Will Rain Wash Salt Off Car? Everything You Need To Know with 5 Easy Steps

80 / 100

Salt can build in your car’s exterior over time for various reasons. Simply driving on the road is one of them. And the salt needs to be cleaned off. 

But will rain wash salt off car? 

Yes, the rain will wash some salt off the car. But that remaining amount can still cause harm to the car. It can damage the paint and especially underneath the car. So a complete wash using car washing soap and a water hose is required. 

This just gives you a glance over the matter at hand. All the details can be found in this article right here. 

Does Rain Actually Wash Salt Away?

Does Rain Actually Wash Salt Away
Source: ricksautodetailing.com

Rain has the potential to assist in removing salt from a vehicle. Unfortunately, this does not eliminate all of the challenges related to removing salt from the outside of the car.

In addition, rainfall may contain pollutants and toxins. This, when combined with the salt, may result in even more severe damage.

What Are the Potential Damages of Rainwater Mixed with Road Salt?

Rainwater mixed with salt can be hazardous to a vehicle in a number of different ways. And you may wonder can salt leave residue on cars after washing with rainwater? It certainly can, and there lies the problem. 

To begin, salt is abrasive and has the potential to scratch the paint on the surface of a vehicle. When this happens, rust might start to form.

In humid climates, this may be very troublesome. That is because the humidity can cause the salt to corrode the metal on the automobile more quickly. And this can affect any metal part of the car. 

In addition, salt is extremely soluble in water. This means that it can be easily transported by rainwater. It is possible for the salt to become deposited on the different corners of the vehicle. 

The car may sustain more damage as a consequence. This can be an especially troublesome issue during the winter months. That is because salt is frequently spread on roads in an effort to prevent ice and snow from accumulating.

Moreover, rainwater along with salt can be damaging to the underside of a vehicle. Underneath the body of the vehicle is a component known as the undercarriage. This is comprised of many subassemblies such as the frame, the exhaust system, and the fuel lines. 

Is Rain a Good Way to Wash Car?

Is Rain a Good Way to Wash Car
Source: autodeal.com.ph

If you have access to better ways of washing, then avoid depending on rain for washing your car. 

Always keep in mind that rainfall may include airborne contaminants. These may be dirt, dust, and bird droppings. They can be harmful to your car’s finish if not rinsed off properly.

Additionally, rainwater alone may not be sufficient to remove all of the dirt and grime from your car’s surface. It’s usually best to follow up with a rainwater wash. That is with thorough drying and waxing to protect your car’s finish.

If you have access to a hose and car washing soap, it’s more effective to wash the car using those tools.

Chemical Guys CWS_402_64 Mr. Pink Foaming Car Wash Soap

Water from a DIY water deionizer will not have any contaminants. So you can cleanse rainwater through it to later clean the car. But the extra hassle is really not recommended.  

Should I Wash The Salt Off My Car?

Yes, you absolutely need to wash the salt off your car. The salt will do harm to your vehicle if it remains on the surface for too long.

Salt can damage the undercarriage of a car in several ways.

When metal comes into touch with salt, corrosion may occur. Rust will emerge as a result. In humid climates, this may become a serious issue. This is due to the fact that metal parts of the automobile may corrode more rapidly when exposed to salt in damp conditions.

Salt is not only corrosive but also abrasive, and it may peel the paint off a car’s body.

But if you are wondering should I wash salt off my car immediately? Actually, the removal does not need to be immediate. But do wash it off as soon as you can. Do not let the salt build up.

How Do You Remove Salt From The Outside of a Car?

We already discussed why you should wash salt off car. Now is the time to learn the ropes.

The outside of an automobile may be cleaned of salt in numerous ways. Here are some easy ways to get the salt off your car’s exterior. And prevent any more harm from occurring.

Remember to regularly wash the salt from your automobile. Especially if you’ve been driving through locations where the roads have been salted to remove snow and ice. The paint job on the automobile will be spared damage and unnecessary expenses if you do this.

Step 1: Rinse the car with water

To clean the salt from the car you will need plenty of water. A hose or a bucket of water will do the trick here.

To get rid of as much salt as possible, make sure to thoroughly rinse the entire vehicle. Especially the undercarriage.

Step 2: Wash the car with soap and water 

Scrub the exterior of the vehicle with a sponge or towel and some kind of car-washing soap. Be sure to pay additional attention to areas such as the undercarriage, wheels, and fenders of the vehicle. This is because these are places where salt is likely to build.

Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash is one of the best overall car washing soaps available in the market. 

Meguiar's Gold Class Car Wash - Cleans and Conditions Car Paint

Step 3: Rinse the car again 

To remove the soap and salt from the surface of the vehicle you will again need to use water. You may either use a hose or a bucket of water. 

Again, do not forget the underside while rinsing.

Sometimes you may have trouble with the rubbing compound. So rinse the car properly. 

Step 4: Dry the car 

To dry the surface of the car, you can use a chamois cloth or a towel. To stop water stains from appearing, you need to make sure that the entire automobile is dried off. 

The car will dry off naturally as well. But using a towel or chamois cloth will speed up the process. 

You can even use an iron remover after washing your car

Step 5: Apply a rust inhibitor 

It is recommended that a rust inhibitor be applied to the car’s underside. As well as any other locations that are susceptible to corrosion. This will assist in protecting the car from any future damage caused by salt.

What neutralizes salt on a vehicle?

Water is the most effective way to neutralize salt on a vehicle. Salt is highly water-soluble, which means that it dissolves easily in water. When salt comes into contact with water, it will dissolve and be washed away, neutralizing its effects. 

In addition to washing the car with water, you can also use a car wash soap or a degreaser. These are to help remove salt from the car’s surface. It is the goal of these cleaners to eliminate all traces of dirt, filth, and other pollutants, including salt. And they can be effective at removing salt from the car’s surface. 

Rust inhibitors can be applied to the undercarriage and other areas of the car. Apply it in areas that are prone to corrosion and can help protect the car from salt damage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Does salt mess up your car?

Salt can mess up your car. Salt is corrosive. When you drive over roads that have been sprinkled with salt, some of the salt will be sprayed up onto your vehicle’s exterior and into the undercarriage. The paint on your car might rust if you let the salt remain on it for too long.

Does rainwater damage car paint?

Rainwater alone will not damage car paint. However, if the paint is already damaged or if there are substances on the car’s surface, such as bird droppings or tree sap, the rainwater can cause those substances to etch into the paint, leading to further damage.

Do car washes filter out salt?

No, car washes typically do not filter out salt. Filtration can only remove so much salt. However, the salt is much diluted due to the procedures that go into the combination of the wash water filter, reverse osmosis, and fresh).


And with that, we know that the answer to will rain wash salt off car is a no. It may partly remove the salt, but most of it will remain. A complete wash of the car is needed to remove the salt. 

Good luck!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


I am a professional automotive and car mechanic. I have been in the industry for 15+ years. At the moment I have 3 garages. Every day dozens of cars come to our repair shops that are damaged in a very short period of time. The main reason for this is not taking a proper care of the car.

Leave a Comment