How To Remove Grease From Car Paint


When your car gets greasy, it can be tough to know how to take care of it. Fortunately, most cars these days are designed with protecting their paintwork as an integral part of their manufacture!

Some vehicles even have special products that come pre-applied in specific areas such as windshield washes or engine covers. If you find that your vehicle has run out of this protection matter too soon, there are some easy ways to get rid of it.

This is especially helpful if you’re ever involved in an accident and need to scrape off all the dried residue. It will also help prevent ugly rusting and discoloration of important parts of your vehicle like headlights and brake lights!

There are several types of protective coatings used for different surfaces of a car. This article will focus on removing grease from painted metal panels like hoods and roofs. These are sometimes referred to as “oily” coats because they tend to pick up excess oil.

Removing the grease using common household items is usually enough to do the trick. However, if that doesn’t work then alternative methods will be discussed.

Use a damp rag

how to remove grease from car paint

When washing your car, make sure to use a cloth that is not too hot or wet as this can cause further damage to the paint. A soft, lint-free towel works best!

Never rub the surface of your vehicle with abrasive cleaners such as steel wool or cuticle rollers because these could scrape off some of the protective coating called wax. This would expose raw metal underneath, allowing contaminants to seep in and ruining the coat of paint you just spent hours perfecting.

Instead, try our tips for how to remove grease from car paint.

Use rubbing alcohol

how to remove grease from car paint

For those who are ever struggling to get rid of grease from your car, our trick number one is using rubbing alcohol. All good stores should have an adequate supply or you can make your own by mixing ethanol with water.

Never use pure alcohol as it will not work to remove greases. It will even re-seal them! Therefore, always mix it with another fluid such as water or gasoline.

Once all the alcohol has been mixed in, apply it onto the surface of the grease. Let it soak into the grease for at least five minutes before washing it off.

Note: Make sure to wash the area thoroughly after applying the alcohol so no residual drops remain. Also, be careful not to splash too much liquid as this could damage the paint.

After cleaning, let the cleaned area dry naturally or use a hairdryer to speed up the process.

Use a mixture of oil and lemon juice

how to remove grease from car paint

When washing your car, there will always be some leftover grease or oils from cleaning it before. Most people just throw these resources away, but you can do something with them!

Using a combination of vegetable oil and fresh lemon juice, you can easily remove most of the greasy residue that comes from cars.

Use a mixture of oil and vinegar

how to remove grease from car paint

If you are trying to remove greasy marks from your car paint, try using an alcohol-based cleaner first. However, if that does not work, use a solution of white vinegar and olive oil mixed together.

Both will break down the grease in the surface and help clean it away. For every cup of oil there is one cup of vinegar, so do not overmix them!

Mix both ingredients and apply onto a piece of paper. Then rub into the affected area with a soft cloth or brush. Repeat until the liquid no longer changes color and the dirt seems to disappear. Let sit for several minutes before rinsing off thoroughly.

Removal should be done when the grease has stopped seeping out and the area is completely dried.

Use a mixture of oil and lemon juice

how to remove grease from car paint

When washing your car, there will always be some leftover grease or dirt. No matter how careful you are, there is always something that gets left over.

One of the most common things that people get stuck with is grease. After cleaning an area, there may still be bits of food or burnt ingredients like butter or cooking oils. If these remain, they can stick to other areas of the vehicle, including another part of the paint!

Oil and water do not mix, so using either vinegar or lemon juice will remove the excess oil. Both products break down molecules of fat, and therefore, this process will work to separate the greasy layer from the vehicle.

By mixing half olive oil and half lemon juice, you create an easy to use solution to soak any parts of the painted surface for around ten minutes.

Use an abrasive scrubber

how to remove grease from car paint

For someone with very dirty hands, using a cleaner that does not work is totally understandable. Unfortunately, this can be problematic later on when you try to wash or buff your car out!

Using ingredients such as alcohol or vinegar to remove grease will only make the problem worse. The alcohol or acid in the cleaning solution will actually strengthen the residue instead of breaking down the oil. This is why some people may use rubbing alcohol to clean their vehicle after they eat Chinese food!

Ascorbs don’t stick to greasy substances because they have empty spaces where they can store extra liquid. When you rinse them off, all you have left is water and dirt. Therefore, those things will never really get rid of the excess grease.

The best way to get rid of all the leftover oils and gels is to use an abrasive material to scrape it off. Using the right amount of energy to scratch away the surface layer removes most if not all of the residues.

Use a metal polish

how to remove grease from car paint

A very effective way to remove grease is using a metal polish. These are available at most car stores for a price, but not from online sellers who may add additional items to cover their cost.

Most people have heard of regular polishes that contain wax to make your vehicle look new again. They are helpful in removing dried-on dust or dirt, but they will never really wash away the oily residue.

However, there are special automotive grade polishes designed to take care of this! They are expensive, however.

There are some brands that offer both affordable plastic can polishers as well as aluminum oxide ones. The alumina content helps buff off the oil, while the plastic one removes any leftover debris.

Run the car under the cold water hose for a while

how to remove grease from car paint

After you have cleaned as much of the grease as possible, run your car under a cold water hose to rinse off any leftover bits. Doing this will also help dry out the car paint, which can be scratched or dried out from all the greasy residue.

Once it is completely dry, use some very good quality automotive oil (or spray lubricant) to coat the entire vehicle. Make sure to let it soak in well!

Removing engine dirt such as burnt gristle and sediment may require using an abrasive cleaner first. Then apply the oil to protect the new coating.

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