TOP 6 Tips On How To Wash a Car On a Hot Sunny Day


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how to wash a car on a hot sunny day, how to wash a car in direct sunlight

It’s always hard to have ideal circumstances when washing your car. Especially if you live in some hot place such as Texas or California. Many people don’t have a dedicated place to wash their vehicles, so they have to do it even on sweltering and sunny days.

Today, I’ll show you six tips on how to wash a car on a hot sunny day. I know that it may be hard to follow all the tips below, but try to implement most of them.

To wash your car on a hot sunny day, follow these tips:

  1. Wash your car earlier in the morning, or later in the evening
  2. Wash one section at a time
  3. When you finish one side, turn your vehicle to the other side
  4. Use deionized water for final rinsing
  5. Keep the car wet all the time
  6. Be as quick as possible

Why You Shouldn’t Wash The Car In Direct Sunlight

Before I dive into the tips, I want to tell you that you should avoid washing your car on a hot sunny day. There are many reasons for that, and here are the most important ones:

  • Snow foam, car soap, and other chemicals will dry on your car before you have a chance to rinse them.
  • Water will dry too quickly, which can cause water spots that are very hard to remove from the vehicle’s paint.
  • Rinsing the car while the paint and windows are too hot may lead to paint or glass damage.
  • It’ll take you more time since you need to be extremely careful and thorough.
  • You won’t be able to “detail” your car since you’ll have to rush with everything.

With that said, try to avoid washing your car in direct sunlight. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. However, if you don’t have any choice, check the tips below.

Tips For Washing Your Car On a Hot Sunny Day

In my opinion, whenever the temperature in your area exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius), you should be careful and try to follow the tips I’ll show you below.

Of course, these tips will only work if you follow the proper way to wash your vehicle (check my guide).

1. Do It Early In The Morning, or Later In The Evening

First things first, you should avoid washing your car in the middle of the day. Usually, the temperature will reach its maximum between 12 and 4 pm, and that’s the time you should avoid.

So, my suggestion is to wash your car early in the morning, or later in the evening. It’s better both for you and for your vehicle. Your vehicle will be easier to wash and dry, and you won’t get tired so quickly because you won’t work in direct sunlight when the temperatures are at their highest.

If you can, try not to wash your car during that period. However, if you’re not able to follow this tip, check out the other suggestions.

2. Wash One Section At a Time

Washing one section (or one side) at a time is beneficial if you’re detailing your vehicle on a sweltering and sunny day. 

Here’s my advice:

  • Pre-rinse the whole car
  • Pre-wash one side or one panel (depending on how you’ll do it)
  • Wash that section
  • Dry the section

When you finish with one section (or side), go to another one and repeat those steps. 

3. When You Finish One Side, Turn Your Vehicle To The Other Side

While washing your car on a sunny day, only one side of the vehicle is completely exposed to the sunlight. So always clean the side of the car that’s less exposed to the sun.

When you finish that side, turn your vehicle to the other side so that you can wash that section too. I know it may be very dull, but it will make the detailing job a lot easier.

4. Use Deionized Water

DI or deionized (purified) water is hugely beneficial when washing your car, especially if you do it in the sun. Deionized water is filtered water that doesn’t contain any minerals, so it won’t leave any water spots when it dries. 

If you’re a mobile auto detailer, having a machine that deionizes water is as essential as having a vacuum to clean the interior of your vehicle. 

Of course, you don’t have to use the device all the time, but make sure to use it when you’re doing the final rinse of the car. That way, you’ll get a spot-free finish, even if you don’t dry the car with a microfiber towel. 

5. Keep The Car Wet

In order to prevent the car from being too hot, you should keep it wet all the time. So I like to spray it with a bit of water every few mins.

Just take your hose and spray the whole car quickly. That will keep the car cooler and provide the paint with more lubrication, so there are fewer chances to cause swirl marks and scratches.

Of course, there’s no need to spray it every 30 seconds. That’ll take too much of your time. But make sure not to let the car paint dry or overheat because of the sun.

6. Be Quick

The last tip I’ve got for you is to be quick and do everything as quickly as possible. Of course, don’t cut corners, be thorough and do the detailing job properly. But, try to be faster.

You may not be very fast the first couple of washes, but with more and more experience, you’ll manage to wash cars very quickly. 

If you wash the car too slowly, the sun will probably dry some of the chemicals, and that can make the whole task much harder.

Additional Tip: Consider Buying a Canopy

If you often detail your car, you’re a mobile detailer, or you’re just starting a car detailing business and your only place to detail cars is outside, you might want to get a canopy.

There are some dedicated popup canopies out there that are straightforward to assemble. It only takes 5-10 minutes to assemble it, and you’ll do your job much easier and more efficiently.

The canopy is also great if it’s raining outside, so you can use it all year long. Whether it’s sunny or rainy, you can use it to make the detailing job easier.

I’ve been looking for some great canopies, and this is one of the best out there. This COOSHADE 13×13 feet canopy is fantastic (check the price on Amazon now). It’s big enough for most cars. Even if it doesn’t cover the vehicle 100%, it’s still beneficial.

The best thing about it is that you don’t need another person to help you, you can assemble it by yourself. That’s why you should look for a popup canopy. 

Also, when you don’t need it, it won’t take a lot of space in your garage or inside your mobile detailing vehicle.

Final Verdict

Detailing vehicles isn’t rocket science. However, you have to follow some guidelines in order to do the best possible job. 

After reading this article and implementing those tips in your daily routine, you won’t have any problems detailing vehicles on a hot sunny day. 

Again, the best advice I can give you is to avoid washing vehicles in direct sunlight. However, if you can’t, just follow the tips above, and you’ll be good to go.

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