Keeping My Car Gorgeous

Common Stains that Can Ruin a Vehicle's Paint Job

Unfortunately, it only takes a few minutes and any number of common substances to ruin a vehicle's beautiful paint. Don't let birds, trees, bugs or any of the other automotive paint killers destroy your paint job and instead, here are a few ways to pinpoint and eliminate common stains:

Tree Sap

Maple trees certainly are beautiful, but if you accidentally park underneath one, you leave your vehicle vulnerable to a substance that can cause serious damage: sap. In addition to any sap dripping from the tree, your vehicle might also be hit by honeydew, which is the excrement of sap-consuming insects.

Luckily, there are several methods that can easily and quickly remove the sap or honeydew from your paint or windshield. Whatever method you choose, it is important to wash the sap or honeydew off immediately to prevent damage to the clearcoat and paint. Here are a few:

  • Rinse – Before you try any method to remove the sap, it's important to rinse off the affected area. This will help loosen the sap, and remove any dirt and debris that is on top of the sap or honeydew.
  • Soap and water – Dampen a rag with a mixture of dish soap and warm water. Use a little elbow grease to remove the sap.
  • Rubbing alcohol – Dampen a rag with rubbing alcohol and work it into the sap or honeydew. Let it sit for a few moments before gently rubbing at the stain with a clean rag. Rinse off your vehicle immediately.
  • Commercial sap removal product – If you have it available, utilize a commercial sap remover, according to the package directions. A commercial product is a great option if you've tried the other above-mentioned methods and they were unsuccessful.

If you cannot remove the sap, or if it is eating away at the paint and leaving a noticeable stain, don't hesitate to contact a professional for more assistance.

Bird Feces

Another common stain, bird feces is often unavoidable, and if left untreated, an imperfection will form. According to Autoglym, the imperfection occurs when a vehicle's clearcoat is softened by the sun, or the day's heat. When the temperatures cool, the clearcoat will harden, and if there is bird feces present, the clearcoat will become scratched by the texture of the feces.

These scratches and imperfections can become very noticeable, especially if you don't remove the feces immediately. The best way to accomplish this is to first put on a pair of rubber gloves. The gloves will help protect you from the acids and bacteria present in the feces.

Next, dampen the stain with club soda, if available. Otherwise, you can use plain water. Let the club soda or water soak into the feces for a few minutes before wiping it away with a clean rag. You might need to apply pressure to remove the feces. There are several commercial products available, including sprays and wipes, that can be used while you're on the road. Note too that the wipes, water, and club soda are also excellent ways to remove dead bugs from your car and windshield.

Once again, if you don't eliminate the stain quickly and etching occurs, or if you're having trouble getting rid of all the feces, don't hesitate to contact a professional.

From tree sap and honeydew to bird feces and dead bugs, there are several unavoidable substances that can wreak havoc on a vehicle's paint job. If you have any further questions about eliminating these common stains, or if there is damage to your vehicle's paint job and you use it for commercial purposes, don't hesitate to contact a commercial fleet repair professional.

About Me

Keeping My Car Gorgeous

When I was 16, I felt like I won the lottery when my dad bought me a car. Year after year I have looked after that car carefully by washing, waxing, and detailing the exterior. However, this past year I realized that the car was starting to show some signs of aging. Some of the paint was peeling, and I could tell that it needed to be completely repainted. I turned to a professional auto body shop to help me to add a brand new pop of color. When my car was finished, it looked like a brand new ride. Read this blog to learn how a little paint could help your car.

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