I love driving a car that is clean and shiny both on the inside and out but keeping the car clean can result in quite a few dollars per year spent at car washes. An easy way for our family to save some money is to wash the car at home. Especially during the hot summer months, the kids beg to help wash the car because for them it means swimsuits and getting soaked from head to toe. So not only is washing the car a money savings but it is a fun family activity.
Depending on where you live it likely isn’t possible or practical to wash the car at home but thanks to a driveway and a garden hose we have no excuse not to wash the car at home. In the winter months we do head to the car wash because cold weather and splashing in water just don’t mix. But let’s say during the other 9 months out of the year the car is washed at home and if we wash the car every two weeks that is 18 times. Figuring we shell out around $10 at a car wash would equal $180 on 18 washes. So by cleaning the car at home this becomes an easy way for us to keep $180 in our pocket. Now if $180 doesn’t sound like a lot to you, think about it this way in 3 years that is at least $540 you didn’t use at the car wash. Wow, that really does start to add up.
How To Save Money on Car Washes – Wash It At Home
- You will need a bucket, a sponge, mitt or brush, soap and a garden hose.
- For the soap, I mix 1 cup Dawn or other dish washing liquid, 3/4 cup powdered laundry soap and 3 gallons of warm water in my car washing bucket. You could also use pre-mixed car washing soap.
- If possible park the car out of direct sunlight to prevent fast drying which can result in splotches of water and soap.
- Using the garden hose, spray the entire car to soften and loosen any dirt pieces.
- Soak your sponge or brush in the soapy water and begin to wash the car section by section. Begin at the top and work your way down to the bottom being very careful not to get any small stones or dirt pieces in your sponge as they can cause scratching to the paint surface.
- When you are finished washing one section, use the hose and rinse the washed area thoroughly before moving on. Frequent rinsing prevents the soap from drying on.
- I find a wheel brush works nicely to get the wheel openings and tires clean. Just dip the brush in the soapy water and then scrub your wheels and tires clean and rinse.
- After the entire car is washed and rinsed, use towels to dry it. I have The Absorber and love it. This drying chamois leave a beautiful spot free shine on the car and outside of the windows. I have been using the same cloth for over 10 years and it still is as good as new making this an item you can easily get your money’s worth out of.
And there you have it a clean and shiny car without spending big bucks at car washes.
Post linked to Frugal Photo Friday.