How Often Should You Detail Your Car?

From frequency to products, here’s what you should know about detailing your car the correct way.

Detailing your car helps to keep it clean, but the benefits go beyond that. Think of detailing as protecting your car’s appearance and function. Rather than just washing the outside layer of dirt away, detailing thoroughly cleans all of your car’s interior and exterior components. It removes harmful elements from surfaces, allowing you to keep your car looking and shining like new. What’s more, removing these elements helps to extend the life of ceramic and automotive paint protection.

Detailing your car isn’t just a chore; it’s a critical piece of car maintenance.

In this blog, you will learn:

How Often Should You Detail Your Car?

There are a few things you can do to expand the life of your ceramic coating.

Many experts recommend washing your car every two weeks. But for a full detail, you’ll want to aim for two or three times per year (about every 4-6 months).

A full detail includes washing the outside of the vehicle, cleaning the inside carpets and seats, wiping all interior surfaces, cleaning the headlights and tail lights, and conditioning any leather. You’ll also want to protect the car’s paint with a sealer.

Seasonal detailing is important, especially if you live in states where the weather is harsh. Coastal regions experience salty air, which can eat away at your car’s protective coating. The same goes for states that experience lots of snow and are exposed to salted roads.

Other factors to consider include:

  • The model and age of the vehicle
  • How often you drive the vehicle
  • Whether you transport pets in the vehicle
  • Where you park the vehicle
  • What the vehicle is being used for
  • Personal preferences

Ideally, you’ll detail your car before and after winter, as well as mid-year if you are in a region that experiences harsh weather conditions.

What Kind of Products Should You Use to Detail a Car?

While we always recommend Cilajet auto detailing products, any detailing product from a reputable brand should be sufficient.

For exterior detailing, start with a basic car wash liquid to remove as much dirt and grime as possible. Next, use a clay bar to remove contaminants that are embedded in scratches in the clear coat. Not removing these contaminants can cause scratches and lead to a loss of shine and protection over time. The last step is to seal your car’s paint using a wax or protective coating.

You’ll want to stick with products that don’t include harsh chemicals. Some chemicals can eat through the protective coating and damage your paint. Always do your research before you add a product to your car’s surface. Also, if you prefer to DIY your own detailing products, make sure you research each ingredient to see how it might react to your car’s surface.

It’s best practice to test a small spot on your vehicle when using any new product. Pick a spot that’s not easily seen, just in case the product isn’t a good fit for your car. Wait a couple of hours to see how the product reacts to your car’s surface before using it on your entire vehicle.

Is Detailing Your Car Too Often Bad

There is such a thing as over-detailing your car. Too much detailing can begin to strip away its protective coating and enamel. However, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t wash your car frequently. Washing your car will help to protect the paint and shine because you’re removing harmful elements that might affect the paint job.

Regular washing is important. But you’ll want to avoid waxing and polishing your car every time you wash it. These are steps that should only be done sparingly. Ultimately, this means less work (and less expense) for you!

The Best Approach to Car Detailing: Consult a Professional

Detailing your car can be a rewarding experience. Some even call it therapeutic. But knowing how often to detail your car and using the right products will help you get the most out of every detail and avoid costly mistakes and repairs.

There are many factors that contribute to how often to detail your car, so make sure you do your research. Things like your geographic location, the type of protective coatings you currently have, and the paint finish all play a factor. When in doubt, consult your dealer or car care professional. They can help you access the right detailing products—or better yet, they’ll handle your detailing for you!

Find a Cilajet dealer to learn more!