WD40 on Car Paint: Does It Cause Damage to Your Vehicle?

WD40 on car paint does not sound like the worst idea in the world, considering it is a multi-use product. However, the fact that a product is good for household use does not always translate to it being good for your car. This has led to many car owners and enthusiasts wondering if they can safely and effectively apply WD40 on car paint.

WD40 on Car Paint ~ Ran When Parked

Read this full guide to bust the myths regarding using WD40 on your vehicle!

Is It Safe to Apply WD40 on Your Car Paint?

Yes, it is safe to apply WD40 on your car paint. This may surprise many since WD40 is made of components that can individually break down car paint. However, WD40 has a specific formula for these components that will not harm you or your car paint.

WD40 is one of the most common household products, and it has several maintenance purposes, including corrosion resistance, cleaning tough stains on ceramic coatings, and lubrication.

Considering WD40 is an abbreviation for Water Displacement, the product can also be used to remove water and increase the hydrophobicity of a surface.

The primary ingredient of WD40 is isoparaffin (aliphatic hydrocarbons), which makes up about 50 percent of the product. Other chemicals in WD40 include petroleum oils, flammable aliphatic hydrocarbons, and carbon dioxide, which functions as a propellant.

On their own, some of these ingredients can break down car paint, especially isoparaffin. However, these chemicals are specifically formulated in WD40, and the resulting formula will not do any damage to your car paint or to you.

This, of course, only applies when the chemical solvent WD40 is used in moderate proportions. So, WD40 can be said to be safe on car paint.

Is WD40 Effective on Car Paint?

Yes, WD40 is effective on car paint to remove stains, scratches, sticky and greasy deposits, and even as a color enhancer. For all of these purposes, WD40 demonstrates high to moderately high effectiveness, and you can apply it to your car paint safely.

Effective on Car Paint ~ Ran When Parked

Having established that WD40 is safe, the next natural question is if it is effective, as not all chemical solvents will do a good job on your car. To put it simply, the WD40 will do a great job on your car paint, depending on what you use it for.

The WD40 is specifically designed to break down chemicals and allow them to be easily wiped away from various surfaces. As such, it only makes sense that the product can effectively work on stains on car paints. However, for purposes like lubrication, WD40 will not be the best option for your car exterior.

How Can You Remove Car Paint Stains Using WD40?

You can remove car paint stains using WD40 by following a series of steps that start with purchasing a WD40 can. After this, you would want to apply the chemical solvent to the affected area of the car paint and clean off the stains after a few minutes.

  • Get a WD40 Can

If you do not have a WD40 can readily available in your home, you can run to the store to get one. You can get a can from hardware stores, supermarkets, and even online vendors.

  • Apply on the Stained Region

After getting the WD40 can, open and apply it to the stained region of the car. You do this by spraying on the affected areas until the stain is entirely covered. While you want to ensure that there are no parts of the stain that are left unsprayed, you also don’t want to go overboard with the spraying.

Apply on the Stained Region ~ Ran When Parked

As safe as WD40 is to car paint, in excess, it can begin to have detrimental effects on the paint. As a rule of thumb, two sprays of the can should be enough to cover the stain.

  • Allow the Chemical To Work

WD40 is a solvent that is made of different chemicals, and it is these chemicals that work to break down the stain and allow for easy cleaning. However, the chemicals require time to elicit their actions, and this time is to the tune of a few minutes. Usually, two to three minutes will be long enough time for the chemical solvent to have acted on the stains.

  • Clean off the Stains

After the waiting time has elapsed, you need to wipe off the stains with a clean cotton cloth. You will generally not need to wipe the stains more than twice for them to leave. However, for tough stains, you may need to wipe more frequently and vigorously.

If you notice that some stains still have not left after wiping, you may restart the application process. Be careful, though, with stains that need more than two applications to remove. It will be advisable to refer these stains to your repair shop.

  • Wash Off WD40 Remnants

After applying WD40 to your car paint to remove stains, you still need to wash it off to prevent the sprayed area from getting sticky and attracting further dirt and bugs.

Wash Off WD40 Remnants ~ Ran When Parked

You can wash the car with a car shampoo or detergent.

What Can You Use WD40 for on Cars?

You can use WD40 on cars to remove paint stains, cover up scratches, and remove dirt and bug splatters. The specially designed formula of the WD40 ensures it can work effectively for these purposes without breaking down the pain of your car.

Remove Paint Stains

The most natural and conventional use of WD40 is removing paint stains. WD40 is a chemical solvent that can dissolve various stains by loosening and breaking the bonds in the stains. When this happens, the stain’s adhesion to the car surface is much weaker, and simply cleaning the affected area can rid the car of the stain.

Even stains that are regarded as stubborn can be removed by WD40, and this includes stains from grease, polish, and even tar. For stains that are especially stubborn and resist the action of WD40, you can reapply the chemical solvent.

However, be careful not to use excessively large amounts of the solvent as it may start to have detrimental effects.

Cover Scratches

Another common application of WD40 is to cover scratches. The rationale behind this is that WD40 can enter the scratched area and basically seal it. Also, because of the high water resistance of WD40, it prevents water from entering the scratched areas.

WD40 Cover Scratches ~ Ran When Parked

However, using WD40 for car scratches is only recommended for light and superficial scratches. For deeper scratches, you will need to take the car to a repair shop where sanding and repainting will be done.

Also, ensure you first test out WD40 on a secluded area of your car before applying it to the scratch. This is because, as safe as WD40 is on a car’s paints, some paints may still react in an undesirable way to the chemical solvent. A typical location where you can test the product is underneath the car, where there is paint.

Removing Splatters

Splatters, grease, tree sap, and other forms of stuck debris can be easily removed with WD40. While these may also qualify as stains, they are usually a lot less permanent but will take a great deal of effort to remove. To make the process much easier, you can spray them down with WD40 before wiping.

Can You Use WD40 as a Wax Substitute for Cars?

Yes, you can use WD40 as a wax substitute for cars, as the chemical has the ability to enhance the color and shine of paints. However, it is far from the best option, as WD40 brings some practical limitations that make it ill-advised as a long-term solution.

Wax Substitute for Cars ~ Ran When Parked

The logic behind using WD40 as a wax substitute is the fact that it can accentuate the color of car paint and make it appear shinier. Still, the fact that WD40 can enhance the color of your car does not make it a good option as a wax substitute.

There are much better alternatives that are suited just for waxing and enhancing the color of car paint. Buying WD40 solely for that purpose will be a waste of money, as there are products for a clear coat around the same price range that will do a much better job.

Does WD40 Cause Damage to Your Car’s Paint that Could Extend the Length of Time a Mechanic Keeps Your Car?

WD40 is a versatile product, but it can potentially harm your car’s paint if used improperly. While not directly impacting how long a mechanic keeps your car, using WD40 on the exterior could lead to damage, thus prolonging the overall repair process. It’s crucial to consult experts or follow appropriate guidelines to avoid any potential damage to your vehicle’s paintwork.

Can You Use WD40 as a Lubricant for Cars?

No, you cannot use WD40 as a lubricant for cars because the product is a solvent and not a lubricant. While it is undeniable that it has some lubricant properties that may be suitable for household use, these properties are not nearly enough for lubricating car components like spark plugs.

Lubricant for Cars ~ Ran When Parked

Your use of WD40 on cars should be limited to removing stains, scratches, and sticky deposits. Any use beyond these will be either financially illogical or harmful to your car. Under no circumstance should you replace lubricating fluids and oils in your car with WD40.

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