How to Wash Your Car During the Winter

how to wash your car in the winter

Keeping your car squeaky-clean during the summer months is pretty easy. However, keeping your vehicle clean may seem impossible when winter starts to roll around. Extremely cold weather conditions can be harsh on our vehicles, and keeping your car properly maintained during snowy months is more important than ever. 

Road salt, for one, can cause significant damage to your vehicle. Because it is corrosive, it accelerates the rusting process on your car. Salt can also be damaging to your wheels and tires, as it impacts tire grip, and increases wear and tear. The moisture in the air can also damage your car’s paint. 

While you don’t necessarily need to wash your car several times a day, it’s important to  take care of your vehicle properly during winter months to avoid getting stuck in any icy situation. If you’re wondering how to wash your car properly during the winter, here are some tips that should come in handy.


Scrubbing is a big no-no when you’re cleaning your vehicle in freezing cold weather. Instead of scrubbing, rinse your car instead. The goal here is to get rid of any sand, road salt, or gunk that may be stuck in your wheel wells. Also, rinse your undercarriage thoroughly. Again, don’t think about using a brush to scrub the body of your car, unless you want to cause damage to your paint. 

Don’t forget to rinse every bit of ice and snow out of the areas where your wiper blades are parked, which is the area between your hood and windshield. This spot shouldn’t be blocked by any ice. Otherwise, your defroster might not work properly. 

Use warm water

Keep in mind that it’s best to use warm water, not hot water, when washing your car during cold months. Hot water also shouldn’t be used to melt the ice or snow on your windshield during freezing temperatures. This is especially true if there’s a tiny crack on your windshield. Hot water may further aggravate the damage, as it can increase the size of the crack. Be careful when cleaning any glass areas of your car to avoid damage. 

Wash your car in an enclosed area

If possible, it’s best to wash your vehicle in a garage or other enclosed area.   A pressure washer may not be really necessary in this case, as there is no proper ventilation. If washing your car in a garage isn’t possible, a car wash bay is another option. The goal here is to block the wind so that the suds and soap don’t dry easily. 

Use a handheld pump sprayer

Lubrication is key when it comes to cleaning a car safely in the winter. Keeping the surface lubricated is a crucial step to ensure that dirt and road salt are removed. Soap also comes in handy in order to carry the dirt away. While it’s best to use a mitt or a microfiber towel, be sure to allow soap to break down the dirt and salt first. Otherwise, rubbing the vehicle may cause scratches on your windows and mirrors. It’s also ideal to use a handheld pump sprayer, as a pressure washer isn’t really recommended. 

Use sealant or wax for added protection

Keeping your car protected during the freezing weather is all about prevention. In addition to regular cleanings, it’s also highly encouraged to keep your car clean in between washes. Consider using quality wax or sealant. If you’re looking for the type of wax that repels snow or water well, carnauba wax is a good option. 

Remember to remove salt from your car’s undercarriage

If you live in an area where winter hits hard, this step is a must.  If salt build-up is left unaddressed for too long, it can easily corrode your vehicle’s metal, resulting in rust. Make sure you  remember to remove any residual salt from the underbody of your vehicle. Whether you prefer to take your car through a car wash or use a handheld sprayer, the important thing is to get rid of leftover salt and winter grime from underneath your car. 

It’s so important to keep your car clean, especially during the winter season. Keep your vehicle in tip-top shape during the cold months by following these tips! 

If you need more tips on car maintenance, or if you’re looking for a quality second-hand vehicle, please visit Carfect



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