Removing Stains and Marks from a Car's Exterior

July 18, 2010

My SUV was parked outside while we worked on our house. Apparently, some kids thought it would be cute to throw berries on it. The weather was around 100 degrees outside and it was probably several days before we noticed. Does anyone have any idea how to get these off? I have tried soap and water and Goof Off. They are not budging. They are on the paint as well as the windows.


By rhonda from CO


July 18, 20101 found this helpful

I use a product called Meguiar's (spelling may be off) Quick Detailer. It's great stuff, works on bird droppings, berries, all that stuff. You can get it in any store that sells car care products. I keep it in the trunk with a roll of paper towels.

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July 19, 20100 found this helpful

If you can't afford the product mentioned above, put your trust in good old fashioned water, the universal solvent. It may take a little time and patience but has one great advantage it is free!

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July 23, 20101 found this helpful

Peanut butter, I saw it on this site that was to clean off bird droppings, its cheap, everyone has it and its not toxic.

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October 4, 20131 found this helpful

The Maguier's works somewhat, but floor wax remover is better. Water is almost totally ineffective with my berries. I've used Armstrong New Beginning floor wax remover for years, and it doesn't seem to have hurt the finish. It's a 13-year-old white Town Car. I used the Maguier's on the left half of my trunk and the floor wax remover on the right half. It went quite a bit faster on the floor wax remover half. I haven't tried any other brands yet. I scrub them with a kitchen plastic mesh pad. The secret with either product is to keep the berries wet and don't try to get a berry stain off all at once. Scrub each a little and move on and keep coming back.

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October 2, 20150 found this helpful

First I would try an IPA wipe down, which is rubbing alcohol. Pecentage of alcohol doesnt really matter. Use a quality microfiber.
However there's a lot of variables. If the berries are acidic, try vinegar. However if you leave anything acidic on your paint for too long the acid will etch your paint making it impossible to remove.
If that doesn't work you could try mineral spirits. Remember, always use the least aggressive method first. The clearcoat on your car is only as thick as a post it note.
Good luck!

If all else fails contact a professional detailer. He/she can wetsand and Polish out the imperfections.

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June 15, 20180 found this helpful

Rubbing alcohol worked!!! I had a plastic grocery bag sitting on the trunk lid in a hot garage and the ink of the bag transferred onto the car paint. It wiped off right away with some rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad. Then I rinsed the spot with water just to be safe. Thanks!!!

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21 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 6, 2020

There is a yellow stain on my new car as a result of cleaning off a dark color small dropping.

It's not a bird dropping. The dropping was a very very tiny dot and dark in color. I suspect it's a dropping from a plant like trees or some part of a flower.

When I washed my car yesterday, after cleaning that small dot, it left behind a yellow stain like the picture.

Can anyone please help?

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September 30, 2019

I have a E320 Mercedes. From the area of the mirror black fluid came out onto the door. How do I remove this?

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April 14, 2020

Does anyone have an idea of how to remove what seems to be an ammonia stain from car paint? I say it's ammonia because I found an empty ammonia bottle not to far from my car.

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October 14, 2019

My Tata Sumo has become brown because of iron in the water. How do I remove it?

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December 17, 2016

I went to a local car wash (drive thru self serve kind at the gas station) today and got the "works'. The left side of my white car is now stained yellow. Any advice? Did the car wash do this?


December 21, 20160 found this helpful

Go back to the car wash and have THEM remove the stains if they weren't there before you had it washed.

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December 21, 20160 found this helpful

Luckily, I went back the next morning and spoke with the manager. They took full responsibility! What a relief. I am to goo back before the end of the week to get a rinse and if that doesn't work, they'll send me to detail shop for buff. Glad to know their are still some companies out there that have integrity!

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December 30, 20160 found this helpful

I'm glad you got this resolved. In the future, take a picture of your car with your phone. The phone dates and times the photo. If you encounter someone uncooperative, you have solid proof of the condition your car was in prior to their working on it.

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November 7, 2018

How do I remove lipstick from the exterior of a car door?

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July 22, 2018

I was waxing my white Jeep and went to rub it out, but noticed it was not coming out of my front or back painted bumpers; instead, it left behind a yellow stain that will not buff out. I've tried washing it off and spraying with ammonia glass cleaner, but nothing has helped. What can I use to get this ugly hint of yellow stain off my Jeep?

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July 9, 2018

Spray from a copper based fungicide got on my car's exterior. It left small white stains. How can I fix this?

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October 18, 2017

My 6 year old finished a personal bottle of water and peeled the plastic label off and unrolled it and stuck it to the exterior of my car. It was left there out in the baking sun for several days before I discovered it. I didn't think and ripped the plastic label off and that left some melted plastic and the label imprint on the car's paint.

The car was really hot from hours of driving on the freeway so it melted the plastic label and it was a bit of a gooey mess and the text imprint seem to have fused onto the car paint. Anyone have a solution for removing it without harming the paint?


October 18, 20170 found this helpful

Try WD-40 or Goo-Gone

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May 12, 2017

Does anyone know how I get tea and coffee stains off the exterior of a car.
My car has been vandalized. I'm in the UK.


May 12, 20170 found this helpful

Try a paste of baking soda and water.

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May 13, 20170 found this helpful

Sorry to hear that :( Vinegar and warm water should help. Rub it on with an old t-shirt. Should come right off.

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May 22, 20170 found this helpful

Sorry to hear that! A Mr Clean magic eraser would work without scratching your surface. I don't know if you have them there though.
I would try a paste made with a little baking soda mixed with water. Rub it gently with a soft cloth. Then rinse with warm water.
Your next option is to gently rub it with a soft cloth moistened with white vinegar and then rinse with warm water

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October 16, 2016

I have a rust colour all over the hood of my white car. Some tree droppings fell on my car. I don't even know what it was, except it was brownish red and round in shape.

I went through the car wash thinking it would go away, but it didn't. What can I use to get rid of this?


October 23, 20160 found this helpful

I had the same exact problem today. $40 at the car wash wasted. I used turtle wax rubbing compound, turtle walk polishing compound, turtle wax super hard shell paste wax, in that order. I also bought two microfiber applicators and a three pack of microfiber cloths, and used one of each for each type of treatment (the paste wax comes with a foam applicator, so I only needed two). Cost less than $30 for everything. The rubbing compound is what took the leaf stains off, with only a medium amount of effort applied, and the other two products just made my finish look shiny and new.

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October 23, 20160 found this helpful

***oops, all three were "turtle wax" strikes again.

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October 24, 20160 found this helpful

We tried acetone nail polish proffessional nail product to remove it. My husband had to still rub really hard to get it off. At least it came off. I thought it might take the car paint off but it didn't.

Thanks for your advice!

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August 26, 2019

I have a car which has not been used much. Moss had grown on the window rubbers behind brightwork and on the inside of the door sills. Yesterday, I used Jeyes Fluid to kill the growth and to lift the growth with a soft brush or cloth. I washed the car down well afterwards.

Now the exposed paint is stained brown, but the sills are perfect! How come different parts of the same car are responding differently and how can I cut deep enough to remove the staining. TCut on a slowly rotating mop (speed setting 2) has had minimal effect so far. The car - is a DS3, white with black roof, etc.

Thank you for any suggestions short of a respray!

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November 3, 2015

The sprinkler for the grass has left a stain on my car, probably iron. How can I safely remove the stain without harming the paint?

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July 22, 2016

Does anyone here know how to remove a white stain from dent remover on the car? I removed the dent using dent remover and I put more than needed and forget to remove it after.

When I try to clean it with water it keeps returning after the water gets dry. Please do help me. Thanks.

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