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5 Home Remedies for Oxidized Paint You Can Safely Use on Your Car

  • Home Remedies for Oxidized Paint
    July 6, 2020

    Not all cars age gracefully. As time goes by, you might start to notice that the beautiful, polished paintwork of your car is starting to lose its original gloss and shine. Worse still, a car’s paintwork may start to fade or become affected by white, chalky marks and flaking paint. This is what the motor trade describes as oxidization. And in this article we’ll look at several home remedies for oxidized paint you can trust.

    Paint Oxidation

    Various factors contribute to paint oxidization. For example, if a vehicle is parked on the street or a driveway and continually exposed to the elements, it is more likely to suffer paint oxidization problems. The sun’s strong UV rays can cause car paint damage, especially directly exposed areas such as the roof and the hood. Snow and slush containing road salt or salt spray from the sea are not great for a car’s exterior, either. Atmospheric oxygen also adds to the problem.

    Oxidation is a form of corrosion. The chemicals in the paint break down as the paint loses its oil and dries out. The result is a dull and flaky appearance. Fortunately, there are several home remedies for oxidized paint that you can use.

    Safe and Simple Home Remedies for Oxidized Paint

    Before trying any of the methods listed below it is important that you carefully wash and dry your car first. If not, any dirt or other particles will be spread as you rub the surface, possibly causing further damage to the paintwork. It is also a good idea to test any home remedies for oxidized paint on a less visible area first. For example, under the trunk lid or a door. After you have treated the oxidized paint, an application of quality car wax will restore shine and act as a sealant to protect the paint.

    1. Baking Soda Scrub

    Sodium bicarbonate is the chemical compound widely sold as baking soda or bicarbonate of soda. It is an alkaline white powder with multiple benefits and uses. Not only can you clean your teeth with it or add it to cakes to make them rise, but you can also use it as a natural household cleaning solution to remove stains and odors. Baking soda is one of the safest home remedies for oxidized paint, because it acts as a gentle version of sandpaper and has no added chemicals or preservatives. Making a baking soda paste with water and gently rubbing it into the tarnished area should help to remove car paint oxidation. This method is simple:

    • Mix a tablespoon of baking soda in a glass with water to form a thick paste
    • Use a soft, clean toothbrush to spread the paste over the oxidized paint
    • Then wipe clean with a soft, damp cloth for a glossy finish

    After you have polished with baking soda, remember that prevention is key. Regular wax treatments help to reduce the risk of future oxidation.

    2. Homemade Sugar Polish as Home Remedies for Oxidized Paint

    You do need something stronger than soap and water to remove oxidation. A simple sugar mix can act as a mild abrasive to gently remove microscopic layers of clear coat. Sugar has small, crystalline particles, which makes it a popular beauty hack for exfoliating dry skin. Using a homemade sugar scrub as a DIY polishing compound is a safe and natural way to aid the car paint correction process. The procedure is:

    • Mix 1 cup of granulated sugar with ½ cup of vegetable oil
    • Polish the car surface with the sugar scrub to remove light-to-moderate oxidation
    • Rinse to finish

    Try to work with microfiber polishing towels or a lint-free cloth when you are using your home remedies for oxidized paint to achieve optimum results.

    3. Chalk Dust and Water

    You can feel the rough texture of oxidization when you run your hand over the paintwork. A traditional rubbing or cutting compound uses abrasives to remove the thin, damaged top coat of paint to reveal the fresher paint underneath and achieve a smooth finish. However, these methods are best left to professional detailers, otherwise you might do more harm than good. If you do want to experiment with home remedies for oxidized paint, make your own mild rubbing compound with a chalk paste to revive dull or marked paint as follows:

    • Mix a half cup of chalk dust with water to form a paste
    • Gently rub the paste into the problem area to remove the oxidized paint
    • Rinse with clean water and leave to dry

    Chalk powder is cheap to buy and non-toxic. Use a microfiber polishing towel to wipe away any chalky residue to reveal a smooth finish. Once you have “polished” and spruced up paintwork with your chalk paste, remember to add a protective layer with wax or paint sealant.

    4. Organic Hair Conditioner

    Be mindful of which soap you use to wash your car. Chemical-heavy solutions can strip the oil from the paint and exacerbate the problem of damaged paintwork. Home remedies for oxidized paint can be found in the bathroom cabinet. You can use an organic hair conditioner to gently revive dull and faded paintwork in the same way it brings glossy shine to hair. The procedure is:

    • Mix 4 cups of water with 1 cup of hair conditioner
    • Gently rub the mixture into the affected paintwork
    • Rinse thoroughly with fresh water
    • Dry and buff with a soft microfiber cloth to restore shine

    Do check the label on the bottle to make sure the conditioner is free from harsh chemicals and fragrances. If you are unsure which conditioner to use, look out for plant-based products that are eco-friendly and won’t harm your car or the environment. Hair conditioners rich in shea butter will also help to restore the oil content of dried-out paint.

    5. Home Remedies for Oxidized Paint with Whitening Toothpaste

    Home remedies for car paint damage include whitening toothpaste when you want to get rid of paint imperfections. Toothpaste contains mild abrasives to remove stains on teeth. These can also be effective when it comes to tackling surface oxidation that hasn’t yet penetrated the clear coat. Rubbing toothpaste onto the problem areas on the paintwork will help to even out its appearance in a few simple steps:

    • Wash the car first with soapy water to remove dust and dirt
    • Squeeze a generous amount of toothpaste onto a clean microfiber cloth
    • Gently rub the toothpaste into the paint oxidation in small circular motions
    • Take a clean cloth and wipe the area to wash the toothpaste away

    With these home remedies for oxidized paint you should begin to see results within seconds. Do not rub for too long with a DIY scrub or polish. Otherwise, you risk further damage to the paintwork.


    Ideally, prevention is better than a cure. Parking a car in a garage helps, as does a car cover. Regular polishing and waxing will also help to preserve paintwork. However, regular wear and tear is inevitable over time. You may have no choice but to seek out ways to remove oxidation from car paint. If you are nervous or unsure about doing this job with home remedies for oxidized paint, simply schedule an appointment with DetailXPerts to have your car professionally detailed – car paint oxidation removal is one of our eco steam detailing specialties.

    Also, take a moment to connect with DetailXPerts on Instagram and continue to receive tips and tricks from us.

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