How To Wash A Black Car Without Water Spots
| Jeff McEachran
On the surface, washing your car seems like a vanity task, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Granted, your freshly cleaned car does look like a stone-cold stunner, but beautification is naught but a bonus when compared to the true value of the wash.
Cleaning away all the residue and dirt that builds over time prevents it from eating through the clear coat, the paint, and, finally, the metal, leaving your car with some serious exterior damage.
So, next time your partner or friends make fun of you for “cleaning your car again”, politely remind them that it’s considered essential maintenance!
Yep, washing your car is critical alright, but it has to be done correctly every step of the way, especially if you’ve got a black car! Black vehicles are extremely susceptible to the dreaded water spots after a final rinse, which brings me to the topic of today’s article.
So you’re probably finding yourself with two big questions:
- Why are black cars so prone to post-wash blemishing?
- How to wash a black car without water spots?
To begin our vehicular investigation, let’s first dive into water spots.
What Are Water Spots, And What Causes Them?
We’ve all been there… You spend hours washing your car, buffing out every last insect soul seemingly soldered to the paintwork. When you finally achieve that showroom sheen, you rinse, and head in for a cold one while that beauty dries off in the sun.
But when you head back out for a spin, your car is covered fender to fender in milky scales, otherwise known as water spots. So, just what the heck happened here?
Well, these ghostly rashes are actually the remnants of the water droplets you left on your ride when you popped inside for a brewsky.
They catch a lot of people by surprise because water appears to be clean, but all black car owners eventually learn the hard way that water is rarely, if ever, pure H2O.
Water plays host to a number of different dissolvable substances, and, most of the time, we simply can’t see them. But, when water is allowed time to evaporate from the surface of our cars, these pollutants are left behind. And that’s how water spots are formed.
The usual suspects in terms of contaminants are…
Soap is one of the few contaminants that we can see and feel in water, as it becomes misty and imparts a slightly oleaginous film when touched. Even so, it’s easy to miss a few sudsy droplets here and there, and that’s all it takes to ruin the perfect finish you’re after.
To prevent this from happening, it’s important to use specialized car wash soap and to make sure it’s all been rinsed away before you begin the drying phase of the wash.
Residual Debris And Grime
Sometimes, we manage to agitate the grime on our pride and joy, but fail to remove the droplets of water that capture it. When the water evaporates, it ends up right back on the paintwork — boo!
Much like with soap-derived water spots, the trick to preventing these grimy blemishes is to ensure all the dirty water is rinsed off before starting the drying process.
Minerals, Salts, Acids, And Other Contaminants
As water falls from the sky and filters through all the necessary media to make it back into the main supply, it picks up a few mineral hitchhikers. So, the truth of the matter is, our water is infected with contaminants the moment it splutters from the spigot.
Sometimes, the rain itself is already contaminated with salt due to wind activity over the ocean, and acid rains aren’t unlikely from time to time as well. Whatever wandering pollutant has found its way into the rain or rinse water, the residue will be left behind when the moisture evaporates.
To evict these H2O-ffenders, you need to rain-proof your ride with some quality wax and prevent rinse water from drying on the panels (I’ll explain how a bit later on).
Why Are Black Cars Prone To Water Spots?
Black cars aren’t just unlucky, there’s scientific reasoning behind their susceptibility to these irritating blemishes.
Have you ever worn a black shirt on an absolute scorcher of a day only to end up completely dripping with sweat, skipping from shadow to shadow trying to keep cool?
Well, this is because black generates more heat than its colorful counterparts. Every other shade reflects a certain portion of light’s wavelength, but black gobbles it all up and turns it into thermal energy.
When we clean our black cars, this excess heat evaporates the water droplets before we have a chance to dry the surface, leaving behind the signature of whichever pollutant found its way into your supply.
Combine that with the fact that dirt and deposits appear more prominent on black cars anyway, and you’ve got yourself one messy car.
How to Prevent Water Spots on Black Car
Still wondering how to wash a black car without water spots? Follow these steps, and you’ll never have to worry about your pride and joy developing water spots!
Time Of Day
Our problem is that black paint generates too much heat, so choosing to wash our cars during cooler parts of the day is a no-brainer. Try early in the morning or later in the evening.
Alternatively, if you have the facilities, you can also wash under some form of shelter or perhaps even indoors.
Wash By Hand
In short, a hand wash is the best spot free car wash method.
Don’t get me wrong, automatic washers are great, but here’s the thing… you’re always going to get better results with a DIY job. No one cares more about your ride than you, and that translates into the wash — you just can’t beat this sort of attention to detail.
Besides, auto washes clean your entire vehicle at once, which brings me to my next point.
Wash One Section At A Time
We’re racing against the clock here, so it’s important that we minimize our workload by washing only a section of our black cars at a time.
Start by preparing your car wash soap in a bucket. I use q2m Bathe from Gyeon USA, as well as their awesome Q²M Wash Pad.
Attack a small section of your vehicle with your soapy solution and mitt, agitating all the grime and debris from the surface.
Then, take your hose, sans nozzle, and allow the water to flow gently over the soapy section of the vehicle. Using a nozzle to pressurize the output may be quicker, but you’ll be splashing water all over the shop, and each drop is a potential water spot.
How to Dry a Black Car Without Water Spots
With the suds slinking off down the gutter, the next issue is how to dry a black car without water spots. Even if you use a specialized car wash spot free rinse, you need to get the residual rinse water off the clean section as soon as physically possible. Leaving it to air dry is not an option, as the water won’t run off before it evaporates.
Manual drying with a suitable microfiber cloth would be a good way to approach the situation if you had any other color car, but it’s simply not fast or thorough enough if you want to rid a black car of water spots.
The only way to exorcize those garish ghostly blemishes for good is to invest in a car blow dryer. Our state-of-the-art car dryers completely remove water from the surface of your vehicle in seconds.
Blow drying is more efficient, reliable, and far less strenuous than manual drying with a specialist towel.
What’s more, air can reach all the nooks and crannies that a mitt can’t, keeping rust at bay, making it by far the best method of drying, not just your black car, but any vehicle.
Once complete, you can move on to the next section of your vehicle, and rinse and repeat, so to speak.
Wax Your Ride
There are a few different wax types available, but whether it’s a liquid, paste, or wax, the general principles are the same. It needs to be left on your panels for a while (check packaging/instructions for specific timings), rinsed off, then buffed to a polished finish.
My Black Car Has Water Spots After The Last Wash. What Can I Do To Get Rid Of Them?
While this can be incredibly annoying, try not to worry too much if your black car already has a few water spots from the last wash, as, with the right water spot removal formula, you can have them gone in mere minutes.
Instructions vary from product to product. But generally speaking, you simply apply the spot remover to the problem area and lightly re-wash the panel. After rinsing, check the results. If all’s gone to plan, those nasty water spots should be no more!
No More Water Spots on Black Car
Black cars are notoriously cool. Think about them all:
- The Batmobile
- The Bluesmobile
- James Bond’s V8 Vantage
- John Wick’s 69 Mustang
- Mad Max’s Pursuit Special
The list is practically endless, and now you and your ride rank among these legends, but with great coolness comes great responsibility.
So there you have it. That’s how to wash a black car without water spots. You need to follow the guidelines laid out here to a tee if you wish to live up to this insane monochrome pedigree. So, no more air drying, okay? And shelve that drying mitt, too. As the Hoff likely said to Hair and Makeup on the Knight Rider set, “it’s blow dry or nothing!”.
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