My Car Quest

January 31, 2023

How Often Should You Clean Your Car?

Regularly cleaning and maintaining your car can increase its lifespan from an estimated 200,000 miles to 300,000 miles, according to Progressive. Despite this, Americans aren’t keeping on top of car cleanliness. A recent survey found that 10% of people can’t recall the last time their vehicle was cleaned. So, just how often should you clean your vehicle and what areas should you prioritize?

A fortnightly wash

The typical driver washes their vehicle 13 times per year. While this sounds like a lot, it’s not enough. Cars should be washed every 2 weeks to keep them in top condition. There may even be times when you should wash your vehicle more frequently. For example, if you’re driving constantly on salt-gritted roads or regularly park under trees, you’ll need to remove the debris from your paintwork. Salt can cause the bodywork of your car to rust while tree sap can lead to discoloration and staining.

Don’t forget the inside

Just because the exterior of your vehicle is protected from the elements, doesn’t mean you should ignore the interior. 31% of drivers say that the inside of the vehicle is full of junk. More worryingly, 53% say that drinks have spilled on their upholstery. Sticky drinks attract bugs and pests. If you leave these animals to make themselves comfortable in your car they could damage your electrics, put holes in your seats, and infest your entire vehicle. When there are pests inside your vehicle, fumigation is needed. A professional can do this or you can do it yourself with store-bought chemicals. Always vacuum up dead pests at the end of the process. When the job is done, make sure you clear up drink spillages and clean out your car’s interior regularly to prevent the problem from recurring.

Routinely wax

Some experts say that waxing your car twice per year is enough. Others, recommend applying a coat of wax every 3 months. Ideally, you should aim to do it at the start of each season, but before summer and winter are particularly important. By waxing your car, you’ll protect the paintwork from harsh materials that can affect the color and aesthetics of your vehicle. The sun, snow, air pollutants, and tree sap are just a few things that wax shields against.

Cover up your vehicle

If all of this sounds like too much hard work, why not cover up your vehicle so that you haven’t got to maintain it as frequently? Vehicles that spend days parked are better off being stored in a garage. If this isn’t an option, try a car cover. Always make sure that you put it on and take it off with care. Ensure it’s completely clean before every use, too.

Your car should be one of your biggest priorities. By making the effort to keep on top of cleaning and maintenance on both the inside and outside, you’ll increase the longevity of your car and keep it looking great.

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