How To Wash A Black Car Without Water Spots in 10 Easy Steps

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how to wash a black car without water spots

Need to know how to wash a black car without water spots? Follow these 10 easy steps:

  1. Place your vehicle in the shade, out of direct sunlight
  2. Rinse a section of the vehicle
  3. Wash from top to bottom
  4. Rinse away the soap
  5. Dry immediately
  6. Wash wheels, tires, and exhaust tip(s)
  7. Remove contaminants from the paint (optional)
  8. Apply water spot remover (optional)
  9. Polish (optional)
  10. Apply car wax

Tools and Products Needed

  • Car wash soap
  • Two buckets
  • Wash mitt
  • Water hose
  • Microfiber drying towel or air blower / dryer (leaf blower works)
  • Car wax

Optional Tools & Products for Better Results

  • Pressure washer
  • Foam cannon
  • Car dryer / blower or leaf blower
  • Water filtration system
  • Tar remover
  • Iron remover
  • Clay bar
  • Water spot remover
  • Ceramic coating

Wash a Black Car Without Water Spots in 10 Easy Steps:

Step 1: Place Your Vehicle in the Shade, Out of Direct Sunlight

Washing your black car in the shade keeps the paint surface cool. Hot paint dries water and soap quickly, which causes water spots to form. A cool paint surface is much easer to wash, rinse, dry and protect than a hot one.

If your black car has been parked in the sun and is warm to the touch, park it in the shade and let it cool before starting.

Step 2: Rinse a Section of the Vehicle

Rinse one section of the vehicle. Working one section at a time keeps water and soap from drying on the paint.

Rinsing before scrubbing washes away loose dirt, which helps minimize scratches. It also lubricates the paint for washing, and cools the surface further.

Step 3: Wash from Top to Bottom

Using two buckets of soapy water and a wash mitt, wash that section of the car. Work from the top of the car to the bottom. The two bucket wash method goes as follows:

  • Dip the wash mitt into the soapy water
  • Gently rub the surface of the paint in long sweeping motions
  • Rinse the wash mitt in the other bucket
  • Repeat

This method keeps the dirty water in one bucket, and the clean water in the other. Dirty water, reapplied to your paint will scratch it.

Step 4: Rinse Away the Soap

Using a household garden water hose, rinse the soap away from that section. Do not allow the water to air dry on the paint.

Step 5: Dry Immediately

Use a clean microfiber drying towel or blower to dry the wet paint immediately. Do not allow the water to air dry on the surface. This is a critical step for keeping water spots from forming.

Step 6: Wash Wheels, Tires, and Exhaust Tip(s)

Following the same steps outlined above, wash the wheels, tires, and exhaust tip(s). Wash and rinse each wheel and tire one at a time. Do not allow soap or water to dry on the wheels. A wheel brush can be helpful for cleaning wheels, but is not required. Dry with a clean microfiber drying towel or blower.

Step 7: Remove Contaminants from the Paint (Optional)

  • Iron Remover: If tiny rust spots are visible in the paint, use an automotive iron remover spray. Spray the solution on the paint, let it sit for 6-7 minutes, then rinse away. This process dissolves tiny iron particles that become embedded in your paint.
  • Tar Remover: If necessary, use a tar remover solution to remove tar from the vehicle’s paint. Tar commonly gets stuck to the bottom parts of vehicles. Spray the solution on the tar. Wipe way with a microfiber towel.
  • Clay Bar: As a final decontamination step, clay bar the painted surfaces of the vehicle. This removes any remaining contaminants embedded in the paint. Spray clay bar lubricant on the paint. Rub the clay bar across the paint surface. As the clay picks up contaminants, it will get dirty. Fold and massage the clay as needed to expose a new clean surface.

Step 8: Apply Water Spot Remover (Optional)

If there are old water spots on the paint from previous washes, rain, or other sources, apply water spot remover. You can purchase a quality solution, or make your own.

A homemade solution contains 1 part regular white vinegar with 1 part distilled water. Don’t use tap water.

Step 9: Polish (Optional)

If you see swirls and scratches in the paint, polishing will correct it. Using polishing compound and a polisher, polish the paint until the swirls and scratches are gone. Do one small section at a time. Continue until the black paint has a mirror-like finish.

Step 10: Apply Car Wax

Once your black paint is free of water spots, contaminants, and swirls/scratches, apply a quality car wax. Car wax adds a protective layer that is hydrophobic. A hydrophobic surface repels water and keeps your black paint looking better longer. It also helps prevent future water spots from forming.

