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How often should you wash your car in the winter? Experts share their advice

Winter can be hard on your car. It brings snow, slush, sand, and salt that are difficult to remove with a quick wipe down. You need to wash it, but how often? 

According to experts, the answer is different for every situation. The frequency of washing your car in winter depends on how much you drive it during these months and how dirty the environment is where you live.

Here is the thing I am going to cover in this article:

– How often should you wash your car in the winter?

– How often should you wash your car during the winter months?

– How frequently do experts recommend washing cars in colder weather?

– How quickly does salt damage a vehicle’s paint job?

– Top things to consider when it comes to washing vehicles.

Where Do You Live

If you live in a location where the roads require salt during the winter, you should wash your car at least once a week. If you live in an area with no salt and mild winters, go for two weeks instead of one.

 If you live in an area where road crews apply brine or rock salt to help melt snow and ice, experts recommend cleaning off as much as possible.  

At least once a week, if you live near the ocean, where salt is used to melt ice on roads and sidewalks, washing your car every two weeks or so may be necessary.

Where Does Your Drive?

Where Does Your Drive?

If you drive very little in the winter months, it’s probably not worth taking the time to wash your vehicle weekly unless, of course, it gets filthy. If you drive your car every day, it’s essential to wash off the salt and sand at least once a week.

How Dirty Does Your Car Get?

How Dirty Does Your Car Get?

Suppose you live in an area of heavy traffic or lots of road construction. In that case, dirt may accumulate quickly on your vehicle, making washing even more necessary than just removing winter weather messes. And if you have a dark-colored car, winter may expose dirt that usually doesn’t show up.

In these cases, experts suggest washing your car every other week in the winter to keep it looking good and avoid salt stains.

Where Do You Park?

Where Do You Park

If you park your car in a covered spot, it is less likely to get dirty or have salt stuck on the exterior. If you don’t often wash your vehicle, experts recommend starting with an express wash at least once per month. It will help you remove all of the dirt and winter contaminants.

What Parts of Your Car Need the Most Cleaning During the Winter?

What Parts of Your Car Need the Most Cleaning During the Winter

If you’ve got a lot of snow and ice buildup on your exterior, it’s usually the roof that needs the most attention. Experts suggest using a squeegee to remove as much water from rooftops as possible before going over with soap and water. Also, please pay careful attention to how often you wash your wiper blades because, during winter, they get dirty and grimy more quickly.

What Do You Use to Wash Your Car?

What Do You Use to Wash Your Car

Experts suggest using heavy-duty car wash detergent to break down the salt and other winter road contaminants quickly. Using dish soap or household cleaners can cause streaks, water spots and potentially damage your paint job. In addition, it may remove necessary waxes from your exterior finish.

Tips for Washing Your Car in Winter

Tips for Washing Your Car in Winter

– Remove as much snow and ice from your car’s exterior before washing it.

– Use a heavy-duty detergent explicitly made for cars to remove salt and contaminants all winter season long.

– Let the soap sit on your vehicle for about five minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. It helps break down any dirt, grime, and salt.

– Rinse your vehicle thoroughly before using a squeegee to get rid of excess water.

– Don’t forget to clean the wiper blades once every two weeks or so during the winter months because their job is more challenging in cold weather.


The only problem is that you should skip the wash if the temperature falls below 30°F. Water delivered when the air is too cold may cause the door handles and locks to freeze shut. It’s also a good idea to thoroughly dry your car before driving off, whether the temperature is below freezing in the winter or not.

How to Wash your Car in Freezing Winter Temps!

Wrap Up – How Often Should You Wash Your Car In The Winter

Yes, winter is a pain. It makes driving difficult and can be dangerous when it snows or rains. But there are ways to take care of your car in the winter that will make you safer on the road and save you money too!

The easiest thing to do is get an automatic car wash every few weeks. It will clean the undercarriage as well as surface dirt, salt, and slush from your vehicle’s exterior.

Stay safe out there this season by being mindful of how much snow has fallen since the last time you washed (don’t go crazy) but also stay warm and dry with these tips for cleaning your car in the wintertime!


Is it okay to wash my car at night?

No. It might be tough to fully dry your automobile after the sun sets, which can be an issue. A wet car can lead to corrosion. Corrosion happens because you don’t have the sun, so it doesn’t help.

Is it true that car washes use hot water?

Like people, cars dislike cold showers. When it comes to cleaning, cars love hot water just as much as people do!

What is the ideal temperature for washing your car?

The ideal temperature is between 50°F and 80°F. It’s still acceptable to wash if the temperature is 49°F or 82°F (considering the consequences). In hot weather, early morning or late evening hours (assuming there is enough light) might be ideal, saving you and your car from the heat.

Can Snow Damage Your Car?

Preventing yourself from being stuck in deep snow is a must, but it can also cause damage to your car. Road salt can find its way into places beneath your vehicle, causing rust. Your exhaust system might also be damaged by deep snow. Exhaust systems for cars are often complicated and costly to repair, depending on the car model.

Is it true that washing your car in the winter prevents rust?

Yes, winter car washing is the most effective way to prevent rust. Your car will be vulnerable to corrosion if left outside in the cold for a long time. The paint, fuel lines, and brakes are the first to get damaged. You can prevent rust by washing your vehicle regularly during the winter months.

How Can I Wash My Car Without Freezing It in the Winter?

If the water is freezing, you won’t be able to stop it from freezing. However, cleans with a soft-touch finish are suggested. Water should not enter the windows, doors, or any other openings. As a result, wash the outside with damp cloths and pads. This way, you can direct the water however you choose. However, you can’t wash the undercarriage and wheels in this manner.

What Temperature Is Too Cold To Wash Car?
Of course, washing a car in temperatures below freezing is hazardous. But that may be true even for temperatures as low as 32°F. When cleaning a car, avoid doing it in temperatures below 40°F.

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Last update on 2024-07-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Z Hashan

I’m Z Hashan, an entrepreneur, but more importantly (well, to me at least), a tool head. I’m passionate about all sorts of machines and how they work – it’s in my blood.

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