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View Full Version : Frequency of car washing? Too frequent=insanity?


S93D
02-14-2011, 11:48 AM
How often should you wash your car? More than 10 years ago, I used to wash the car weekly. Insanity?

Now, I do the following:

bird droppings: rinsed the same day.
wheels: rinsed with a soft brush about every 2-3 weeks
rinsed with a hose: monthly? (takes 2 minutes, not very thorough)
rinsed with water and a soft cloth: maybe 3 times a year
washed and waxed: yearly (:eeps: that infrequently!)

Should one wash more often?

Glock13
02-15-2011, 11:18 AM
I'm kind of in the boat of trying not to wash it too much as well. I don't need it to be spotless-clean everyday, but it gets dirty enough to look bad about every 3-4 weeks assuming there is not a lot of rain. Right now I am averaging one wash every 3 weeks. I just got a paint-correction done and it is black so I am very careful. Once a year seems pretty long though. :dunno: How clean does washing it with water and a cloth get it? I would think this would do more damage to the paint than help??

sno_duc
02-15-2011, 11:25 AM
My 135 is Jet black needless to say it shows dirt.
In the winter if the temps stay below 20*f, I can go 3 weeks or so between washing. Rest of the year weekly.
When the water doesn't bead, it's time for a waxing.

Angelo@properautocare.com
02-15-2011, 01:34 PM
How often should you wash your car? More than 10 years ago, I used to wash the car weekly. Insanity?

Now, I do the following:

bird droppings: rinsed the same day.
wheels: rinsed with a soft brush about every 2-3 weeks
rinsed with a hose: monthly? (takes 2 minutes, not very thorough)
rinsed with water and a soft cloth: maybe 3 times a year
washed and waxed: yearly (:eeps: that infrequently!)

Should one wash more often?

One should wash at least once a week their car ( rims too ). I recommend a twice a year full detail if you drive it everyday. April/May time frame and Oct/Nov time frame if possible. A sealant is the best way to go that will last 6 months or more and top it with your favorite wax.

TopDownInFL
02-15-2011, 03:26 PM
One should wash at least once a week their car ( rims too ). I recommend a twice a year full detail if you drive it everyday. April/May time frame and Oct/Nov time frame if possible. A sealant is the best way to go that will last 6 months or more and top it with your favorite wax.

I do exactly that. S93D, it's not about insanity; it's about maintenance and enjoying your car to the fullest.

Campfamily
02-15-2011, 03:36 PM
I wash all of my cars (I have 4) every weekend. My neighbors think I'm nuts, but one thing I've noticed is that I can wash them each of them in 20 minutes or less, even my wife's family hauler (Nissan Armada). But, I really like driving a car that is spotless clean.

Keith

02BMW530
02-15-2011, 04:24 PM
In the winter, I usually do it about once a month through an automatic car wash. When it warms up, I try to do every other or every third week by hand at a self-service bay. I generally pass on their soap (but not the brush!) and use Meguiars or Mothers in a bucket. I do everything from front to back, roof, lightly spray engine compartment, and hardcore on the wheels. every three months I hand wax it. I plan on a full interior and exterior detail in the early summer (by a professional).

I have the tan leather, by late spring they're a lovely shade of blue or black from my pants. :D


Sent from my iPhone using BimmerApp

S93D
02-15-2011, 04:51 PM
How clean does washing it with water and a cloth get it? I would think this would do more damage to the paint than help??

When it rains, there is dirt and water spots, particularly on the lower part of the car. My monthly rinsing gets rid of dust or pollen but not this dirt. It could reduce the dirt slightly.

When I rinse it with a cloth, a lot of water is pouring on the body panel and I use a soft cloth. It seems to do the trick since the car looks shiny afterwards.

I do have a squeegee that I use every night if there's water on the windows. Because of this, my windows are usually clean.

How do you wash the bottom of the car? I'd like to have a lift and then have a cloth mitt to wash the bottom. Right now, I just spray the bottom (and wheel wells) about once every 1-2 weeks, usually whenever bird droppings have to be rinsed off or wheels cleaned. I've seen the bottoms of new cars...very clean looking.

Munich77
02-16-2011, 07:20 AM
Whenever I see bird droppings on the car, I remove them as soon as possible. I carry quick detailer in the car for the purpose. As for washing the car, on the BMW I have noticed that the rims need to get washed at least every other week or they are a pain to clean. Therefore, I wash my car about twice a month. The same for my wife's car. On her car it might be even longer as it is easier to clean without BMW's trademarked brake dust. I don't like just rinsing off my car as it can create water spots. I generally hand wash the car and can do it in about an hour - that includes wheels, washing the entire car and using quick detailer while drying. I have a rinseless car wash as a backup for those winter days when it is way too cold to wash - I use ONR for that purpose.

