Water beading on clean and freshly waxed paint is still the pinnacle mark of good paint protection. It has been argued many times that it isn’t, but the mark still stands. People want water to bead on their paint. Plus, it looks pretty darn cool.
The established method of distinguishing good car wax for many years has always been water beading. Well, to this day, it pretty much still is. More than once, more than one car detailing product company has tried to educate people that having water sheet off the paint is better than having water beading on it. The claim has been that if you are not there to wipe it off, when it dries, the minerals or contaminants left over from the water can etch your paint. Depending on how bad said water is, it could actually cause the damage to be only reversible with a deep polish and paint correction.
Car detailing products companies have argued that the water beads themselves can act as tiny lenses in a magnifying glass. The argument is that the tiny lenses focus sunlight in much the same way that a magnifying glass does and can burn tiny pinholes in your paint. Not sure how true this could be as theoretically, things can’t burn as long as there is water encompassing it – The water would have to vaporize first, effectively making the lens effect disappear. But who knows? Maybe the concentrated close-to-boiling heat in such a focused area could damage the paint, but I doubt it. Just speculating here and typing out loud really.
Regardless, water beading on your car’s paint is still seen as a good thing. It looks lovely, specially when the water falls on your vehicle just right – like in these photos.
The debate whether water sheeting is better than water beading is something that will likely never end. Even if sheeting is better, most people will prefer what looks better. It’s hard to deny that water beading like you see here looks much better. Now, go wax your car 😉
If you need some help or advice, be sure to read our car detailing tutorials.