When Is the Best Time to Wash Your Car?

Washing your car occasionally in order to keep it in tip-top shape is important. In fact, you should give your car a bath once every two weeks in order to keep all of the grime away and the paint shining. But what is the best time of day to wash it?

Washing your car in the Summer is time sensitive

 A rag lies on the rear-view mirror of a car during a car wash.
A rag lies on the rear-view mirror of a car during a car wash. | (Photo by Frank Rumpenhorst/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Depending on where you live, keeping your car clean in the Summertime is typically pretty easy. Those sun-filled days and warmer weather can make breaking out the water hose and suds a fun and splashy experience. However, you might want to wait for a cloudier day to clean your car during the warmer months.

Windy days can blow a lot of pollen and grime on the car when it’s still wet, which can lead to scratches. And if you wash the car in direct sunlight on a hot day, then the soap could dry off quickly and leave water spots and soap stains. According to Andy’s Auto Wash, the best time to wash your car during the Summertime is mid-morning, evening, or a cloudy day, ideally if the weather is calm. That way, you won’t need to worry about the wind or the burning-hot sun messing up all your hard work.

Washing your car in the Winter is even more time-sensitive

A man detailing a car in Belfast
Washing a car | Liam McBurney via Getty Images

If you live in an area where it snows during the Wintertime, then washing your car can be tricky and very cold. Road salt and snow can wreak havoc on your car’s paint, which can lead you to wash your car more often, however, the time of day is important. Andy’s Auto Wash recommends washing your car in the morning time or when the temperature is above freezing.

By washing your car in the warmer part of the day, you can prevent the door locks and other parts of the car from freezing after washing it. However, if you live in an area where it doesn’t snow then remember to pick a day when it’s not raining. That way, you won’t have to worry about it getting dirty again.

Is it better to wash your car at night?

A person stands in an automatic car wash in October 2020
A person stands in an automatic car wash in October 2020 | Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Not really. If you can only wash your car at night time, then, by all means, do so. It’s technically better than washing it on a hot day or in direct sunlight, but washing it at night can still do damage. According to Car Wash Country, your car might stay damp at night time, which can lead to corrosion since the sunlight won’t be there to aid in the drying process.

Additionally, it can be tough to ensure that you dried every spot on the car even with the proper lighting. Our best suggestion is to wait until daytime and when the weather is as ideal as possible to wash your car.

Ultimately, the best time to wash your car isn’t set in stone, since you’ll likely wash it whenever it’s possible. However, a good rule of thumb is to keep the paint surfaces of the car as cool and clean as possible. Otherwise, washing your car at the wrong time of day can lead to expensive consequences later on.

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