Admittedly, rainwater is easily accessible especially if you’re in the Philippines. As with most Filipinos, many would collect rainwater in a large container which will be used for other household chores such as watering the plants. Other people also use rainwater to wash their car, they either get it from the container or directly expose their vehicle under the rain. Rainwater can clean your car, but not as thoroughly compared to tap water. Other than that, there are more reasons why it’s not advisable to do so.
It’s not that clean
While it can wash off mud and dirt, rainwater is particularly dirty as far as water goes. In fact, polluted areas especially in cities have a lot of contaminants in the air collected by the rain. Now, if you use rainwater to wash your car then the following contaminants could possibly produce swirl marks and scratches which can be a bit frustrating.
Acid rain can leave marks
This is probably one of the most known reasons why most car owners immediately go for a wash after a heavy downpour. If you leave your car soaked in rainwater and it dried after a few minutes, then expect to see some marks left on your paint job, windows, and other parts of your vehicle’s exterior. Acid rain marks can be removed, though it requires time, patience, and even money sometimes if you consult detailing services.
As mentioned, rainwater is not that clean, and like its contaminants, acid rain is also caused by pollution. As time passes by, acid rain can etch its way into the vehicle surface, therefore causing defects in the vehicle's paint. That said, you’re better off using rainwater for your plants or other household chores that require the use of water, just don’t use it to wash your car.
Why should you wash your car with tap water?
Tap water is cleaner than rainwater. It may add up a bit to your water bill, but it’s more accessible compared to rainwater, just turn on your faucet and there you go. Using tap water can help you clean your car thoroughly without severely damaging its paint job. To keep the car’s exterior more presentable and in pristine condition, make it a habit to clean or wash your car with tap water. So stop saving up the wrong way and use the proper water for your car in order to maintain its showroom shine.
So how can you properly wash your car?
Aside from tap water, other car wash services use distilled water which is also good for your car’s exterior. At home, make sure to have the complete materials from the shampoo, microfiber cloths, and even other detailing equipment such as car wax. Remember, before you proceed to soak your car with shampoo, make sure to wipe it with a wet microfiber cloth while sprinkling it with water. That way, you’ll be able to remove the dirt and other grime on the exterior, which should help you avoid swirl marks and scratches as you shampoo your car. After successfully applying it with car shampoo, rinse the exterior again with water and dry it off with another microfiber cloth.
Having clean water is pointless if you do not know how to properly wash your car. If you have some spare time, you can even do some waxing, or better yet invest in paint protection in order to add another layer of shield for the car's paint, allowing it to withstand the toxic effects of rainwater.