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Is it Bad to Wash Your Car in the Rain? Here’s the Truth

It can be tricky to keep your car clean in the summer with so many afternoon showers, but there are a few things you need to know.

In this blog, I’ll break down what to do if you get caught in a rainstorm…and what you should do to ensure you get the results you want.

Should you wash your car in the rain or not?

In general, it’s not a good idea to wash your car in the rain due to safety reasons and the fact that rainwater isn’t always clean. Rainwater can mix with pollen, pollution, and other airborne contaminants you don’t want on your vehicle.

Check out this blog post if you’re having trouble getting a spot-free wash and ready to solve this problem.

When raining, it’s also difficult to see what areas of the vehicle you’ve washed. The drying process is obviously impossible in the rain, so it’s best to wait it out. 

Dirty road water can cross-contaminate your vehicle

Even if you’re washing in your driveway and not a parking lot, dirty water from the pavement can easily splash against your vehicle. Think about all the dirt, pollen, oil, and everything else that gets mixed together when it rains!

Should you ever wash your car in a thunderstorm?

Never wash your vehicle in a thunderstorm due to the risk of being struck by lightning. Water and electricity obviously don’t mix, not to mention all the sheet metal and metal components on your vehicle.

There’s metal on the bucket handle, on the hose nozzle…you get the idea.

Is it better to wash your car before or after rain?

It’s best to wash your car after a rainstorm, ideally once showers have moved out of your area and there is no threat of lightning. While you can wash your vehicle before it rains, don’t drive it around if the roads are wet. Ideally, you’ll want to dry your vehicle, pull it in a garage, and add a layer of protection.

Have a garage? Clean the interior until the rain stops

Unless you’re dealing with severe weather, you can always detail the inside of your vehicle in a garage to make the best use of time. Washing and detailing isn’t a one-hour job…so you can still be productive by properly cleaning your carpets or seats.

Protect your vehicle against dirty rainwater

Even if you drive in the rain every day, your vehicle will look a lot better once the rain dries if you keep it protected.

The real purpose of wax is to protect (not shine), so as long as you keep a good layer of wax or sealant on your vehicle, you should be able to limit the damage caused by dirty rainwater.

To learn how to wash your car like a pro, check out our video course Washing and Detailing for Beginners. We’ve compiled over 2-hours of helpful content to teach beginners how to get the sparking-clean results they want without breaking the bank.

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