Keeping your car clean during the winter is no small feat. From dirty snow to salt, it seems like your car never stays clean for long. The following tips will keep your car looking great from now until the spring thaw comes around. From preparing it for the winter to knowing where to park, your car doesn’t have to look terrible from now until April.
Give Your Car a Deep Cleaning
Before the first snowfall, it’s a good idea to give your car a good cleaning, both inside and out. This is one of the best ways to prep your car for the bad weather ahead. Wash all exterior surfaces and make sure there aren’t any chips in the pain. Then, apply both car wax and sealant. According to Bankrate, polymer wax does for cars what gloves do for your hands – they create a shield against the salt, grime and bad weather.
Get Rid of the Salt
According to Angie’s List, a salt-covered car doesn’t just look ugly, but it’s bad for your vehicle. Salt can screw up upholstery and rust metal. You should bring your car in for a wash every ten days. The best time to wash your car is when the temperature is over 40 degrees. If you wash your car during the daytime, it’ll have plenty of time to dry thoroughly before the nighttime chill sets in.
More Car Washing Tips
When washing your car during the winter, make sure to always use fresh water. A high-pressure hose is your best bet, too. It’s a good idea to mix some baking soda in with the warm water in order to dissolve salt. Never use shop rags on your car – they may contain small bits of metal, which can scratch the surface. Also, don’t forget to wash behind the mud flaps, in the crevices of the trunk, and underneath the handles. Once you’ve washed and rinsed your car, dry it thoroughly. You may even want to leave the doors open for a little while so that any trapped water will dry out.
Driving and Parking Tips to Keep Your Car Clean
When driving during the wintertime, avoid deep snow, which can expose the metal of your car’s undercarriage to corrosive salt. Also, whenever possible, avoid driving through slush and puddles. During the winter, you may want to change your parking spot to protect your car from salt and the elements. If you’re able, park in a heated garage. However, you want to make sure that the car is clean before you do so. If it’s not, the melting slush could cause car corrosion. If you have to park outside, try to stay in a covered area. While a lot of people think it’s better to park inside, parking outside does have it’s advantages – the slush is likely to stay frozen, which means the salt won’t corrode your car as quickly.