Best Practices for Washing and Waxing Your Leased Vehicle

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Washing and waxing a car is an important part of maintaining it and keeping it in good condition. A clean car not only looks good but can increase trade-in value if you are looking to get the best value on car finance deals or ensure that you don’t face penalties or additional cleaning charges if you are returning your leased car. But there are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to cleaning a car properly. This article offers a step-by-step guide of how often and how to wash and polish your leased car.  

How Often Should You Wax a Leased Car?

The general rule of thumb for how often to wax or polish a leased car is at least once per year, but two times per year is ideal.

Gather the Right Materials

Now that we’ve covered how often to wax or polish your leased vehicle, let’s take a look at the best practices for doing so.

It is a good idea to have all the materials ready before washing and waxing a car. These materials include a container, car wash soap, a microfiber mitt, soft bristled brush, drying towels, wax and application pads. By choosing the right materials, soaps and polishes you can avoid damaging the car’s paint and finish. 

waxing a leased car
Keep that showroom shine! (Photo credit: Pixabay)

Choose a Suitable Location

It is imperative to choose the right washing and waxing area for your vehicle. An appropriate spot would be sheltered from the sun because it can damage your paintwork by leaving water spots or lead to the cleaning agents drying out mid wash. Additionally, it is best to avoid trees that have falling leaves or flowers. 

Pre-Wash Your Vehicle

You should do a pre-wash before you begin to wash your leased car. Mud and dirt can scratch the paintwork on your car. By rinsing your car with a hose in all areas you can loosen and remove any mud and dirt before washing. This pre-wash process is vital for avoiding any scratches. 

Wash with Care

When washing a car, it is important to use a soft microfiber mitt or cloth as well as a soft bristle brush. These materials are designed to prevent scratches and helps you avoid damaging your paintwork. Make sure you use a car wash soap as home detergents and harsh chemicals can damage the protective paint layer on your car. 

It is best to start from the roof of the car and work your way down. Make sure you use the brush for hard to reach and tough areas. 

Rinse Thoroughly

After you have washed your car, it is important to rinse it thoroughly to wash away any soapy residue. Soap residue can leave streaks and water spots that can damage your paint. Start by rinsing from the roof and work your way around the car. 

Dry Properly

You need to make sure the car is completely dry to avoid water spots. Use a soft towel made from an absorbent material and dry the vehicle’s surface softly. Make sure you dry in between the nooks and crannies around the car’s lights, wheel wells and windows. Once your car is mostly dry, you can use a chamois to remove any residual moisture. 

Apply Wax for Protection

It is important to wax your vehicle because it helps in protecting the paint and finish of the car. Make sure you use the best quality wax and apply the wax using applicator pads and closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Wax your car in smaller sections letting it dry slightly before using a clean cotton cloth or dry chamois to remove the hazy look. Waxing your car acts as a guard against UV radiation, road dirt or any other elements. It also makes your car look shiny and clean. Ensure you put a layer of wax over every part of the car including the wheels and trimmings.  As we’ve discussed before, waxing should ideally occur twice per year.

Pay Attention to Detailing

Ensure that you pay close attention to detailing. Apply a soft bristle brush to clean out dirt like brake dust from the wheels and tires. Give the tires a finishing touch by adding tire dressing to add shine. Wipe off the windows with glass cleaner and a soft microfiber cloth in order to prevent streaks. Lastly apply trim restorer on any fading or discoloring plastic or rubber trim. 

Regular Maintenance

Regularly washing and waxing your car is necessary to make sure that it remains in good condition. It is best to wash your car twice a month and polish or wax it at least three times a year. Taking care of your vehicle is essential when it comes to ensuring its resale value for both leased and owned cars. 


Washing and waxing your car involves vital steps that go towards preserving the paint and finish on your car. The fact that your car will remain in excellent shape will help maintain its resale value. Make sure you get the correct tools and soaps, find an ideal location and prewash your car before you begin. Make sure you wash and dry your car thoroughly before adding wax. This will help you keep your vehicle in good condition and help you avoid any fees and penalties when you return your leased car. 

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