How To Remove Pollen On Car (Best Methods 2023)
For all us car owners, the end of winter can’t come fast enough. Finally, we can forget about snow and salt, rain and mud, and the shivering wait while the car warms up.
There’s just one downside to the arrival of the spring season: plant pollen.
While best known as a menace to anyone with allergies, pollen can also pose a threat to your car!
Thankfully, once you know what you’re up against, it’s easy to deal with. Keep reading to find out precisely what the risks are and how you can deal with them effectively.
Then, it’ll be time to get out there and enjoy the spring season to the maximum!
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What Is Pollen?
Pollen is key to plants’ reproductive cycle. Without getting into a biology lesson, it consists of millions of microscopic grains, and these grains transfer from one plant to another during the plant’s reproductive cycle. Some species use insects to carry their pollen from plant to plant. Others release their pollen into the wind, hoping it will land where it’s needed.
When plants use insects to transfer their pollen, it’s no problem. But suppose you’re unlucky enough to live or work near a variety that uses the wind? In that case, you and your car could be in for a dusty, damaging, and allergy-inducing pollen season!
When Is Pollen Season?
Here in the U.S., pollen season is most commonly in late winter and spring. However, it depends what region you live in and the types of plants growing locally. There can be pollen in the air as late as November in hotter states! But as a rule of thumb, think of spring as the most intense time.
To get a more specific idea of when your ride might be at risk from pollen, use allergies as an indicator. If you suffer from allergies yourself, consider which times of year you are most affected. If not, try asking someone who’s affected. Then you can make sure you’re prepared beforehand instead of chasing the problem once it’s already begun.
Pollen On Cars - Why Is It A Problem?
Pollen can leave some ugly marks on your ride’s paint job, and dark-colored or black vehicles seem particularly vulnerable. But what is it about pollen that causes this?
Despite what some sources claim, we’ve found that pollen is unlikely to scratch your ride’s paintwork. The grains are microscopic, so unless you’re heavy-handed when wiping them away, they’re unlikely to leave visible scratches.
The problem is acidity. As a general rule, any acid is bad news for your paint! Unfortunately, that includes some types of pollen, particularly when combined with water. As a result, it can leave light but visible etchings and stains in your clear coat.
Aside from potential paint damage, pollen can find a way into your cabin and cause uncomfortable allergies for you and your passengers. Even if you aren’t allergic yourself, it’s wise to keep your cabin free from this irritating dust if you want the freedom to offer a ride to friends or family!
Over time, your car’s air and pollen filters can become clogged up. These blockages will prevent sufficient airflow and allow high levels of pollen into what should be a clean, safe cabin.
How do I prevent pollen from damaging my paint and invading my cabin?
We’ve got you covered. Here’s your guide on:
- How to deal with pollen that’s already on your bodywork.
- How to minimize future damage.
- How to keep your ventilation system pumping out clean, fresh air season after season.
How To Clean Pollen Off Your Car: A Basic Wash
A simple two-bucket car wash will do the job here. The two-bucket method is the industry-standard technique for a thorough, safe clean, ensuring that your ride gets spotlessly clean and that your beautiful paintwork is kept scratch-free. If you’ve noticed some pollen build-up on your ride’s exterior, don’t waste any time in giving it a proper clean.
What you’ll need:
- The Decon Wash Pack (includes Microfiber Wash Mitt): A quality car shampoo is essential. We designed our five-star rated Decon Soap + Wash Mitt to be kind on your paint but aggressive on dirt. It’s guaranteed to make light work of every last grain of pollen on your bodywork.
- Microfiber Towels: Microfiber is the only way to go! Two or three should be enough.
- Two large, strong buckets.
- Optional extras: These aren’t essential, but if you’re serious about keeping your ride looking showroom-fresh, they’re highly recommended.
- Grit guards: Grit guards will trap the dirt that washes off your mitt into the buckets. Catching these gritty abrasives reduces the risk of them washing back onto your car’s paintwork and causing scratches.
- Reusable clay pad & clay lube: If you’re planning to strip your wax or sealant back to the clear coat, using a clay pad afterward is worth the effort. Clay is a time-proven method for decontaminating that clear coat and preparing it for a ground-up reapplication of wax or sealant.
