Why you need to wash your car less

Shutterstock.com/ Nadezda Murmakova

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When you own a great car it is a luxury to drive it. Simply taking it out on a Sunday with nowhere to go is an absolute treat. Even washing the car becomes a task that you enjoy as you get to treat your baby and keep it looking in top condition. Apart from the financial cost of washing your car so much is there another downside to washing it? Is it actually damaging your car? Read on to find out.

When we put time and care into something we always think that we are doing a good thing. If you give up your Sunday morning where you could be lazing in bed or watching TV to go outside and wash your car, you are doing a good thing, right? Maybe not. Experts now say that if you wash your car too often you are doing unnecessary damage to it. No matter what type of wash you use you are having a negative impact on the exterior of your car.

The reality is that there is a paint job on your car and the more times you wash it the more times you are using strong chemicals on that car. Over time the paint will slowly fade and wear away. To the average car owner, this will not be that noticeable but to a real car lover, a slight fade will be like watching your youth fade away. Most modern cars are built with a finish that protects the paint and most manufacturers say that it should last ten years. If you own a classic car don’t expect it to have this protection anymore.

The hand wash

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Any car lover will tell you that if you care about your car you must use a hand wash. They argue that the machine approach offers too high a risk to damage your car. They are right. While these machine operations are usually reliable and won’t do any damage to your car nine out of ten times, it only takes something going wrong once to ruin your coat. Most of these car washes have you sign some liability waiver which means they won’t accept any fault if it does happen. 

This is why those who really care only use a hand wash. However, you must be careful here too. If you are washing your car yourself you should realize your limitations. You are not a professional so you must take incredible care with the products you are using, how long you are leaving them on, and the approach you are taking.

Our best tip is to use a large number of buckets for your sponges so that you have a bucket for the really dirty parts of the car like the wheels, a bucket for normal dirt, and a totally clean bucket. This will ensure that you don’t capture any sediments and rub them on your car which would result in scratches. 

The traditional tunnel car wash

We are all fans of the feeling of sending your car through a traditional tunnel wash with rotating brushes. These do have a bad reputation though as they are so automated that no care is taken. Make sure to tuck in your wing mirrors before you venture into this wash. While they do have a poor reputation, studies have shown they do no more damage than alternative approaches.

The modern soft cloth or touchless
The modern approaches are the soft cloth tunnel. This has been shown to be the same as the rotating brushes as it too can capture debris during the wash and rub it on your car so you should be cautious. The touchless car wash solves this problem but uses much stronger chemicals so is not advised to be used often either.

It appears that hand wash is the best way to go if you care about your car but don’t wash it if it doesn’t need a wash. While it may shine for a few days you are ensuring that it won’t shine forever.