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  • Two ways to keep a black car clean are using the correct cleaning materials and decontaminating.
  • Decontaminating a car involves deep cleaning the paint to remove harmful chemicals, such as tar and bird droppings.
  • Swirls and scratches are two common impurities that taint black cars.

Owning a sleek black car comes with numerous challenges, such as the battle against dirt, debris, and notorious swirls and scratches. Luckily, there are numerous ways you can deal with these problems and maintain your black car’s elegant paint job.

Ways to Keep a Black Car Clean

Some ways to keep a black car clean include using the right cleaning tools, choosing the appropriate soap/shampoo, decontaminating your vehicle, and following a regular cleaning schedule.

Use the Right Materials

Using the right cleaning materials, such as a soft sponge and a microfiber cloth, will do wonders for your black car. A soft sponge soaks up water and distributes foam evenly. Due to its size, you can also reach tight spots easily.

using microfiber cloth to clean black car
Using the right cleaning materials, such as a soft sponge and a microfiber cloth, will do wonders for your black car.

A microfiber cloth is a great tool for drying your vehicle because it absorbs liquids well. Using it ensures no water spots are left, which is important because they often leave behind corrosives that could damage the car’s paint.

Use the Right Soap/Shampoo

Specialized car soaps and shampoos have the perfect pH level, minimizing the possibility of damaging the paint job.

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Dish soap is a bad substitute because it’s designed to remove tough stains and grease. Using it could damage the car’s clear coat and wax, resulting in dirt or corrosion down the line.

Decontaminate Your Car

Decontamination removes dirt containing harmful chemicals (tar, bug guts, bird droppings, etc.) that basic car washing wouldn’t clean off. Think of it as exfoliating your skin after using a facial wash.

There are two ways to decontaminate your car: physical and chemical decontamination.

Follow these steps to properly decontaminate your vehicle:

  • Step 1: Wash your car to remove dirt and loosen the contaminants.
  • Step 2: Dry your car using a microfiber towel.
  • Step 3a: (Physical decontamination) Gently rub the clay bar over your vehicle. Don’t apply too much pressure to avoid damaging the paint.
  • Step 3b: (Chemical decontamination) Spray the area with the cleaning agent and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen the dirt and chemicals.
  • Step 4: Rinse your vehicle and pat it dry with microfiber towels to avoid water marks.

Decontamination should preserve your vehicle’s shine and prevent the potential damage caused by harmful contaminants.

Clean Your Car Regularly

One of the most effective ways to keep your vehicle shiny is regular cleaning. Wash it twice a month or every other week. This way you avoid any dust or mud buildup.

How to Properly Wash a Black Car

To properly wash your black car, follow the steps below:

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Step 1: Park your car under a shade to cool it down.

Washing it under the sun may dry the soap on the surface before you can rinse it off, resulting in dull paint.

Step 2: Spray the vehicle with water to loosen and remove any dirt and debris.

Step 3: Use car soap/shampoo and a sponge to scrub away the dirt. Don’t apply too much pressure to avoid scratches.

Work from the top to eliminate redundant work. Occasionally clean the sponge to avoid spreading soaked-up dirt.

Step 4: Rinse off the soap and dry the vehicle with a microfiber towel to avoid leaving behind water spots.

What Taints Black Cars?

Besides dirt and debris, the two main culprits that taint black cars are swirls and scratches. The effects are more amplified and noticeable on black vehicles, as they remove the natural luster these cars have.


Swirl marks are a result of a handful of things, including poor washing techniques, the use of incorrect cleaning agents, and the use of a towel to dry off a freshly washed vehicle. While swirls aren’t detrimental to your vehicle’s performance, they leave a dull finish and reduce the paint’s shine and gloss.

There’s no need to worry, however, as there are ways you can prevent swirl marks:

  • Use a dual-action polisher to improve texture.
  • Avoid using dishwashing soap.
  • Properly rinse and dry a newly-washed car with a microfiber cloth.
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Contrary to popular belief, black cars are not more susceptible to scratches than other colors. Scratches are just more pronounced due to the clear coat’s white color, which contrasts with the black exterior.

To avoid the glaring blemish on your vehicle, it’s best to be wary of potential causes. Common ones include dried rain spots, bird droppings, and sticks/stones on the road.

Rain has chemicals and salt that could damage your paint job. It’s especially harmful when left to dry, as it leaves marks that could eat away at the paint.

Bird droppings have the same effect. They’re acidic, which means they could cause the clear coat and paint to burn and chip. Therefore, it’s best to remove bird droppings from your vehicle as soon as possible.

Branches and stones can get kicked up and scratch your vehicle, especially while driving at high speeds. One way you can avoid this is by driving slowly when possible and rolling over them instead.

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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