If you own a leaf blower, you will already know how useful they are in the fall when the leaves start to drop from the trees and you have a whole yard to clear of debris. The problem is, they can be seen as something of a one-season tool that is destined to spend most of the year hung up in your garage or shed.
However, if you want to get a bit more value out of your leaf blower, there are quite a few other less conventional tasks it can help with. For example, they are commonly used to clear snow while some people also use them to clear lint from dryer vents.
Can you dry your car with a leaf blower? Yes, you can – and here, we look at the pros and cons of doing so as well as giving you the top tips for how to do it.
If you want an idea of how it can work, check out this video.
Drying a car with a leaf blower – the pros
What are the advantages of using a leaf blower to dry your car? Let’s have a look at these first.
Using a leaf blower is undeniably far quicker than drying your car with a towel or chamois. With a powerful blower, you can finish the whole job off in a matter of minutes.
- No contact
One of the biggest problems with drying a car with a towel or chamois is that there is contact with the car.
No matter how careful you are and no matter how fancy a drying cloth you own, there is always the risk of a piece of grit finding its way in and scratching your beautiful paintwork. Even if this doesn’t happen, vigorous drying can create swirls in the paint.
Leaving your vehicle to dry naturally in the sun is also no answer –so blowing it dry is the perfect safe solution.
- Reaches inaccessible spots
When drying with a towel, there are always those hard-to-reach spots that you inevitably miss – places like underneath the door handles. You think the car is dry, but then when you drive away, the water escapes and creates smears along you newly-cleaned vehicle.
Using a leaf blower blasts the water out from these spaces, ensuring there are no streaks after.
And now the cons of using a leaf blower
There are also a few drawbacks to this method. Let’s have a look at these now.
- Can blow out debris
Leaf blowers are designed for moving around leaves in your yard, not drying your precious set of wheels, and they tend to blow out a lot of dust and debris. This can then stick to your car, making it dirty again.
- Large nozzles not designed for control
The large nozzles on most leaf blowers are not ideal for this kind of work and make it hard to control the direction of air flow accurately.
- You can scratch your car
Again, since these devices are not designed for drying cars, the ends of the nozzle are not car-friendly. If you inadvertently jab your paintwork, you can easily end up scratching your car.
Leaf blowers are inherently noisy devices – much more so than simply drying a car by hand.
Top tips for drying your car with a leaf blower
Here are our top tips for achieving the best results when drying your car with a leaf blower.
- Choose one with high MPH and CFM ratings
You need power in your blower for this to work, so preferably, you should use one that can produce a wind speed of over 200mph coupled with a high Cubic Feet per Minute rating. If not, the leaf blower won’t be able to create enough wind force to get the job done.
- Save time by rinsing and drying
If your car is covered in dust, you might be able to save time by simply rinsing with a hose and then drying it with a leaf dryer. This will remove the dust without the need to break out the bucket of soapy water and the sponge.
- Ensure the air filter is clear
As we mentioned above, leaf blowers can project dust and debris onto your car. The best way to avoid this is by making sure the air filter is clean before you start working.
- Be careful with the cord
If you are using a corded blower, be careful the cord doesn’t drag over the car’s paintwork and scratch it.
Similarly, if you have a bulky backpack leaf blower, be careful you don’t bump the car with the backpack.
- Only use gas-powered blowers outside
Gas leaf blowers give off harmful emissions, and if you use one in an enclosed space with no ventilation like in a garage, the carbon monoxide build-up can be dangerous or even deadly.
For this reason, only use a gas-powered model outside in an open space.
Corded models and battery powered leaf blowers can be used in a garage.
- Wear ear protection
Since air blowers are noisy, make sure you use proper ear protection when using one.
- Don’t disturb your neighbors
This one is up to you, but if you are going to be using your leaf blower to wash your car, you might want to do it at a time when it won’t irritate your neighbors.
- Pay attention to areas where water can hide
One of the biggest advantages of using a leaf blower is that you can blast the water out of hidden crevices like under door handles – so make sure you pay attention to these places to avoid smears and streaks.
- Don’t use it a leaf blower on dry ground
Since an air blower will stir up any dust and dirt that’s on the ground, using one to dry your car on dusty ground if about the most counterproductive thing you can do. It will blow up all the dust which will then cover your still-wet car.
If you use a leaf blower to dry your car, make sure the ground is wet first. And don’t point it directly at the ground or you’ll end up kicking up a load of mud, which will be even worse.
A great extra use for your leaf blower
Other than the basic task of clearing leaves, drying your car is one of the most useful jobs a leaf blower can be used for. As long as you know how to do it – and what to avoid – it provides a quick, convenient and practical way to dry your car with a minimum of fuss.
My name is Peter Weeks, Writer of The Daily Gardener. Gardening has always been my passion, nothing gives me quite the satisfaction that feeling the soil sift through my fingers does. Give me a spade, a shovel, and a rake, and I can happily while away the day transforming a patch of land into a beautiful oasis. To me, gardening is life. It’s not a career. It’s not a job. It’s something that I truly love doing. It’s a way of life, a passion that I’ve no intention of ever giving up.