3 Things That Can Damage Your Vehicle Paint

Even if you take meticulous care of your car, there are certain external dangers that are simply out of your control. Namely, outdoor elements that can damage your paint job. Let’s explore some common things that can damage your vehicle paint so that you can be ready for any situation.

Tree Sap

Tree sap is a natural element that can damage your paint’s clear coat over time. Once the sap eats away at the clear coat, you’ll see staining and discoloration on your vehicle’s exterior. The process can accelerate if you live in a hot climate or your car is outside on a summer day.

Knowing how to protect your car paint from tree sap damage is important for the overall condition of your vehicle. The sticky substance can be difficult to remove, so it’s wise to act as soon as possible. Place a wet washcloth and rubbing alcohol on the sap-filled area for at least 30 seconds. Then, use the cloth to gently rub the area until the sap is gone. You may need to repeat the process several times if the tree sap is particularly stubborn.

Silly String

Many people use silly string for pranking purposes, but this substance can damage your car’s paint job. Silly string contains colorants and resins that are harmful to a vehicle—particularly if the silly string gets on it during the daytime and dries in the sun.

If you’ve been the victim of a prank, it’s best to remove the silly string as quickly as possible. Clean your car with mild soap and water, or take it through the car wash to restore the luster of your paint. If you notice remaining residue, wipe the surface with a multiuse car cleaner, such as WD-40.

Bird Droppings

Bird droppings are another common thing that can damage your vehicle paint. Droppings are acidic, so they can cause permanent paint damage if they harden under the sun. After prolonged exposure to heat, the acid can eat away at your paint.

Although bird droppings are annoying and unavoidable, there are ways to combat the mess. Do your best to wipe away the grime as soon as you see it to make cleaning easier. Using a wet towel, gently massage a small amount of detergent over the affected area. Be careful not to scrub too hard since excessive force can scratch your paint. If the dropping is stubborn or has hardened, let the detergent soak into the area for a few minutes before wiping it away.

To keep your car’s paint job in good condition, you must be aware of these common culprits. Now that you know how to properly wipe away tree sap, silly string, and bird droppings, you’ll always be able to maintain your car’s fresh appearance.

By Dianne Pajo

Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.