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Washing Your Car with Tap Water May Be Damaging Your Paint

Jun 14, 2023

We all take pride in our vehicles and want to keep them looking their best. Regular car washing is an essential part of vehicle maintenance, but did you know that washing your car with tap water could potentially be causing more harm than good? In this post, we will explore why using tap water might be damaging your car's paint and discuss some solutions to protect your vehicle's exterior.

The Culprit: Mineral Deposits:

If you've ever noticed those pesky little spots on your car that seem like stubborn stains, chances are they are actually water stains caused by mineral deposits in the water. When tap water dries on your car's surface, the minerals inside it, such as calcium and magnesium, can dry along with it. Over time, these minerals can become corrosive, etching into the paint and causing permanent damage to your car's exterior.

The Importance of Water Hardness:

It's important to note that not all tap water is the same. The mineral content of water varies from one location to another. For example, in cities like Melbourne, Australia, the water is generally considered soft, meaning it has fewer minerals. On the other hand, in locations like the Sunshine Coast, the water is considered hard, containing a higher concentration of minerals. The hardness of water directly affects its potential to cause damage to your car's paint.

Determining Water Hardness:

To determine the hardness of the tap water in your area, a simple online search can provide you with the necessary information. By knowing the level of hardness, you can better understand the potential risks your vehicle may face during the washing process.

Solutions to Protect Your Car's Paint:

  1. Filtration System:

If you live in an area with hard water, installing a filtration system can be a worthwhile investment. These systems help remove the minerals from the water, making it softer and less likely to cause damage to your car's paint. Consult a professional to determine the best filtration system for your specific needs and budget.

  1. Water Softening Products:

In cases where a filtration system is not feasible, using water-softening products specifically designed for car washing can be an effective alternative. Products like P&S Absolute Rinseless act as water softeners, neutralising the minerals in the water and minimising the risk of paint damage during the washing process.

  1. Drying Your Car:

One crucial step is drying your car thoroughly after washing. By hand-drying your vehicle before the water has a chance to self-dry, you can prevent mineral deposits from forming and damaging the paint. Use a soft microfiber towel or Blower to gently dry the surface, paying attention to all nooks and crannies.

  1. Keep Your Paint Protected:

In addition to taking precautions during the washing process, it's essential to keep your car's paint protected to minimise damage and maintain its shine. Applying a protective layer, such as polish, sealant, or ceramic coating, can provide an extra barrier against mineral deposits and other environmental factors. 

While washing your car is essential for its appearance and longevity, using tap water without considering its mineral content can lead to unintended consequences. The mineral deposits in tap water can cause corrosive damage to your car's paint over time. By understanding the hardness of your local water and taking the necessary precautions, such as using a filtration system or water-softening products, you can protect your vehicle's exterior and maintain its pristine appearance. And don't forget the importance of thorough drying to prevent mineral deposits from forming. 


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