How to Wash Your Car in Winter

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  • 6/7/2022
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Living in Kuwait comes with several benefits. However, during winter, when it’s cold outside, you may wonder if you need to change your car washing routine.

In most cases, it depends on your usual cleaning regimen.

However, winter grime can build up, cause issues, damage, and other problems that you need to deal with. If these issues aren't handled, rust, corrosion, and other damage may develop especially if you have a used car.

Even when sleet and snow aren't part of your forecast, maintaining your vehicle and following a few rules will ensure you and your car look good all winter long. It may also help you save money in the future.

 

Gather the Needed Tools and Equipment

A basic list of equipment and tools you should have to wash your vehicle during the winter should include:

  • Quality pressure washer
  • Cleaning gloves (optional)
  • Two buckets (one with soap one with clean water)
  • Car shampoo, polish, pre-cleaner, tire shine, wax, wheel cleaner
  • At least two wash mitts
  • Wheel brush
  • Microfiber cloths

You can purchase all these items at any auto accessory retailer.

The Proper Method for Washing Your Car This Winter

If you search the term "vehicle detailing" online, you will likely discover there's more to washing a vehicle than you may have thought.

If you own a sports car, supercar, or specialist car, it's best to leave this to the professionals. However, if your goal is to keep your vehicle looking nice and protect the paint, you can use this car washing process.

 

Read more: How could you protect your car from the burning sun?

 

Clean the Wheels First

The first step of the process is cleaning the wheels. Allow the cleaner to soak in for a little while before you start scrubbing the grime. Once you’ve given the wheels a good scrub, rinse them using your pressure washer.

Apply the Pre-Cleaner

The next step after the wheels is applying the pre-cleaner to the body. This will start to break up weather and road contaminants such as sap, tar, bugs, and more. A good option to try is to create a type of snow foam.

Use the Two-Bucket Method

The two-bucket method is highly recommended when washing your car. Rinse your wash mitt in the freshwater bucket before you do the same thing with the shampoo mix.

Wash a section or panel of the car's body and then repeat the process until the entire vehicle has been washed. You can use your pressure washer to rinse away the shampoo when you’re done scrubbing.

Using the two-bucket method helps ensure the dirt on the wash mitt from your vehicle is rinsed before scrubbing another part. This allows that small debris collected in the mitt doesn’t scratch the paint. Instead, they will fall to the bottom of your rinse bucket.

Dry Using a Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

More advanced washing methods (like those used by the pros) include a decontamination stage, such as clay baring before you dry your car. This helps to ensure the paint is smooth and removes any impurities, like the ground in tar. However, it’s not essential for a general motorist.

Once your vehicle is dry, you can use a detailing spray or polish. This finishing product will help ensure a beautiful shine is achieved.

Wipe the Windshield

You can use a towel and cleaning products to hand-clean the windows and windshield several times per month. Doing this will help minimize the build-up of grime, which may impact your ability to see clearly.

Apply Wax

You can apply wax after it’s washed. Once the wax barrier is in place, winter damage will be minimized significantly.

Modern waxes are much easier to apply than older versions. You can also purchase spray-on wax, which applies right to the paint and then can be rinsed away. This is a simple and effective way to protect your vehicle.

Wash Your Car as Much as You Can

You may be a bit discouraged when you put in all this time and effort to clean your vehicle only to find it has gotten dirty again rather quickly.

Unfortunately, this is going to happen – especially during winter.

However, cleaning your vehicle as much as you can is beneficial. That's because you remove all the contaminants on the surface and they won't have as much time to impact your car's paint or cause rust to develop.

 

Read more: Important tips for increasing the coolness of the air-conditioner in your car

 

Additional Rules and Tips for Washing Your Vehicle During Winter

It’s suggested that you try to wash your car every 10 to 14 days during winter. It's also a good idea to wash your vehicle after any adverse weather conditions to remove any contaminants that may have accumulated on the surface.

It's also best to only wash your car on days when it is 4.5 degrees Celsius or higher. This will ensure the water doesn't freeze on your vehicle. While this isn't a huge issue in Kuwait, it is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind.

While you’re washing your vehicle, make sure you use plenty of clean water to remove the loose dirt and dust. Don't forget to rinse the undercarriage well. By doing this, you can get rid of a lot of grime that’s hiding there.

Tips for Keeping Your Vehicle Clean All Winter Long

It’s best to park your vehicle inside a garage or cover it using a tarp, to keep it shielded from the elements and prevent serious issues from rising.

Keeping Your Car Looking Great All Winter Long

If you follow these tips, you can improve the look and finish of your vehicle. It also means that if you decide you want to sell your vehicle down the road, it’ll look great and won’t have any issues that neglected vehicles may have.