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  • Writer's pictureThe Valeters

Is it bad to wash your car in the sun?

Keeping your car clean is essential for its maintenance, but what do you do on hot, sunny days? In this blog, we're going to explore 10 risks while washing your car under sunlight and also reveal some secrets The Valeters use, a leading mobile valeting company in London to get cars cleaned to a high standard on a hot sunny day.

Lets delve into ten reasons why washing your car in direct sunlight can be detrimental.

water marks from washing in sun
  1. Water Spotting: Quick evaporation under the sun leaves behind stubborn water spots, spoiling your car's appearance.

  2. Soap Dries Too Fast: Car soap can dry before you can rinse it off properly, leading to streaks and residue.

  3. Increased Scratch & Swirl Risk: Scratches and swirls occur when the car's surface lacks proper lubrication during the washing process. On hot days, the likelihood of encountering a dry surface and insufficient lubrication increases significantly. Friction caused by wiping your paintwork is what induces scratches and swirls.

  4. Sunstroke and Fatigue: Washing your car under direct sunlight for a long time can cause dehydration and exhaustion, making it essential to take breaks, stay hydrated, and wear sun protection.


Well, what do I do if its sunny day and my car needs a wash?

Well, there's certainly a few solutions you can consider to properly wash your car in the sunlight. Below we're going to reveal some tips from The Valeters, a trusted mobile valeting and detailing company in London use to get the job done to a high standard in sunny weather conditions.

Washing a car under a gazebo on a hot day
  1. Protect Yourself: Before you do anything, think safety first by applying protective sun creams, a hat and stay hydrated to shield yourself from the sun's rays.

  2. Optimal Timing: If possible, always choose early mornings or late evenings to wash your car, avoiding peak heat and reducing the risk of water spots.

  3. Shade Solutions: If parking in the shade isn't a option, consider buying or borrowing a Gazebo, we really like Rock Awnings Explorer Series at The Valeters.

  4. Work in Manageable Sections: To prevent shampoo from drying out on your car's panels, break the task into smaller, manageable sections. Under direct sunlight, tackle one panel at a time—rinse, wash, and dry before moving on. In the shade, divide your car into four sections and follow the same process, always starting from the top down for best results.

  5. Avoid Waxing in Heat: Refrain from applying wax and other protective products on hot panels to prevent them from drying out too quickly.

  6. Prompt Drying: Dry your car promptly after washing to prevent water spots, especially if shade is scarce. Use a quality drying towel for best results, we particularly like the Carbon Collective Onyx Twisted Drying Towel.


Maintaining your car's cleanliness is crucial for its upkeep, but tackling this task on hot, sunny days requires careful consideration. In this blog, we've explored ten risks associated with washing your car under direct sunlight, highlighting potential issues such as water spotting, soap residue, and increased scratch risks.

However, fear not! We've also unveiled some expert tips from The Valeters, a leading mobile valeting & detailing company in London, to help you achieve a pristine clean even on scorching days. By prioritising safety and efficiency, such as protecting yourself with sun cream and hydration, opting for optimal timing, utilising shade solutions like gazebos, and working in manageable sections while washing, you can overcome the challenges of sunny car cleaning.

Remember, avoiding wax application in heat and promptly drying your car with quality towels are essential steps to prevent water spots and maintain your car's shine. With these insights and strategies, you can confidently wash your car in sunlight, ensuring it looks its best while preserving its condition for the long haul.

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