- Park your car in the shade to prevent the washing water from evaporating and leaving streaks.
- Fill one bucket with pure water and the other with Torque Detail Decon Car Shampoo and water.
- To loosen the dirt, rinse the whole car down first with clean water from a hose or bucket.
- Here’s the key to protecting your paintwork: don’t let the grains of dirt scrape across your clear coat.
This is where the second bucket of water comes in.
After cleaning one section of the car with soap and water, use the bucket of pure water to wash the dirt off the mitt. Just dunk your car wash mitt in the bucket and rinse it until you’re sure the grit and dirt is gone. Now you can use the soapy bucket again, safe in the knowledge that the harmful abrasives won’t transfer back onto your car’s paint.
- The first area to clean is your wheels. If possible, use a separate wash mitt just for the wheels. The rims are usually the car’s dirtiest area, so tackling them first will prevent filthy water from splashing onto newly-washed body panels.
- Next, starting from the roof and working your way down, gently run your mitt over each panel. Don’t apply too much force. Decon Car Shampoo has the muscle required for the hard work, so the pollen and any other dirt should lift straight off. If any of the dirt is particularly stubborn, let it soak in the soap for a minute or two and then return to it.
- Once every section has been cleaned, give the entire car a final rinse down with fresh, clean water.
- Finally, take your dry microfiber cloth and gently pat the bodywork dry. Do this immediately after rinsing to avoid letting the water dry and leaving dirty-looking water marks behind.
That’s it! Your ride should now be gleaming clean, looking fresh, and safe from any harmful pollen or dirt.
Pro Tip: Clean Or Replace Your Air Filter
Out of sight, out of mind. Pollen filters are often overlooked. However, protecting yourself and your passengers from allergies will require giving your car’s filters some attention.
Replacing or cleaning them should be a straightforward process. However, every model is different, so take a look at your owner’s manual or ask a mechanic. We recommend changing the pollen filters at least once every two years. However, if you live in an area with especially high pollen levels, switching them out every spring is a safe bet. For most cars, the whole procedure to change filters should take less than ten minutes.
Reducing The Likelihood Of Pollen Sticking To Your Car Ever Again: Applying Protection + Shine
Prevention is always better than the cure! Using a high-quality car wax will give you a head start on any pollen-related paint damage.
★★★★★ "Saw this being promoted on a big YouTube channel and thought why not try it. Was a bit skeptical but WOW. Super easy to apply and car is shining. Water still pelts off 3 weeks later! Gonna ditch the wax and will continue to use." - Josh S.
Wax forms a transparent, high-gloss shield against pollen and other contaminants. There are two ways that it will protect your paintwork. First, a quality wax will give the paint a super glossy, low-friction texture. Low-friction surfaces shed dirt more quickly, so most of that pollen will slip off before it can get a foothold. Second, the acid in pollen will slowly eat into the first surface it touches. If the first surface is wax rather than paint, you’ve gained valuable time before any permanent stains or etchings occur.
Torque Detail Mirror Shine is guaranteed to provide top-quality protection for your paint. Fact.
Mirror Shine is purpose-built for use on car paintwork, so you can rest assured that it will be both safe and super durable. However, excellent protection is only half the story - as the name suggests, Mirror Shine will give your ride a luxurious, deep-looking shine that’s guaranteed to turn heads. Check it out here.
Summary - No More Pollen On Car Paint
Whether you want to keep your ride looking pristine or need to keep allergies at bay, pollen is a pest. Still, dealing with it can be easy and painless if we know the steps to take.
A combination of preventative methods and quick reactions to any pollen build-up is the key. If you get ahead of the game with a protective coating, you’ve already won half the battle. From then on, swiftly and safely cleaning any pollen that does settle on the bodywork will ensure that your ride stays looking fresh.
A quality wax finish, the two-bucket washing method, and regularly updating components... pollen or not, these are already time-proven techniques for keeping your ride looking and feeling like a million bucks. Pollen is just another great reason to make sure we never let our guard down!