Keeping a Black Car Clean and Shiny

I bought my first ever black car about a year ago and it is a total pain to keep it looking nice.
It's a ten year old car that I bought cheaply as that is all I can afford, so need a cheap solution.
It doesn't help that I'm in the country with no garage or carport, so everything from the trees above including bugs, caterpillars, ants, sticky eucalyptus tree blossoms etc lands on it every day! lol

What are people using on their older black cars to get the best and longest lasting results, preferably without spending a fortune?


  • -1

    Ceramic coating.

    • This, best mod Ive done.

      I have a daily thats black, I used ceramic wax, spray on last 6 months. Not bad but nowhere near as good as proper ceramic coat professionally installed.

    • I should have mentioned it's an old car and I don't have much to spend on it.
      Have edited my post to clarify this. :-)

  • +2

    Car cover

  • Have owned 11 black commodore berlinas, now a black Subaru, Use Bowden products but the secret is: "Own a black car- wash weekly" My cars always sparkle and I live in rural area too! Never wash in hot sun.

  • +7

    Wrong colour! Black looks awesome when clean, but takes next to nothing to make it look filthy. Trade it in!

    My old next door neighbour used to keep her black car in the garage and had a feather duster in easy reach to keep it clean.

    • -2

      Was going to say the same thing…

      "Trade it in and buy a different colour…"

    • Yes if only I could afford to.
      It's an oldie that I bought privately for $3000.
      (Am on a disability pension and this may be my last car)

      • Just wash it semi regularly and deal with the dirt as best you can. It’s 10yo. It’s not going to be worth much when you get rid of it anyway.

  • +5

    Don't drive it.


    Don't worry about it.


    Spend money coating it so you can "save" time each time you wash it which will be everytime you drive it.

    That's the black car life.

  • You're a very brave man …

    Paint Protection Film would give you the best protection, but the cost of getting this done is rather prohibitive.

    Ceramic coatings are really good for making it easier to clean your car. But they don't last forever and work best when you clean your car properly yourself. Depending on the size of your car and which detailers you have access to in your area, this can cost about $1000 as someone else pointed out. You could try some DIY coatings. Even the non-permanent ones would help. But usually this is done indoors so it has a bit of time to dry/cure.

    Whichever option you choose, you'll probably have to clean it frequently - e.g. once/twice a week

    You said you've had to car for a year now. How have you been cleaning it? What's the paint like now? Any noticeable defects, swirls, staining from bugs/tree sap?

    • Hmmm the bloke paid $3k for his car, do you realistically expect him to throw get a ceramic coating done or at least the cost of the car itself (or more) for PPF?

      • He only mentioned the finances later in one of his responses. In his original post he mentioned he only had it for a year.

        Unless he has some strong sentimental connection to the car, it's really not worth paying a professional to get it done.

        DIY coatings can still done affordably. But depending on the condition of the existing paint, that may not worth it either.

  • +3

    You only buy a black car once.

    • +4

      Once you go black, you quickly go back.

  • +2

    Embrace those visible swirls and love them as they show character.

    Reference: Ex-owner of one black car

  • Wash it properly, use a sealant over the top to keep it cleaner longer.


  • Garage it and never drive it on anything but a clear day.. lol
    Or accept it will only look sparkly clean for 1 day

  • +1

    I have a black 2005 Honda Accord Euro that was inherited. Even after it's been professionally detailed it looks like crap.

    It was almost a relief when it got caught in two hailstorms in 6 months and we could give up trying.

  • Ideally get the paint corrected and ceramic coated.

    If not, then an easy routine is handwashing with 2 buckets (One clean, one dirty). Dry with a microfibre cloth like the big green sucker from bowdens own along with a drying aid like afterglow (also by bowdens own)

    Two buckets, 2 sponges, microfibre, afterglow all add up to maybe 70-100$

    Even better if you use a foam spray before hands to loosen up first and reduce risk of scratching/swirling when you handwash with the sponges.

  • Go to one of those carwash places once each week and pressure hose it down for $2 or so.

  • I too have a Black car, ceramic coating etc.

    When it’s washed cleaned etc no other colour looks better.

    When drops of rain or crap lands on it - nasty.

    Black is one of those colours where you park the car in the garage during rainy days and enjoy the sunshine when you can.

    But as others say Generally you ethier embrace the ups and downs of black or don’t.

    I think a car cover may suit your situation best

  • Turtle Wax seal and shine ceramic spray, or Meguires, or Mothers., at SCA. See reviews and cleaning videos on Youtube. Avoid parking under trees.

  • Wax it after every car wash. When there is still a decent amount of wax on the car, I just leave it out in the rain and the car is cleaned by the rain. Wax also makes it easier to scrub off bugs, bird shit and tree sap

    I dunno what it's like in the country but if you are driving on dusty roads every day, I don't think there's anything you can do

    • The rain and the dirt in the air usually leaves marks on my black car, even when it's had a fresh clean.

      • That's why you gotta dry it off as soon as you are done washing it