Best Practices, Tips, and Warnings for Washing Black Cars

  • Only use microfiber cloths and towels: black cars show paint imperfections more than other colors. Abrasive cloths and towels make tiny scratches and swirls in the paint. Clean microfiber will not damage your paint.
  • Wash, dry, wax in the shade, out of direct sunlight: Sunlight increases the temperature of your paint. Warm paint and direct sunlight cause water and soap to dry quickly. This causes water spots to form. A cool paint surface, in the shade is ideal.
  • Wash your black car during a cool time of day: When possible, wash your black car in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are cooler. Cooler temperatures slow evaporation, making it easer to avoid water spots.
  • Use a spot-free car wash water filtration system: Avoid water spots altogether with a water filtration system. A water filtration system filters mineral ions and spot-causing impurities from the water.
  • Use the two bucket method when washing: This method isolates the dirty water in one bucket, and clean water in the other. This way, you’re not scrubbing dirt back onto the paint.
  • Rinse before washing: Rinse away loose dirt and lubricate the surface before washing. Water is also a solvent that will begin to soften stuck-on bugs and other gunk.
  • Apply ceramic coating: For a more hydrophobic finish, use a quality ceramic coating. If water runs off of your paint, it can’t make a water spot. Ceramic coating also provide protection and gloss.

How to Remove Existing Water Spots from Your Black Car

To remove stubborn water spots that are already stuck on your black car, select one of the following options. These are listed in order of most to least effective:

  • Water Spot Remover or Mineral Deposit Remover: These solutions are formulated to break down the minerals in water spots. Follow the directions on the bottle for best results. Make sure the solution you choose is safe to use on automotive paint.
  • Make a Water Spot Remover Solution: Made with 1 part regular white vinegar and 1 part distilled water. Apply the solution on the water spots with a spray bottle. Let the solution sit on the water spots for 3-4 mins, then wipe away. Let the acid in the vinegar break down the minerals in the water spots.
  • Clay Bar: The clay bar method for removing water spots is simple. Keep the area wet with the lubricant provided in the clay bar kit, and rub the clay across the water spots. Do this until the spots are gone. Clay bars gently pull up contaminants that are embedded in your car’s paint.
  • Compounding and Polishing: Sometimes you just need to use power tools to get water spots off. Compounding and polishing removes water spots by abrasion. This process will also remove some of your clear coat. This is not preferred. However, as a last resort, it can be a good option. Use a paint thickness gauge to ensure the clear coat is thick enough to handle polishing.

How to Prevent Water Spots on Your Black Car

Keeping your black car from getting water spots in the first place is ideal. Although, it’s probably not realistic. Here are the best ways you can prevent water spots from forming on you car:

  • Don’t let water dry on your car
  • Clean and polish your car regularly
  • Keep your car as hydrophobic as you can with wax or ceramic coating
  • Don’t park where lawn sprinklers can reach
  • Keep your vehicle in a garage

Doing these 5 things will keep you car from ever getting stubborn water spots in the first place.


What are water spots and what causes them?

Water spots are what is left behind after water has evaporated. Unless it’s distilled, water contains minerals. Once the water dries up, the minerals are left on your paint. Water spots can also contain dirt and chemicals.

Why are black cars prone to water spots?

Black cars are no more prone to water spots than any other color. However, it’s easier to see water spots on black cars. Water spots appear white, so the white water spots on black paint really pop.

Are black cars hard to wash?

No, black cars are not hard to wash. Follow the 10 easy steps above and your black car will look great. Cars of all colors should be washed this way.

Should I buy a black car?

Black cars take more work to keep them looking new. If you don’t mind the work, buy it. Black cars, when maintained properly, look amazing. If you want a low maintenance color, go with white or silver.


Wash and dry your black car in the shade one section at a time. Remove contaminants from the paint, and apply car wax or ceramic coating.

Remove existing water spots with water spot remover, a clay bar, or polish.

Prevent your black car from getting water spots by keeping it dry, clean, hydrophobic, and in the garage.

What Next?

Now that your black car has a mirror finish and looks new again, explore our other detailing guides.

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Tyler Dixon is the founder of, and enjoys all things automotive-detailing. He has had a passion for all things automotive since childhood, and could often be found detailing his parents vehicles at a young age. He enjoys sharing his passion and skills for detailing with others, and is always looking for the next vehicle to transform.

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