How cold before you stop hand washing your car?

Messages
7,516
Location
FL, USA
Title explains it all...how cold before you call it quits and go to the car wash or stop washing all together? Its supposed to be 32 here in FL tomorrow morning, but in the mid 40's by 10 a.m. I am still planning on washing the Accord. Also, if its just TOO cold and you cant wash your car and dont want to use a car wash, how long should you go before risking paint damage? I wash it on a weekly basis, longest I have gone was 3 weeks, and I was away on vacation for 2 of those weeks. Edit: make that 28 in the morning.
 
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Messages
1,841
Location
.
I'll go as low as mid 30's. Also, do not forget to disconnect the hose from the spigot or you will end up with broken pipes. I wash year round. I also always drain the water from the hose after use. A good set of rubber coated gloves helps out. Also use tepid water at the warmest in the bucket. Using warm to hot water is not good for paint.
 
Messages
593
Location
Al
Below 50 or so and I quit hand washing. But I'm in Texas so we regularly get 60 degree sunny days even in mid winter.
 
Messages
2,575
Location
Northeast
I usually stop when it's under 50f. If we get a balmy 40f+ day in January or February I might hand wash the car then because of all the salt and whatnot.
 
Messages
2,688
Location
Elderly County, Florida
I suppose that depends on the one washing the car as opposed to what damage it will do to the paint on the car. Consider: What happens to the paint if its 37 degrees and raining? What happens to the paint if its 28 degrees and there is a frost? What happens to the paint if its 40 degrees with a heavy dew? It's my understanding that heat is more a danger to paint that cold as you don't want the water/soap to dry too quickly and bake on the car. But as far as cold is concerned, I think as long as it's above freezing and you're tough enough to handle a hose in above freezing weather, you're good to go. BTW - it's suppose to get to 28 tomorrow in my part of Florida as well - not good for my orange trees.
 
Messages
35,818
Location
NY
I pick my days, 30F-28F is about the coldest I'll do it in. If there's no ice on the ground I breakout the roll-up hose and go for it.
 
Messages
6,367
Location
Midwest
Handwashing? Never. Run our vehicles through a car wash? A 3-4 times a year. If it's really cold out and for some reason a vehicle has to be washed, when I get home I'll set the heat in the shop at about 40 so it dries out without freezing the locks/doors/windows.
 
Messages
129
Location
Kansas
I try to keep the vehicles clean year round by hand washing. If its below freezing then it can wait until the weather warms a bit but overall I just bundle up, use warm water in the soap bucket, and work really fast. Then the car goes back in the garage and is wiped down.
 
Messages
9,126
Location
Illinois
I don't stop handwashing my truck. I'll do it outside if possible, inside the garage if not. The only thing that stops me from washing it outside is the potential of having an ice coated driveway for a couple of days.
 
Messages
6,185
Location
Texas Hill Country
There is a bbq restaurant down here called rudy's that has a "clean warm water wash". Lots of steam when it is cool outside. It is a touchless wash, I think 7 bucks. I use these types of washes due to water restrictions, you can only wash the car on certain days in the driveway by city code.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,984
Location
The Motor City
Originally Posted By: JustinH
I use these types of washes due to water restrictions, you can only wash the car on certain days in the driveway by city code.
Even in the winter? We have water restrictions only in the summer.
 
Messages
2,203
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Hose and bucket down to freezing. Wand wash down to -20C or so. Below that the doors freeze shut even in an (unheated) garage. We take pains to dry all contact points on the doors, trunk etc but even then they freeze shut.
 
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