Introduction: 10 Things That Can Damage Paint

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Video tutorial on the ten different things that can damage paint. The items listed are the more commonly things found in daily usage and it certainly isn’t limited to this list. With any of the possibly risks it’s best to wash your vehicle on a frequent schedule, along with providing some form of protection such as a wax or paint sealant. Beyond that, park your vehicle in a garage or car port if you have access to one.

Tools/Supplies Needed:

  • carwash soap
  • buckets -water
  • hose
  • wash mitt
  • soft cloth
  • rubbing alcohol, mineral spirits, bug and tar remover, or wax and grease remover
  • wax or paint sealant
  • air compressor or leaf blower

Step 1:

Cause #1

Bugs contain acid that has a ph level of about 10, which can etch your paint, cause discolouration, or pealing. It’s important to use a good quality cleaner to remove those bugs as soon as possible before damage does occur.

Step 2:

Cause #2

Bird poop is very acidic ranging having a ph level from 3 to 4.5 -just like bugs, it must be cleaned immediately as it too will damage the paint causing etching or discolouration. Use a good quality soap and wash the area sufficiently.

Step 3:

Cause #3

When filling up at the fuel pump, don’t spill gasoline on the vehicle’s pant. It may not be excessively strong on the vehicle’s paint, but if left for a longer period of time can damage the finish by staining. It’s important to clean any spillage or drips immediately.

Step 4:

Cause #4

Sprinklers can leave water stains on your paint, this is especially more noticeable in hot weather on darker colored paints. At times they can be incredibly hard to remove if quite serious, a form of paint correction method maybe required.

Step 5:

Cause #5

Improper washing and drying, it’s best to use a microfiber sponge such as this, a Chenille wash mitt such as this, or others not shown such as sheepskin and wool. Brushes and sponges can trap dirt in between the material while still maintaining direct contact to the vehicle’s paint, therefore causing damage. Use a two bucket method, one to rinse your wash mitt and another to apply soapy water, then use a dirt guard in your buckets as well. It’s important to dry your vehicle’s paint to prevent any water marks. For drying I would recommend using a waffle towel or plush microfiber towel.

Step 6:

Cause #6

Tree sap can be incredibly hard to clean and will also cause etching and discolouration on the paint surface. Use rubbing alcohol, mineral spirits, bug and tar remover, or wax and grease remover. Apply to cleaner to a cloth and gently rub it onto the affected area. It’s best not to park under trees and when having a freshly cleaned area from sap, apply wax or sealant to the paint to add a layer of protection on the bare paint surface.

Step 7:

Cause #7

While it may seem like fun writing a joke on your paint, don’t do it. The dirt between the paint and your finger can act like sandpaper, leaving scratches behind. These scratches can be anywhere from mild to severe and a form of paint correction will be required to fix the damaged area.

Step 8:

Cause #8

UV light can dry out various materials, paint being one of them. It will cause structural failure within the paint, creating excessive drying which creates oxidization, fading, cracking, and pealing.

Step 9:

Cause #9

Drinks which can range anywhere from soda, to coffee, juice, etc. The ph level for soda is about 3, while coffee is around 5 and if spilt on the paint it must be washed off as soon as possible, otherwise this can also risk causing etching or staining .

Step 10:

Cause #10

Ashes which can be from a regular camp fire to a wildfire, they have both an alkaline rating and are gritty as well. The alkaline level is mostly activate once the ash is wet, therefore trying to clean the ash off with compressed air or a leaf blower, then continue to wash the vehicle with a pH balanced carwash soap to reduce the chance of any possible damage.