Imagine that you are doing a DIY cleaning of your car’s engine. However, you accidentally smear engine degreaser on your car paint! Sounds like a disaster, right? Knowing what to do in this situation will help you eliminate any damage the product might cause. This article will help you keep your calm and rectify the situation.
What Is an Engine Degreaser?
There are several different types of engine degreasers. They can be classified according to their main component or based on their cleaning abilities. Depending on the issue, both mild and heavy-duty solutions are available on the market.
In concentrated amounts, degreaser on your car paint damages the exterior layer. However, the longer the solution is left on, the worse the damage becomes. Some degreasers have stain residues that might leave marks and cause the paint to fade away. Others may cause dulling or begin peeling.
Engine Degreaser on Your Car Paint: What Happens
Degreasers work to clean various surfaces since they have the ability to break down water-insoluble substances like grease. According to Hunker.com, a degreaser has three main ingredients: Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Sodium Meta Silicate, and Sodium Carbonate.
Sodium Carbonate is commonly known as ash soda or washing soda. A homemaker’s blog says that this compound is more abrasive. As such, it can scratch delicate surfaces. Additionally, since it is alkaline, it can discolor the paint on your car’s exterior.
What to Do: Step by Step
1. Flush It Off
When you accidentally put engine degreaser on your car paint, the first step is to wash it off immediately with water. Degreasers can remove wax and consequently expose your car paint’s exterior layers. Washing it off with water dilutes the degreaser’s concentration and minimizes the damage to your car paint.
2. Wipe It off and Inspect
Dry your car thoroughly after washing. Then inspect for scratches or stains. If there are light scratches, continue to the next step. If there are no visible stains or scratches, you can proceed to waxing and polishing.
3. Use a Mild Scratch or Stain Remover
Apply a scratch/stain remover on the area, following the product instructions. You can use a microfiber towel or an applicator swab for this.
4. Apply Wax and Polish
Engine degreasers are made to dissolve grime and grease. It can also strip off the outer layer of your car wax. Apply wax and polish to even out the imperfections and restore your car paint to its original finish.
When degreasing your engine, it is always best to stay on the safe side. As part of your prep work, cover surrounding areas to prevent damage.
You can also try to make your own degreaser. Using natural degreasers is less damaging to paint surfaces and avoids health problems when using. Accidental spillages of natural degreasers cause less damage than a regular solution.
If the accidental spillage or splatter has stayed more than a few minutes or if it has damaged the paint layers deep enough for a more thorough paint repair, it may be best to seek professional help. An expert touch up may be necessary to prevent further damage.
Schedule an appointment with DetailXPerts to have your car assessed. Our highly-trained detail technicians specialize in engine cleaning and paint restoration. Our eco-friendly auto detailing also prevents more damage from occurring.