Can I Use rainwater to Wash My Car?

Washing your vehicle is very important. Contaminants such as tree sap, pollen, air pollutants, and dirt can have a negative effect on the look of your car paint and finish. It has been recommended by car experts that you need to wash your vehicle once a week to successfully prevents impurities. You may worry that washing your car every week is too expensive; however, people also make use of rainwater to wash their cars. But is it safe to use rainwater to wash your car?

Can I Use Rainwater to Wash My Car?

No one is going to charge you for the rainwater you are using to wash your car. After all, rainwater is a free resource, and if you have a restricted budget, rainwater is exactly what you need to clean your car. Rainwater, in its purest form, doesn’t contain the same salts, minerals, and other types of contaminants that are present in ordinary tap water, so this makes it the perfect option. With that, you don’t need to be worried about any unattractive stains when you use filtered rainwater to wash your car.

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However, if you live in areas with pollution and heavy smog, you are probably well acquainted with acid rain. Just as much as acid rain can impair the soil, it’s accumulation can also cause damage to your paint over time. Once acid rain gets on your car, it focuses itself on your car paint as it dries and then reactivates every time the car becomes wet, causing further damage to the car paint. 

So, if you stay in an area with high pollution, it is best to avoid washing your car with rainwater and keep your car out of the elements as much as possible. Actually, this is the one time when it is better to drive a dirty car. If you live in those places with high pollution and heavy smog, take your car to an eco-friendly car wash to give it a proper clean. If you have a practical car washing routine, you can minimize the usage of water, and in the process, maximize the life of your car paint.

Can Rain Clean My Car?

Absolutely, there is no doubt that rainwater will clean your car to a certain extent. Rainfall can help remove pollen, dirt, and other loose contaminants that stick to your car paint. If you want the rain to wash your car, all you need to do is make sure your car is exposed enough to the rainfall. The force of an excellent rainstorm has been known to rinse off bugs, stubborn pollen, and it even gives your weathered car paint a bit of a shine.

However, rainwater will probably not remove stubborn contaminants such as thick mud, road tar, and bugs. It doesn’t have enough power and isn’t mixed with any washing products. Your vehicle will look cleaner during a rain shower. However, as the rainwater evaporates, you might see minerals and impurities that are present in the water and air.

That is the reason why after a rainfall, your vehicle may come out too spotted paintwork, even with all that, your vehicle will look a lot fresher. But, do you still need to get the car cleaned properly? Most definitely.

Washing Your Car During Rain

There are several possible benefits to washing your car when it’s raining, but this action also has some key shortcomings. For instance, rainwater may be dirty, and washing with this type of rainwater, you might as well drive through the nearest pond. That being said, you can absolutely wash your car during the rain since it will be better than not washing your car at all.

You will be able to skip the pre-wash stage when you wash in the rain. The rainwater can wash off contaminants that are not that immovable, and a heavy one can even loosen stubborn dirt to an extent, but won’t be as effective. The issue comes when the rainwater you plan to use to wash your car is dirty, this is equal to when someone splashes mud all over your vehicle while you work.

Moreover, you will need to find a protected area to make sure your car dries. It is important to dry your vehicle to prevent more water spotting and remove residue. If you don’t have a place that is covered that you can work, the rainwater can make it a little tricky.

How to Use Rainwater to Wash your Car

For the car owners who want to ensure their cars are clean at all times, rain can be a significant pain in the ass. Rain brings with its dried leaves and airborne dust, and when this stick to your car, all your effort to clean your car will be nullified. Luckily, rainwater is clean in itself, unless it has been contaminated heavy smog and can be used to wash your car to make it clean. Though this process looks simple enough, there are workarounds to make it beneficial and successful. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Items Required:

  • Two buckets
  • Car shampoo, preferably those that have wax
  • Microfiber towel or wash mitt
  • Detailer wax or spray
  • Dry microfiber towel
  • Rainwater, preferably those collected and stored in a clean tank
  • Garden hose
  • Glass cleaner

Tip 1: Before starting, make sure that the rain you want to use to wash your car is not contaminated with dust and other impurities. To ensure the purity of the rainwater you have already collected, place some raindrops on clear and clean glass or plastic. Leave the raindrops to dry, and then look for blemishes. If you don’t have the time, place the piece of plastic or glass under a bright light bulb, as this can also allow the rainwater drop to dry faster.

Tip 2: If you find stains on your plastic or glass piece, filter the rainwater a couple of times. Moreover, you can take this as a sign to set up filters in your rainwater collection system, so that it only collects clean rainwater.

Tip 3: The next thing is to get ready for the things you need for the job. To start, pour the rainwater on your car and then apply shampoo. When applying shampoo to your car, make sure you put them on a wet microfiber cloth. Besides, ensure the mitt is free of debris between soaping.

Tip 4: In case you have a heavily soiled car, get another bucket of rainwater. If you connect your rainwater collection system to a part of your house’s water supply system, you can easily activate the water pumps in your house so that the rainwater flows directly to the tap that has a hose that has already been attached to it.

Tip 5: To thoroughly wash your car, start from the roof and work down to the side panels. The last part of the car you clean should be the wheels and make sure you thoroughly rinse your car with rainwater afterward.

Harvesting Rainwater for Car Wash

The need to capture and recycle rainfall is becoming more vital. As the population grows and water companies increase their prices, the demand for water continues to increase. In addition, with the demand for organizations to reduce their environmental impact, rainwater harvesting is gradually sought after by both the commercial companies and the public, and you can also harvest rainwater personally to wash your car.

You can use both your local main water supply and rainwater by installing a water switch device that allows you to choose between the two different water supply. Rainwater can serve as an alternative means of sourcing water to wash your car. With that, you can regulate the water that comes from your main local water supply.

If you reduce the way you use the water that comes from your main local water supply, due to the fact that you have harvested rainwater, then you can expect a significant decrease in your water bill expenses. The water tank has different sizes, so you should purchase the right size so as to save enough rainwater that you can use to wash your car.

Although it is easy to collect rainwater, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered to make this method effective. Among the components of harvesting rainwater, make sure you choose the storage that is best suited for your needs. Make sure the water tanks have the right quantity for harvesting rainfall. With that, you can maintain the collected rainwater until it’s time to use the water to wash your car.

The Bottom Line

Using rainfall to wash your car is a great idea. You will find that being resourceful not only help you feel accomplished inside but also help mother earth. However, you need to know how to properly wash your car with rainwater; else you might regret this decision. Follow the tips above, and you will always have a clean car while reducing your water bill and the cost of washing your car.

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