How to get oil off car paint

Written by james clark
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Most types of lubricant, including motor oil, will not harm the paint on a car. Oil will make a slimy mess and cause ugly streaking, but it won't damage the vehicle. But if the oil gets onto the driver's clothing from brushing against the car, it may result in a far more complicated mess. Removing oil from car paint requires a degreasing product that can be as simple as liquid dish washing detergent. Clean cloths and elbow grease will finish the job.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Paper towels
  • Liquid Dawn dish washing detergent, Oxiclean or other degreasing solution
  • Old, clean towels

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  1. 1

    Blot away as much oil as possible using paper towels. Don't wipe the spill or smear it around, which will only create a bigger mess.

  2. 2

    Pour 1/2 cup of degreasing liquid onto a clean towel and apply the liquid to the oil on the paint, rubbing gently over the oil spot and letting the detergent set for 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. 3

    Wipe off the degreasing liquid and oil with old, clean towels, repeating as necessary to remove all traces of oil.

  4. 4

    Wash and wax the automobile to bring out the shine in the paint.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not leave the car in direct sunlight on a hot day when using degreaser on oil, as this could cause the paint to fade or discolour.

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