Yellow Stains On White Car – What To Do?

When you have a new car, you want to keep it shiny and bright, especially if it's white. If you start to see yellowish stains on your car's surface due to the heat of the sun or bird droppings, you may wonder how to remove them. We have researched the ways you remove those stains from your white car and have solutions to share.

Although there are different methods of removing yellow stains from a white car, here are some quick steps you can do:

Step 1. Wash your car.

Step 2. Apply car cleaner.

Step 3. Polish the car.

Step 4. Apply paint sealant.

For a better understanding of this process, we will discuss these steps one by one, as well as other important things that you might need to know about maintaining your car. Keep on reading.

A white car hood photographed up close, Yellow Stains On White Car - What To Do?

How do you remove yellow stains on the car?

There are different methods and preventions to eliminate yellow stains. We will go over the different types of yellow spots and methods to remove them. But let's discuss the steps first.

Step 1. Wash and clean the car.

Power washing the car

Washing your white car can keep it looking elegant and classy. This is a critical step if you are selling a second-hand car or just want to follow proper maintenance for your vehicle.

To achieve the best car wash, you need to find a good space and make sure you have a hose, soap, cleaning mitts, and water. The hose should have a nozzle with strong pressure to spray on the car. 

You do not want to wash the car under the heat of the sun as the soap will easily dry on the surface before you can wash it off. It's best to wash the car early in the morning and avoid any dusty roads. Try not to wash the car under a tree, as bugs and leaves may fall and stick on the car.

Step 2. Apply the car cleaner.

Man wiping his car clean with a wiping cloth

Most car cleaners do not work well under direct sunlight. So it's better to work in a shaded area. Work in sections that are 2 to 4 feet, section by section at a time.

Most pre-wax cleaners do not require drying before being wiped. You can then buff the excess as you go. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you are on the right track.

Use foam or a microfiber towel to apply the paint cleaner. If the existing paint finish is good as new, it is suggested to use a quality foam applicator. However, if the car paint is oxidized, you should use the microfiber towel.

Some car owners use half the bottle of cleaner to clean their cars. This might be surprising, but only a small amount of cleaner will suffice for each application.

This cleaning kit is available on Amazon. 

Step 3. Polish the car.

A car polish will smooth out scratches and imperfections. It will even make the paintwork look new when applied correctly.

Polish car by hand

Car auto detailer removing yellow stains on the car door

Quality polishing starts in the preparation itself. Your car will appear luminous and brand new if you take the time to clean it properly.

  • Prepare and clean – Clean using a microfiber towel and dry.
  • Polish time. A small amount of polish will do. Use a cloth or foam then spread it gently around the paintwork. Use a circular motion in applying the polish. Follow the contours of your car and rub it until it looks transparent.
  • Buffing – A microfiber towel works well on this. Buff of the residue and make sure to fold the towel and use the clean portion. Once you reach its shiniest level, then you are done.

Machine polish

Man buffing the white car paint

You may want to invest in the a machine polisher. This device is perfect for removing scratches.

Apply the polish to the pad and spread it gently on the area you want to work with. Turn the machine polisher on and use a slow speed, gradually turning to medium speed. Use light pressure and not scrub the paint off. Let the machine do the work for you.

Be careful in using the machine polisher because it might damage your car’s paint.

Check out this polishing kit on Amazon. 

Step 4. Apply sealant.

When you apply the paint sealant, make sure that car's surface is cool to touch. Apply the paint sealant using a soft foam or pad on the polisher using a light to medium setting.

The goal here is not to burn the paint surface. Avoid applying pressure or speed. Sealants provide maximum protection from yellowish stains and possible damage.

Check out this sealant on Amazon. 

Why Does Your White Car Turn Yellow? 

Your white car turning yellow might be because of oxidation from the sun, acid rain, rust, engine heat, or asphalt deposition. Let us go over each cause.

Oxidation from the sun

Washing or parking your car under the sun can cause yellowish stains to appear on your white car. This is because the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes oxidation which can turn the white paint a yellowish shade. This happens over time as your car is exposed to the sun.  

Side door panels may experience yellow discoloration, because water can seeps in. To avoid this kind of situation, park your car in a shaded place. You should also clean the side door panels and mirror panels regularly.

Acid rain

A dirty white car

Snow, dew, and rain can be considered forms of acid rain. All three of these can cover your vehicle and cause damage. The acidity of the water causes paint and metal to weaken. 

Engine heat

Smoking car engine due to overheating

The engine dispels heat which can causes the hood to have a yellowish color. Since you can't prevent the heat, polish the hood to keep it looking shiny and bright.


Chipped of car fender due to light fender bender

If you live in a coastal area, rust can form beneath the paint. This can lead to the yellowish discoloration of white paint. Look for early signs to prevent severe rust formation. It might be dangerous when unattended. The rust may damage the entire surface of the car.

Asphalt deposits

If the bottom rocker panels of the white car turn yellow, this is often caused by black asphalt deposits which were left on the car for too long. To get rid of this, clear the entire surface and get rid of other dangerous impurities.

Tips to prevent yellow stains and spots on white cars

  1. Park your car inside the garage. It should be shaded and avoid exposure to the direct heat of the sun. The sun can harm your car in the long run as the paint will crack and crust.
  2. Wash your car regularly, in the morning or in the evening to prevent the buildup of dust and dirt. Washing the car helps maintain the brightness and elegance of the paint. It also prevents scratches and other fine dirt.
  3. Microfiber towels are better for cleaning your car than using a rough cloth. A rough cloth may cause fine scratches on the car’s body that can lead to rusting, and consequently turn your white car yellow. Fine dust particles rub over the surface and damage the car paint.
  4. For added car protection, use wax. This will prevent your car from acquiring tree sap and pollen that may cause yellow stains. Your car should be treated with wax at least once a month. If needed, polish your car to ensure the glowing appearance of the paint.
  5. Avoid parking your car under the trees. There could come a time when bird droppings fall on the white paint. This is one of the reasons for most yellow spots on white cars.

Check out these microfiber cloths on Amazon.

Final Thoughts 

A white car hood photographed up close

If you want to remove yellow stains from your white car, you should first learn the cause of the stains. Knowing this will help you know how best to clean the stains.

We've discussed the methods for removing stains, as well as the causes of yellow spots, and hope that this information will help you maintain your white car.

If you find this article helpful, you may also want to read these related posts:

How to Remove Road Paint on your Car? 

How to Remove Molds From the Car? 

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