Here are 10 top culprits for paint damage, along with recommendations for removing them:

1) Coffee and soda – these drinks have high acidity levels that can eat away at paint and ultimately cause corrosion. Regular sodas and many coffee drinks also have a lot of sugar that can leave behind a sticky residue. Clean up any spills as soon as possible.

2) Bird droppings – that robin is leaving uric acid on your car, which can also eat at paint and cause corrosion. If hardened and baked in the sun, bird poop can do permanent damage as well. Clean as soon as possible with a wet rag and car wash soap. Be careful when wiping, as the poop can contain seeds and other small substances that might scratch paint.

3) Silly String – often used as a prank, Silly String is difficult to remove if it is allowed to dry on your car’s paint job. Silly string is made from a liquid resin that dries quickly once it is released from the can and lands on a surface. To clean, first try soap and water. If there’s still a residue, try a touch of WD40.

4) Shaving cream – also used for pranks and celebrations, can leave a permanent mark if not removed quickly. As with Silly String, try soap and water, then WD40.

5) Shoe polish – whether it seeped onto the paint from a message written on your window or someone drew on your car door, you need to remove shoe polish as soon as possible. Shoe polish is sometimes used as a do-it-yourself paint repair material. If left on too long, it can be near impossible to remove. Consult your body shop or an automotive expert when trying to remove hardened, unwanted spots.

6) Ashes – if a wildfire or other fire leaves ashes or soot on your car, wash right away. If unattended to and exposed to a sprinkler or rain, the calcium and potassium in the ashes can combine with the water to create a chemical reaction and leave a stain on your car.

7) Gasoline – while gasoline evaporates, repeated spilling can leave marks and damage the clear coat on your car. Always wash off immediately. A good wax job can help prevent damage from gasoline spills.

8) Brake fluid – beware of brake fluids that are not silicon based. These are generally older brake fluids. When spilled on paint, they act like a paint thinner and can cause your paint to peel. If you spill any brake fluid on your paint, use a rag to gently soak it up, then wash and rinse.

9) Tar – if you get spatters on your car from driving past road construction, get it off as soon as possible. Wet or sticky tar can be removed with over-the-counter products. If the tar dries, it can be nearly impossible to remove and damage your paint.

10)  Salt – whether from the ocean in summer or the road in icy conditions, salt is bad for your car’s paint. Like many of the other substances above, it is corrosive and over time can damage the paint as well as lead to rust. Wash the salt off as soon as possible. Keeping a good wax coat on your car will help prevent potential damage.

Contact us today for a free estimate

The paint experts at Bavarian Body Works can help with stains and other damage to your paint as well as rust spots. Our skilled technicians can repair spots and match your car’s factory paint job using our paint-matching system. Contact us today for more information.