How to Remove Oxidation From Car Paint

Oxidation could be one of the primary villains in maintaining your metalwares, including your car paint. When your car loses its shine and glitter turning into a dull and horrible old piece of junk. Sad to say, it is like a decaying corpse alarming you to buy a new car.

But, before you do something crazy, oxidation is still manageable. Buying a new car is not yet necessary. But, you could remove oxidation, and you need to learn how. 

The good thing here is helpful tips on removing oxidation from your car’s paint. Maybe, your car’s lustrous appearance would return in no time. But, unfortunately, it is going to be brand new again.

damaged painted car
Credits to: Pinterest

Assess the Damage

First, make a thorough assessment of your car’s exterior. Consider if its color has faded, rusted, and other damages aside from the paint or any discoloration. Any of those damages may be due to oxidation. 

Oxidation is a by-product of water and oxygen reacting on the car’s surface and worsens by the heat of the sunlight. Unfortunately, it means you can’t avoid your vehicle from oxidation as long as you use it. Thus, what you can do is remove or repair it.   

In other words, see for yourself the gravity of the oxidation appearing on your car’s paint, especially when your vehicle has endured a heavy downpour previously. A metal’s over-exposure to wet surroundings is prone to oxidation. Imagine how damaged your car’s exterior would be if it had oxidation for a very long time. 

Knowing this information could determine what type of cleaning materials, whether wax, compound, etc. Plus, it could be a factor to consider whether to clean it or replace the entire exterior of your car. Thus, it also helps in sorting a budget for this project.

Types of Oxidation

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For this reason, you have to know the depth, size, and impact on the car’s body by knowing the type of oxidation. 

Light Oxidation

When your car paint looks dull, or the luster has vanished, it means it has light oxidation. It happens when on the first two months of your car. After that, ordinary polishers can get the job done.

Moderate Oxidation 

However, when the color has completely faded, this indicates moderate oxidation. It may be alarming because the damage may worsen faster than before. Thus, you need to regularly clean, polish, and wax it.  

Heavy Oxidation

In this stage, the damage on your car paint is indeed visible at a glance. However, the color has faded entirely, and noticeable signs of corruption or rusting. Fortunately, such a level of oxidative damages is still reparable using heavy-duty cleaners, polishers, and waxes.

Irreversible Damage 

As the term implies, the damage looks awful, and no amount of cleaning and polishing could repair the oxidation. When your car paint reaches such damage, it needs a total re-paint job. 

Clean it first

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Sometimes you thought it could be oxidation, but it turned out to be just dust and dirt. It means to say wash and clean your car first. Use water and soap or foam, and rinse it well after. Then, make sure to dry it with clean, soft microfiber cloths.
After cleaning, you’ll see if glaring oxidation stains or none. If there is no oxidation at all, you may proceed to apply shining compounds, polishers, or color restorers. However, using the best oxidation removers would be the prime choice if there are stains of oxidations. 

Make it Shine

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As mentioned, it would be better if you applied oxidation removers to improve your car paint quality. There are many kinds of remover that you may use depending on the damage extent, and here are some.

Rubber Compounds

A car exterior with heavy oxidative damages is most suitable for rubber compounds. It needs more pressure to remove massive oxidation. Thus, you need the help of rotary buffers when you apply rubbing compounds. 

In this case, you need to apply the compound directly on the car surface and spread it using the buffer. Upon application, you must wipe it out with a soft cloth to avoid bubbles or buffer rotation marks.  

It means to say; you must be skillful and cautious because you might apply too much pressure and further the damages. 

Polisher Compounds

Fortunately, if the oxidation stains are light to moderate, you may apply a polisher compound. You may directly pour in the polisher and wipe it by hand. Although it would take a bit longer, you may avoid swirling marks buffers usually left after use. 

Meanwhile, please be gentle when you opt to use a buffer in using a polisher for light damages. Improper use of buffers makes a car look poorly polished. Hence, you might repeat all the cleaning.

Finish it with Waxing

Credits to: Car Guide Info

Finally, put some wax on your car paint to add extra protection after cleaning and polishing. It makes the car paint more robust and resilient towards rain, sunlight, and other materials that might damage it again.  

Furthermore, applying wax on your car paint after cleaning and polishing annihilates oxidation marks. As a result, wax restores the lustrous color before making the car look brand new again. 

You can secure and restore your car paint’s original appearance with this final stage.


Indeed, oxidation on car paint is a pain in sight. It damages your car and wipes away money from your pocket due to repairs. More so, oxidation is a natural occurrence enjoined when you buy a vehicle for a ride. 

Fortunately, there are ways to address the situation. With a careful and thorough inspection, you can determine the extent of oxidation, whether light, moderate, heavy, or irreversible. As a result, you can clean, polish, and make it shine again.

Ensure that you use the best oxidation removers, cleaners, compounds, or color restorers. It’s a little bit pricy to maintain a car. But, it is less expensive to replace your junk bucket with a new ride.

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