Twice a year the car gets a full detail. Waxing is maybe four times. I have several and most recently I have been using a spray wax which is awesome. I can wax the entire car in less than 15 minutes. -

need4speed
02-16-2011, 09:19 AM
Every week to 10 days. Sealant 4 times a year and extra layer of sealant rejuvenator every other wash. Of course, I drive my old "weather beater" (still 315lb. of fun TQ.) on truly ugly days. N4S

pilotman
02-16-2011, 12:35 PM
for those detailing nerds who think going through an automatic carwash is punishable by death, how do you flush salt, road grime etc. from the undercarriage?

I live in Michigan and if I never went through an automatic car wash with underbody blast/flush the salt would stay there forever. :dunno:

Ryan...
02-16-2011, 01:11 PM
I washed my e30 once.

oh that guy
02-16-2011, 03:26 PM
In the Summer the bimmer weekly. Winter about once a month but I barely drive it in the winter. The Rover is about once or twice a year. Mustang about 3 or 4 times a summer depending on how often I drive it.

Angelo@properautocare.com
05-12-2011, 05:58 AM
Great reply's folks! How bout the rest of you?

dpritchett
05-12-2011, 06:22 AM
One should wash at least once a week their car ( rims too ). I recommend a twice a year full detail if you drive it everyday. April/May time frame and Oct/Nov time frame if possible. A sealant is the best way to go that will last 6 months or more and top it with your favorite wax.

That's exactly what I do ... full detail twice a year, and weekly wash (unless weather intervenes).

Aside from pride of wonership, etc., I'm vain enough to like the comments I get at work about how clean/new my car looks.

M&K
05-12-2011, 07:45 AM
Right now, when I can't park inside at night (step daughter home from college, moves into her apartment June 1, but all her shlt is currently in the garage), I let it go a couple weeks between washes. As soon as I'm able to park inside again, the car will get a thorough hand wash and 3 step hand cleaner/swirl remover/wax treatment. After that, it will be washed when needed, which will depend on how much rain it sees, and waxed every 4 - 6 weeks plus one final treatment before it returns to storage in November. Next spring, the 3 step process and back to the same schedule. As mentioned above, if water doesn't instantly bead, it's time for wax again.

Youngproexec
05-12-2011, 02:58 PM
I do the following:

Do a full wash three times a week
Full wax after each wash
Complete interior leather detail
Wheel cleaning and polishing everyday -- style 5's are a b**** to clean !!!
Tire cleaning and armorall after every wash
Full polish every week
Garaged everyday
Never driven in winter or cold from november until late april
Cleaning windows after wash
Bumper trim cleaning after wash
Window trim cleaning after wash
Covered with a car cover when not in the garage most times, except on NYC streets because it's illegal. This includes parking lots, garages, ect.
Vacummed twice a week
Headlight cleaning after every wash
Engine cleaned with rags and a protective rubber solution twice a week.

Of course I do this when Im lazy. You should see how "hard" I go when the weather gets even better. All my neighbors think Im crazy, but at the same time, they know I have the cleanest damn car in all of Queens.

mujjuman
05-12-2011, 03:19 PM
I do the following:

Do a full wash three times a week
Full wax after each wash
Complete interior leather detail
Wheel cleaning and polishing everyday -- style 5's are a b**** to clean !!!
Tire cleaning and armorall after every wash
Full polish every week
Garaged everyday
Never driven in winter or cold from november until late april
Cleaning windows after wash
Bumper trim cleaning after wash
Window trim cleaning after wash
Covered with a car cover when not in the garage most times, except on NYC streets because it's illegal. This includes parking lots, garages, ect.
Vacummed twice a week
Headlight cleaning after every wash
Engine cleaned with rags and a protective rubber solution twice a week.

Of course I do this when Im lazy. You should see how "hard" I go when the weather gets even better. All my neighbors think Im crazy, but at the same time, they know I have the cleanest damn car in all of Queens.

I do my exterior every other day. Just wash. I hand wax monthly basis
My interior is messy

ProRail
05-12-2011, 03:48 PM
I do the following:

Do a full wash three times a week
Full wax after each wash
Complete interior leather detail
Wheel cleaning and polishing everyday -- style 5's are a b**** to clean !!!
Tire cleaning and armorall after every wash
Full polish every week
Garaged everyday
Never driven in winter or cold from november until late april
Cleaning windows after wash
Bumper trim cleaning after wash
Window trim cleaning after wash
Covered with a car cover when not in the garage most times, except on NYC streets because it's illegal. This includes parking lots, garages, ect.
Vacummed twice a week
Headlight cleaning after every wash
Engine cleaned with rags and a protective rubber solution twice a week.

Of course I do this when Im lazy. You should see how "hard" I go when the weather gets even better. All my neighbors think Im crazy, but at the same time, they know I have the cleanest damn car in all of Queens.

I am sure you do not want to hear my response.

