How to Remove Dust from your Car?

Last Updated 27th November 2019

Removing dust from your car might seem like a fairly trivial task, however, there’s a lot more to it than just wiping down your car with a dry cloth. Dust is a silent shine-killer and can cause damage to your paint. Incorrect removal can produce swirl marks which will completely kill the finish off the paint – especially on black cars. In this article, we’ll teach you how to safely remove dust from your car, and recommend the best products keeping dust off!

Can dust scratch your car?

Dust that you sticks to your car’s exterior is outdoor dust and can consist of soil particles, pollen, vehicle matter (from engines, exhausts, and tyres), and even insect parts. This is all pretty nasty stuff, and it can be a silent shine-killer if not correctly removed from your paint.

Whenever you’re working with paint, for the best results, it’s always important to understand what is happening on the surface of the paint. So, let’s focus on a single particle of dust sitting on the paintwork of your car. Under a microscope, this dust particle is essentially a tiny piece of rock. You wouldn’t drag a rock across your paintwork because that would certainly cause damage. Instead, you would try to pick up the rock and get it away from the paint as quickly and gently as possible.

Below we’ve put together some steps on how to safely remove dust from your car and how to keep dust off your car between washes.

How to Remove Dust from your Car?

Before touching the car exterior in any way, it’s important to assess the level of contamination on the surface of the paintwork. If you’ve recently cleaned & protected the vehicle then you don’t want to spend the next few hours re-cleaning it just for the sake of removing some dust. 

On the other hand, if there are higher levels of contamination (such as dirt, grime, and other contaminants) then you will need to complete your usual wash routine to avoid damaging the paintwork. If you’re unsure then it’s always safer to err on the side of caution and get the buckets and mitt out!

What equipment do you need?

1. Quick Detailer Spray

Quick Detailer is an essential item for any car detailer and is great for lubricating the car exterior – hence why it’s used for claying and drying cars. A high-quality quick detailer spray is important for this task as it will encapsulate the dust particles and lift them away from the surface of the paint. 

You should never attempt to remove dust from the car without a quick detailer as it will greatly increase the chance of scratching the paint.

G3 Professional Rapid Detailer – Recommended Quick Detailer

This is high-quality, everyday detailer designed for removing light dust from exterior surfaces. G3 Pro Rapid Detailer provides a good amount of lubrication on the paint, which makes it great for all levels of experience. This product will also leave a nice shine on the paint too!

2. Microfibre Towel

When removing dust from your car, the microfibre towel is as important as the quick detailer. A plush microfibre towel will help to lift the dust particles away from the paintwork and into the towel. As always, make sure the towel is clean before using on the paintwork. 

Autobrite Direct Mini Reaper Buffing Towel – Recommended Microfibre

Autobrite Direct Mini Reaper Buffing Towel – As the name suggests, the Mini Reaper is the baby version of Autobrite Direct’s Reaper Super Plush Drying Towel! The 40 x 40 Mini Reaper is ideal from removing dust from your car as it’s super plush 1000gsm fibres are soft against the paintwork and lift the dust away from the car – reducing damage to the paint. The smaller size of the Mini Reaper makes it great for keeping in the boot of your car for emergency dust removal without sacrificing the plushness of a larger towel! 

Step-by-step Guide:

  1. Ensure the car is in the shade, and the panels are cool to touch. Working on hot panels will increase the risk of damaging the paint as the lacquer will be softer and more malleable, and the detailer spray will evaporate very quickly.
  2. Working one panel at a time, mist the paintwork with the detailer spray.
  3. After misting the panel, use your microfibre cloth/towel to gently wipe the product off the surface of the paint, taking the dust with it. You should work in straight lines, with smooth passes – avoiding multiple passes unless absolutely necessary. Remember, you want as little contact with the paint as possible.
  4. Between panels, fold and turn the microfibre towel to reveal clean, unused sides. Use your judgement to determine whether you will need multiple towels – bigger vehicles might need a few.

Quick detailer sprays often contain wax and gloss enhancers to make the paint pop, but these can cause streaks on the glass – so it’s best to approach glass slightly differently.

  1. Make sure the car is in the shade, and the glass is cool to touch. Working on hot glass will cause the glass cleaner to evaporate quickly, reducing the cleaning effect of the cleaner.
  2. Working each piece of glass at a time, mist the glass with the glass cleaner.
  3. Immediately wipe down the glass with a microfiber cloth.
  4. Buff out any streaks with another dry microfiber cloth to get rid of any streaks.

How to keep dust off your car?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a single magic product that will completely keep dust off your car. However, there are things you can do to protect your car paintwork from dust and make it easier to remove.

Although they won’t completely stop dust from sticking to your car, waxes & sealants put a slippery protective barrier between your paint and the dust. Not only will this help to reduce the amount of dust that sticks to your car, but it will also help water to flow off the car, taking any dust with it. 

Autoglym Polar Seal – Recommended Sealant

Polar Seal will provide a super-hydrophobic and high-gloss layer on the paint. All products in Autoglym’s Polar Series are applied with a pressure washer and foam gun attachment. By using this product you’ll notice that the next time you wash your car or remove the dust, the dust will be a lot easier to remove. You can easily integrate this product into your normal wash routine as it can be applied on to a clean wet vehicle and then rinsed off.