Question submitted to the Ask A Pro Team:
For years I’ve used a “California Water Blade” (silicone squeegee) to remove [most of] the water from the vehicle after washing. I’ve never really noticed any paint damage but I’ve never owned a black car, until now. I want to keep the paint pristine for as long as possible. Are there any possible risks or downsides to using the squeegee? Thanks!
With black cars in particular, you definitely want to be careful what you touch the car with since they easily show every little flaw in the finish. It’s good to see that you’re seeking advice in advance.
The silicone squeegee itself is probably gentle enough not to harm the finish. Having said that though, you need to be extremely careful because all you need is one piece of dirt or debris to get on the surface and caught in the squeegee to do a lot of damage! It could be something leftover on the surface after washing, or an abrasive particulate that floated its way onto the wet surface after it was washed, or something that is actually on the surface of the squeegee itself. Any of these scenarios could wreak havoc on your black paint.
So instead of using your silicone squeegee, I would recommend the following techniques/tools as safer alternatives:
I too own a black car, and simply choose to touch the finish as little as possible to keep it looking good. If you have access to compressed air or a blower, then I would recommend using that method first to get rid of the majority of standing water prior to wiping it down.
Another product you might want to look into is Dodo Juice Time To Dry. It acts as a quick detailer, but is meant to use on a partially wet surface when drying. It adds lubrication to protect the surface while drying, and the formula also helps to prevent water spots as well.
Also, be sure to follow my tutorial on proper washing and drying methods to help you maintain the surface and keep it looking pristine.
I hope this helps!