Can that layer of dirt on your car actually help protect its paintwork?
Or, like fastidious car owners, should you always strive to have a layer of wax or sealant protecting your paint?
DIRT AS A SHIELD
If you think about it, the filthier your car gets, the more the paintwork actually gets covered.
Look at the vehicle in the above image. The thick mud covering its lower panels definitely guards it from say, the sun’s UV rays.
Ditto for the mud covering the tyre’s sidewalls. In fact, one can imagine that if the mud were thick enough, the paintwork might even be protected against stone chips.
SHOULD YOU LEAVE DIRT ON YOUR CAR, THEN?
No self-respecting car owner is going answer “yes” to “Can dirt protect paintwork?”
If you want to preserve and maintain your car’s looks, you should not allow dirt to build up on your car.
Just like bird poop, do not allow your car to remain filthy for too long.
BUT ISN’T DIRT ON MY CAR A FORM OF PROTECTION?
It is, but who wants to drive around in a filthy-looking vehicle?
The other reason is that if you allow dirt to really build up, removing it is going to become a real problem.
A powerful pressure washer may not be enough to clear it, as some elements in the dirt or mud may embed themselves into the paint.
Therefore, the thicker the layer, the bigger the risk of marring or scratching your paintwork when you start washing your car.
HOW CAN I SAFELY REMOVE, SAY, A THICK LAYER OF MUD?
Our suggestion is to go to a detailer and enquire if the outfit uses snow foam, which will help remove the muck.
When left to dwell, snow foam will help lubricate the dirt so that it slides off without scratching the paint.
You may want to use a pre-wash cleaner as well, as this can help remove more stubborn contamination before washing your car.
Don’t forget to clay your car after washing it.