing your car too much, and follow the simple and easy way of washing it properly.

First, start with hosing down the car entirely. It shall make the stubborn dirt to loosen and make the washing easier. Please do not use too much strong and high-pressure washer as it can cause scratching on the car surface.

If possible, you should wash the wheels first as they are the dirtiest area of the entire car. Simply, rinse off the wheels with a pressure washer or hose and then use your wheel brush to scrub the wheel and the area around it.

how often should i wash my car

Now it’s time to wash your car with a sponge or wash mitt. So firstly, soak the car cleaning sponge or car wash mitt in the soapy water and then rub the surface of the car properly. Keep repeating these processes (soaking, washing, and rinsing) until your vehicle is clean from top to bottom.

An essential tip amongst all the car cleaning tips and tricks is not to overdo it! Wash the car normally; the wheels, the surface, the different sections, and the underside of the car as well!

Step 3: Drying the Car

The best type of car wash for new cars and old cars is to dry it properly after the wash! Let it drip dry for a few minutes, and then choose a microfiber towel for cars to dry it thoroughly.

Use the microfiber drying towels such as Meguiar’s Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel for drying the car entirely and then wax your car if you feel the need to do so! This is a crucial part of the entire car cleaning process.

If you are planning to wax your car just after washing it, make sure your vehicle is properly dry. It doesn’t matter whether you are using a paste wax, liquid wax, spray wax, or rubbing compounds. Any kind of car wax should only ever be applied to a thoroughly clean and dry car.

Also check: How Long Can a Car Go without an Oil Change? 100% Facts

Car Wash Types: What Type of Car Wash is Best?

Once your confusion on the subject “How often should you wash your car and wax it?” is gone, then you may be eager to know – What is the best way to wash a car, and what type of car wash is best? If it’s true, then now it’s time for you to learn about the different types of car washes available in the market for the situations when you can’t wash your car at home.

Here we have explained about six different car wash types, so just go through them one by one and find out which car washing option is a good fit for your car, time, and budget.


If you ask the automobile experts what type of car wash is best, you can be sure to get the answer- handwash! It might be the most primitive method, but it is very reliable too! The straightforward procedure of pre-wash, wash, and rinse can be applied to the hand wash technique to make your car look cleaner and newer.

Not to be denied, there are some cons to this type of wash as well, like its more time and space taking, or it can be more expensive than machine washes, but the right side is that it leaves minimal damages to the car surface when this method is implied.

Touchless Wash

As is evident by the name, a touchless wash resembles a car wash method where you do not have to wash it manually. Instead, the use of chemicals, pressurized air, and pressure washers make the touchless car wash easy and fast! Many people remain in doubt about what kind of car wash is best!

Well, this one definitely can be better as compared to the handwash as it is less expensive also but in some aspects, the touchless wash can be harmful as well. It can dry out the paint due to the use of harmful chemicals, plus it does not seem adequate for heavy contamination!

Rinseless Wash

There are various car wash types, but a rinseless wash allows you to wash your car and dry it without having to rinse it. You can get a rinseless product on the market which you need to mix in the bucket of water and then wash the car.

As these products do not produce any type of suds, you don’t need to rinse it. It is best suitable for those who live in water restricted areas. It is right in a way that it can be performed in a limited space and is faster than a typical hand wash. But again, it is not suitable for heavily contaminated cars!

Waterless Wash

The basic car washing tools that you need in this type of waterless wash is microfibre towels and a spray bottle. This waterless wash method is very simple; you need to spray the car’s surface with the waterless wash product and then wipe it off using the microfibre towels.

But most experts suggest keeping this option as a last resort because it is not a very good alternative to the water inclusion car washing techniques. Also, this type of wash is not suitable for regular active car users as heavy dirty cannot always be removed without water usage!

Brushless Wash

In this type of car wash, the usage of the brush is not included! Instead, soft cloth is used in place of hard bristles. This is a kind of automatic wash and is not a manual washing technique. The wash machinery uses chemicals to remove the dirt from the car’s surface.

You won’t be able to use this technique if you wash your car at home, as this is a complete machine wash process. This car wash technique may be faster and inexpensive, but then again, the chemicals used can be harmful to the car paint.

Automatic Wash

If you are not so sure about washing your car at home, then the automatic wash might be the best idea for you to clean your car properly. In this type of wash, a conveyor belt is used to put the car for the washing purpose.

After you put the car inside, it is washed with blowers and brushes to get washed. Chemicals are also used in this kind of car washing technique, which is again not too desirable for the wellbeing of the paint and surface of your car.

But most of the time, people go for such types of car washes because they are inexpensive and require less time and effort as well.

FAQ for How Often Should You Wash Your Car

After reading all the above-explained solutions and car experts recommendation, now you know exactly how often should you get your car washed, what kind of car wash tools and equipment you should use, and how much does it cost to wash a car, etc.

