Are White Cars Hard to Keep Clean? Facts You Have to Know!

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

Are white cars hard to keep clean

A white car’s attractive elegance may be convincing enough for some to buy it, but for some people, they’d also want to know, “Are white cars hard to keep clean?”

If you’re among those, here comes the good news: white is actually one of the easiest car colors to keep clean. Generally, it isn’t high maintenance, as it hides most contaminants better than dark-colored cars.

Are White Cars Hard to Keep Clean


The color white is a very popular car color. But it’s also what people tend to avoid because of a common misconception that white cars get dirty faster.

So this article will correct that misconception and further help in decision-making if you’re considering buying a white vehicle.

First, to make things clear, an easy-to-keep-clean car color doesn’t mean it gets dirty less. It just means it’s an excellent car color to hide dirt. White is a very good example because most contaminants that can get on a car’s surface are light-colored, and the white color blends with them.

On the contrary, on dark-colored cars, most contaminants can easily be seen, as they highly contrast with the contaminants. Accumulated contaminants also tend to dull a dark-colored car’s surface.

So a black color car shows the most dirt, followed by dark blue and red.

Another advantage that helps make white cars easier to keep clean is that they can also hide scratches and swirl marks that may be caused from car washing. On dark-colored cars, on the other hand, scratches and swirl marks can be very visible.

Pros and Cons of a White Car



  • High Resale Value

What makes white cars so popular is their classic appeal that never goes out of style. That’s why white cars have better resale value.

  • Easy to Maintain

The maintenance of a white car is easy. And it’s not just because it’s less hassle to keep clean compared to dark-colored cars. It also applies to color matching when a white car requires respraying.

Compared to other car colors, solid white paintwork can be easily and more accurately matched. The cost of the paint and respraying is also cheap, except for pearlescent white.

  • Cooler Car Interior

The color white reflects heat and doesn’t absorb much energy from the sun, unlike dark colors. So white paintwork on a car can help make its interior cooler when it’s exposed to the sun.

  • Less Prone to Fading

As a white car reflects the sun’s heat, it also keeps away the UV rays that can fade paintwork. That makes it less prone to fading.

  • Less Prone to Accidents

Studies show that white cars are less prone to collision by 12%. The reason for this is their light color makes them highly visible on the road to other drivers, which helps reduce the risk of getting in an accident.


  • Very Common

Because a lot of people go for white, a white car wouldn’t stand out. The similarity may not seem like a problem for some, but when there are a lot of white cars parked in the same crowded area, locating a white car would be difficult.

  • Hard to Keep Clean During Wet Climates

During wet climates are when white cars are tricky to keep clean. Because they don’t do so well in hiding the mud, as the color of the mud contrasts with them.

  • Problematic When Detailing

Although the ability of white cars to hide contaminants and swirl marks helps make them easier to keep clean, it can be problematic when detailing.

For example, water spots, which can be hard to see on a white car, can lead to further problems if left unresolved. Moreover, to fix swirl marks on a white car, a special light would have to be used for them to be detected.

Factors That Affect a White Car’s Cleanliness


1. Type of climate


In an area with a dry climate, a white car would usually only get dust and smudges, which wouldn’t be very noticeable on it, so it won’t seem dirty. But in an area that often has a wet climate, it can appear very dirty, as muddy puddles and mud on the road can splatter onto it, which would be very visible on it.

2. Type of roads 


Red clay or volcanic soils and dirt roads can also make a white car appear very dirty. A white car shows dirt obviously when it’s often exposed to such areas, as these contaminants also contrast its color.

3. How often it’s cleaned


How often it’s cleaned is the most important factor, as regular car washing is necessary not only to keep it looking good but also to prevent damages that contaminants can cause.

Ideally, a car should be washed every two weeks, but for a white car, you may go as long as three weeks before washing it.

However, some contaminants need to be cleaned immediately or require more frequent washing, such as dirt and mud, rain, bugs and insects, tree sap, road salt, pollen, tar, etc.

Maintenance Tips for Keeping White Cars Clean


For keeping white cars clean

  • Stuck-on contaminants, such as tree sap, bird droppings, tar, acid rain, iron fallout, paint overspray, etc. can be removed through chemical or physical decontamination before car washing.

Chemical decontamination is done with the use of iron and tar removers, while physical decontamination makes use of a clay bar or clay mitt.

  • For best results without harming your car, use soap or shampoo specifically for cars. Avoid using dishwashing soap, bath soap, and bleach, as these are too harsh for a car.
  • Give your car the final touch of wax application. This will enhance your car’s shine, protect it from sun damage, and prevent contaminants and stains from sticking too much on the surface to make them easier to clean off.

To avoid swirl marks and scratches

  • It’s best to use a microfiber cloth, as it’s soft and won’t harm the paintwork.
  • Avoid scrubbing too aggressively.

To Know the Best Tips and Guide for Keeping a White Car Clean, check it out here!

Frequently Asked Questions


Which Car Colors Are Difficult to Keep Clean?

Since it’s the light-colored cars that are easy to keep clean, it’s the dark-colored cars, such as black cars hard to keep clean.

Black is the hardest color car to keep clean because of its high contrast to the color of contaminants as well as scratches and swirl marks that may be caused by car washing.

Next to black is dark blue, and although a red car can hide mud, it can look dull when dust accumulates on its surface.

Tips to Choose the Right Color for Your Car

  • Consider the Resale Value

Even a car’s color can also affect resale value. It all depends on how popular its color is. So if you’ll be reselling your car in the future, choosing a popular color, such as white and silver would allow you to get a high resale value.

  • Consider the Maintenance

How much effort to be made in the maintenance of a car would also depend on the color. As mentioned earlier, light-colored cars are easier to keep clean than dark-colored cars. So if you’d rather not put too much effort into maintaining your car, then the car colors to avoid are dark ones.

  • Consider Heat Conduction

The metal body of the car itself is a heat conductor. When it’s painted with a dark color, the more it can heat up since dark colors are more absorbent of heat compared to light colors.

  • Consider the Cost

Some cars of particular colors may come with an additional cost. The pearl white cars of Toyota and Honda, for example, cost more than their cars of other colors. Likewise for the soul red crystal and machine gray cars of Mazda.

  • Consider Your Personal Taste

If you prefer a striking look, you can go for bright colors like red and yellow, but it also depends on the type of car. For example, a red SUV isn’t as striking as a red sports car. But if you’d rather go for a minimalist but classy look, white, gray, silver, and black are some good options.


So the answer to the question, “Are white cars hard to keep clean?” is no. It’s not that hard to maintain a white vehicle but you may have to give it extra care during wet climates. Other than that, remember that there are various factors to consider before investing in a car, it’s not just about the color.

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