Youngproexec
05-12-2011, 04:05 PM
@ mujjuman- I used to wash ( hand wash of course ) every other day until I got sight of the water bill :rofl:


@ prorail - Actually I do want to hear your response

John77577
05-12-2011, 05:03 PM
I have unlimited car wash at Delta Sonic. I get it washed at every fill up.

George Allan
05-12-2011, 05:37 PM
Rinse always after returning home when it is raining .( takes most of the grime off)

Full wash about every 6 weeks

Full detail about once a year or when the water stops beading nicely ..



George Allan

logicalscott
05-13-2011, 04:59 AM
It's based on how dirty it is and where I am going to be driving in what kind of weather the next few days. Through the summer that generally means weekly. There aren't many weeks where there isn't at least a little rain and even though all the cars live inside the garage at night, mine sits outside all day. A standard wash (not getting the Q-tips out, but spending the time to get between the wheel spokes) doesn't take more than 20 minutes if you really hurry through it and have a set routine.

My F-150 4x4 was just stock but still took twice as long since it takes 6 moves of a step stool to wash the roof and reach all the windshield and rear window, 6 more to dry and 4 more to do the windows after washing plus multipule ares that trap and drip water. A 3 series is relatively easy, small and very few areas hold water.

JimD1
05-13-2011, 10:13 AM
I wash the SUV (Suzuki) once a year whether it needs it or not. Then it gets a sealant. It might get vacumned and the interior dressed then too if I am not to hot/tired after waxing.

The bimmer get comparitively good care. Bugs/bird cleaned off when I notice it. Washing depends a little on what it's seen but every 2-3 weeks probably on average. Vacumned nearly every time it is washed (I vacumn the convertible top too since it's a no-no to wash it unless you re-treat it). Interior cleaned when it needs it and protectant applied 1-2 times a year.

I've been doing the sealant routine once a year for 10 years or more on various cars. I will not pretend they looked great all the time but it is enough to prevent oxidation or obvious paint deteriorization. I expect flames on this but I just use "NuFinish". I am sure there are things that would make my cars look better but it holds up pretty well, is reasonably easy to use, and readily available at a good price.

Jim

Youngproexec
05-13-2011, 03:27 PM
I guess Im insane...

thkfast
05-15-2011, 04:59 PM
I guess Im insane...

Young,

I suffer from the same insanity.

I wash my car everytime it gets "dirty". In Iowa, it rains every other day. It's a dusty, dirty place and the wind blows all the time, we have lots of birds that poop, trees that leak sap and drop leaves, bugs that smash into the front of our cars and let's not even talk about the brutal WINTERS that start in November and last until...well May!

During the most extreme situations, I have washed or rinsed my car off three times in a single day.

My routine:

Bucket wash, rinse, blow dry (leaf blower) and spray waxed when it gets dirty - typically 3 times a week. This includes washing the wheels, inside of rims where I can reach, cleaning the brake calipers and dressing the tires after each wash. Wipe out door jams after each wash.

I vacuum when the floor mats show dirt and clean the dash, door panels and seats if they show dust or stains. I wax the car with Mequires or Zaino products any time water no longer beads - typically once a month.

I've stayed for extended periods of time in places like Oklahoma City and Phoenix and noticed I don't have to touch the car once after the initial cleaning I do when I arrive. Some parts of the country don't have crap constantly falling from the sky! Lucky bastards!

Youngproexec
05-15-2011, 05:17 PM
Young,

I suffer from the same insanity.

I wash my car everytime it gets "dirty". In Iowa, it rains every other day. It's a dusty, dirty place and the wind blows all the time, we have lots of birds that poop, trees that leak sap and drop leaves, bugs that smash into the front of our cars and let's not even talk about the brutal WINTERS that start in November and last until...well May!

During the most extreme situations, I have washed or rinsed my car off three times in a single day.

My routine:

Bucket wash, rinse, blow dry (leaf blower) and spray waxed when it gets dirty - typically 3 times a week. This includes washing the wheels, inside of rims where I can reach, cleaning the brake calipers and dressing the tires after each wash. Wipe out door jams after each wash.

I vacuum when the floor mats show dirt and clean the dash, door panels and seats if they show dust or stains. I wax the car with Mequires or Zaino products any time water no longer beads - typically once a month.

I've stayed for extended periods of time in places like Oklahoma City and Phoenix and noticed I don't have to touch the car once after the initial cleaning I do when I arrive. Some parts of the country don't have crap constantly falling from the sky! Lucky bastards!

Yeah man your def insane lol. But you have a brand new car so it's totally understandable. People see me with my 99 and sometimes wonder why I love it so much and clean it all the time, until they realize how clean it is . Im just obsessed with cleaning my car, and I don't see anything wrong with it. I waxed my car 69 times during last summer [ after 69 washes of course :D ]. I am more than insane.. Im insanely stupid:thumbup: