During the spring and summer and early fall. Every Friday after work by hand if I have time, especially if there’s Cars & Coffee the next morning. During the late fall and winter, I’ll take it to a full service car wash every other week or after a snow where they salt the roads… It gets waxed/sealed 3-4 times a year, and clayed at every other waxing
When I wash by hand I typically use a hybrid of the one-bucket method, I have three wash mitts and two buckets. I use on wash mitt exclusively of the lower half of the car, one for the top half of the car, and an extra that I used on the wheels after I’ve used the wheel brush initially. However I do have two buckets (clean water, and another with the car wash in it. As for car soap, I’m a big fan of CG Glossworkz and CG Citrus Wash & Gloss, I’ve also tried Adam’s car soap, and found that to be excellent as well. I usually use a cordless leaf blower to dry the car, and I use a spray wax/detailer afterwards to fortify the existing wax/sealant and for added gloss. Lucas Slick mist is my go-to, but I’ve had good results with Meguairs Ultimate and Griot’s Speed shine.I recently picked up a gallon of CG’ V7 detailer, but haven’t used it yet.
Otherwise I use a local full-service carwash when it’s cold or if I’m pressed for time.
I’m of the opinion that you need friction for an effective car wash, I’ve never used a touchless wash that resulted in a wash that I would deem acceptable. They always leave a film, and since they concentration of chemicals is higher, they often strip off wax/sealant.
If you mean one of those self-serve deals where you put $5 in quarters in for 8 minutes of wash time? I wouldn’t use those. The felt-like belts that the wash tunnel uses at the full service car wash I use has, will leave micro-scratches after repeated use, but some light polishing will take car of that, even a spray deatailer will cover them up. It’s not a big deal IMHO.