This is a common question among car owners when it comes to windshield replacement. As a general rule of thumb, it’s wise to wait 24 hours from when the replacement was done, though some auto glass companies recommend waiting at least 48 hours.
This is because the windshield replacement process involves using an adhesive that needs adequate time to dry completely. Any contact with water or another solution can affect its drying process, compromising your windshield. Therefore, waiting to wash your car ensures the sealant is secured to your windshield.
However, how long you wait depends on whether you’re doing a DIY car wash or public wash.
1. DIY Car Wash
DIY car washes are an easy and convenient way to clean your car and save some money. Additionally, they don’t put the same pressure from machinery and brushes on your vehicle, unlike automatic car washes. This means after windshield replacement, you can DIY wash your car after 24 hours.
Since there’s no pressure applied, you’ll not put unnecessary stress on the new glass. To be safe, some auto glass companies recommend a DIY car wash after 4 to 5 days to give the adhesive time to completely dry.
While a regular hand wash can be more time consuming, it’s the best way to protect your new glass while ensuring it remains intact. As a reminder, avoid using a power washer for your car hand wash as it places direct pressure on your new glass. Instead, use a wet soft cloth or brush and a low-pressure hose.
2. Automatic Car Wash
An automatic car wash is a public wash that uses high-pressure washers and power washers to remove dirt, oil, and grime from your vehicle. Although automatic car washers are quick, convenient, and affordable, they can damage your new car glass.
They exert pressure on the windshield, disrupting the sealant’s process of drying. After windshield replacement, it’s wise to wait at least two weeks before getting a public or high-pressure wash as the adhesive takes this amount of time to dry fully.
Once an auto glass company with experience replaces your windshield, there are certain aftercare procedures you need to follow to ensure the longevity and functionality of your new glass. These include:
1. Crack a window open to ensure air pressure doesn’t place an extra amount of stress on your windshield as it dries. Do this the first day after your windshield replacement.
2. Don’t get rid of the retention tape used to hold the windshield in place immediately. Instead, wait one or two days after replacement to protect the sealant from elements while it dries.
3. Avoid high-pressure car washes or automatic car washes to protect the windshield sealant.
4. Don’t put unnecessary stress on the new glass, e.g., slamming doors or using roads with potholes and bumps.
Ultimately, after windshield replacement, it’s wise to give the sealant enough time to secure itself to the windshield.