Removing Salt Stains from Your Exterior

Your car paintwork can become damaged by salt if you spend a lot of time at the beach or if you’ve been driving in wintry conditions on roads that have been de-iced. It’s really easy for salt to cause major damage to a vehicle that looked pristine just a few months earlier because salt is a caustic substance that eats away at other materials. If you notice salt stains on the exterior of your car you need to remove them as quickly as possible before they turn to rust patches. The following tips should help ensure your auto paintwork remains free of salt damage.

Automatic Car Washes

Ideally, you should aim to clean salt residue from your car exterior within three days of the appearance of salt stains, as this will help ensure the paintwork is not damaged at all. An automatic car wash also cleans the undercarriage and wheels of the vehicle, areas you may not be able to clean easily at home. You’ll find an automatic car wash will remove most of the salt residue and it should be a fairly easy matter to remove any further stains at home.

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Remove Salt Stains from Exterior Auto Paint

Any salt stains left on your vehicle paintwork will need to be worked on at home as they could easily turn to rust patches if left. If you follow these instructions you should be able to ensure your auto paintwork stays shiny and clean throughout the year:

  • Use a garden hose turned to the highest pressure to rinse the car thoroughly. Pay particular attention to the wheel wells and rocker panels.
  • Mix equal measures of water and white vinegar in a bucket and apply to salt stains with a soft brush or sponge. Rinse off with a garden hose.
  • Use a clay bar lubricant to rub over the salt stains, turning the clay bar regularly.
  • Use a soft cloth to wipe off all clay bar residue.
  • Check the paintwork for any remaining rough patches or lumps. Where you find any patches of roughness, repeat the clay bar process until the surface feels smooth to the touch.
  • Finally, use a good car wash solution to clean the vehicle thoroughly, then rinse with the garden hose and dry the car with a soft chamois or clean cloth. Use a good auto wax to give your vehicle further protection.

Yellow Spots on Paintwork

White cars are particularly prone to salt damage and could soon develop yellow spotting. If the methods detailed above don’t remove this spotting entirely, you may need to apply decontaminant to the affected areas. Products such as Iron-X or Trix will easily remove these spots from the vehicle.

Here in California, we’re unlikely to be troubled too much by winter salting of roads, but many drivers spend a lot of time at the beach and that’s where a lot of salt damage can also take place. At Norm Reeves Honda Superstore in West Covina we enjoy providing the kind of professional auto services our customers require. Our inventory of new Hondas is always popular and 2015 models stocked include the Honda Odyssey and Honda Pilot. If you’re looking for a new or pre-owned Honda and are situated in the Los Angeles area you should pop along to Norm Reeves Honda Superstore in West Covina; we’re situated just off I-10 on E Garvey Ave and open seven days a week. Call us at (888) 694-5544 and we’ll be happy to arrange a test drive and discuss how our Honda vehicles can best meet your driving requirements.