Is Degreaser Safe for Car Paint?

A degreaser is a solvent that is mainly used on metal to remove grease, fingerprints, oil, corrosion inhibitors, and other contaminants.

For vehicles, a degreasers purpose is to clean oil spills, engine bays, and other automotive parts.

Ever wondered if you can use a degreaser to clean your car's paint? We have consulted automotive experts about the effect of degreaser on the vehicle's paint job; here is what we got from them.

Degreaser is somewhat safe to use on the vehicle's paint. Using a degreaser on your vehicle's paint won't directly ruin or destroy it, but it will remove the wax from its finish. Without the wax, your car's paint will be exposed to the elements, and that might cause your paint to fade or get destroyed in the long run.

If you plan to strip all your vehicle's old wax to put a new layer, you can use a degreaser. But if you want to remove grease or stains in a specific part of your vehicle, it's best to rewax that part afterward.

Keep reading below for more information about degreasers, paints, and waxes.

Car master mechanic repairer lubricates the screws with a machine parts cleaner oil dirt grease aerosol spray for lubrication in auto vehicle workshop, Is Degreaser Safe for Car Paint?

Can You Use Degreaser On Car Interior

Car master mechanic repairer lubricates the screws

Yes, you can use degreasers on your vehicle interior, but dilute it before applying to your interior. When you dilute the degreaser with water, that will help lessen its potency. Having a strong mixture or using a pure degreaser may remove some of the printed markings of your vehicle, such as symbols on the buttons.

It is best to use degreasers on the plastic parts of the interior, such as the dash, sidings, and door panels. You can use a brush to help incorporate the degreaser onto the plastic parts. When cleaning, try to avoid getting degreaser onto the glass and electronics of your vehicle. There are specific solutions that you can use to clean these components.

Will Rubbing Alcohol Remove Car Wax

Car detailing - the man holds the microfiber in hand and polishes the car. Selective focus.

Rubbing alcohol or isopropyl can remove the wax off your vehicle if the concentration of the solutions is high enough. Isopropyl with a concentration as high or higher than 90% can definitely remove your car's wax and it may even ruin the vehicle's paint. 

If you want to use alcohol to clean your vehicle, first dilute the alcohol before using it. This will lower the alcohol concentration, making it less potent to your vehicle's wax and paint.

You could also use a 70% isopropyl; this is a much suited concentration for cleaning. When diluting, make sure you only add water, avoid putting bleach or chlorinated substances as it makes a very toxic substance.

If you really want to remove grease or stains from your vehicle, it's best to use degreasers or APC (all-purpose cleaner) since these cleaning solutions are best for either removing wax or for general cleaning. Remember also not to use alcohol for cleaning fresh paint.

What Liquids Damage Car Paint

old car paint damage crack peeling from heat hot weather sunlight

Your vehicle's paint is what you and other people see first when looking at your car, so it's best to take care of it to keep the car looking pristine and fresh. Liquids are one of the most common substances that can ruin the paint of your vehicle. Here are some of the common liquids you must avoid getting on your vehicle's paint.

Brake Fluid

Avoid getting brake fluid on your car's paint because this will ruin your car's paint and coat. The most common way to get brake fluid on your paint is when you are doing maintenance on it.

If you get brake cleaner on your paint, remove it immediately. Brake fluid can ruin your paint coat in around five minutes. You can use a solution made of soap and water to rinse it off, then wipe it with a towel.


Tar is a coating used on roofing and paths. If by any chance tar gets onto your vehicle, don't try to force it off your vehicle, it will be very hard to remove tar without chipping or scratching its paint. It is best to bring your vehicle to a body shop that has a specialized cleaner that can remove tar to avoid damaging your paint.


When topping up gas, you may spill a bit of gas onto your car; when this happens, you must not let it dry on its own. Letting gas sit on your paint can leave stains that are unremovable. You may also damage your paint's coat exposing it to the elements. If this happens, quickly wipe the spot down with a microfiber or towel.

Bird Droppings And Tree Sap

You will inevitably find bird droppings or tree sap on your vehicle, especially if your vehicle is parked outside near trees. Leaving both tree sap and bird droppings on your car for days or weeks will result in a stain.

Bird droppings will not stain your vehicle as much as tree sap, but you'll be able to see where it was before. While tree sap will leave a yellowish mark if left long enough.

Bird droppings and tree sap have acid on them, and leaving them to bake under the sun will cause it to ruin the paint of your vehicle. If you spot any tree sap or bird droppings, it's best to clean them right away to avoid staining your car's paint.

You can use water to wash down bird droppings, while for tree sap, you have to use diluted alcohol to break down. If you park your car, you can buy a vehicle cover to protect your vehicle.

Check out this universal car cover on Amazon.

Coffee And Soda

These drinks contain acid that may ruin your paint. Also, coffee and soda have sugar that will leave a sticky residue. When this happens, either wash it down with water or wipe it off with a towel, do not let coffee or soda sit on your paint.


Eggs can get on your car's paint by accidentally dropping one on it or being the receiving end of a prank or vandalism. You should wash the egg off immediately because eggs are corrosive, and the shell may even scratch your paint. 

Paint Thinner

Avoid getting paint thinner on your car; this will burn off the paint off your vehicle. Only use this if you are planning to remove the paint off your car. Even a few seconds of contact can ruin your car's paint. Once this happens, you'll have to repaint the spot that got hit by the thinner.


Car master mechanic repairer lubricates the screws with a machine parts cleaner oil dirt grease aerosol spray for lubrication in auto vehicle workshop, Is Degreaser Safe for Car Paint?

You can use a degreaser on your vehicle, just make sure that you use the right one, and you have to wax the parts you used it on. You can also use a degreaser on the interior of your vehicle. Just make sure to avoid rubbing your buttons' icons too much because they may get erased.

If you plan to use alcohol to clean your car, make sure that you have diluted it enough to lessen the alcohol's concentration. Also, avoid liquids that are highly acidic, strong alcohols, and paint thinners. These liquids will damage your paint or may leave permanent stains.

For more automotive topics and tips, check out the following posts.

The 5 Types Of Combustion Chambers To Know

10 Types Of Vehicle Brakes And Braking Systems To Know

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