03 Jan How to Remove the Most Stubborn Car Paint Stains
Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Had old Ben driven a car, he might have added paint stains to his list of life’s certainties. Unless you keep your car locked away in the garage or wrapped in some kind of paint protection film, car paint stains are frustratingly unavoidable. What’s worse, some car paint stains can be extremely difficult to remove. But never fear, Auto Super Shield is here.
Learn tips for cleaning tree sap, bug splatters, water spots, and tape residue off your car so you can keep your ride looking fresh and dapper.
How to Remove Tree Sap
It’s important to remove tree sap as quickly as possible, since leaving it alone will cause the sap to harden and turn black and become even harder to remove. After a while, tree sap can even etch through the paint’s clear coat, leading to staining or discoloring. However, tree sap doesn’t respond well to normal automotive soap solutions, so keep nail polish remover, mineral spirits, or tar remover in the garage or in the trunk of your car to get rid of tree sap as soon as you discover it.
- Nail Polish Remover – Soak a cotton ball and dab at the tree sap until the residue lifts and wipes away; rinse the area with water afterwards.
- Mineral Spirit – Dampen a soft cloth with mineral spirits, or turpentine, and wipe the tree sap away; wash the area with soap and water afterwards.
- Tar Remover – Spray specially-formulated tar remover on the tree sap and wipe away with a damp cloth; follow directions on the bottle.
How to Remove Bug Splatters
Drive for any length of time and you’ll end up with bug splats on the front of your car. Bugs are impossible to avoid, and if you leave the dead ones on your car for too long they can harden and start to eat away at the paint job. Bug splatters can also be unattractive, which is the last thing you want people to think about your car (especially here in South Florida).
- Spray a specially-formulated bug remover on the area with splatters and use a microfiber cloth or soft sponge to wipe away the residue
- Wash the area with soap and water to remove any residue left over from the cleaning product and any remaining bug splatter residue
- Apply car wax to the front of your car (wax makes it easier to remove bug splats and prevents bugs from hardening on the surface of the car)
How to Remove Water Spots
There are two kinds of water spots: Type I water spots (above surface mineral deposits) and Type II water spots (below surface water spot etchings). Because Type II water spots often require heavy buffing to remove, it’s important that you remove Type I water spots before they get worse.
- Wash the car to remove loose contaminants (recommend going to a car wash since the water you used to wash your car at home may have mineral deposits that caused the spots)
- Dry completely with a chamois or microfiber towel
- Use surface clay bar on areas where water spots are visible (specialized abrasive clay bars loosen and remove deposits sitting on top of the paint and trap them without scratching the finish)
- Detail with a paint cleaner to remove trace outlines where the water spots were previously
How to Remove Sticker Residue
Removing car stickers isn’t as easy as putting them on. The leftover adhesive residue can be hard to wash off, and you don’t want to scrape it off since doing so can cause scratches. Refer to this article for tips on how to remove car stickers without leaving any residue behind. Otherwise, here are some tips for removing the leftover glue residue after a botched sticker removal.
- Use a hair dryer to heat up the adhesive and then try to rub the glue off the car using a dry finger or a detailing surface clay bar
- Note: Don’t put the hair dryer at the highest temperature and don’t hold it too close to the car to avoid causing paint damage
- Dampen a cloth with acetone-free solvent and scrub the residue away (be sure to wash the area with soap and water immediately afterwards)
Protect Your Car’s Paint Job from Everything
If you want to protect and preserve your car’s factory (or aftermarket) paint job, consider installing paint protection film. PPF is an invisible protective film that’s precisely cut to fit your car and protect against road debris, bugs, corrosion, and minor abrasions. Paint protection film also adds a gorgeous top coat to your vehicle that keeps your ride looking glossy and bossy.