How to Clean Pollen Off Your Car

Pollen on car

Spring season brings out sunny days, blue skies—and pollen. Not only does this yellow substance cause allergies, it also stubbornly sticks to cars. This is not only unsightly; it can damage the exterior of your vehicle. Here, we will explore the risks associated with pollen buildup and share the best way to remove it throughout spring.

Cleaning pollen off your car is easier than you might think. It only requires a few steps: Hose it down, wash with car shampoo, dry off with a clean towel, and apply sealant.

Materials and Tools Needed to Remove Pollen

Now that we understand the science behind pollen, we can address the problem at hand. We recommend this list of materials and tools to remove pollen:


Gather These Items
  • Garden Hose
  • Auto Shampoo
  • Sponge or Applicator Pad
  • Microfiber Towel
  • Wax Sealant


Hose Down the Car

Begin by thoroughly rinsing your vehicle. Move from top to bottom, as pollen and other grime will run downward. Water will remove most of the pollen buildup and provide lubrication that’ll reduce scratching.

Make sure to get all areas of your car’s exterior, as pollen can settle in the smallest crevices. Pollen can build up anywhere on your vehicle. That doesn’t just include the basic exterior either. Look in places like the door jams, trunk gaskets, and even behind the gas cap.

Wash the Car

Next, mix up a bucket of water and auto shampoo to create your cleaning solution. The cleaning mixture will provide chemical agents that will lift up any lingering pollen or debris from your vehicle’s surface. Using a microfiber cloth or sponge, scrub from top to bottom with a light amount of pressure being applied.

Apply additional cleaning solution and water to any areas that appear to have dried from the initial rinse. Rubbing in dry pollen or debris can scratch the paint of your vehicle with enough force. Water will help provide necessary lubrication to the surface as you clean. Focus on small areas until you achieve the desired result before moving onto the next.

Dry your Vehicle

Using a dry microfiber towel, wipe down any wet spots on the vehicle’s surface. While you can use any type of clean towel for this step, we highly recommend microfiber. These towels house thousands of small fibers that are absorbent and able to gently pick up any leftover dirt or debris. Microfiber towels are soft, affordable, and reusable.

Apply Sealant

Once the car’s surface is clean, we recommend that you take the extra step of protecting it from potential damage in the future. Applying a sealant layer will not only protect your exterior from pollen, but from road debris as well. There are many brands of sealant on the market, but we recommend our Synthetic Sealant for this application.

Stoner’s Synthetic Sealant is free from wax that will burn off in sunlight – something to keep in mind as we approach summer. Synthetic sealant contains micro polymers that form a tight chemical bond to outlast wax, creating an effective weatherproof seal on any finish. We recommend reapplying sealant every 3-4 months for optimal protection.

Sealants are necessary to provide your car with a long-lasting layer of protection against future pollen buildup. You can’t stop Mother Nature, but you can prevent pollen from causing damage. The protection sealant provides is well-worth is your application time and elbow grease.

Additional Considerations Regarding Pollen

Unfortunately, removing pollen from your car’s exterior is only half the battle. In fact, pollen can cause problems on your car’s interior as well.  To protect the quality of your cabin air, consider getting your car’s cabin filters checked and replaced periodically if you live in an area with a high pollen count. Cabin filter health is especially important for those who suffer from allergies.

Pollen may be spread across your windshield via wiper blades. The substance may build up on the wiper blades and become a paste that spreads across your windshield. We recommend a quick clean of your wipers weekly. This can easily be done by running a clean paper towel across your blades.

What is Pollen?

We all recognize pollen as the yellow plant dust that collects on your car. But what exactly is pollen? Pollen is the key to a plant's reproductive cycle. The substance consists of millions of microscopic reproductive cells that transfer from one plant to another.

How Pollen can Damage Your Car

Pollen on your car looks unappealing, but it also has effects on your car’s exterior that are serious. Pollen particles have small thorns to help it attach to other plants in the reproductive cycle. These miniature thorns are what keep pollen on your vehicle. They can damage your car’s surfaces if scrubbed improperly during removal.

Pollen also contains acidic elements that activate when water is applied. This may happen through rain or a household hose during cleaning. Pollen’s acidity is strong enough that it could cause premature fading in your paint, and even rust in extreme cases. The risk of pollen causing damage increases the longer you leave it on your car’s surface. We recommend addressing pollen build-up as fast as possible to avoid any potential damage. A thorough car cleaning once a week through pollen season should suffice.


Pollen season is a busy time for any car detailer. There are many things to consider when removing pollen, but the secret to protecting your car is to maintain a proper and thorough cleaning routine. To clean pollen off your car: Hose it down, wash with car shampoo, dry off with a clean towel, and apply sealant. Additionally, remember to check your engine and cabin filters for pollen build up, and replace filters when necessary. These simple steps will ensure that your car is well-protected from the effects of pollen. Happy spring!


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