Well, this depends on how long you have had the wax on your car paint, as well as the type and quality of wax you usually use. For a car that has got a fresh coat of wax, rain won’t have a significant effect on it.
However, if it has been a month or two since you waxed, a heavy downpour can remove car wax.
Also depending on the type of wax you have got, rain can have varying effects. Synthetic waxes tend to be more durable than carnauba wax.
This means that the latter can easily be removed by rain, especially if it has been weakened by environmental factors such as UV rays and dirt.
All types of car waxes can have their lifespans shortened by prolonged and heavy rain. Therefore, it’s advisable to park your car in a garage during the rainy season as this ensures the lifespan of car wax isn’t cut short.
Most car owners who are new to waxing are always worried about rain. What you should know is that waxes can hold up against the rain.
And if it just rains for a while, you have got nothing to worry about. As a matter of fact, a car that has been waxed is very easy to clean after it has been rained on.
Therefore, you don’t have to re-wax the car every time it gets rained on. You should however wash the car always after it has been rained on.
This helps with the removal of acid rain and other contaminants that may have made contact with your car paint.
Table of Contents
- Does Rain Remove Freshly Applied Wax?
- What about a Car that Hasn’t Been waxed in a While?
- What Can Remove Wax?
- What are the Effects of Rain Water on Wax?
- Is It Wrong to Over-wax a Car?
- Should I Dry My Car After It Rains?
- Will Rain Damage My Car Paint?
- How Long Does Wax Last on a Car?
- Does Rain ruin a Car Wash?
- Should You Wax Before or After It Rains?
Does Rain Remove Freshly Applied Wax?
No, it doesn’t. If you apply wax and it rains on the same day, the rain won’t remove the wax. It’s the wax that will protect your car paint from rain, mud, and anything else that is in the rain.
It is very hard for freshly applied wax to be removed by rain, not unless you don’t apply it properly. Or, it starts raining when you are still waxing the vehicle.
When the latter happens, you won’t even be able to continue with waxing as it will smear the car surface and leave an ugly finish.
Should it start raining when you are waxing a car and you have no shade or garage that you can work on, stop whatever you are doing and schedule the waxing for another day.
It is impossible to wax when it’s raining and to ensure you don’t waste your time or efforts, check the weather forecast so that you can know which day is best for you to wax.
Avoid waxing on sunny days as this bakes the wax to the paint even before you can polish it. Opt to wax on an overcast day.
What about a Car that Hasn’t Been waxed in a While?
If you can’t remember even the last time you waxed your car, chances are there isn’t any wax left. And the little that could be there can be easily removed by rain.
Though it is not recommended for you to wax every time it rains, you should always ensure there is a coat of wax on your car all year round.
Wax does a commendable job at protecting car paint and it isn’t advisable to drive a car without wax protection.
What Can Remove Wax?
Now that you are aware freshly applied wax can’t be removed by rain, what are some of the things that can remove wax? Many things can remove wax.
On its own, wax degrades naturally as it is exposed to the environment. This is why the manufacturer of various waxes will tell you that their wax will last for a certain duration.
After that period, you are required to remove the old wax and apply a fresh coat.
The other ways in which wax can be removed from car paint are a result of mistakes that we make knowingly and unknowingly. If you often take your car to a touchless car wash, then with every wash, some wax is removed.
Touchless car washes expose your car paint to both low and high pH washes which strip wax immediately. And this isn’t the only downside of touchless car washes. Your car paint can also be scratched. It’s better to wash your car by hand.
Some cleaners that we use on our cars are strong enough to strip wax. This is why you are advised to use special car wash shampoo.
What are the Effects of Rain Water on Wax?
The short-term effects of rainwater on wax are very minimal and most of the time, they are unnoticeable. Long-term, however, because wax doesn’t form a super-bond with car paint, the rain will strip it off eventually.
So, if you live in an area that experiences frequent rain, your wax won’t last as long as it is recommended to.
Wax is hydrophobic, and when it gets rained on, it causes the water to bead up and roll easily from the car’s surface. It offers protection from acid rain and other contaminants found in rainwater.
Therefore, there aren’t any negative side effects of rainwater on wax that you should be worried about. On the other hand, you need to be very worried about rain if your car isn’t waxed.
Is It Wrong to Over-wax a Car?
As beneficial as waxing is, you should know when to not overdo it. Perhaps you may have not known this but applying wax once every three to six months is enough to protect your car paint.
Anything done in a lesser duration than the one stipulated above is an exaggeration. When you wax after a week, you are only building up layers of wax on your car paint.
The result is often clouding on top of the car finish and yes it will look bad. During application, two coats should be enough to offer maximum protection.
If you are keen on ensuring your car looks neat and is protected from contaminants, don’t wax every week, instead wash your car regularly.
A clean car is a happy car. There are no dangers of washing a car as regularly as you want, provided that you use the right tools and do it correctly.
To enhance the performance of wax, you can apply some spray wax after every month.
Should I Dry My Car After It Rains?
Contrary to popular belief, rain doesn’t wash your car. It adds more contaminants to your car’s surface.
If your car has been rained on, what you should do is to wash it and not to dry it. Drying a car immediately after it has been rained on will leave swirl marks on the paint.
When you wash it, however, you remove dirt and contaminants. Then you can dry it and reveal a clean finish.
Will Rain Damage My Car Paint?
It will, especially if the paint hasn’t been waxed. Depending on where you live, the rain can be acidic and this may etch car paint if the rainwater is left to dry on the car paint.
To avoid the harmful effects of rain, wash your car after it rains. And learn to wax your car.
How Long Does Wax Last on a Car?
Wax that has been applied correctly will last from two to six months. Carnauba wax doesn’t last as long as synthetic waxes. You need to take note of this as you will know when to re-wax your car.
How long wax will last on your car paint depends on the conditions you expose it to. If you keep off touchless car washes and avoid strong cleaners, the wax will last for long even it gets rained on daily.
Does Rain ruin a Car Wash?
From the above, we have seen that rain doesn’t remove wax. But, it does ruin a car wash. If you had washed your car and then applied some wax. Later on, should the car get rained on, you will have to wash the car again.
Wax bonds with the car paint and won’t be removed by rain. And as much as wax may try to repel water, the next morning there still will be some rain droplets left on the car, and other contaminants such as acid rain and mud.
These contaminants can only be removed by washing the car. The role of wax is to protect the paint and not to remove contaminants from the car’s surface.
If your car is always getting rained on, then that means you should wash your car regularly. Rinsing it with a garden hose may seem like a shortcut, but this will only remove surface dirt and rainwater.
Should You Wax Before or After It Rains?
Let’s say you decided to look at the weather forecast before waxing, should you wait for the rain or wax before it. If it’s waxing we are talking about, apply it before it rains.
This will ensure your car is protected from acid rain and whatever else that it may be exposed to. Regarding washing a car, you should do it after it rains instead of before.