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Dirty Colors: Black or White? From Expert Car Detailers Calgary

March 29, 20243 min read

When choosing the color of a new car, many factors come into play, but one often overlooked aspect is maintenance, especially in keeping it clean. Here in Calgary, where the weather can change on a dime, and the roads can alternate between being dusted with pollen in the summer and covered in slushy snow in the winter, car color can significantly impact the appearance and upkeep of your vehicle.

In this blog, local Calgary car detailers answer a burning question: Which color car gets dirtiest the fastest, black or white?

The Science of Color Perception

Before diving into the practical insights from Calgary car detailers, let's understand the science of color perception a bit. White objects reflect most of the light that hits them, while black objects absorb most of it. This fundamental principle of physics plays a crucial role in how dirt, dust, and other elements are displayed in cars.

Insights from Car Detailing Specialists

According to car detailers Calgary, the answer isn't as straightforward as one might think. Both black and white cars have their challenges when it comes to keeping them looking clean.

Black Cars

Black cars are notorious for showing water spots, dust, and scratches more prominently. Within just a few minutes of cleaning a black car, it can attract dust particles from the air, almost like a magnet.

During summer in Calgary, when the city becomes a haven for pollen and dust, black cars lose their just-washed sheen extraordinarily quickly. In winter, the contrast between the white snow and salt residues against the dark paint makes every speck of dirt stand out.

White Cars

White cars, on the other hand, are much more forgiving when it comes to dust and scratches. These imperfections blend more seamlessly into the light color, maintaining a cleaner appearance for longer.

However, they have their Achilles' heel—road grime and tar. These pollutants, particularly prevalent during the rainy seasons in Calgary, can create visible and sometimes stubborn marks on white paint. Additionally, iron particles from brake dust can also become more apparent on white surfaces over time.

The Verdict

So, which color car gets dirtiest the fastest? The answer largely depends on the type of dirt and the conditions. Black cars may show dust and light dirt more quickly after a wash, but white cars struggle with the long-term appearance due to road grime and pollutants.

Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance is critical regardless of your car's color. Calgary car detailers recommend a protective ceramic coating or wax to help keep the car cleaner for longer, regardless of color. Regular washing, ideally by hand, can prevent the build-up of pollutants that become harder to remove over time.


In the battle between black and white cars over which gets dirtier faster, there’s no clear winner. The choice between black and white comes down to personal preference and readiness to commit to the upkeep required to maintain the car's appearance. Car owners in Calgary, or anywhere else, should consider not only the aesthetics but also the maintenance efforts when choosing their car's color.

Don't let dust and grime dull your car's shine. Book your slot at our car wash now and drive away with a shining, fresh, and revitalized car.


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  • Dash and centre console cleaning and dressing, streak-free windows

  • Complete vacuum of floor, trunk / cargo area

  • Seats cleaned and conditioned

  • Power wash of floor mats and dressing

  • Window and mirror surfaces cleaned

  • Plastics and trim cleaning and dressing

  • Floor mats power washed and dressed

  • Deep vacuuming

  • Door jambs cleaned



  • Everything in Bronze +

  • Spot shampoo of carpet and upholstery

  • Vents and cluster gauge cleaned

  • Complete Interior deodorized

  • Complete cleaning and conditioning of dash & centre console

  • Complete conditioning of all vinyl panels

  • Leather seats cleaned and conditioned

  • Trunk vacuum and shampoo



  • Everything in Silver +

  • Complete shampoo of all upholstery/ seats and carpet floors

  • A thorough treatment and restoration of all vinyl, rubber, and plastic panels

  • High-end leather conditioning

  • Buttons, knobs, vents, and cluster gauge cleaned

  • Complete scrub down of all interior fabrics, leather, carpet,upholstery including all plastic

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