Best Water Temperature To Wash Cars

Pretty much like not washing clothes or dishes in just cold water, hitting the cooking temperature hot metal of steel with a tub of cold water sounds great, but can be damaging to the metal structure.

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It’s the height of a baking Aussie summer. Sunday morning, it’s already over thirty degrees but the car is filthy, it’s desperately calling out to be washed.

But it’s already over thirty degrees outside, right? So a bucket of cold water should be fine, right?

Wrong.

Pretty much like not washing clothes or dishes in just cold water, hitting the cooking temperature hot metal of steel with a tub of cold water sounds great, but can be damaging to the metal structure.

We all learned at school about heating and cooling expanding and contracting metal, but it’s likely the words “thermal shock” may not have been included. Perhaps the simplest and clearest definition is: “a sudden temperature fluctuation causing stress in an object or substance.”

Throw a bucket of cold tap water at the metal skin of your car and thermal shock is pretty much a given. This is one of the factors to be considered when washing your car, and why one crucial criteria is doing so in the shade.

If you have no access to shade then it’s best to do the wash in the morning, and do it with warm, not cold nor hot, water and your chosen brand of car wash liquid, like Nu Finish, for example.

The chemical formulae and the structures of chemicals in car washes are, again much like the detergent tabs you put into the dishwasher, designed to be more effective with warm to hot water. The efficiency rate in removing dirt, dust, bird poo, etc, increases with warmer water, and as a result, actually cuts down on effort and time required to wash. Water itself has less surface tension when warm so it’ll flow and be removed quicker with your freshly rinsed chamois.

At Nu Finish we specialize in cleaning and car products for your car. If you’ve a question about how best to look after your pride and joy in the driveway, drop us a line via our contact section.