Washing your car by hand at home can help you save money, and it can also ensure that your car looks exactly the way you want it to. It can also be a truly satisfying experience to see a car go from dirty to spotless.
However, washing a car correctly can be time-consuming. Knowing how long an average car wash takes can help you set aside time to clean your car properly.
Exactly how long it takes to wash a car by hand depends on a number of factors. If you want to simply give the car a quick rinse or you’re not too concerned with the details, washing a car might not take too long.
However, if you want to fully detail the car, cleaning away every imperfection, the length of the wash will increase.
In addition, cars that are washed frequently, such as once a week, will take less time to wash. This is also true for cars that are driven in an area with mild weather.
Cars that are often driven in the rain or snow, or cars that are driven down dirt roads or along muddy areas, will need more attention and, therefore, more time when it comes to scrubbing them clean. Larger vehicles, such as trucks or SUVs, will also require more time for washing than a smaller sedan or compact car.
In general, a car that’s washed every one or two weeks and sees a medium amount of use will probably take about an hour to wash. If you want to clean the inside of the car, you should set aside another hour of time.
For most people, when it comes to washing a car at home, it’s the details that take the longest amount of time. Focusing on areas such as the door handles, grille, or wheel wells can increase how long it takes to wash the car, but the end result is often worth it. Polishing the wheels or ensuring that the hood is clean and shiny can take additional time, but will make for a car that looks well-cared for.
How Long Does It Take to Wash a Car at a Car Wash?
Many drivers prefer to wash their car by hand at a gas station car wash instead of washing the car at home. This is often easier, as the area is set up specifically for this purpose. A pressurized hose and plenty of soap are also readily available.
For a quick soap and rinse at a gas station car wash, you’ll probably want to reserve about 20 minutes of time. If you want to do a more detailed cleaning, be sure to set aside about 30 minutes for the car wash.
A drive-through car wash generally takes significantly less time than a hand wash. Drivers can be in and out of a short car wash in a matter of minutes. If you want to have your car buffed or detailed after, however, you’ll need to set aside an additional five to 15 minutes.
What’s the Fastest Way to Handwash a Car?
Being methodical and careful when washing your car can often lead to greater efficiency and less time spent on the project. First, rinse your car to remove any surface dirt. Then, using two buckets and a mitt, soap the car. Dunk the mitt in the soapy water and wash the car one section at a car.
After each section, such as the driver’s door, back door, and trunk, rinse the mitt in the second bucket, which should be filled with clean water. After soaping each section, you can rinse the entire car.
The method above is often enough for a quick wash and will leave the car looking great. However, if you want to detail the car, go back and wash the wheel wells, door handles, grille, and any other small spaces with a soft brush after. You can then rinse the car again.
After you’ve rinsed for the final time, dry the car thoroughly. This will help to prevent any water spots. Removing water from small spaces can also help to prevent rust. Be gentle when drying so as not to damage the paint in any way. Many people choose to use a lubricant or wax when drying, which helps to create an even shine and makes drying simpler and quicker.
How Can I Make Washing My Car Quicker?
Not everyone wants to spend a whole day washing their car, so it’s a good idea to consider a few ways to make the car washing process faster. Having two buckets ready and waiting will ensure that you have everything you need at hand. You can also use a pressurized hose, but be careful not to damage the finish when using pressurized water.
You can also make car washing faster by washing the car more frequently. Washing every one or two weeks helps to ensure that dirt doesn’t build up in small spaces and will make cleaning out the wheels or grille much faster. If you have limited time, you can also save cleaning the inside of the car for the next day, or alternate weeks for cleaning the inside and outside of the car.