It seems as though as soon as you finish washing a car in the Spring, the pollen that you couldn’t see floating by as you washed and dried has started to lay itself down on your smooth, silky, shiny paint. But believe or not, that really isn’t a problem. Sure, pollen gives black cars a nuclear green glow, and white cars look like yellow, but the pollen just laying there isn’t all that bad. The problem comes after you decide how to best remove it. There are a few ways you could do it, but only one guaranteed to not ruin your paint.

Pollen is something you want to remove as often as you can. While there are many forms of pollen, two popular forms around this time of year are flower (like Morning Glorys) pollen and tree (like pine) pollen. Although it is mighty small, a single pollen grain can cling to the various pores of your paint. Once there, it’s the acidity of the grain that can cause damage. The acidity is often activated in pine pollen (for example) when it rains can cause staining and premature oxidation over time. It uses the prongs to hold on tight to bees, mites, and your car’s paint in hopes of doing its job.


Those same prongs are the reasons you should avoid two popular pollen removal techniques: The Wipe and The Rinse.

The Wipe:  Wiping seems “okay” at first, but even one swipe on dry paint with no lubricant could start the viral streaks and light scratches that ruin your perfect paint. Think it’s too light to do damage? Maybe, but that Flail look-a-like is just one at a microscopic level. Multiply that one times a lot, add some pressure, and dry paint…now that is a disaster waiting to happen.

The Rinse:  Simply “hosing” the car at the house or spraying it off at the car-wash. While you do in fact remove much of the pollen this way and don’t threaten the paint in any way, you do miss the pollen closest to the perfection. Even with hot water and a pressure washer, the pollen is still there, hanging tight. Not only is it not gone, but you have now activated some of its acidic qualities.

What to do?

A good old wash: soapy water, gentle agitation, and dry.  The soap will encapsulate the pollen and loosen its grip on the paint.  Light agitation will move it out of the pores and leave you with a glossy, scratch free finish.  While you may not be able to wash your car every night, when you do take the time you’ll end up with one that allows you to enjoy the warm weather and not hate the scratches in your paint.

Note: If you apply wax or sealant the first time you wash it. You will make the secondary washes much easier and you’ll notice the pollen will not stick to the paint surface nearly as much. Once that happens, simply driving will remove a lot of the pollen because the wind will blow it off since it can’t stick very well.


  1. February 13, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Good information. We get it really bad here in SE Texas

  2. April 30, 2019 at 11:03 am
    Braden Bills

    I didn’t know that cleaning my truck in pollen season could cause problems! Maybe it would be a good idea for me to get a professional to clean my truck for me. They would have methods to keep my car free of pollen.

  3. June 13, 2019 at 3:35 am
    Jackson Rayment

    I think it is a good idea to use the services of the professional in the pollen season. On a breezy day, dust can amass on your vehicle regardless of whether you washed it only a couple of hours earlier. This can be baffling, particularly in the event that you’ve recently had it cleaned. Evacuating it securely is likely your essential concern. A great professional place offers you a wash bundle that incorporates an underbody wash and rust inhibitor-delicate material wash to help wipe out dust that is covering up in the cleft of your vehicle and underneath.

  4. November 11, 2019 at 1:39 pm
    Car Tailing

    Hi. Such helpful tips. Any specifications for the cleaning products used to wash off the pollen without irritating the car or leaving scratches? This would be a great help!

    • November 19, 2019 at 11:57 am
      Johnsons Mobile Detailing

      A good sudsy car wash soap will do the job. We recommend using Mothers brand soap.

  5. December 17, 2019 at 10:32 am
    Car Detailing

    Thanks for sharing this amazing post with us, very informative and helpful. Keep up the wonderful work.

  6. March 11, 2020 at 1:32 pm
    Jane Gomez

    Very helpful..!

  7. July 15, 2020 at 8:10 am

    If so then you should have the vehicle. The ideal thing about the vehicle is its look, and whether it’s interior or it is exterior, you ought to take care of that. When you’ve finished washing the entire vehicle, utilize a chamois to dry off your vehicle.

  8. August 6, 2020 at 12:20 am
    Emily Bennette

    My sister just moved to the south and wants to get her car detailed in April. However, she isn’t sure how to do that with all fo the pollen. It is good to know that it would be smart to wash the car with soap water very gently before trying to do any detailing so the pollen will come off. It might be best for her to get a professional to do the detailing for her.

  9. August 18, 2020 at 5:39 am
    Harry Wayne

    Car detailing is an important aspect of basic car maintenance, yet some people ignore its importance. A car should be washed regularly to remove the deposited contaminants.

  10. September 1, 2020 at 10:39 pm
    Dan Collins

    Thank you for sharing this informative post. At least I won’t do further damage to my car when cleaning after reading this.

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