Washing a Black Car: Do Car Washes Scratch Black Paint?
I will never forget that I borrowed my mum’s car, a beautiful black van, to go on a road trip. I didn’t know much about cars then. All I knew I that we had to fuel and keep the car clean.
My mum loves her vehicle to tears. Keeping it clean is the key to her sort of icy heart. My friend suggested cleaning the car at a drive-through car wash specializing in cleaning trucks.
It is still a wonder I am alive to tell this story today. The car looked like it had been through a Scratch-My-Car competition. The ordinarily sleek, pristine, and shiny body was full of scratches!
Thanks to the hard bristled brushes meant for the trucks' hard exteriors. My dear darling mother almost fed me to the dogs. Anyway, I learned a major lesson from that incident.
My second big lesson with black cars and carwashes came through when I bought my first black car. I took it to a car wash near my grandmother’s house. I had never seen that car look so good.
It was squeaky clean, gleaming and glistening in the sun, and looking like it wasn’t a really old car. I overcame my fear of carwashes and realized that when it works, it works amazingly!
Whenever I have to wash my car at a car wash, I must first find out what kind of brushes or cloth they use to clean and what products.
Black cars' paintwork is sensitive and requires exceptionally gentle cleaning procedures and products. Automatic car washes are an excellent way of keeping your car clean without getting your hands and clothes wet.
However, they may also be why you regularly have to get a fresh coat of paint on your car.
To keep your black car safe and scratch-free while at the car wash, take a few steps to ensure you do not head to the garage from the car wash.
I get too busy or too lazy most of the time to wash my cars. Ideally, that is what I would like because then I can be as careful as possible, especially with black cars. I don’t want those tiny, annoying, and extremely disturbing scratches in my line of vision.
That is what car washes using brushes will do to your car. Automatic car washes are not human, they cannot be as gentle as a human with a cloth, and neither can a human with a cloth come down on the car as hard as an automatic car wash.
If you can, avoid carwashes that still employ the use of brushes. Some may be too abrasive for your car's paintwork. You may be lucky to find some that use soft-bristled brushes that do not affect your black car's body.
Unfortunately, the only way to find out if they are, maybe to run your car through them. Take your chances as I did earlier but do your homework well in advance on what will work for your car.
Go the Touchless Way
Touchless Carwash sounds like a fancy place in the future, like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. It only means a carwash that employs high-pressured water hose jets and chemicals to wash your car. No brushes or washcloths are used.
The risk of damage to your car’s body is reduced to almost zero with touchless carwashes. There are minimal risks involved with a touchless system. The cleaning detergents or chemicals may also be abrasive and start to chip or eat at your paint.
The downside with touchless car washes is that they are not as thorough as the touch ones. My best friend says touchless carwashes are like spraying high-pressure tap water on dirty plates, not cleaning them. I agree with her on that one.
The water does not get to the crevices and cracks. I mean, it is just perfect for a quick wash, and that’s it. There is a high chance it will strip your car of the last wax job and polish.
You may have to redo this sooner than you planned to. The pressure coming from the hoses is extremely high. Do not use touchless too frequently, but just when you need a quick wash to hold you over until your next wash.
I don’t take chances with my car because I have seen firsthand how uncompromising black cars can be. The slightest aggravation and you have marks on the body, not to mention the endless trips to the garage.
I’ll take my chances with the touchless until I have time to do my wash.
Avoid Manual Wipe Downs
I have no problem with this. As I said before, I am lazy and have no problem leaving my car to dry out under the sun. Wiping down is a great option, but if your car is well-cleaned, drying it out will leave it free of swirls and water streaks.
After running your car through a carwash, touchless or otherwise, you may be tempted to let it wipe down. If you have enough time, allow it to dry in the sun or use the carwash dryer.
Washcloths, if poorly cleaned, may have debris that leaves your car with horrid little scratches and swirls. We all know by now that those little devils will soon have you at the painter, right?
Some car washes use the hot wax trick to blind you. They'll hot wax your car immediately after damaging it with the hard-bristled, high-powered intensity brushes.
It covers up any scratches and swirls on the body. The wax is cheap and doesn’t stay on long. Once it melts, you face your fears and return to the painter.
Micromanage your wash
Do not, I repeat, do not be afraid to micromanage your black car’s wash at the car wash. The attendants might brand you the problematic client with the black car but do not be bothered.
Find out everything you need to know before starting on the wash, the products they use, and what methods they are using, and look up reviews on the carwash.
It could save you unnecessary heartbreak and probably lots of money. The attendants at my regular carwash hated me for a long time before we became good friends.
They know full well what I expect, and they deliver to the letter.
How often should you take your car to the car wash?
Last year, I got posted to a little village north of Europe. There were no automatic carwashes for miles. I was too busy with work, so the most I could manage was a once-a-month drive to the carwash.
When I returned, my black car was dirtier than it was going down. I discovered a group of little boys washing cars over the weekends for a few euros.
Thorough hands wash to both the interior and exterior of the car. So I had them coming over every weekend to wash my car as I sipped coffee and read my Saturday papers.
What is my point here? You can take your car to the carwash as many or as few times as possible. If you find one that fits your car wash needs perfectly, then by all means, find your way there every weekend.
Black cars need slightly more attention than other colored cars. They are also more sensitive to car washes than other cars. The point here is to keep your car clean, both exterior and interior, well-polished, waxed, and looking beautiful.
Whether you do it from a carwash or the comfort of your home is entirely up to you.
How often you use your car, in what terrain, and under what weather conditions will also dictate how often you use your car. If you are constantly on dusty or muddy roads, it only makes sense that you will wash your car more often than folks in the cities.
In the times we are living in, it is possible to find someone to do any job that stresses you out for a fee. If you do not like to wash your car, get a carwash whose services you trust.
Check your car after every wash, and do not leave until you are satisfied that everything is well done and that there is no damage to your car. Driving into any automated carwash will have you always working on your car's body.
Black cars with scratches on their bodywork are not attractive at all. Who wants to be driving around in an unattractive car?
Last of all, a black car, and all because you wanted to save five bucks at the carwash. Embarrassing. If you do not trust any of them, like I don't, grab two buckets, and let's get cleaning our black beauties.