Still, if you have any concerns regarding any kind of car wash equipment or car cleaning methods, read some of these most frequently asked questions for how many times should you wash your car. Here we go:

Is It Bad to Wash Your Car Every Week?

Many people have this question – Is it bad to wash your car every week? Well, as mentioned earlier in this article, your car washing routine depends majorly on how much you drive your car.

If you take it out every day and you mostly drive through such locations where dust and salt air is more, then it is best to wash the car every week so that the accumulated salt does not harm the painting of the car.

And if you are washing your car every week, then it is recommended that you go for chemical-free washes only!

Should I Wash My Car with Hot or Cold Water?

In most of the car washing tips mentioned by the automobile experts, you will find out that they have mentioned neither too hot water nor too cold water. In fact, it is suggested that you wash your car with warm water, which is neither too hot nor too cold.

If you are handwashing your car, then it is useful if you mix the car washing soap or liquid with warm water and then wash off the car with normal water, which we have at room temperature. This proves to be suitable for car paint.

Can You Use Dish Soap to Wash a Car?

Can you wash your car with dish soap? It’s a quite popular question amongst the car lovers! Well, it is awkward if you ask such questions, but then you can have such thoughts as these kinds of soaps also help in the cleaning purpose!

But as we all know that the dish soaps contain certain chemicals and abrasives that are harmful, it is better not to use them to wash the car as they can damage the paint and the wax coating of the car. It is better to use general car washing liquids all the time.

Should You Wax Your Car Every Time You Wash It?

How often you wash and wax your car again depends on how you use your car or the way you want your car to be! Most experts suggest that you must wax your car every 3 months to keep the shine going.

But if you are washing your car very often and every 2-3 weeks, then waxing it after every wash is also excellent. You must remember that the waxing must be done carefully; otherwise, it can harm the paint of your car if you do it wrong!

Is It Better to Wash Your Car at Home or at a Car Wash?

If you have enough time and space in your house and are ready to make an effort and bear the expenses, it is better to wash your car at home. But if you have water issues at home and you also do not have enough space to complete the car washing procedure at home, then it is better to take your car to the service stations and get a machine equipped wash.

It is always better to go for the former one, but if at all it is not possible then you can take the car for a machine wash!

How Often Should You Wash Your Car to Prevent Rust?

Rusting is a very common problem of the cars due to the moisture present in the air and the dust accumulation as well. So, how often should you wash your car to prevent rust? Well, it is recommended that you wash your car every two weeks to prevent rusting.

As the car paint is more likely to get corroded by the salty air or the moisture in the air during such climatic conditions, it is better if you wash it off frequently so that it does not damage the car paint in any way.

How Long Can You Go Without Washing Your Car?

If you ride your car regularly, then how often should you wash the car? This is a valid question that people ask, and why not? After all, keeping the cars in good condition is every car owner’s ultimate wish! But not many of them can stick to a commitment of washing the car regularly (but they should anyway!).

If at all you do not get time to wash your car regularly, then at least try to wash your car once a month. But if you ride your car in a moisture clad area or if the air has too much salt content, then do not go many days without washing your car as it can affect the car paint generously!

What Happens If You Never Wash Your Car?

If you never wash your car, it can inevitably cause your car (and you) much harm! The paint of the car can go off because of rusting. The accumulation of the dirt both in the interiors and exteriors can cause bacterial growth. The car surface can get eradicated, and it can also smell foul if you do not wash your car for too long!

If you take your car for a wash after a long time, it can be a more expensive washing experience as compared to a regularly washed car. So, now you know how often should you get your car washed?

Author’s View on How Often Should You Wash Your Car

Owning a car is still considered a sign of luxury in most parts of the world, no matter how luxurious or small it is! But sometimes people confuse between just buying a car and maintaining it to that level where their vehicle can be considered being in good condition.

Many people cite reasons like being busy or not knowing the process of car washing properly, and hence they are always worried about keeping their cars clean. I hope I have made myself clear in this article about how often you should wash your car. If you follow the guidelines, it can be assumed that your car would be in good condition for a more extended period.

If I have to wash my car regularly, then I would surely use modern car cleaning tools for the purpose as they are easy to use and are also affordable at the same time. You don’t always get time to take your car to the car service station and wash it, but you can easily wash your car at home using such cleaning kits.

I recommend washing your car by yourself every two-three weeks and taking it to the car washing station also once a while to clean it accurately.

If you think this guide has answered all your car washing and detailing queries such as how often should you wash your car or wax it, what type of car wash is best, how much to wash a car, and what things you need to wash your car at home, then please feel free to share it with your friends on Facebook or Twitter, etc.

Also, let us know how often you wash your car and what kind of car wash tools and equipment you use to wash your car?

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About Amy Cuban

I am an automotive enthusiast who loves to be around cars. I enjoy working on cars in my spare time and love anything related to automobiles. I like using different types of car accessories, car gadgets, and innovative car care products.

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