Washing Your Car in the Rain: What to Consider

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At some point, every vehicle owner deals with the dread of trying to keep a car spotless during the rainy season. With so many conflicting tips and guidelines, washing a car in the rain may seem pointless, especially when Mother Nature makes her presence known.

So, should you wash your car in the rain? If not, should you wash it before or after it rains? This helpful guide covers what you need to know about keeping your car clean when the forecast calls for storms.

Washing Car in Rain

Washing Before It Storms

It’s easy to believe washing a car before it rains is counterintuitive. After all, you spend time getting rid of debris on your vehicle only to have rain leave behind streaks and spots. However, there are ways to minimize these concerns and keep your car free of unwanted debris.

Use Wax and Rain-Protectant Products

If you’re washing your car before a storm hits, wipe the exterior with an absorbent cloth. Doing so will help minimize any water spots left over from the rain. You can also apply a coat of wax along with a waterless product.

The purpose of wax is to repel moisture from the car’s surface, giving you a sense of post-storm relief. A waterless spray product provides lubrication that minimizes any remaining dirty water. Lucky for you, several of the Take 5 washes include the application of protective wax.

When you sign up for our Take 5 Unlimited wash club, you can enjoy the convenience of unlimited car wash services. No need to reschedule a wash simply because of the rain in the forecast. Plus, our wash club has no sign-up fee.

Washing Your Car in the Rain

Are there any benefits to washing your car in the rain? Contrary to popular belief, a routine wash during an afternoon rainstorm isn’t necessarily a bad idea. While rain produces unnecessary hindrances like mud and road puddles, you may get a few wins when you clean your ride during this time.

Shorter Lines

Are car washes open when it rains? Yes, they are. So why not drive through and skip the line that will come after the storm passes?

With our Pro5 and Pro5 Plus washes, your car gets a bug prep soak, rust prevention services, wax protection, and more! Our specially formulated sealant fills the pores of your car’s exterior to provide maximum protection against moisture.

Access to Cleaning Products

Protecting your car from rain spots is critical to maintaining its appearance and condition. Over time, moisture spots can cause etching and chipping in your ride’s paint job. Luckily, most of the washes at Take 5 include a spot-free rinse and a rain-repellant coating to reduce this concern.

You can’t dry your car while it’s raining, but when the storm passes, you can use a microfiber towel to remove excess moisture.

Why You Shouldn’t Let the Rain Wash Your Car

If you believe a rain shower is nature’s car wash, you may want to think again. Rainfall can pollute your car, leaving you with dirty spots on its surface. Another concern is acid rain, which occurs in areas with high air pollution levels.

Acid rain contains high levels of sulfuric and nitric acids. When combined with excess sunlight, acid rain can damage the paint and cause your vehicle to rust.

To avoid this problem, some drivers wash their cars multiple times each month to minimize dirt or grime buildup that can worsen with the effects of acid rain. You can always take your vehicle to a drive-thru car wash after a storm to prevent long-term effects.

Washing Your Car After It Rains

Washing your car after it rains comes with a few perks. Taking some time to wait out the storm means not worrying about pollutants or contaminants. You can also dry your vehicle’s exterior without getting soaked in the process.

But after a big storm, you probably won’t be the only one taking your car in for a wash. The lines at drive-thru car washes tend to get very long just after the storm passes. Another thing to consider is the possibility of a follow-up rain shower (though that’s not a problem for anyone with access to an unlimited car wash membership).

Keep Your Car Clean with Take 5

Washing a car in the rain has its pros and cons. The key is figuring out how much work you’re willing to put in to improve your vehicle’s exterior and care for it more effectively.

At Take 5, we make it easy to keep your car clean with our unlimited wash club and thorough wash options. Get started by finding a car wash location near you!

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