Many times we wash our cars just to get rid of the dirt. In fact, most drivers stopping at Splash Car Wash are usually just interested in getting their drive sparking clean before hitting the road. Little do they know that every simple wash also helps reduce fading of paint!
Wait, washing reduces paint fading?
Oh yes! There are four main causes of fading car paint; sunlight, salt, pollution, and abrasive cleaners. Professional cleaning helps reduce the impact the first three. Here’s how:
- Sunlight (UV rays)
Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun degrades the finish on our cars which is designed to protect the paint. This usually leaves the paint exposed and susceptible to damage and fading. The more your car is exposed to UV light, the worse it gets. Heat from the sun will be absorbed and stored in the metal of the car’s bodywork, ultimately causing fading and eventually damage. What’s more, even on days when the sun doesn’t appear that bright, there is usually enough UV radiation in the atmosphere to cause car paint to fade.
How washing helps: Washing has been found to be one of the best ways to care for the paint finish. Regular washing, if combined with waxing, will keep the finish in place longer, saving you from expensive repainting.
- Salt accumulation
The reason salt causes car paint to fade is oxidation – the process that also causes car bodies to rust. Basically, the metal of your car combines with oxygen from the air to form an oxide, leading to your car body rusting. The process typically takes longer in dry climates, but as soon as you introduce salt, it’s quickly accelerated since salt provides a lot of free oxygen molecules. This is why rusting is common during winter when municipalities spray roads with salt to minimize risk of skidding. In cars, oxidation can cause rust to develop attacking any exposed metal surfaces on your vehicle, and can then cause paint to begin to peel.
How washing helps: Washing is the only way to get rid of any accumulating salts on the car’s body. In winter, regular washing is a must to prevent paint fading. After washing, wax the car to make it difficult for salt to stick to the body.
Finally, pollution can also cause or accelerate car paint fading. There are a range of pollutants floating around in the air, which are all the more dangerous because we cannot see them. For instance, if you regularly drive by certain factories, you may notice that your car paint fades faster, perhaps because those factories emit gases that cause fading. Pollution is also the main cause of acid rain. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), human activities that result in emission of chemical gases such as sulfur and nitrogen are the primary causes of acid rain. Acid rain will not only cause your car paint to fade, it can also cause peeling and rusting.
How washing helps: Giving the car a thorough wash regularly can help protect it from the effects of pollutants like acid rain and other airborne chemicals.
Get a professional car wash today
As mentioned earlier, abrasive cleaning is another major cause of car paint fading. It means you can’t just wash your car with any available cleaner. You need professional washing for the best results.
Splash Car Wash has 40+ years of experience in car washing. Our staff is highly trained and we use only the best car washing supplies. Stop by any of our many locations today for a professional car wash – at a great rate!