Washing Your Car in the Sun – Important Things to Know!

washing your car in the sun

Whenever you ask someone if it is possible to wash your car in the sun, they tell you to avoid it. Car washing products also have the notice to avoid using them in direct sunlight or to apply on a cool, dry surface.

However, the keyword there is ‘to avoid,’ and they did not say it is impossible. So, can you wash your car in the sun? As long as you know the best techniques to use while washing, the answer is yes, you can wash your car in the sun.

Can You Wash Your Car in the Sun?


People who wash their cars regularly tend to avoid washing in the sunlight. During hot weather, the water and chemicals used while washing a car dry up fast.

However, some people can prove it is possible if you have a concrete plan and timeframe to follow while washing.

Some chemicals used in your soap may cause damage to your car coating and may damage the glass tint if dried up under the sun. The best way is to be fast in executing your plan to have no water spots and avoid damage to your car coating.

Be prepared before you start getting your car wet. Whenever you put water on your car, you need to be in a rush to do the next steps. This way, you can avoid mistakes while washing. So, get your cleaning tools ready before you open your water hose.

Or, if possible, you should opt for a waterless washing method to protect your car paint and coating.

How to Wash Your Car in the Sun?


1. Prepare your cleaning tools

As mentioned above, you need to prepare your washing tools first. You need to ensure that everything is within your reach as you are racing with time while washing your car in the sun.


You need to give yourself an exact timeframe for each step. You also have to know the degree outside while you wash your car to know how much time you have before the water evaporates.

The cleaning tools, here’re some tips you should note down:

  • Utilize pH-neutral cleaning products. Do not opt for something too abrasive
  • Prepare a quick-drying device to dry after you finish washing a specific area
  • Have a water bottle to spray mist on the car while washing

2. Wash your wheels first

Before you spray water on your car, this next step is highly advised by professionals. You must remember that you need to wash your wheels first.

Always remember that the wheels have no problem drying up under direct sunlight as their material can withstand the chemicals, unlike the coating of your car that is sensitive even to water.

3. Wash and dry by section


The main point is to never let the water or the chemicals used while washing gets dry under the sun. Therefore, it is recommended to wash your car by section; hood or roof first, then followed by the right, left, and back parts of your car.

Do not wet all the sections at once.

After deciding which section to wash first, you must use a car wash soap for direct sunlight after wetting the desired section.

There are pH-neutral car soaps and waterless products available in the market.

Remember to dry each section whenever you finish rinsing the soap to prevent the water from drying on your coating while your car is in direct sunlight.

It will give you more work as you need to re-dry each section again since it may get wet from you cleaning other sections, but it is worth the work to avoid damaging your car coating.

People on Reddit suggest using a leaf blower to dry your car and microfiber to dry the covered parts.

4. After wash


After drying, some steps may apply to your car, like repairing scratches, polishing, and even applying wax. These steps are considered aftercare for car owners who want sunshine detailing for their cars. Even without the sun, your car will look shiny after doing all these extra steps.

Is It Bad to Wash a Car in the Sun?

The answer to this question is yes, it’s not recommended to wash car in sunlight.

As most people suggest, you must avoid washing a car under the sun as doing so has lots of cons. Washing a vehicle under the sun might result in water spots and coating damage.

When people get the question ‘when not to wash your car?’, one of the answers is always when it is sunny and too hot.

That is mainly because it is much easier to wash your car when it is cloudy or when the area is shady. The best time to wash your car on a good weathered day is whenever the sun is out, either in the early morning or late noon.

Another reason it is bad to wash a car in the sun is that it may cause sunburn or skin cancer in the worst cases. As the car covering absorbs heat, it can also cause excessive sweating, possibly leading to dehydration.

Things You Shouldn’t Do in Direct Sunlight?


First, you need always to have water ready when under the sun. While washing your car under direct sunlight, you must never let any water or chemicals used on your car dry. Therefore, a spray bottle for spraying mist is critical.

Damages to your coating and window tints are what happens if you make the mistake of letting anything dry on it. Especially when washing a black car in the sun, as water spots and dried-up chemicals can be easily noticed on its coating.

While we all want to be protected while washing our cars under the sun, you must not apply sunblock on your hands as it may stain your coating.

Like any other chemicals, sunblock cream and lotion has polyethylene glycol and titanium dioxide that leaves a stain and may damage the coating in the long run.


We all wanted a presentable and tidy car to drive around. Understandably, there are cases when washing your car in the sun is what you must manage to do. Although it is advised to avoid washing under direct sunlight as it may cause more damage.

However, as proved by the steps above, you can do it. Just follow the advised steps and what to avoid while cleaning your car. I know that you can do it!

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