Are Black Cars Hard to Keep Clean? – Get the Facts Here

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

are black cars hard to keep clean

Black is one of the most popular car color options. But one question people considering buying a black car would often have in mind is, “Are black cars hard to keep clean?”

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Car owners in a Reddit post on keeping a black car clean would even testify to this fact. While an elegant-looking black car seems great to have, it also has the downside of the ever-so-frequent chore of washing a dirty black car.

Nevertheless, there are some black car maintenance tips that can make keeping a black car clean easier, which are included in this article.


Why Are Black Cars So Hard to Keep Clean?


The main reason black cars are so hard to keep clean is color contrast. Then there’s also the color black’s high heat absorption.

These two, along with other external causes such as impure water, swirl marks, and scratches from improper car washing, can cause issues for a black car, which are identified below.

1. Visible contaminants

Due to contrast, it’s on darker-colored cars where contaminants are most noticeable. Black is a very dark color, so it’s very easy to spot contaminants on black cars.

Whether it’s dirt, dust, debris, bird droppings, bee feces, etc., they’re very noticeable on a black car’s surface.

Sometimes, some of these contaminants would even get stuck-on on a black car’s surface due to the black color’s high heat absorption.

Moreover, when dust and dirt accumulate on a black car’s surface, the car’s shine diminishes, and its finish appears dull. And the dullness would be an obvious sign that the vehicle hasn’t been washed yet.

2. Obvious Water Spots

Contrast combined with impure water and high heat absorption can be trouble for a black car. They’re the three culprits for water spots that can easily form on a black car’s surface.

Since a black car has high heat absorption, it would get really hot when exposed to the sun’s heat.

And when it gets wet from the rain or car washing, the water evaporates more quickly than in lighter-colored cars, which increases the chances of the formation of water spots.

That’s why it’s important to dry a black car off quickly after washing it.

Moreover, these unsightly water spots can also damage your paintwork, called water spot etching.

When water spots form on a car, the water that comes in contact with it’s most likely impure. And its impurities may be corrosive or acidic, which can degrade the paintwork when left sitting on the surface.

3. Swirl Marks and Scratches

Even washing your car improperly can cause tiny scratches on it. These minor scratches would often look like white swirls.

And since they’re white, they stand out from the car’s black color, making them visible, especially under bright sunlight.

Do Black Cars Get Dirty Faster?

Although contaminants on a black car are easy to spot, how fast a car gets dirty is not really affected by car color. It depends on the environment where you drive or park your car and how often you use it.

Black does not attract contaminants more quickly, but they only show more dirt, dust, debris, etc., due to contrast, and they’re more prone to water spots due to its high heat absorption.

How Often Must a Black Car Be Washed?

Generally, cars should be washed every two weeks. But since black cars tend to look dirty easily, your car may be washed depending on how long you can tolerate it, not looking as clean and shiny.

Potentially damaging contaminants like bird droppings, bee feces, tree sap, etc., however, must be washed off immediately to prevent them from further harming the paintwork.

Black Car Maintenance Tips


Having a black car does entail special care, but there are some ways how you can keep a black car clean.

1. For Avoiding Water Spots

Hand washing the car itself already does take a great deal of time and effort. You wouldn’t want to work on the additional task of removing water spots from a car afterward.

So to avoid getting water spots on a black car, you should dry the car quickly and immediately after you wash the car.

  • It would be best to use a microfiber drying towel, as this is very absorbent and can dry the surface of a car quickly.
  • You can use a leaf blower or air compressor for an even quicker way to dry the car without causing water spots.
  • And after car washing, it would be advisable to apply wax to prevent water spots.
  • You can also do preventive measures to avoid the sun’s heat when car washing. The best places to wash a black car would be in the garage, covered area, and shade. And the best times to clean a black car would be either early morning or evening.

2. For Preventing Swirl Marks and Scratches

You can do a couple of things to spare your black car from being unsightly and remove swirl marks and scratches when car washing.

  • One is to always start by getting rid of loose dirt, debris, and other abrasive contaminants on the car by rinsing it first. That way, you can prevent those abrasive contaminants from scratching the vehicle when scrubbing.
  • Another is to scrub the car with a microfiber wash mitt. Microfiber is a soft material that won’t scratch paintwork while effectively getting rid of contaminants from the car’s surface.
  • Lastly is to do the car wash with the two-bucket method, which involves using one bucket containing the hot soapy water and another bucket containing the rinsing water.
  • Doing so will help eliminate the abrasive contaminants that may have been caught in the wash mitt by rinsing the wash mitt in a separate bucket. The contaminants will not mix with the soapy water and be dragged on the car’s surface when scrubbing.
  • And to be extra safe, use grit guards on both buckets to separate abrasive contaminants from the wash mitt.

3. For Keeping a Black Car Clean for Longer

Applying wax on a black car can help keep it clean for longer. This would provide a layer of protection for the vehicle to keep contaminants from adhering to it.

Car wax can also help keep a black car shiny, make its color richer, and enhance its beauty overall.

Moreover, it would be advisable to apply wax after a three-month interval amidst a mostly dry and sunny environment. Amidst unpredictable weather conditions, however, it’s best to use wax once a month or more frequently if necessary.

But if you want even longer-lasting protection, you can apply a ceramic coating on your black car.

When applied to a car’s surface, the ceramic coating would serve as a second skin that would shield the paintwork and keep a car protected for as extensive as two to five years.

4. For Making Car Washing by Hand Less Frequent

You can sometimes substitute car washing by hand with a waterless wash. But don’t eliminate hand washing. Instead, just combine the use of a dry wash with the occasional hand washing.

A waterless wash can allow you to clean your car without using much water and scrubbing, thanks to its chemical components.

Moreover, such a formula is also usually anti-static and hydrophobic. When applied to a car, they can keep away future contaminants.

It usually comes as a spray-on formula that would be sprayed on a car’s surface in moderate amounts and wiped with a microfiber towel.


“Are black cars hard to keep clean?” is an essential question if you consider buying a black car.

Frankly, a black car can be a pain to keep clean unless maintaining your car is one of your hobbies, or you don’t mind the extra effort that comes with the car’s elegance. But if you follow the tips mentioned above to make keeping a black car clean easier, your problems in keeping clean can be lessened.

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