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What You Need to Know About Winter Car Washes

While having a regular car washing schedule is one of the best things you can do for the overall life of your car, many people decide to forego this practice in the wintertime simply because of convenience. After all, who wants to stand outside in the cold with a big bucket of water for an extended period of time to wash their car? If the cold doesn’t get you, the curious looks of your neighbors will.


So what are some things you should know about car washing during those cold winter months?


  1. Your Car Still Needs to be Washed Regularly


Whether you choose to wash it yourself or have professionals (like those on the MobileWash app) keep your vehicle clean and sparkly, your car still needs a regular detailing to keep the road grime and dirt off the exterior and keep it from sinking into the paint.


Although it needs to be washed regularly, avoid washing your vehicle when the temperature dips below freezing. Not only will you be driving around in a popsicle, but your windows will freeze over and they’ll be impossible to clean. Instead, wait till the weather stays at least in the 40s and try to wash it at least every other week.


  1. Preparation is Key to Surviving the Winter


Before it starts to get cold, add a coat of wax to the exterior of your car to add an extra layer of protection and spend some time cleaning underneath the wheels, quarter panels, and grille, which is where the salt and grime will collect most often. You don’t have to scrub too hard, but make sure you get all the loose debris out before the winter months settle it in and damage the exterior.


  1. Preheating Your Car Will Make Washing Easier


If you’re washing a car that has been sitting in the driveway during the winter months, you’ll need to turn the car on and take it for a quick ten-minute spin to keep the parts from locking up, but this is also an excellent time to wash your car as well. Turn on the heater full blast and use the window heaters to thaw out the windows, then, if possible, keep the car running while you’re cleaning the car.


  1. Mind Your Environment


This should go without saying, but plan on getting wet when you’re washing your car. Dress appropriately with water-resistant boots and clothes (hunting gear works great) and put down some rock salt on the ground around your car so your driveway doesn’t become an ice rink. Furthermore, unless you have no other option, try to avoid using an external hose to rinse your car. The cold water will freeze quicker, so either warm up a bucket of water first or connect your hose to an internal faucet.