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How to Wash a Black Car & Keep It Shiny | NAPA

washing a black painted car

Easy on the Eyes, But Not so Easy to Clean

There’s a reason so many luxury, recreational and sports cars have their identity solidified in a classic, elegant black tone. This timeless color choice keeps your vehicle looking modern as it complements the curves and details of your ride with unmatched sophistication. The presence of a well-kept black vehicle is powerful and often indicates that the driver likes to keep things polished and refined.

That’s right. It’s easy to marvel at these handsomely dressed cars, but learning how to wash a black car is a slightly different story. The darker color palette isn’t forgiving of minor scratches, scuffs and mud spots, which can often intimidate drivers who want to tackle complete car washing maintenance in their home garage. While it’s totally manageable to achieve a spotless shine on your own, you should know that your black car requires excellent ongoing care through curated cleaning supplies that are made for your specific vehicle.

Following these tips will help you avoid common washing mistakes that can end up leaving your black car looking dirtier than it was previously. With careful cleaning and attention to detail, you can have peace of mind knowing you can keep that jet-black polish from losing its luster.

Best Practices & Cleaning Supplies for Black Cars

If you’re serious about maintaining your black car’s shine, then any old soap and car wash sponge simply won’t do, and neither will an automated car wash. To get every inch of glossiness back, you’ll need to get your hands a little dirty with a black car wash kit from NAPA AUTO PARTS. But don’t worry, the outcome is worth it.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

To find the best car wash soap for black cars, make sure to shop our cleaning supplies catalog. Ditch the dish washing soap, and use vehicle-specific washing liquids that’ll work nicely with your paint job, such as the Cleaner Armor All Ultra Shine Wash & Wax. If you aren’t using a foaming soap sprayer, then you’ll need a couple of deep buckets to contain clean and dirty water. But don’t whip out the sponge just yet! Unlike your typical sponge, using something like a wash mitt will help absorb debris as it gently sweeps across your vehicle’s body, reducing the risk of scratching. A wash mitt will effectively remove grime, while remaining soft enough to soothe your delicate paint job. 

Step 2: Rinse and Repeat

Remember to start with a full rinse, and then work your way down from the highest point of your vehicle. If you’re looking for how to wash black cars without water spots, you’ll want to stock up on microfiber cloths to fully dry your car after cleaning. Avoid squeegees, air drying and pretty much anything besides a microfiber towel, which ensures you aren’t burying swirls, dust and other minerals underneath a final layer of wax. 

Step 3: Get That Polish Back

Once you’ve done the dirty work, you might be feeling ready to lock that shine in place with a wax and polish finish. But what if your finish isn’t as bright as you hoped? To eliminate oxidation (a dullness of paint commonly seen on older cars), you can buff your surface with a polisher pad. For the ultimate clean on a nonceramic-coated car, use a clay bar, which is a resin compound that smooths out your vehicle’s surface by absorbing contaminants, like hard water stains and sap, into the clay without damaging your finish. 

Step 4: Keep the Shine Going

Finally, you’ll top off your gleaming black ride with a durable wax that’ll defend your precious paint from chipping, bug splats, dust, bird droppings, water buildup and anything else you may encounter on or off the road. A good wax will last a couple of months, until you have to remove the layer to thoroughly wash your vehicle, and then you will need to apply a new coat. Leaving old wax is never a good idea and often results in a more laborious cleaning process in the future, which is why a routine deep clean is vital in protecting the investment of your black car.

Make Your Ride Stand Out

There are plenty of ways to keep your ride looking new. By shopping for car accessories like covers, car bras and running boards, you’ll get extra defense against kicked-up debris and falling dust or pollen that can further complicate your cleaning routine. With the right equipment, the best car wash supplies for black cars and a little NAPA Know How, you can easily conquer the maintenance needed to make your ride as fresh as it was when it rolled off the dealership lot!

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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More than 90 years ago, the National Automotive Parts Association ("NAPA") was created to meet America’s growing need for an effective auto parts distribution system. Today, 91% of do-it-yourself customers recognize the NAPA brand name. We have over 6,000 NAPA Auto Parts Stores nationwide serving all 50 states with a unique inventory control system that helps you find the exact part that you need.

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