How Often Should I Wash and Wax My Car?

When you buy a car, you invest in its care and maintenance, since staying proactive keeps it looking great and performing at peak levels. Part of this process involves consistently cleaning, waxing, and detailing parts that get grimy with time and use. While cleaning schedules might vary based on your environment and driving habits, here are a few helpful tips for keeping a tidy vehicle:


Everything needs a bath from time to time, especially if dusty roads and muddy trails have their way. As a solid rule of thumb, aim to wash your car no more than once per week (excessive washing can damage paint and lead to mineral buildup). Of course, this schedule depends on issues like weather and driving habits. During rainy seasons, it would be pointless and frustrating to attempt a shiny exterior, not to mention the threat of snow and ice accumulation.


A freshly-washed car looks that much sleeker when it gets waxed, but this added layer of protection does more than shine the finish. A thorough waxing protects your car’s paint from the damaging effects of pollution and other outdoor elements. Although time will vary depending on wax quality (pastes yield the best results), most waxes give you anywhere from four weeks to several months of protection. During dry seasons, experts recommend waxing every two to three months and ramping up to once per month during rainy seasons.

Helpful Hint: If your budget allows, consider a two-coat waxing that combines synthetic wax (first coat) finished with a single application of carnauba wax (for extra shine and protection).


Exterior detailing refers to prepping the paint–removing tar, asphalt and grime buildup–before thoroughly washing and/or waxing. For this task, frequency has no limits, and you can do a quick detailing every day if necessary. In fact, the more you clean buildup, the easier washing and waxing your car will be. For best results, buy a high-quality detailer spray and use microfiber towels to gently buff away grime and residue. Not only will regular detailing make dirt removal easier as you wash your vehicle, but it helps wax adhere to the surface.

If you take the time to create a car-cleaning habit, you’ll see how it translates to overall vehicle performance (debris buildup can damage the tires, engine, and other components).

For all your vehicle’s maintenance and repair needs, call University Auto Repair in Flagstaff at 928-779-3144 today!

Call University Auto Repair at 928-779-3144 for an appointment today!

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