4 Simple Reasons Why Rain Does Not Clean Cars

Individuals can use various options to clean their cars; they can take them to a professional car wash or do it themselves at home.

Both methods require individuals to pay for products or services, for instance, car shampoo for a home car wash or for the vehicle to be washed at a professional establishment.

Hence, rain may seem like the saving grace to cut down on these costs because it is assumed it washes off the dirt from the vehicle, eliminating the need for a proper car wash.

Quick Answer

Rain doesn’t clean cars. The rain pressure isn’t sufficient to remove stubborn dirt and grime off the vehicle’s surface. A heavy downpour may remove dust from the car, but the rainwater has contaminants and pollutants. These contaminants spread on the car during rain, making it appear dirtier, which isn’t the result after a thorough car wash.

This article details why rain doesn’t clean vehicles and why cars should be washed after they have been rained.

Read to the end to learn more.

Does Rain Clean the Car?

While most individuals perceive rainwater as harmless, it contains pollutants that may cause harm to cars if caution isn’t undertaken.

According to a study by Alaa Eldin Kabbany Ramadan, rain storms cause acid deposition by blowing acidic gases and particles onto surfaces like buildings and cars.

There are several reasons why rain doesn’t clean a car. They include:

  • Low water pressure: the pressure from rainwater isn’t powerful enough to give your car a good wash.
  • Water spots remain on the car: rainwater may leave behind unsightly marks on the vehicle after drying off.
  • Impurities: water from the rain has many contaminants and pollutants, making it dirty and unfit to clean the car on its own effectively.
  • Inability to reach all corners: rainwater cannot wash underneath your car; hence it is ineffective.

These reasons are described as follows:

Low Water Pressure

Rain doesn’t have the required water pressure to wash a car properly.

The pressure in most cases is too low; hence the car’s trim, glass, and paintwork remain dirty even after the car has been rained on.

Look in the rear view mirror through the wet car window. Selective focus on the foreground

Rain water doesn’t compare to hoses with nozzles or power washers used in car cleaning in dirt-removing power.

Even powerful power washers require cleaning agents like car shampoos to combine forces in removing dirt and grime from the car.

These agents don’t come with the rain. Hence it isn’t a practical vehicle cleaner.

Rain Water Leaves Spots on the Car

Rainwater has many impurities and contaminants that remain on the car’s surface as spots when the water evaporates after drying.

The spots appear like chalky remnants on the car’s exterior, making the car appear dirty.

They may seem harmless at first, but they cause permanent damage to the paintwork with time.

Hence, rain doesn’t clean vehicles.

Rain Water Has Impurities

When it rains, the rainwater covers your car with contaminants collected from the environment during the water cycle rather than cleaning it.

The water cycle entails water vaporization from the earth’s surface, which rises and forms clouds.

When the clouds are heavy enough, the collected water falls as droplets in the form of rain.

Today’s environment is polluted by machinery, cars, and other emissions.

Therefore, the water that evaporates from earth collects the pollutants, making it impure.

When it rains, it covers your car with impurities on top of the dust and grime already on the vehicle, making it dirtier.

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The Water Doesn’t Reach Every Corner

Falling rainfall doesn’t reach underneath the car, so it cannot clean the underside.

It may seal the rust, mud, and other stains underneath the vehicle, making it more difficult to remove them later.

Hence, it isn’t an efficient way to clean cars.

Should You Wash Your Car After It Rains?

Leaving your car in the rain isn’t the ideal way to clean it quickly without spending money.

Instead, it may cause more harm than good because acid rain corrodes car surfaces when left for too long on the car without washing.

Also, rainwater may trap dirt and other particles already existing on the vehicle, making it dirtier.

Quick Answer

You should wash your car after it rains as soon as possible. The vehicle needs to be appropriately cleaned because rain doesn’t have the required water pressure nor materials like car shampoo to scrub grime off the car surface. It is also essential to wipe the car if it has been rained on after washing.

The following are reasons why you should wash a car after it rains:

  • Washing the car after it has been rained on removes the impurities and contaminants from rain. Removing these impurities prevents their accumulation on the surface, making the vehicle appear cleaner.
  • You should wash your car after it rains to prevent damage from road salts. Frequent rainfall and snowstorms usually happen during winter. Hence, it is necessary to use road salts to clear the roads of snow. However, the salts could damage cars’ paintwork, so washing a vehicle after driving it in such conditions is essential.
  • Wash the car after it rains because the rain doesn’t wash the car properly. Rain doesn’t have sufficient pressure like the power washers used to clean vehicles. Therefore individuals shouldn’t rely on it to clean their cars.
  • You should wash the car after it has been rained to remove the unsightly chalky marks after the rainwater evaporates from the surface.
  • Wash the car after rain if you live in an area with heavy air pollution because it contributes to acid rain, damaging vehicle surfaces.
  • You should wash your car after rain to wash off debris that may be collected and settle on the vehicle during rainfall accompanied by wind.
  • It is good to wash cars after rain to maintain shiny and well-polished looks, which can deteriorate if exposed to contaminated rainwater.
  • Lastly, washing a car after it has been rained on is ideal for preventing extra costs on repairs required to restore it to a good condition after it has been exposed to rain damage.

However, it may be impossible for everyone to wash their car after it rains for various reasons, including time constraints. So, what should you do if you lack time?

What if You Don’t Have Time to Wash the Car After It Rains?

You can wipe off the car with a clean microfiber cloth after it has been rained to prevent damage from contaminated and acidic rainwater.

This option works well if the vehicle is clean before the rain.

If it was dirty, wiping it may cause the dirt to scratch the car surface.

Hence, it should be washed properly to avoid damage.

Key Takeaways

  • Rain doesn’t clean cars because it lacks the necessary water pressure to wash off vehicles’ dirt and grime.
  • Rainwater could contain contaminants and environmental pollutants, making it rust vehicles when left on them for too long.
  • The impurities of rainwater remain on the surface as water spots after it has evaporated, making it appear dirty and unpleasant.
  • Rainfall can’t wash underneath a car’s exterior. Hence, cleaning dirt from the vehicle’s underside using rain isn’t practical.
  • Wipe the car with a clean microfiber towel after rain if you don’t have time for a proper car wash. However, the car should have been washed before it was rained on if you intend to use this method.









Jan-Lucas Ganssauge
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge