‘Should I wash my car after it rains?’ [Newbie Guide]

Updated Jul 19, 2021 | Same topic: Automotive FYIs

Rain equates to a free car wash, right? Well, not quite.

Have you ever neglected to have your car washed or cleaned since the weather forecast indicated that it’s going to rain? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and there’s a good chance that most car owners have done the same. Why bother having your car washed if it’s going to rain, right? But, did you ever wonder if you should wash your car after it rains?

Car in the rain

Rain doesn't mean free car wash

The answer to that is, yes; you need to wash your car or you need to visit your trusted car wash shop after it rains. Some might argue that rain equates to a free car wash, which is an argument that you should leave behind as rainwater can do serious damage to your car’s exterior paint over time.    

Rain can somehow wash off the dirt attached to your car’s exterior, especially when it’s a heavy downpour. But it can also make your car dirtier once it stops pouring, and when the rainwater starts to settle on your vehicle’s exterior. 

The reason for this is that rainwater collects contaminants as it travels downward from the atmosphere. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “germs and contaminants are found in rainwater.” It goes on by explaining that “dust, smoke, and particles from the air can contaminate rainwater before it lands.” 

Rain spots on car

Rainwater can damage your car's paint

As such, the rainwater that has settled on your car’s paint, windows, mirrors, and lights will eventually run dry, leaving water spots or marks due to the contaminants it has collected such as dust and other debris.   

The water spots or marks will be more difficult to be removed from your car’s exterior if you let it sit for a long period of time. This is why it is ideal to have your car washed after it rains since it helps in preserving your vehicle’s exterior paint.

Car windshield

Water spots can lessen your visibility

Aside from helping preserve your car’s paint, washing your car after it rains will also give you better visibility when you’re driving. See, water spots can stick to your car’s mirrors, windows, and even on the windshield, which results in having a grimy or murky surface. In return, this could affect your visibility when you’re out on the road. 

It’s an open secret that maintaining your car clean and tidy goes a long way. Aside from making your car presentable while you’re out on the road, having a clean car can help you keep its mint condition. So yes, you should wash your car after it rains. 

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