Car care tips: Are Black Cars Harder to Keep Clean?

In our last article, we talked about getting the last vestiges of winter out of your car and if you have a black car, you may like these black car cleaning tips. Have you ever looked over at your neighbour’s white car and wondered whether your black one is harder to keep clean? Given that dirt is dirt and paint is paint, the truth is, it doesn’t matter what colour your car is—a similar amount of effort is required to keep any vehicle clean. Now, it’s time to free up an afternoon for spring car detailing.

On the other hand, whether a car appears clean has little to do with actual dirt. Sprinkle a little pollen or dust on a black car, and it’ll look like it came through a storm. Wash it without rinsing first, and you’ll see a cobweb of tiny scratches on the black paint. If you were to put a white car and a black car through a car wash side by side, the white one would come out looking cleaner. You’d get a similar result if you compared any lighter shade with a darker one: orange looks cleaner than blue, yellow looks cleaner than red, silver looks cleaner than forest green.

What colour car do you drive?

Curiously, even though winters here tend to linger, white isn’t the top car colour in Canada. That honour goes to silver, the colour of nearly a quarter (22 percent) of all Canadian cars. The next three most popular shades are black (14 percent), blue (14 percent), and red (12 percent). White comes a distant fifth, the choice for just 7 percent of vehicles. Apparently, how clean the car looks isn’t much of a factor. So what makes a driver choose one colour over another?

According to Ford Motor Company’s chief designer of colour and materials, Susan Swek, choosing a car colour is largely an emotional experience. Studies have shown that as many as 40 percent of car buyers will go to a different dealership if the colour they want isn’t available. Silver communicates aspiration, black is elegant, dark blue is classic, red is sporty, and white is modern. Whatever colour speaks to you, don’t let its message become hidden under layers of dirt and scratches.

Auto detailing tips for black cars

With their striking appearance, black cars are popular for a reason. But any car detailing expert will tell you that black paint needs the right care to keep it shining. That’s because certain shades are less forgiving than others.

When detailing a black car, use the right auto detailing supplies and methods to keep the finish sparkling like new.

  1. Start by rinsing the car to remove abrasive pollen, dust, and dirt.
  2. Use one bucket for hot soapy water and another for just water to rinse.
  3. Use a microfibre wash mitt. Microfibre is soft and won’t scratch your vehicle’s paint (unlike a cotton towel).
  4. Use a microfibre drying towel. Don’t wipe; instead, lay the towel down and blot the surface of the car.
  5. Air-drying, with a leaf blower or air gun, is a great non-contact drying method that reduces water spots.
  6. Protect the paint with a quality wax, such as Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Hi-Tech Yellow Wax, to restore lustre, depth of colour, and beauty.

True, there is little difference between caring for black cars and white cars, or even between green and red cars. Using the right supplies and methods, and following up with a thorough waxing, will keep them all gleaming. Wash and wax often for the best results.

For more information on auto detailing, check out our next article, where we’ll share car detailing equipment tips from local body shop professionals.

By Benjamin Jerew

4 Replies to “Car care tips: Are Black Cars Harder to Keep Clean?”

  1. Trish Thomas says:


  2. Can you please tell me, I have heard that a car should never be washed with dish soap, is this true?

    1. Jacob says:

      Hi Marylin, dish soap isn’t formulated for use on a car’s paint. Dish soap has detergents that work as an abrasive cleaner and can strip away your vehicle’s protective top coat. We recommend using an automotive car wash soap to clean and protect your vehicle’s paint.

  3. Alex Coleman says:

    Very nice cleaning tips listed above it I will also wash my car using these tips and lets see it will help me out or not. Thanks for sharing this article to us.

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