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Traffic lines are great for road safety, but they’re disastrous on a car’s paint job. If you’re unlucky enough to get caught behind a paint striping truck, you need to address stains ASAP. But don’t sweat it; we’ve done all of the research on the best ways you can get rid of road paint.
Here are a few of the most effective ways to get road paint off of your car:
- Give your vehicle a thorough cleaning with car-approved soap.
- Use a pressure washer on stubborn paint marks.
- Scrub the paint with a clay bar.
- Apply WD-40 on stains, let it sit for an hour, and then wash it away.
- Put petroleum jelly on road paint marks, let it sit for a day, and then pressure wash your car.
- Wipe paint marks with a tiny dab of acetone.
For more tips on removing road paint from your vehicle, you need to read all the info below.
How To Get Rid Of Road Paint: A Few Methods
No matter what strategy you use, you must address road paint stains as quickly as possible. The longer you wait, the harder the paint will become, and the more challenging it will be for you to remove it.
Please put these cleaning tips into play as soon as you notice road paint stains on your vehicle.
Give Your Car A Good Wash
The best thing you can do when you notice road paint is to give your car a nice soapy wash. While this wash won’t get rid of the stains, it will help moisten any dried out road paint clinging to your car’s surface. It’s far easier to work with wet road paint than dry flakes.
A Side Note On Car Soap
You should only use car-approved soaps whenever you’re washing your vehicle. While other soaps might give your car a nice clean, they can be extremely harsh.
If you don’t have car soap on hand, consider using baby soap or shampoo. Of all the cleaners available on the market, baby-approved products are the least abrasive.
You can use adult shampoos, hand soaps, and detergent, but don’t get in the habit of cleaning with them. With repeated use, these soaps can chip away at your car’s protective wax layer.
Here’s a highly-rated car-approved soap:
Break Out Your Pressure Washer
After you’ve washed your car, see how much road paint you could get off with your pressure washer. Put your machine at its highest intensity and blast away all those paint bits.
After a few minutes of power washing, use a bristled brush to scrub away the road paint. You can also wipe away paint stains with a clean microfiber towel.
If you’re interested in purchasing a pressure washer, take a look at this one:
Scrub With A Clay Bar
If pressure washing didn’t do the trick, then you might want to use a clay bar. These cleaning bars are fantastic for removing paint marks and other stains that get attached to your car’s surface.
Before using your clay bar, be sure your car is well lubricated with soapy water. Next, rub your bar against the paint stains you want to remove. Don’t be afraid to use some elbow grease when scrubbing.
Just be extra careful not to drop your clay bar on the ground when you’re using it. These bars can easily pick up rocks and dirt, which will cause a lot of damage to your car’s surface.
If it’s your first time using a clay bar, then you can’t go wrong with the Mothers California Gold Clay Bar Kit:
Is WD-40 Safe To Use On Car Paint?
Yes, you can safely use WD-40 on car paint. Many people use a dab of WD-40 to get rid of road paint if power washing doesn’t do the trick.
You only need a bit of WD-40 on your road paint stains to get the job done. For best results, let the WD-40 stay on your car for at least one hour before you wash it off. If you still notice paint stains after using this method, try it again a few times.
Will Vaseline Remove Road Paint From My Car?
Interestingly, a glob of petroleum jelly could help remove road paint. Indeed, Vaseline is one of the best methods available if the paint marks have become extremely brittle.
For the best results, place a generous amount of Vaseline on paint stains and let it sit overnight. The next day, get out your pressure washer and wash away those paint marks. Just like the WD-40 method, you can repeat this process multiple times until you get the desired result.
Did you know you can also use Vaseline to condition your leather seats? Be sure to read our post on natural leather conditioners for more details.
Is Acetone Safe On Car Paint?
If all of the other methods have failed you, then you might want to consider using a bit of acetone. Please note: acetone is an extremely potent paint remover, so you have to be careful when applying it to your car.
To use this product safely, make a 70:30 mixture of acetone and water. Next, apply a tiny dab of the solution onto a clean microfiber towel. When you’re ready, rub the acetone against the paint marks until they start to come off.
Please don’t let the acetone sit for too long, as this can damage your car’s paint job. Have a hose at the ready and wash away this harsh chemical once you’re finished using it.
How To Get Road Paint Off Wheel Wells
Arguably, one of the trickiest areas to get rid of road paint is in the wheel wells. Not only is it challenging to get the paint off of these areas but it’s also awkward to maneuver your cleaning brushes.
It’s best to use a pressure washer with a flexible nozzle to spray the paint clinging to your wheel well. If the pressure wash isn’t enough, try the WD-40, Vaseline, acetone, and clay bar methods.
For an extra deep clean, you might want to look into a motorized scrubber brush. There are many detailing brush attachments on the market that you can attach to a standard power drill.
For instance, take a look at this Drill Brush Car Detailing Kit:
Don’t Neglect Preventative Measures
You may not always be able to avoid wet road paint, but there are ways you can prevent that paint from sticking to your car. Please don’t forget to put these preventative measures in place to keep your car clean.
Wax Your Car A Few Times Per Year
Routinely waxing your car is the easiest way to prevent common stains like bird poo, tree sap, and road paint from clinging to your vehicle. Even if these nasty stains get on your car, it’ll be easier to get them off if you have a strong wax layer.
Generally, it’s best to apply a high-quality wax at least three times per year. If you live in an area with more UV exposure, you might want to wax four or five times.
Consider Using A Car Cover
Of course, parking in a garage is the best way to protect your car from environmental hazards. However, if you don’t have the luxury of a garage, you should invest in a good car cover. In addition to preventing various streaks and stains, these covers can block pollutants, contaminants, and UV damage.
Check out this weatherproof car cover now available online:
Stubborn Paint Spots? Give The Pros A Call
Even with all of the methods listed above, it can be challenging to remove road paint from a car. If you’re having trouble getting these marks off of your vehicle, then we suggest getting in touch with a professional car detailer.