Car looks disgusting everyday from traffic. Wax or just Spray it every week?

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  • Feb 10th, 2021 2:32 pm
May 29, 2017
424 posts

Car looks disgusting everyday from traffic. Wax or just Spray it every week?

So I park my car on the side of the road and every day it turns black with sludge from traffic/street cleaners. Should I wax it or just go to a manual car wash and hose it down weekly? It hasn't been waxed last year. What would be the best approach for such conditions?
11 replies
Oct 8, 2019
240 posts
Wax isnt gonna do much other then help bring out the shine. Maybe apply sealant and then wax on top of the sealant...or car washes throughout the season..
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 2, 2008
1653 posts
The Capital
Not much you can do. A ceramic (or now Graphene) would be good. Wax would wash off after a month-ish.

Honestly, I spend the time for my car to look nicest in the summer.
In the winter, it's the odd car wash, or I go to a local DIY place and hose it down really well. I don't focus on shimmering paint, as it will look as bad in the 10min drive home... :(
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
32019 posts
First off I'm assuming this car is white or light coloured--probably not a good idea to buy white or similar in your situation. Lesson learned I guess.

Secondly, if parking on the street all the time (assuming downtown somewhere?), might as well just have a beater you don't care that much about--cheaper, no need to worry about getting dirty, etc. When you come to your senses and stop living in a downtown-core or at least a place that doesn't only have street parking, get a car you can put time and effort into caring for and caring that it looks good. OTOH if you have a crap ton of money go ahead and drive a Porsche or something--if you got the coin you can easily live downtown, park on the street, and get the car professionally cleaned/detailed every week as well ;)
Deal Fanatic
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Sep 7, 2004
7247 posts
West GTEH!
Definitely wash and wax BEFORE the winter season. The wax will help you easily wash the car of the dirt/salt stains/slush.

For now just spray it down at self-serve car wash or take it to Touchless car wash. Then in Springtime Wash and Wax car.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12713 posts
Stop parking on the street?

But seriously there's no avoiding it. It's all part of being a driver in Canada.

Just share a car wash pass with a group and call it a day.

I personally try to wash my car once a week or more (spray or tunnel followed by handwash in my garage.)
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jul 12, 2003
12320 posts
It is winter, leave it.

You wash it, it get dirty the next day or 2.

Simply wash it weekly or bi weekly to rince the salt off.

When it is -15c outside, no body care about if your car is clean or nice looking.
Retired Forum Moderator February 2009 - June 2015
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2006
19167 posts
It can't hurt to wax her, I did last month when weather was decent.

Lately, I've been just going to self serve, drop $3 for a quick wash & rinse. Before I'll use my Esso Extra points for a free Touchless Car Wash but realized it wasn't worth it especially if I have to line up. Even joining a group isn't worth it.
"I'll put up color bars before I'll put you in front of our cameras."

- MacKenzie
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 6, 2017
1523 posts
I used that turtle way hybrid ceramic spray (2 coats succeeding days) and car is looking fine. Dirt does not stick as much and quick spray in the DIY car wash does the trick. I didn't even wipe it off the last time I was there,
Deal Addict
Jan 17, 2009
3882 posts
Toronto, Ontario
I ignore it until spring. No point spraying water everywhere just to have it freeze right after. Unless there's gonna be a couple warm days in a row then I try to wash it.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 19, 2005
2355 posts
Install mudflaps and just tell yourself it's dirty because you drive a rally car!

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. -Wayne Gretzky"
- Michael Scott


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