Given how briefly cars tend to stay clean in winter, many people don’t bother washing their cars at all this time of year. However, thanks to all the grit, salt and grime on the roads, it’s more important to keep your car clean now than it is at any other season…
1. Replace carpet with rubber
Many car owners also replace carpet floor mats with rubber floor mats over top of a thick towel to avoid getting slushy, salty water on the carpet. Not only will the salt cause unsightly stains on the carpet, but the salty water will soak through and rust and corrode the floor of the car. This is especially important on the driver’s side since it is the most used. If by chance you have not replaced your carpet floor mats and they have salt stains you can use our use Benefect Carpet Cleaning to help those nasty spots vanish.
Also, it’s a good idea to switch to steel or alloy wheels for the winter, and put winter or snow tires on your vehicle, which can also benefit from a spray on protectant treatment. Preseason preparation of the vehicle can be done at home or by a professional detailing service center.
2. Where to park
Parking the vehicle in a heated garage may seem like a smart preventative measure. However, there’s also the frozen salty slush melting to consider, since the moisture will react with the salt thereby speeding up corrosion. Vehicles that are parked outside do have the disadvantage of being exposed to the elements, but the ice, snow and salty slush is more likely to stay frozen, which slows down the corrosive nature of the salt. So there are pros and cons to both parking a vehicle inside a garage or left outside.
3. Frequent washing
Throughout the winter, it’s a good idea to wash your vehicle every 10 days. It’s best to wash the vehicle on days when the temperature is 40 degrees or more, and it’s preferable to do so during the daylight hours so there’s ample time for the vehicle to dry before the evening temperature drops.
Whether washing the vehicle at home or at a car wash, use fresh water and a high-pressure hose. If washing at home, use the Benefect Multi- Purpose Cleaner and add baking soda to the wash water in the winter to help dissolve dried salt on the vehicle’s surface. Warm water with the Benefect Multi Purpose Cleaner and Baking Soda with a sponge or wash-mitt can be used.
Shop rags can contain bits of metal, so these are not a good choice since the vehicle surface may get scratched. Be sure to wash behind the mud flaps, under the door handles and in all cracks and crevices of your car or truck.
The undercarriage should get particular attention, especially in hard to reach areas where salt buildup can occur.
4. Dry thoroughly
Once the vehicle has been washed and rinsed, it’s important to thoroughly dry the vehicle during the winter. This includes leaving the doors open so that any trapped wash water can dry out and moisture won’t pool.
When the vehicle is completely dry. re-wax and seal all surfaces including vinyl and rubber on the exterior. It can be helpful to warm the rag used to apply the wax since it will help it to adhere to the cold metal surface more easily.
A hair dryer can also be used to warm the metal to make the application of wax more effective.
5. Practice safe driving
When driving, try to avoid driving through very deep snow, which can become packed into the undercarriage and expose the metal to salt. Driving through salty puddles of water and slush should also be avoided if possible.
Driving on snowy roads during winter can be challenging but the application of sand and salt on icy roads can go a long way towards making travel safer. The importance of road safety outweighs the unfortunate downside to salt’s corrosive nature on vehicles. By following a regular routine of maintenance and prevention, the damaging effects of salt can be avoided. When the weather breaks, your vehicle may benefit from a full auto detail by a professional.
6. Don’t Forget the Inside
Grabbing the garbage out of the car is not inside cleaning! The inside of our car needs to be disinfected up to every 4 weeks to stop the spread of germs and keep it fresh. Use our Benefect Disinfectant to vanish those germs. Kids are germ spreaders and although we think we have taught them to sneeze in their shirt arm they at times sneeze on their hands and wipe it on the seats or door. No wonder this flu and cold are never ending! I use Benefect Carpet Cleaner to make sure that my seats are clean of germs and then give it a spray down with Benefect Disinfectant for extra precautions.