My wife was recently in the market for a new daily driver, and we ended up trading her old sedan for a 2019 Ford Mustang. It was in need of a good cleaning, so we spent the afternoon giving it a nice wash, along with a thorough scrubbing of the interior. While we were at the car wash, I decided to go get my truck and give it a good cleaning as well. After about an hour, both of our vehicles were looking sharp.

Car detailing is, oddly enough, a pastime I've always enjoyed. Personally, I find it satisfying to take something grimy and spend time restoring it to its former glory. Even when I drove vehicles in high school that looked like something out of a junkyard, I still kept them as clean as possible, inside and out. Nowadays, I usually wash and vacuum my RAM 1500 about every two weeks. My wife, on the other hand, washes her car maybe once a month. (I have a feeling that will change with her Mustang.)

According to data shared with Progressive Insurance from a Texas brake repair company, it's a good idea to wash your vehicle about every other week. Doing this will remove contaminants on the exterior, such as tar, bird mess, and other debris that can be hard on your car’s paint over time. Applying wax at the end of your wash is a good thing to do as well, as it provides a barrier to help keep your vehicle clean longer. Luckily, most car washes usually have a waxing option on their selection menu.

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Is it possible to wash your car too much? According to Progressive, the answer is no. The biggest danger is actually not washing your vehicle enough. Leaving tree wax or bird gunk on your paint job for an extended period of time can cause damage that could be costly to fix. Additionally, failing to wash your car often could result in a buildup of break dust that can eat through wheel finishes.

The frequency of your car washes can vary with the seasons, which is the case here in Indiana. It's important to wash the undercarriage of your car whenever you go through the wash, especially during the winter. This will remove road salt and sand that can lead to rust. Progressive notes that most insurance companies don't cover salt damage, so you might need to get an undercarriage wash more often during the colder months.

When it comes to the interior of your car, you should clean it just as much as the exterior. This can vary depending on your lifestyle and how much time you spend on the road, but regular cleanings will ensure your interior stays in great shape while protecting its overall value. I often use cleaning wipes that leave a protective layer, which keeps the interior looking great and makes it easier to clean the next time around. If you have leather seats, conditioning wipes can help keep those in good shape as well.

Does Toothpaste Really Clean Your Vehicle's Foggy Headlights? [Life Hack Test]

According to Carhop.com, cloudy headlights are a relatively modern issue. Originally, car manufacturers used glass domes for the front of their headlights until sometime in the 1980s when they switched to "polycarbonate or plastic" I assume because it was cheaper. Unlike glass, plastic is more susceptible to oxidation which is caused by the UV light created naturally by the sun. Dust, debris, and road grime also contribute to clouding up your lights.

They also say toothpaste can be used to clear that cloudiness thanks to the same mild abrasives that also remove plaque and other gunk from your mouth. As someone who has to see it or try it before I believe it, I decided to give it a shot by following their steps and seeing for myself if they were right.

Gallery Credit: Ryan O'Bryan

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