How do I wash my car at home in the winter?

I live in an area with heavy snow and ice during winter. Local road crews use salt and chemicals to treat the roads and it gets all over my car, and I know this can damage my car. However, I’m afraid to wash my car during winter because the water freezes and it’s just downright cold. Are there any tips or hacks for washing your car at home during the winter?

Road conditions, winter weather, and road salt can harm your car. However, a winter car wash isn’t nearly as harmful as you might think. With the proper equipment, warm clothes, and speed (because after all, it’s cold out there), you can have your car sparkling like new.
The easiest way to wash your car at home in winter is by using a waterless or rinseless wash. These products remove dust, dirt, grime, and salt while leaving behind *a protective sealant**. To use a waterless wash, follow these steps:
  • Lightly spray the area.
  • Let it emulsify and loosen the grime for about a minute.
  • Use a microfiber towel to wipe the surface, rubbing in straight lines with little pressure.
  • Use circular motions to buff out any swirls.
Note that traditional car washes can lead to frozen doors, locks, and windows, so it’s not always the best option. Waxing is also difficult below 55 degrees, as the wax hardens and won’t spread easily.
If you simply must wash your car with a bucket and hose the old-fashioned way, do so when the temperature is 40 degrees or above to avoid frozen water. A heated garage is always a great place to get the job done. If that’s not possible, make 100% sure to wipe away water from the tops of windows and locks so they don’t become inoperable.
If you get cold easily, brace yourself. Most experts agree that you should wash your car at least once every two weeks during winter. While it’s a pain, it will remove the salt that can lead to rust and corrosion.
Since you’re looking for ways to care for your car in the winter, you should also look into roadside assistance or towing and labor coverage to your car insurance policy.
If your current car insurance company doesn’t offer such a policy, you may want to shop around with Jerry. Jerry offers customers a modern roadside assistance membership. Along with traditional benefits, you get Uber-like tracking for the status of your service and the ability to contact your service provider directly for as low as $4.16 a month.
Eric Schad
Answered on Nov 16, 2021
Eric Schad has been a freelance writer for nearly a decade, as well as an SEO specialist and editor for the past five years. Before getting behind the keyboard, he worked in the finance and music industries (the perfect combo). With a wide array of professional and personal experiences, he’s developed a knack for tone and branding across many different verticals. Away from the computer, Schad is a blues guitar shredder, crazed sports fan, and always down for a spontaneous trip anywhere around the globe.

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