How to Keep My Car Clean Between Washes

Dusty Car

We’ve all been there: You just washed your car only to have it covered in a thin but noticeable layer of dust within a week. Not only does it feel like you just threw your money down the drain, but if you’re a stickler for cleanliness, it may be embarrassing to drive around with a less than immaculate vehicle exterior.

If you don’t want dust and debris to ruin your car’s just-cleaned appearance, follow these tips.

  1. Park in a garage or under cover as much as possible. Whether a haboob hits or you live next to a construction site, keeping your car hidden away from the elements will prevent those fine layers of dirt from building up. Plus, you’ll avoid the “sprinkle” effect that makes cars appear even dirtier when there’s a light rain.

  2. Purchase a car cover if you don’t have a garage at home. There are many quality car covers with locks that keep them snug. Locking them also deters thieves and protects the cover from strong winds that could blow if off otherwise.

  3. Use a waterless car wash concentrate on your car. Products like these come in handy in between washes, offering a simple spray-down-and-wipe solution to clean your car without having to pull out the hose and buckets or head to the automatic car wash. If you use a product like this, just keep in mind that you should wipe gently with microfiber and in one direction (not in circles) to avoid scratches.

  4. Don’t park under trees. In addition to bird dropping, you’ll also avoid having leaves and other debris fall down from the tree onto your car.

  5. Don’t park near sprinkler systems. This is especially pertinent when you’re out in the evenings or late at night (hint: stay away from grass).

  6. Clean your windshield with glass cleaner, or at least with the gas station squeegee. A clean windshield can make the difference between a car looking very dirty or not. Plus, it ensures that you have good visibility. Also, make sure to clean the inside of the windshield from time to time.

  7. Have your car waxed at least twice a year. This will help protect your paint job, so even when dust and debris settle on your car’s exterior, they won’t do as much harm to the clear coat.


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