How Often To Wash Car In Winter?

Washing car in cold weather is essential to maintaining it, but how often should you do it in the winter?

It depends on a few factors, including where you live and what kind of weather you’re dealing with.

Normally, washing your car every two weeks in the winter is a good rule of thumb.

Here are a few tips for keeping your vehicle clean all winter long!

When Is It Too Cold To Wash Your Car?

You shouldn’t wash your car in temperatures below freezing (32°F/0°C). Doing so can damage the paint and cause rust. If you must wash your car in cold weather, be sure to use a gentle soap and warm water.

Read more: 3 Best Car Wash Pressure Washers You Should Buy

How To Wash a Car in Winter?

You can save a few bucks by washing your car yourself. An automatic car wash may come as another alternative, but I recommend that you avoid them. Though they seem convenient, they damage your paintwork.  

The brushes, at most automatic car washes, are not correctly maintained. As a result, you might end up with more swirl marks than you had before the wash. Furthermore, when you visit an automatic car wash, high-pressure water is shot at your car to pre-rinse and remove chemical cleaners, debris, grime, and contaminants. If the chemicals and rotating brush do not remove all the dirt from your car’s surface, the remaining dirt will be driven into your car’s paint.  

That said, hand washing wins every time. When washing your car by yourself, always use car gear with a power nozzle. This tool helps spray pressurized water under your car and tiny areas where salt, sand, and snow usually hide. 

Winter Car Washing Tips

1. In winter, it’s important to wash your car regularly to prevent salt and other chemicals from damaging the paint.

2. Use mild soap and warm water to wash your car.

3. Rinse your car thoroughly with clean water to remove all soap residue.

4. Dry your car with a soft towel to prevent water spots.

5. Wax your car to protect the paint and make it easier to clean next time.

6. If you live in an area where salt is used on the roads, be sure to wash your car more often to prevent corrosion.

Follow these tips and your car will look great all!

Read more: Foam Gun vs. Foam Cannon

Choose The Right Car Wash Soap

To protect your car, you should not use just any soap. The best car wash soaps are made carefully to be used on coatings and paints without harming them. I have used below products and they did great results.

Chemical Guys Snow Foam Car Wash Soap 

A small amount of this car wash soap can go a long way. The Chemical Guys CWS_110_64 produces thick suds when used with foam cannons or with regular bucket wash. The pH is neutral and does not cause corrosion on the body of the car. Additionally, the honey-dew scent is excellent and mild enough for car owners that are sensitive to smell.  

Did you get your car waxed? Not a problem. The Chemical Guys CWS_110_64 doesn’t break down your wax, and it has water softeners that prevent hard water spots when the car dries. Finally, this car wash soap does a great job at removing bug guts.  

You can buy it below:

Chemical Guys CWS_110 Honeydew Snow Foam Car Wash Soap (Works with Foam Cannons, Foam Guns or Bucket Washes), 1 Gallon, Honeydew Scent, 1 Gal/128 oz

Chemical Guys CWS_110


  • PH neutral solution  
  • Produces thick suds in foam cannon and bucket
  • Great scent


  • It May require handwashing to remove tough dirt and grimes

Meguiar’s G7101FFP Gold Class Car Wash  

The Meguiar’s G7101FFP is gentle on car paintwork. When you apply this product, your car wax doesn’t get washed away; it only takes away dirt, grime, and bug guts. Like the best car soaps, it features a pH-neutral solution that doesn’t rust your paint job. This wash soap produces thick suds that clings and washes off dirt and grime with ease.  

A great feature of the Meguiar’s G7101FFP is its distinct aroma, unlike the plethora of watermelon and raspberry scented wash soaps. The smell is also long-lasting, wearing off after 3-5 days.  

You can buy it below:

Meguiar's G7101FFP Gold Class Car Wash - 1 gallon

Meguiar’s G7101FFP


  • Excellent foaming ability
  • Washes dirt and grimes with ease
  • Unique smell
  • Works perfectly on bright colors


  • Leaves watermarks if not dried properly

Optimum No Rinse Car Wash & Shine 

As the name implies, Optimum No Rinse Wash and shine do not require water to rinse because there are no suds to wash off. This product is unique in such a way that it contains a polymer that binds to the car coating, protecting it from abrasion.  

In addition to protection, this polymer offers more lubrication than any other car wash and leaves your car shiny. Benefits of this product are the ability to wash anywhere, including inside your garage during winter, fast washes, no messy runoff, and a glossy look afterward. Also, the pH is neutral, and it does not strip the coating of your car.  

You can buy it below:

Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine

Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine


  • Pre-washing isn’t necessary
  • No rinsing needed
  • Great value for money
  • Pleasant bubblegum scent


  • May leave a noticeable haze on windows

Read more: Terry Cloth Vs. Microfiber: Which Is Better for Car Detailing?

Final Thought

Washing your car in the winter, although tedious, is essential. It is crucial to prevent rusting and spoiling important parts of your car with salt. It is advisable to wash your car immediately you notice grime, bug guts, bird poop, dirty water stains to avoid spoiling the paint.  

To take care of your car, the minimum amount of time should be once a week, and it depends on how frequently it snows in your region. Be careful enough to avoid frequent visits to automated car washes, which can easily cause damage to your car paint.  

Finally, if you plan on washing your car yourself this winter, get any of the wash soaps recommended in this post. The products highlighted are produced by reputable brands and offer significant washing actions. 

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