How To Remove Spray Paint Without Damaging Paint Underneath

How to remove spray paint without damaging paint underneath? Many drivers are concerned when faced with graffiti as a malicious joke.

It is not easy to clean them with just water, but it is also too expensive to change a new shirt.

Don’t worry; we will help you. Scroll down and get the answer.

Consequences Of Improper Washing

How To Remove Spray Paint Without Damaging Paint Underneath?

Instead of taking a cleaning agent, many car owners now often have the habit of washing their cars at home every weekend to save money. However, mistakes can lead to damage to the car’s exterior paint:

  • Using a dry, hard towel combined with incorrect cleaning techniques causes the car to be scratched in swirls, wiping lines and losing its aesthetics.
  • When washing the car in the hot sun, the sudden temperature change can easily peel off the protection layer or significantly damage the car’s glass.
  • Faster water drying under high heat will leave spots and stains on painted surfaces and other details.
  • Dishwashing liquid and washing powder contain a lot of detergents and are highly alkaline solutions, so it is easy to cause the car to fade over time.
  • Directly pouring soap or detergent on the car’s surface can cause uneven distribution, affect the outside surface protection layer, and fade the car’s color.

How To Remove Spray Paint Without Damaging Paint Underneath?

Soap With Warm Water 

Soap With Warm Water

If you’re looking for what removes spray paint from car, try first with the easiest things to find. They are relatively inexpensive and have good oil solubility.

This is a simple but highly effective measure in the case of fresh paint stains (preferably within the first 24 hours). The steps include:


  • Soft, clean rag
  • Detergent soap
  • Buckets
  • Warm water (not hot water)


  • Mix a solution of warm water with soap in a bucket.
  • Stir well until the soap is completely dissolved
  • Dip a soft cloth in this solution and gently rub the “dirty” area in a circular motion.
  • Wipe again with clean water to clean off the soapy water.

Nail Polish Remover (Acetone)

Nail Polish Remover

Can you remove spray paint with nail polish remover? It sounds a bit crazy to take a familiar female tool for this. However, it is more versatile than you think.

Instead of buying a bottle of acetone at a paint or chemical store, 1 or 2 bottles of bleach can help. All brands will do, but the higher the concentration of acetone, the better the cleaning ability.

This method is quite effective for thin and light paint stains, with thicker and darker stains that are difficult to remove and take more time.


  • Water bucket
  • Nail polish remover
  • Clean, soft wipes
  • Warm water


  • Pour bleach on the towel; keep the wipe in moderate humidity, and avoid letting this solution run into drops.
  • Gently rub the cloth over the paint spot in a clockwise direction.
  • Flexibly change towels and gradually adjust the frequency of wiping in areas until they are eliminated.
  • Finally, rinse with water to remove the acetone. If the paint spots are later matted, you can re-polish them to enhance the aesthetic.

Note: Always wear gloves during the procedure to protect the skin of your hands.

Use Lacquer Thinner

If your spray paint is too dry or so thick that nail polish remover won’t work, use something stronger, like Lacquer cleaner.

This is a good helper in cleaning grease, ink, tar stains, cleaning glass surface, paint, etc.

However, the stronger detergent also means that it can affect the car’s original paint more or less. It would be best if you, s, were careful:


  • Microfiber cloths 
  • Lacquer thinner
  • Clean water


  • Pour a small amount of thinner on a clean towel and rub the stain in a circular motion until the paint fades.
  • Start with a small hidden area first to ensure it’s safe. Don’t forget to prepare clean water if something is wrong.
  • After cleaning, rinse the area with clean water and another towel to remove all thinner. Wipe vigorously.

Use Clay

Clay is a material sold quite often in car care stores and car care centers. It can also remove tar, rubber, and stubborn stains. Its only downside is that it is quite expensive.


