Car washes are expensive. A pass through an automated car wash can cost you $10 or more, and even using a self-serve wash bay can cost up to $5. Of course, you can wash your car yourself in your driveway, but that will take up a good chunk of your afternoon. Whether you spend the time or the money, you want your wash to last as long as possible. Here are five tips for keeping your car cleaner longer after a wash.
Keep it covered
The best way to keep your car’s exterior clean is to keep it out of the elements. Keep your car in your garage at all times when you are home. If you can, you might want to consider covering it with a tarp when it has to be parked outside.
Watch where you drive — and park
Keeping your car clean for as long as possible after a wash requires you to be cognizant of where you are driving and what the conditions are. For example, you want to avoid driving on dirt or gravel roads as much as you can, because your car will get coated with dust. Also try to avoid driving through large puddles that can splash dirty water onto your car body and windows. Where you park is important, too. You should avoid parking under trees where sap could drip onto your car or where roosting birds might defecate on it.
Waxing your car after a wash will help it look cleaner longer. The wax gives your car’s paint a shine that will gleam even when the car has dirt and grime on it. Make sure your car is totally dry after a wash before waxing and make sure you have removed any stuck-on dirt and grime before waxing.
Do your own detailing
Taking a few minutes to do some detailing on your car can keep it looking clean between washes. Every few days you should clean your windshield and also clean any bugs off your grille and front bumper using glass cleaner. Another good detailing chore to do is to wipe off the side walls of your tires with a cleaner.
Inside your car
As part of a wash, you likely clean and vacuum out the interior of your car, and you want to keep it as clean as possible for as long as possible, too. To do that, keep a small plastic bag in the car for any trash, refrain from eating in the car, keep a hand vac in the car for quick cleanup and wipe down the floor mats often.
Following these tips will help keep your car clean and shiny until it’s time for the next wash.