Removing Stains and Marks from a Car's Exterior

November 9, 2021

Streaks on the side of a red car.I parked my car and came back to find this on my car. It's dried on the window and the door and across the back passenger side. It feels bumpy and looks powdery. Tried soapy water and sponge no luck, any advice?


Streaks on the side of a red car.


November 9, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try baking soda and water. I know it sounds odd, but it has great cleaning strength. Make a paste and apply to the area that has been compromised. Works great for cleaning inside too.


Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 440 Answers
November 23, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

I think you parked in an underground parking garage where water dripped on your car. This is limescale.
Limescale deposits are left behind from hard water.

You need:
white vinegar
soft cloths or paper towels
soap to wash car
good quality wax
spray bottle (optional)

Combine 1 part water with 1 part white vinegar in a spray bottle or bucket.


Spray it onto the affected areas or moisten a cloth with the mixture.
Wipe the area with a clean, soft cloth.
If the lime is not easily wiping away, moisten a cloth with the mixture.
Allow it to soak for 5-10 minutes.
Remove the cloth and wipe the loosened lime away.
Repeat as needed until all of the limescale is removed.
Wash the car as usual once you are finished removing all of the lime.
The vinegar in the mixture will remove the wax that was originally on the car.
Apply a good quality wax to protect the finish.

If the limescale is thick or stubborn, increase the amount of vinegar in the solution. I do not recommend using vinegar without water. Vinegar in this case is acidic. White vinegar, the type that is most commonly used in cleaning households has a PH of 2.5. When sprayed on your car at full strength, vinegar will corrode or burn into your car paint. So, vinegar can damage car paint.


You can use extract of juice from lemons instead of vinegar: spray on the affected area, leave for 5 mins, then wipe it off.

There are commercial cleaners available as well. Check the labels carefully to ensure the product is safe to use on automotive finishes.

If vinegar didnt work on the glass, use glass polish on the window.

Rinse the car with distilled water when you have finished washing.
There are filter attachments that you can get for a garden hose to soften the water.

Drying the car by hand with a cloth can also help to prevent the deposits from drying on the car.
Do not use abrasive cloths or scrubbers as they will scratch the surface and could remove the paint.

Clean spots as soon as possible. The sooner they are removed, the easier they will come loose from the surface.

Answer this Question

24 More Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Read More Answers

May 21, 2021

One of my granddaughter's friends thought it would be cute to pour a can of stain on the front of our truck. It sat for a while and now I can't get it off. Any solutions

Stain that has been dumped on a truck hood.


Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
May 21, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

That looks serious....
You probably should get to work on this as soon as possible because the sun may be baking it in to the extent it cannot be removed.
You will have to be very careful with what 'remedies' you try as some could damage the paint instead of removing the stains.

You might try checking with some of your local detailing shops as they may have some suggestions.
Google auto detailing shops with your zip. You'll probably have to take your truck to their shop and, hopefully, you have the name/kind of stain they used.

It's possible, one of your local auto parts stores could help you or even Ace or True Value hardware stores as these stores deal in all kinds of high end paints and may be able to help you.

You could try a dealer or a paint shop but I believe they will probably just say; paint it.

There are some good suggestions on this link but they mainly deal with just common stains and not something this serious.

Answer this 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.Removing a Stain on a Car's Finish - very small yellow stain


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

Can anyone please help?

Read More Answers

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.

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!


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
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.

Read More Answers

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?

Removing a Stain on a Car's Exterior - black streaks on car door

Read More Answers

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.

Removing an Ammonia Stain on Car Paint

Read More Answers

October 14, 2019

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

Read More Answers

November 7, 2018

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

Read More Answers

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?

Car Wax Left Yellow Stain on White Painted Bumper

Read More Answers

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?

Copper Fungicide Left Stains on Car's Exterior - product used

Read More Answers

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?

Removing Plastic Label Imprint on Car's Exterior - faint residue of label text on hood


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
October 18, 20170 found this helpful

Try WD-40 or Goo-Gone


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 433 Posts
October 26, 20170 found this helpful

Cleaning label off car.

Step 1
I would try baking soda and water.

Step 2
Use a sponge so you don't scratch the paint.

Step 3
Keep scrubbing and then use olive oil to scrape of remaining gunk.

Read More Answers

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.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
May 12, 20170 found this helpful

Try a paste of baking soda and water.


Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,246 Posts
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.


Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 242 Answers
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

Answer this Question

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.

October 23, 20160 found this helpful

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

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!

Answer this Question

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!

Answer this Question

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?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
October 9, 20170 found this helpful

Try Coca Cola on a clean rag.

Read More Answers

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.


July 3, 20170 found this helpful

Try some Goo Gone. You can get it at your local hardware or Wal-Mart.

Answer this Question

May 10, 2014

I have a black weatherstrip stain on the tailgate of a white SUV. I didn't pull the vehicle far enough into the garage and when I actuated the garage door, it hit the tailgate. Embarrassing. I've tried mineral spirits and lacquer thinner. No luck. Any ideas out there?


Answer this Question

December 8, 2016

This is a page about removing house paint on a car. When removing any type of paint from your car's exterior you need to use care not to damage the vehicle's finish.

A man washing his car.

December 6, 2016

This is a page about removing paint ball paint from a car. The oily goo of a paint ball can be a challenge to clean from a car's finish.

car with numerous paint splats

Load More
Consumer Advice Cars Cleaning OutsideMarch 16, 2014
St. Patrick's Ideas!
Valentine's Ideas!
Birthday Ideas!
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2024-02-02 17:44:04 in 18 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2024 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.