Is It Bad to Wash Your Car Too Often?

Washing your car is super important. It helps to protect your paint’s finish, making it last longer and look shiny for years to come. It can even help you increase the resale value or your vehicle.

So how often should you actually wash your car then to get these benefits? Are there any drawbacks to washing your car too often, say every week, or even every day?

In this article, I’ll be talking about overwashing your car, and the risks you need to consider. So let’s get started!

The Quick Answer

It is not bad to wash your car every day or week, there is no such thing as washing your car too often. As long as you use proper wash technique and keep your paint protection topped up, then it will not cause an issue.

You need to make sure you’re using proper washing techniques to avoid damaging your paint’s finish. If you’re using improper technique, then washing your car very frequently will highlight this even more.

It’s also important to keep your paint protection topped up. Frequent washing will remove your wax, sealant or ceramic coating faster. So if you want to wash your car every day, then you’ll need to protect your paint more often.

Use Proper Wash Technique

Proper wash technique is always essential. Whether you’re washing your car every day, or every few months. However, ensuring that you’re using proper technique is even more important when you’re washing your car more often.

The more often you’re washing your car, the more risk you have of damaging the paint’s finish (if you’re not using the correct techniques).

Every time you touch your car’s paint, with your hands, your wash mitt, towels etc., you run the risk of scratching the paint. I’m not talking about causing huge scratches, but I’m talking about the micro scratches that cause your paint to look dull.

You may not notice them all the time, but if you park your car in direct sunlight, then you’ll definitely see them. In some cases, they can look like spider webs, other times they look like swirls.

Swirled paint due to improper wash technique

Contrary to popular belief, your car’s paint is pretty delicate. Any type of friction against the car’s paint can potentially cause this kind of damage. That means it’s really important to minimise this friction and prevent micro scratches from occurring when you’re washing and drying your vehicle.

So what is proper wash technique?

There are several rules you need to follow to avoid scratching your car.

  1. Rinse your car thoroughly to remove as much dirt as possible before beginning the wash process, and ideally use a pre-wash chemical such as a snow foam or citrus spray.
  2. Never use a sponge to wash your car. They collect grit and dirt which gets rubbed against your car causing scratches. Instead, use a microfiber or lambs wool wash mitt.
  3. Always use proper car shampoo, and never dish washing soap to clean your car.
  4. Keep checking your wash mitt every to check it’s not full of dirt. Every time you wipe a section, check your mitt and rinse it or swap it out for a clean one.
  5. Don’t dip a gritty wash mitt into your shampoo bucket. Always rinse your mitt down first.
  6. Make sure your car’s paint is always lubricated with water and car shampoo whenever you’re using your wash mitt. If an area of your car dries out during the wash process, always re-wet it before touching the paint again. Avoid washing your car in direct sunlight to prevent this.
  7. Never scrub at your paint. Make sure you wash it gently using plenty of shampoo and water.
  8. Use a microfiber towel to dry your car, not a bathroom towel.
  9. Don’t swipe the paint’s finish when drying, instead, lightly press the towel onto the surface and let it soak up the water. Using a slightly damp microfiber towel helps with this.
  10. Use a different wash mitt and bucket to wash your wheels and paint. Your wheels will always be dirtier so you don’t want to cross contaminate.

Check out this complete guide to washing your car without causing scratches.

Top Up Your Paint Protection

The other problem with washing your car very often, is that it will wear away at your paint protection, like your wax, sealant or ceramic coating.

Having proper paint protection is very important.

Not only does it make your car look shiny and help to give it that mirror finish, but it also helps prevent oxidation and UV damage, causing your paint to look dull and faded. Waxes, sealants and ceramic coatings also help to prevent contaminants like iron fallout, tar and bird mess from bonding to your paint.

Over time, your paint protection will start to break down and you’ll need to reapply it. The rate at which this happens really depends on a few things, like where you store your car, the climate and the type of paint protection you’re using.

But washing your car often also accelerates this process. If you want to wash your car weekly, then you’ll need to make sure you’re not neglecting your paint protection.

You’ll notice this happening when water stops beading up on your car’s paint when you wash it, or when it rains.

Try using a longer lasting sealant or ceramic coating so you don’t have to top it up as often.

One of the most durable sealants is called Fusso Coat by Soft99. It’s very long lasting, and also has amazing hydrophobic properties.

You can get up to 12 months protection using this product. However, I tend to top it up after around 4-5 months when I’m washing my car weekly to make sure I’m getting the best water beading and shine.

How Often Should You Wash Your Car

So what is the optimal frequency for washing your car, to make sure it’s well protected and looks great. The answer depends on a few different factors.

  1. The weather. The worse the weather is, the more often you should wash your car. When it rains, your car will get dirty faster, and it’s pretty unavoidable.
  2. Where you store your car. If you store your car in a garage, then you won’t need to wash your car as much. And if you store it under a tree, then you’ll definitely need to wash it more!
  3. How often you drive. A car that’s being driven 500 miles a week is going to need washing far more often than a garage queen.
  4. Dust and salt. If you live in a dusty area or near the sea, you’ll need to clean your car more often to avoid contaminants settling and bonding to your finish.

Okay, so all these factors are important, but you probably want a more definitely answer.

In my opinion, you should wash your car at least every 2-3 weeks if it’s your daily driver. This is a manageable amount which prevents your car from getting too grubby.

I tend to wash my car once a week, because I want it to always look super clean and shiny. But it’s not totally necessary.

You can wash your car as often as you like, as long as you remember to do it properly to prevent the finish getting damaged, and you maintain your paint protection.

Thanks for reading! I hope you’ve found this article helpful. Check out the blog to learn more about making your car look it’s best.



Heather is a professional car detailer & valeter based in Cheshire and the owner of Auto Care HQ. A familiar face in the car detailing community, she has written over 200 car detailing guides on and has produced over 165 videos on the Auto Care HQ YouTube channel.

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