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How to Remove Oxidation from Car Paint

How to Remove Oxidation from Car Paint

Oxidation Removal – Yellow Car Before

How to remove oxidation from car paint

There are three levels of oxidation and they all can be resolved with different products.  Address it before your car paint starts flaking off.  If you leave your car unprotected and out in the elements, the paint will most likely oxidize. The first level of oxidation you will notice it over a period of a month or more. Light oxidation can be treated through regular paint cleaning, waxing and polishing. The second level of oxidation is moderate  and can be repaired using a cutting polish.

Heavy oxidation may happen after a year of your car being unprotected. This can be described by a dull, chalky surface on your car’s paint. It may even be difficult to restore but there are products you can always try before getting a paint job done. An example of a product you can use for heavy oxidation is XMT Heavy Duty Swirl Remover #4 Polishing Compound. It will be hard to conduct a restoration using only polish.

Oxidation removal tips

Find Shade

Find a cool, well-shaded place to do all the cleaning and polishing. The temperature should be between 70 to 75 degrees. This will prevent your car from accumulating dust and preventing water spots from forming. Before beginning the oxidation removal process, it is important to remove all dirt. You can Let your car dry slowly in your work shade.

Use correct Compound

Polish your car with a compound. There are two major compounds used for removing oxidation from your car. One is a polishing compound and the other is a rubbing compound. A polishing compound can be used on light to moderate cases of oxidation. It is recommended to do it by hand to avoid getting car swirls when you use a buffer. Unless of course, you have enough experience up your sleeves. It will take longer to complete the process by hand but it will be unlikely to cause further damage to your vehicle.

For heavily oxidized paints, you may want to consider using a more powerful compound like a rubbing compound. Using your hands will require a lot of pressure when applying the compound to completely remove the oxidation from your car’s surface. However, do not rub too hard as you may remove the paint by doing so.  Always apply the compounds in small area and work it in then remove it right away.  Also use a wet, clean cloth to apply the compound to avoid swirl marks then wipe it off with a dry soft cloth. Remember to work with the least abrasive polish and work your way up if the least abrasive polish didn’t do the job. Until all the white chalky substances are removed, continue rubbing your vehicle. Occasionally change to a new, clean towel to avoid incurring swirl marks on your vehicle as you work the compound.

How to Remove Oxidation from Car Paint

Oxidation Removal – Yellow Car Comparison


Remember, what comes after cleaning is polishing and after polishing is waxing. It provides a protective layer on your car. Wax it as you normally would. Wax your vehicle once a month or a couple of months. This reinforces your car’s protection and will make it more resilient from oxidation.

To prevent car paint oxidation from appearing, you might want to keep your vehicle clean at all times. It is important to remember that UV rays and the elements break down the paint on your vehicle and cause oxidation. To help slow down the process it is recommended to keep your vehicle in a garage or covered and protected from the sun. If you have any concerns about your cars surface, consider consulting a professional detailer.

9 Responses to “How to Remove Oxidation from Car Paint”

  1. […] Moisture attracts contaminants and promotes a variety of chemical reactions that can destroy your car’s chrome and painted surfaces. If you live in a climate where sand or salt is used on the road surface, be sure to rinse inside the wheel wells also. In seasons or climates less conductive to corrosion, a wash every two weeks or so is adequate. In areas with acid rain, a wash every ten days is advised. If you already have a problem with your car paint, be sure to check our post on how to remove oxidation from car paint […]

  2. […] to worsen the initial state of your vehicle. It is also effective on swirls, light blemishes and oxidation. It is a highly rated non-abrasive product. When using this product it does not matter which […]

  3. […] tools cannot have proper access. As with any cosmetic conditioning you wish to get done – be it oxidation, swirl marks or paint scratches removal – it is best to first get an assessment as to what […]

  4. […] should you wax your car? The ugly marks left behind by the elements, rust and oxidation can be very difficult to remove. Sometimes, it might even call for a paint job, which can be expensive whether you take your car to […]

  5. […] have probably neglected waxing or covering your car with a protective material which led to paint oxidation. This happens when your car’s paint reacts with the oxygen in the air. Unfortunately, no washing […]

  6. […] to worsen the initial state of your vehicle. It is also effective on swirls, light blemishes and oxidation. It is a highly rated non-abrasive product. When using this product it does not matter which […]

  7. […] application of car wax in removing oxidation from your car’s paint is another reason you should wax your car regularly. Oxidation of the vehicle’s paint work occurs […]

  8. […] you will end up spending for a new paint job. Another option is to do a bit of repair work on the “sun spots” on your car and see if you could live with the result. After all, a full paint job can entail a […]

  9. […] Using a rotary buffer – The rotary buffer is a very powerful tool. It  is ideal for removing deep paint scratches, swirls, and oxidation. This is possible because of the high heat produced by the spinning pad. Hence, the buffer should […]


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