How to Keep a Black Car Clean & Fatal Mistakes to Avoid

When it’s new and rolling off the lot for the very first time, a black car can be the very definition of the term visually stunning. The sunlight makes it glisten in a way that it almost looks like a piece of fine-cut black onyx on wheels.

Unfortunately, keeping the black car in that pristine state is one of the greatest challenges any car owner will ever face, or at least that’s the idea many people have implanted in their minds.

The question of how to keep a black car clean can’t be answered in one sentence, but the solutions below are simple and easy to grasp...

The Products and Tools You Need for Cleaning a Black Car

Before you do anything to your black car, you first want gather the products and tools you’ll need to properly clean it...

1. Car Washing Soap – If prior to owning your black car, you’ve used detergent or even dish soap for cleaning your previous vehicles, well then it’s time to change that habit. Popular Mechanics warns that using those items which are not specifically intended to be used on cars means that you’re putting the paint and wax job of your car in danger.

Car washing soaps are much kinder to your car and they leave the wax untouched. Their special chemical composition allows them to clean the car without damaging it in any way.

Recommended Product: Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash

2. Wash Mitt – You’re already being easier on your car by using car washing soap, so keep up that theme by using a wash mitt instead of a sponge. CleanTools notes that wash mitts are better for your car because they’re not as harsh to the paint. They can also hold more water, so the cleanup process can be done faster.

Recommended Product: Relentless Drive Ultimate Car Wash Mitt

3. Microfiber Cloth – Much like the wash mitts, microfibers towels are designed to clean the car without affecting the paint. The best microfiber towels will also reduce the number of times you have to wipe the car to get it dry.

Recommended Product: VibraWipe Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

4. Clay Bar – Clay bars are essential to the car cleaning process because they help remove debris that may have accumulated on the surface. Black cars in particular need to be cleaned with the aid of a clay bar to prevent those deep scratches, remove hard to clean bug splats, and act like a magnet for debris that may be clinging to your paint job.

Recommended Product: Chemical Guys CLY_109 Light Duty Clay Bar and Luber Synthetic Lubricant Kit

5. Compound – If you already have some deeper scratches on your black car, don’t worry, a compound can still be used to fix the problem. Compounds are also useful for getting rid of unsightly swirls, holograms, and other blemishes that may be seen on your car.

Recommended Product: Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound

6. Applicator Pads – The applicator pads are the items you need for getting the compound on your black car. They can also be used for wax application.

Recommended Product: Viking Car Care Microfiber Applicator Pads

7. Wax – The wax is the last item you absolutely want to apply to your car because it acts as a protective coating from harmful debris and even the sun. The best waxes also give black cars a very nice sheen when used properly.

Recommended Product: CarGuys Liquid Wax

The Steps For Cleaning a Black Car

1. Give the car a soap-less bath – Think of this as the part of the shower where you let the water run over you first so that you’re prepared for all the soap and shampoo that’s about to come. Taking the time to complete this step makes sure that your black car is in prime condition to be washed.

2. Employ the two bucket washing method – The reason you’ll need two buckets is because they’ll contain different things. One bucket is going to just hold water, while the other will be filled with the car washing soap mixed in with some water. Put on your wash mitts and begin washing by applying the soap first and then rinsing the mitt off in the clean water. Continue this process until the whole car is covered with the soap.

3. Address the blemishes on the car – If the washing process uncovered scratches and debris on your car, then it’s time to put the clay bar and compound to work. Remember to use the applicator pads for the latter to make sure that the scratches are effectively removed.

4. Dry the car using the blotting technique – This part of the car washing process sounds simple, but it’s where mistakes can be made and ugly marks can be left on a black car. To prevent that from happening, take the microfiber cloth and use the blotting technique instead of just wiping the car down.

According to, the blotting technique is better for drying the car because it reduces the odds of scuffing your paint. This will take longer to finish, but your black car will be in better condition because of it.

5. Time for the wax – Use the applicator pads again for applying the wax. It’s a simple process, and it can be seen in this video from Posh Pile.

How to Remove Bird Droppings and Bug Splats from Your Black Car

Extra cleaning may be required because of bird droppings or bug splats. They’re unpleasant messes and also potentially harmful to your car if you don’t address them right away.

When it comes to bird waste, you need to act quickly and get some water on the affected area right away, according to Car Buyer. After that, put a damp cloth on the spot and allow it to sit there for a few minutes. If you did things right, the waste will come off when you remove the cloth.

As for bug splats, the process is a bit more complicated because you’ll need a cleaning aid, although WD-40 works fine, says Your Mechanic. Use the cleaner on the splat first, and then wipe that away with the microfiber cloth.

If the bird droppings or bug splats aren’t spread out, you can just clean the problem spots first and leave the whole car cleaning for another day.

How to Prevent Scratches from Appearing on Your Black Car

Aside from following all the steps and using the items mentioned above, you should also remember to be gentle with your car. If you’re cleaning it, take your time and be careful with the paint and finish so that you don’t accidentally chip or damage them.

It's similarly essential not to skip the waxing process. Blemishes appear so much easier on a black car so wax is crucial for serving as the last layer of defense against debris.

Also, you may want to use a car cover if leaving town or storing your car overnight. I know they can make the car way too hot on sunny days, so that’s a call you have to make. I’m not sure I would bring a car cover around with me to cover my car every time I park. With that said, you may only want to use these when you’re leaving your car for a while or if you’re parking near trees where sap or pollen are likely to get on your car.

As you can see, caring for a black car does indeed require a little TLC, but it’s not a crazy difficult process or something to obsess about.

If you have any questions about how to keep a black car clean, please feel free to ask them below and we’ll answer those as quickly as we can.

Lastly, just remember that keeping a black car clean requires you to:

  • Acquire the right tools

  • Use careful washing and drying techniques

  • Apply wax diligently

  • Take immediate action against animal-caused stains

We wish you the best of luck moving forward with your car care.