When you make any sort of modification to your car, quite often the first thing that you want to do is wash it. After all, your car always looks its best when it is freshly cleaned and shimmering in the sunshine. But, there are some modifications that prevent you from washing your car straight away. Window tinting is one of these jobs.
Window tinting looks great, and it is guaranteed that it will look better when your entire car is clean and tidy. But, if you wash your car too soon after having your windows tinted, you could damage them beyond repair.
In this quick guide, we’ll be taking a look at the appropriate amount of time to wait before washing your car, and what happens if you do it prematurely. So, to find out more, keep on reading.
How long after tinting windows can I wash my car?
As we have said, you cannot wash your car immediately after tinting your windows. In fact, you actually have to wait quite a while before you can do this. When you have your windows tinted, the tint material is applied to the glass using an adhesive.
It is vitally important that this adhesive has completely set before you get any water on your car, as this could damage the adhesive, and in turn damage your tinted windows.
You might expect it to take just a couple of hours for this adhesive to dry, but in reality it takes a lot longer. While the adhesive will have begun to set within a few hours, it will usually take at least a week for the adhesive to completely set. This means that you cannot wash your car for at least a week after having your windows tinted. Any sooner than this and you will damage the windows.
Even though you have this information, it can be very tempting to bend the rules and wash your car a little earlier. As tempting as this may be, we would never recommend this.
Window tinting isn’t cheap, and washing your car too soon will likely damage the tint, making it a total waste of money. So always wait a week before washing your car after getting your windows tinted.
Why can’t I wash my car when my windows have just been tinted?
We have briefly touched on why you can’t wash your car immediately after having your windows tinted, but let’s take a deeper look at this. As you already know, the main reason why you cannot wash your car after getting the windows tinted is because of the adhesive that is used in the process.
The tint material itself will not become damaged if it gets wet, but the adhesive will.
Even though the adhesive isn’t what you see when you have your windows tinted, it is arguably more important than the tint itself. Without the adhesive, the tint would not stick to your windows. So, if the adhesive becomes damaged, the tint material will also peel.
Even if the glue looks like it has dried, it probably hasn’t, and this is why it is always best to give it time before you wash your car. No matter how tempting it is.
What happens if I wash my car after I tint my windows?
As we have said, the main thing that happens if you wash your car immediately after tinting your windows is that the tint will become damaged. The tint itself is actually water-resistant, but the adhesive that is used to bond the window with the tint material isn’t.
At least not until it has dried. Once the adhesive has completely set, then it can get wet without issue. But, while the glue is wet, water will damage it, and could cause your window tint to peel away from the windows. Essentially making the entire process of getting your windows tinted a waste of money.
Before the glue has set, there is always the potential of external elements altering the chemical formula of the glue. Water is one of these elements, and if it penetrates the glue, it could alter its chemical structure, which will result in the glue not working as it is supposed to. Water penetrating the glue could also lead to other issues with your window tint, such as bubbling and discoloration.
So, you should always wait at least a week before washing your car after getting your windows tinted. The majority of the glue will have set within the first 72 hours, but it is best to leave it for a few days to ensure that you will do no damage.
In short, ideally, you should wait at least a week before washing your car after you get your windows tinted. While the majority of the adhesive used to bond the tint to your windows will set in 72 hours, it is best to wait longer to ensure that it is completely cured.