Believe it or not, the popular die-cast car known as Hot Wheels is considered waterproof and can go into the water. Just like with anything, however, there are a few caveats to this. The first is that while the car is waterproof, the stickers are not. Made of paper the stickers will come off.
Continue reading to learn more about the history of Hot Wheels, what type of water they can withstand, and what else happens to the cars over time.
What Are Hot Wheels?
Hot Wheels are small metal die-cast cars that are manufactured and sold by Mattel, an American toy company. First created in 1968 the car’s creators was a rocket scientist and car enthusiast, Elliot Handler and Jack Ryan.
Handler, who was one half of the Mattel Toy Company’s founding duo, asked Ryan, an engineer with the company at the time to help him with the project as a direct competitor of Matchbox cars. Ryan, who was responsible for creating Barbie agreed and the rest is, as they say, history.
In order to take over the market share, Handler designed the cars to be modeled after hot rods instead of the production cars that Matchbox was making. Hot Wheels hit the market with large back tires, hood blowers, superchargers, and their most recognizable flaming paint jobs.
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Can Hot Wheels Go In Water?
Hot Wheels are considered to be waterproof and can be directly submerged in water, even for extended periods of time. The stickers on the Hot Wheels are made from paper. This means that once they get wet, the adhesive will dissolve and the stickers will come off.
The car, while considered waterproof, is still made from metal. Therefore, over time Hot Wheels that have been submerged in water are likely to develop rust along the body of the car. Rust can also appear on the car’s axels which in turn can make the tires on the car unable to spin. This can greatly diminish both the usability and value of the Hot Wheels.
Another issue with submerging the Hot Wheels in water is the oxidation of the metals. While the car would be fine submerged, once taken out the car will oxidize and become discolored. This also happens when the metal on the cars are exposed to water and soap.
Can I Use Water to Clean My Hot Wheels?
You can use warm water, gentle soap, and a small toothbrush to clean your Hot Wheels cars. In fact, the Mattel Company actually recommends cleaning your cars regularly to prevent build-up and extend the functions of the car.
Even if you are a collector of Hot Wheels, you should clean your cars, at least with a gentle duster. For cars that are collector’s items, using a small toothbrush that is dry to brush off the dust is the recommended way to keep them in good condition.
Can I Put Hot Wheels in the Dishwasher?
While Hot Wheels are considered waterproof, putting them in a dishwasher is not recommended. The inside of a dishwasher is filled with ultra-hot water and harsh soaps. Both of these things are a bad combination if you want to keep your Hot Wheels in good shape.
Instead of using the dishwasher to clean your Hot Wheels, use a small brush and very gentle soap. This method is preferred.
How to Remove Oxidation from Hot Wheels
If you have submerged your Hot Wheels for an extended period of time and are starting to see the discoloration from oxidation, you should prepare to remove the oxidation from the toy. Use a cleaner that is designed to remove build-up such as calcium, lime, and rust remover. These cleaners can be found at any store that sells cleaning supplies.
Can Hot Wheels with NFC Get Wet?
Recently the Mattel Company has launched their line of Hot Wheels that features a chip tag on the bottom. This tag is called Near Field Communication, or NFC for short. The tag is designed to connect to an app that is within range of the car’s ‘owner’ via Apple or Android products.
The NFC tag delivers stats about a given car and comes on 51 current Hot Wheels models. Like their non-tech counterparts, the NFC Hot Wheels car can be submerged in water. Mattel tested this by submerging an NFC car in the water and was able to scan it after 5 months.
Can I Put Hot Wheels in a Fish Tank?
Pet owners love to give their pets their best lives and those who own fish are no different. Decorating a fish tank is a great idea as it gives fish a place to hide and feel safe. Fun and quirky items are popular for dropping into a fish tank for decoration.
You should never, however, put a Hot Wheels car inside a fish tank with live fish. This is because even though Hot Wheels are waterproof, the metals found on them can be toxic to aquatic life. Once the stickers come off of the Hot Wheels, they can be swallowed and create a hazard for fish as well.
Can I Put Hot Wheels in the Bath?
The bathtub is a great place to play with Hot Wheels. Mattel even makes cars and tracks specifically designed for bath time. The cars can withstand the time in the bath, but you should be sure to dry them completely before putting them away to prevent any mold or mildew.
Hot Wheels are considered to be waterproof and can indeed go in the water. However, the decals and stickers on hot wheels are not waterproof and are made of paper. If left in the water long enough, these can start to peel or come off altogether.
Although hot wheels are considered to be water proof, they are made of a die cast metal. Over time, this metal can and will start to rust if left in the water or moist areas for too long.