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How Often to Wash a Car

Hand using a yellow sponge to scrub a vehicle's wheel and tire with soap

Knowing how to wash a car may be second nature to some Bismarck drivers, but some new car owners may not know where to start and might not understand the benefits of regular car washing. Some Devils Lake car owners may wash their car often to keep it looking nice, but there are other perks. Learn how to wash a car properly to keep it shiny and to protect your finish with the service team at Ryan Honda of Minot! Then, be sure to check out our service specials for your next service visit!

How to Wash a Car: Steps

Knowing how often to wash a car, ask yourself, how dirty is the car? Does it just need a quick wash or a more thorough cleaning? A wash and wax will suffice If your vehicle is fairly new or was recently waxed and polished. However, if your vehicle has been exposed to the Dickinson elements for quite some time, it may need a more intense car wash.

Step 1: Rinse & Wash

Rinse the car off first, removing loose dirt and debris off the surface. A large sponge will do, but some prefer car washing mitts and drying cloths. After the body of the car has been washed, next up is the windows. Use an ammonia-free solution created specifically for cars as anything else could damage your paint job. Finally, move onto the rims and tires, switching to a low-strength, acid-free PH balanced aluminum wheel cleaner.

Step 2: Remove Bumps & Apply Compound

Still finding debris after washing the car? A clay bar will remove tough debris, like tree sap. Finding tiny scratches beneath the surface? Apply a compound with a dual-action polisher which may take 2-4 coats.

Step 3: Apply Polish (If Needed)

Dual-action polishers are usually your best bet for polishing your vehicle because the oils in the polish provide a glossy look. To apply the polisher, choose between a soft cloth or an orbital buffer. While an orbital buffer is quicker, it gives you less control over the finished product. If debris comes between the buffer pad and your car’s paint job, this can lead to scratches.

Step 4: Wax Your Car

Car wax protects the paint from UV rays and helps it retain its sheen. Carnauba and polymer are the most common types of wax. While polymer is more expensive than carnauba, it sets faster and doesn’t haze.

How Often to Wash a Car

How often you drive your car in Minot directly affects how often to wash a car. Only commuting to and from work? A wash every two weeks will do. Enjoy off-roading? Your vehicle should be washed after every excursion, right after if possible. Every car should be washed every six months no matter the circumstances.

Tips on How to Wash a Car

  • Cleaning Supplies: Choose products specifically created to protect your car’s paint – not hand soap, dishwashing soap, or household glass cleaner. A natural sponge or wool mitt to wash is best.
  • Washing: After rinsing the car, lather up your car with soap and clean the sponge with fresh water as you wash the car body, windows, tires, and wheels.
  • Drying: Be sure to hand-dry the vehicle with a terry cloth towel or chamois. Air drying will leave your car covered in swirl marks.

Learn More About Car Maintenance From Ryan Honda of Minot

Know that you know how often to wash a car, contact our service team at Ryan Honda of Minot with any questions! Whether it’s helping with service tips and tricks or helping you find your next new car, we’re happy to help!


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