Why Are Black Cars So Hard To Wash and Keep Clean?

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black dodge ram - how often can you machine polish your car

I assume that most of you’ll agree with me when I say that black cars are something beautiful. There’s nothing nicer than a clean shiny black car. However, when it comes to washing and keeping the black car clean, things aren’t as we want them to be. Today I’m going to speak about why are black cars so hard to wash and keep clean.

Black cars are harder to wash and keep clean because of the black paint which is very sensitive. Dirt, grime, swirls, and scratches are standing out very much on the black car paint.

My Peugeot 308 is black painted and trust me, I’m freaking out of my mind every time when I have to wash it. Not because of washing it, but because it’ll become dirty in no time.

Before I dive deep into this topic and explain to you why are black cars harder to wash and maintain, feel free to check this great article about car paint colors.

RELATED: 6 Tips To Follow When Washing a Black Car


Contrast is probably the biggest problem of the black painted car. Most of the dirt, swirls, and scratches are reflecting sort of white color. 

As you may know, the white color is 100% contrast of the black. That’s the reason why we notice every little scratch or dirt on the black car.

This is probably the number one problem with black cars, and most of the things below I’m going to mention will be related to the contrast of the black color.

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Black Color Absorbs The Heat Faster

Leave a white and a black car on the sun for 3 hours. Which one will be hotter inside? 

Black one, of course. It’s because of the heat absorption of the black color. It just attracts the sun and will heat up pretty quickly. 

Drying Problem

The black color is also drying much faster because of that heat absorption. When washing the car, letting it dry naturally is the worse thing if we own a black car.

Hundreds of water spots will appear on the paint. Water spots are white, and the white is the opposite of the black. 

As you know, the simplest thing to notice is a contrast color. You have to be blindfolded not to see some water spots on a black car.

To avoid that, be sure to get some quality drying MF towels. Check them out inside my must-have microfiber product recommendation.

Swirls and Scratches

All the swirls and scratches reflect greatly on a black painted car. Especially when the car is on direct sunlight.

You might not believe, but touching the car with sweaty fingers will leave scratches for the rest of the car’s life. Unless you polish it, of course.

You don’t have to scratch your car to have little scratches, washing it the wrong way is enough to make scratches. Here’s my guide to for a proper car wash.

That’s why I always recommend 3 Bucket Method when washing cars (especially black ones).


black car on the rain

Recently, I just washed my Peugeot. Just a few minutes after I washed it, the rain started. Even though it wasn’t a real rain, only a few drops, my car was dirty again.

Mostly, summer rains leave brownish color on the car because of all the dirt (dust particles, etc.) that come with the rain.

Even if the rain is “clean” and doesn’t come with the dust trapped inside the water, roads will become very dirty. The final result is the same – dirty car again.


Under the dirt category, I would put every kind of dirt you can imagine. Dust, bird droppings, bee feces, and other specks of dirt are some of the worst things when it comes to the black car.

What’s the point?

  1. They are easily noticeable on the black car because of the contrast I mentioned earlier.
  2. They stick to the black car very much, so it’s harder to wash it. This happens because of the heating absorption black color has.


Most of the chemicals leave some marks on the car paint. Especially the ones for car interior cleaning. 

Those chemicals will leave marks on every car, but it won’t be as noticeable as on the black car.

So, you always have to be careful not to spray any chemicals on your black painted car in order to wash it properly and keep clean. Of course, we’re not speaking about chemicals for exterior cleaning (shampoos, waxes, compounds, foams, quick detailers, etc.).

Hard To Get Shiny Look

A shiny look is always something we all want to achieve when washing the car. With the black car, it’s hard to achieve that mirror effect.

Without claying and waxing the black car, you’ll never have accomplished that goal. 

Today I did a quick wash of my friend’s black BMW, it was clean and nice, but not as shiny as I wanted for it to be. Even though he was more than happy, I knew I could get better results with claying and waxing it. 

RELATED: 9 Best Car Waxes For An Amazing Finish (2021)

He didn’t want that, so I couldn’t do anything about it. I just want you not to be disappointed with the look of the car just after you washed it. 

It’s never going to be perfect with just a basic wash. That’s a thing the black car owners have to live with.

My Advice – Get Used To It

My Black Peugeot 308 SW (A bit awful because of the winter wheels hehe)

The best thing to do if you have a black car is to accept the fact that it won’t be easy to wash and maintain it.

Washing the car more often and buying some extra products is obligatory if you want to keep it clean. Also, you’ll have to learn some extra skills to wash it properly in order to get the best results.

If you ask me would I buy the black car again, my answer would be – HELL, YES! 

Even though the black color shows everything, it’s just the most beautiful color for me. And I’m ready to sacrifice a bit more of my time to keep it clean. There is nothing better than the clean, shiny black colored car.

In the end, I suggest you watch this video from Chemical Guys where they explain how to wash the black car.

Good Luck guys, see you in another article!

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