Things That Can Ruin Your Cars Paint - The Hidden Threats

Updated: Dec 3, 2018

When you have a car you love, there's no doubt you want to preserve its pristine paint job. But the world is a harsh place riddled with items that can ruin your cars appearance. Don’t fret though because you can easily get in front of these little problems with a few quick tips and simple solutions. Let’s dive in...

What To Look Out For In The World

Believe it or not, it is Mother Nature that does the most damage to your paint job. Some things are hard to avoid depending on the season but look out for stuff like tree sap, bird poop and dead bugs for example. Basically anything that’s sticky or abrasive so keep an eye out for these items and wash them off as soon as you can.

Speed Is Key

When you inevitably run through a patch of bugs splatter them across your car or park under a sappy oak tree, the key is getting it off your paint as soon as you can. The longer it sits on your car, the more time the corrosive agents have to break down the chemical bonds in your paint - which ultimately destroys your car's appearance over time. With that said, the steps below should help you take decisive action and save your paint.

Dirty Car Cleaning Materials

One more thing, it *almost* goes without saying but using dirty dish rags to clean your car can and often does do more damage than good. Dirty rags often have hard particles in them which can scratch your car and leave your pride and joy looking dull and lifeless. We recommend using professional grade washing materials and sponges.

Most Common Items That Ruin Your Car’s Paint

Bird Droppings

Bird droppings are common, and like I said before, some things you just can't avoid. But there are ways of cleaning everyday mishaps that can make your car shiny and new again. Bird droppings are a problem because of their high acid content. The longer they sit, the more they erode your paint job. Never try to scrape the droppings off since this will likely damage your paint further. Instead, you can use soap and water or buy something like Star Brite Bird Stain Remover, which a great product that won't remove polish.


Every time you fill your tank and a little gas spills on the side, be sure to grab a paper towel and some water to wipe it off. Gasoline is highly corrosive and will cause discoloration and staining if it's not handled quickly.


While it's not likely you’ll get egg on your car very often, it's worth noting that they can be highly damaging to your paint job. If you get egged on Halloween, make sure to rinse them off quickly. Eggs are acidic and the shells can actually scratch your paint so make sure to hose them off, then wipe it off (making sure there’s no shell bits). And if the eggs have baked in, you can try a few other tactics to remove the stains.

Road Tar

Tar from the road is a beast to get off your paint. On hot days, tar can seep from the asphalt and get kicked up by your tires or the other cars on the road. Soap and water won’t do it for this one. Fortunately Amazon carries a number of products that loosen and lift tar making it easy to wipe clean. Here's how to remove tar from your car.


If you live in an area with rough winters, you already know that snow can do a lot of damage to a paint job. Snow causes corrosion, which can be a killer for a car. If you can park in a garage, then definitely do that. But if this isn't possible, cover your car with a weatherproof covering during the winter months so that snow doesn't cover your car when it's parked. I know this is inconvenient but it can protect your car's paint for the long term.

Tree Sap

Tree sap is one of the hardest things to remove from your car - especially if it's dried and hardened in the sun. It's a good thing you can buy sprays like Goo Gone to break down the sap and make it easier to remove. And tree sap is one thing that I would buy the special product for rather than using soap and water. Soap and water won’t get rid of the sap and scraping it off your paint is a big no-no since it often causes more damage to your paint.


Here's another potential problem that is unavoidable. If you're going fast on the freeway, you're bound to catch a few bugs and your windshield wipers can only do so much. Typically soap and water will do the trick if you’re getting the bugs off early. But if it's not working you can check out a product like Bugs n All to remove all those unsightly marks and hard to remove bugs.


The biggest things that can ruin your car's paint revolve around the time you leave them on the car. If you’re quick to remove the issue, you should have little to no problems with your paint for a very long time. Car paint is built to last and remain resilient to natures many elements so it's not something to obsess about. As long as you never scrape the items off your paint, get a special product to remove tree sap, and cover your car in winter you’ll be fine and your car will remain vibrant. And if you do need a new paint job or just want some touch ups, give us a call because we're happy to help!