  • Water bucket
  • Dry cloth
  • Clay stick
  • Lubricant
  • Polishing wax


  • Wash and dry the car to clean the dust remaining on the surface
  • Knead a small piece of clay the size of a palm into a flat cake. You can put it in a plastic bag and then soak it in warm water to make it easier to knead.
  • Spray the lubricant on the clay, so it slides more easily and doesn’t stick to the car’s surface.
  • Place the clay in the palm of your hand and rub it back and forth as if you were rubbing soap on your skin.
  • When the clay is dirty, fold it and continue until it is clean.
  • Use a soft cloth to wipe the remaining traces on the car. Gently rub your hands.
  • Use a waxing tool to rub the car’s surface in a circular motion.

Carnauba Wax Polishing Products

Carnauba Wax is a natural wax derived from the Carnauba tree – a species of palm in Brazil. People often use it to clean such malicious drawings without affecting the car.


  • Carnauba Wax (liquid)
  • A sponge
  • Soft, clean fabric


  • Pour wax onto a sponge or soft cloth. You can pour a lot to speed up cleaning as they are of natural origin.
  • Use a cloth soaked in the above solution to wipe vigorously on the surface with spray paint in a circular direction.
  • Continue wiping. You can flip the other side, change the towel once the bottom is dirty, and add more wax if needed.
  • After wiping, use another clean towel to remove any remaining wax from the surface.

Use Gasoline

How Long Do Gasoline And Diesel Stay Fresh?

Another answer to the question “how to remove spray paint from a car” is gasoline.


  • Gasoline
  • Water bucket
  • Soap
  • Clean towel


  • Dab a little gasoline on a soft cloth, then gently rub the surface.
  • Scrub in circles from outside to inside.
  • Rinse the vehicle carefully to remove any excess gasoline from the surface.

Note: You should use gasoline in moderation, do not rub too much.


Utilize White Vinegar

When it comes to the best way to remove spray paint from car, you should not skip vinegar – one of the safety precautions.


  • Vinegar
  • Clean microfiber cloth
  • Clean, soft rag
  • Chemical stripper


  • Heat vinegar in a pan or microwave
  • Dab hot vinegar on a towel, then apply to the desired surface and leave.
  • After 15 minutes, use a paint scraper to scrape off the paint that has just come off
  • Wipe the spot again with water and another towel.

Baking Soda

Using Baking Soda

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a familiar ingredient in the food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries.

It is a fine white powder with a slightly salty taste, alkaline, and highly hygroscopic but sparingly soluble in water.


  • Baking soda
  • Clean cloth
  • Clean water
  • Water bucket


  • Pour the flour and a little water into the bucket and stir well.
  • Use a towel to absorb the solution and apply it to the graffiti from car.
  • Wipe again so that the water is clean when the stains are gone.

Trisodium Phosphate

Trisodium phosphate can clean organic and inorganic substances, but do not let it come into contact with rubber or plastic objects.


  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Water bucket
  • Clean water
  • 2 clean, soft towels


  • Mix a solution of trisodium phosphate and water in a bucket.
  • Dab this lye solution on a towel and wipe the dirty spot.
  • Rinse with clean water and another towel.

Use A Dedicated Detergent


  • Paint remover cream
  • Clean towel/sponge


  • Pour this graffiti remover onto a sponge or soft cloth.
  • Rub over the dirty several times in a circular motion.
  • Wipe again with another wet cloth and polish with a re-applying agent (if desired).

Some Notes When Removing Paint Stains On Cars

We already know the methods of removing spray paint from car, but to be effective, remember the following principles:

  • It is recommended to remove it early because the longer it is exposed, the harder it is to remove.
  • To clean car windows, use a razor blade and acetone to remove spray paint from car.
  • Only specialized solutions should be used, and do not pour them directly on the surface.
  • It is advisable to test first on the hidden part of the vehicle, whichever method you use.
  • Wipe horizontally or vertically for best results.
  • Don’s clean when the sun has light pressure.
  • Use specialized lint-free rags.


Above are the instructions on how to remove spray paint without damaging paint underneath we want to share with you.

You can choose the most suitable method depending on your conditions and needs.

Thanks for reading, and see you in the next post.

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