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How to Remove Salt Stains From Auto Paint

Salt damages auto body paint and leaves stains. Whether you get salt on your car from tropical spray or highway de-icing in the wintertime, it is important to thoroughly remove the salt residue as soon as possible. Removing salt stains from your car paint improves the appearance of your car and helps to prevent rust from forming.

Rinse your car with your garden nose. Turn the nozzle to the highest pressure and rinse your car from top to bottom. Be certain to spray inside the wheel wells and rocker panels.

Mix equal parts white distilled vinegar and water in your bucket. Using a soft bristle brush or sponge, wash the parts of your car affected by salt stains. Rinse with the garden hose.

Spray clay bar lubricant on the salt-stained area of your car paint. Rub your clay bar over the salt stains, turning the clay bar frequently.

Wipe clay bar residue off your car with a cotton microfiber cloth.

Place your hand inside a plastic sandwich bag. Rub your hand over your car paint and feel for lumps and roughness. If you feel any roughness, repeat the clay bar lubricant and clay bar procedure until the surface feels smooth.

Put fresh water in your bucket and add car wash soap according to directions on the container. Wash your entire car with this solution, using a clean cotton rag or sponge.

Rinse your car with the garden hose. Dry with a chamois or clean cotton rags.

Tip

Wax your car with the auto wax of your choice to protect the paint and prevent rust.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Garden hose
  • Adjustable-pressure hose nozzle
  • Vinegar
  • Bucket
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Clay bar
  • Clay bar lubricant
  • Cotton microfiber cloth
  • Car wash soap
  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • Cotton rag
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About the Author

For Judy Kilpatrick, gardening is the best mental health therapy of all. Combining her interests in both of these fields, Kilpatrick is a professional flower grower and a practicing, licensed mental health therapist. A graduate of East Carolina University, Kilpatrick writes for national and regional publications.