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Pollen, Paint and Punishment

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Pollen covered car

Pollen covered car

Every year, like clockwork, the dreaded pollen season arrives, and every year, those who do auto details in Tampa know car owners all over the Bay area are going to punish their paint when they go to wipe off the offending greenish-yellow dust.

Most Tampa car owners probably think, “But it’s just soft dust. How can that hurt my paint?” While pollen may be soft to the touch, its texture is deceiving. Under a microscope pollen is anything but soft. It resembles a ball with spikes all over it. It is the spikes which help pollen do the job mother-nature intended, which is pollenate so that trees and flowers can grow. Without the spikes, the pollen could not grab on to carriers, such as bees, and unfortunately for humans, cars.

The first instinct most car owners have is to brush off the pollen, using their hand or a cloth. This method not only will not remove all of the pollen, but will also leave microscopic scratches in your paint, which can eventually lead to oxidation and paint failure, in the worst cases.

The next most popular removal method is hosing it off. While this will safely remove most of the pollen, the water can activate the acidity in some types of pollen. Since this does not remove all of the pollen, thanks to those spikes, what it leaves behind is now causing real damage to the

Microscopic view of pollen

Microscopic view of pollen


The only truly effective method to remove pollen and make sure you are not damaging your paint is to wash it using soap and water. The soap encapsulates the pollen, making it slippery, which defeats the spikes, so you can get rid of it all. However, don’t go grab the nearest bottle of dish soap and start washing, because that will strip the wax off of your car. Use soap that is specifically made for washing cars. You can find it at auto parts, discount, and grocery stores. As a professional detailer, I think Meguiar’s or Mother’s are two of the best brands you can get at a retail store.

If you don’t have the time or the inclination to wash your car, you can always call a car detailer in Tampa. AutoPros Mobile Detailing uses professional grade products and the latest in technology to help protect your paint from damaging elements, including pollen. We are also proud that as of February 2015, we are the only detailing company in the Tampa Bay area that is certified by the International Detailing Association. Give us a call at 813-778-3354 to help protect your paint from pollen.

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