How to clean volcanic ash from your car, patio or roof



In the last weeks, the activity of the Popocatépetl volcano has increasedTherefore, the emission of the so-called “volcanic ash” transformed the daily life of the inhabitants of the Valley of Mexico, Puebla, the State of Mexico and Morelos. The days of calm are behind us and now many see their cars, patios or rooftops completely covered in grey. From mag we leave you the homemade tricks that you can apply for a correct cleaning without damaging your vehicle or property.

With a maximum altitude of 5636 meters above sea level, Popocatépetl is the 2nd highest volcano in Mexico. It has had 18 eruptions since 1354, but the current activity began on December 21, 1994 and continues to date, with intermittent explosive events; however, since March 20, it has been releasing large amounts of ash, affecting several surrounding communities, including the metropolitan area of ​​the city of Puebla.

This last weekend, the National Coordination of Civil Protection indicated that the volcanic alert traffic light rose to yellow phase 3 and its activity intensified, producing greater ash rain.

How to clean volcanic ash from car

If you woke up and found your vehicle covered in volcanic ashhere we explain what to do to remove it and carry out a special wash without scratching the paint, since the material on it is very fine and abrasive.

The ideal is to start removing it with pressurized water from the hose in order to remove the first layer of ash. The next thing will be to put on protective gloves, pour warm water and car shampoo into a bucket and wash gently with the help of a sponge after obtaining the soapy mixture. For the windshield wipers, pay close attention to remove the gray mantle completely, because when you turn them on a later occasion, the remains can scratch the glass.

When you have finished carving the entire car you will have to rinse with water, again under pressure, so that none of the volcanic material remains. To dry it, use a microfiber cloth to avoid water spots. At the end you can place some wax or cream.

The trick is to wash your car within a period of no more than five days after the volcanic ash fell, since its acidity level is high and can corrode the paint and damage the mechanical system.

How to clean volcanic ash from patio or roof

When volcanic ash reaches your street or home, it’s important to follow special steps for proper cleanup. Puebla’s Ministry of Health explains how to handle ash correctly:

  • Avoid using water to sweep.
  • Sweep carefully and deposit the ash in bags.
  • Use feather dusters to shake off and avoid scratching surfaces.
  • Wear a face mask during the cleaning process, both outside and when washing the car.

The ideal is to sweep the ash and collect it in bags, and then deposit it in garbage containers. To avoid irritation of the respiratory tract, the use of face masks is highly recommended, as well as protective glasses to prevent the ash from entering the eyes and causing irritation or abrasion.

What is volcanic ash?

“Volcanic ash consists of small fragments of rock, mineral crystals, and volcanic glass, with dimensions less than 2 mm in diameter, that are generated during an eruption. Due to its high porosity, low density and small dimensions, but also due to the force of explosive activity, volcanic ash spreads through the atmosphere easily, being able to move in plumes of several kilometers in altitude and travel for several km. The chemical composition depends on the volcano that emits it, but mainly we find silicates (SiO2) of different types such as basalts (dark ash, rich in Fe and Mg), produced in low energy events (45-55 SiO2 content)”as explained by the Mexican researcher and disseminator Miguel A. Méndez-Rojas on his Twitter account .