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Car Paint Stain Remover Mega Guide: All You Need To Know

Do you want to learn more about the different kinds of car stains? In this comprehensive car paint stain-remover guide, we overview the kinds of car paint stains and the safest way to remove them.

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Car Paint Stains - What Different Kinds Are There?

Before we go into the different kinds of paint stains, it is important to note what paint stains are. Paint stains are on the clear coat/protectant layer of the paint job. These stains can be removed because they are on the clear coat and not the actual paint itself. Premium car cleaning products can easily remove these stains without the use of expensive equipment.

The first step to correcting the stained paint is to identify what kind of stain it is. There are different methods and cleaners which work the best for the various kinds of stains.

Car paint stains can be caused by paint oxidation, bug splatters, bird poop, and more. The earlier the stain is removed, the easier it will be to remove it.

Removing stains can be difficult for inexperienced home detailers, so it is important to understand the different kinds of stains and how to treat them. To successfully remove car paint stains, you need to know what kind of stain it is, what car care products you need to remove it, and the best technique. We put together this comprehensive car paint stain remover to help you learn how to remove stains without damaging your paint job.

Swirl Marks

Swirl marks are commonly misdiagnosed as scratches on the paint, but they are usually caused when the wrong cleaner is used on the exterior. Swirl marks or paint swirls are also referred to as “spider webbing.” The swirl marks are generally a result of using abrasive cleaning supplies and are a common result of using mechanical car washes. To avoid swirl marks, it is best to wash your car the old-fashioned way: by hand.

The blemishes in the paint from the swirls can become grimy with dirt that fills in the indentations. Dirt will collect in the scratches and can stain. This is one of the reasons why swirl marks end up looking so noticeable.

Luckily the swirl marks are only in the protective clear coat over the paintwork, so they are removable. Ceramic coating products tend to be very effective for treating swirl marks.

Paint Oxidation

A lot of paint oxidizes over time. It is vital to treat paint oxidation as soon as it is noticed because if it is allowed to continue to oxidize, it can erode the metal itself, which can be very difficult to mend.

This is one of the most common forms of paint stains. Paint oxidation happens when the clear protective coat over the paint erodes or is damaged, and the paint is exposed to external elements. Water, oxygen, and road salt can all increase the spread of the stain.

Paint oxidation can change the color of the paint, usually causing it to fade or turn a rust color. When it advances to a certain point, it will erode the metal and cause rust to form and build-up, so it is crucial to treat paint oxidation promptly. Oxidation can be tricky to fix without professional help because multiple procedures may be necessary involving specialized equipment.

Bug Splatters

Unfortunately for the bug and your paint job, when a bug hits a car and splatters, the acidness of its body can damage the paint of the car. The erosion is activated by exposure to sunlight which means that the longer it sits on the car soaking up the sun, the worse the stains will be. Damage can occur in a matter of hours.

Depending on the size and type of bug, the hard exoskeleton can even create tiny cracks in the clear coat of the paint job. This accelerates the damage to the affected area even further. When a bug splatters on your car, it is essential to remove it as soon as possible before the sun has time to bake the bug splatter onto the paint.

Using just water and regular soap alone is often not effective enough for removing all of the acidic molecules left behind by the bug splatters. It is recommended to use a specialized bug cleaner for cars along with a soft sponge or microfiber cloth.

DIY CERAMIC COATING - 1yr of Protection
The Best Spray-On Ceramic Coating. Period.

★★★★★ "My car is slick as glass!! I put the Ceramic Spray on my Corvette Stingray and it is very slick and shiny. I should have purchased it sooner. It is a great product. It made my wheels look new. Keeps off dirt and dust." - Charlie F.

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Tree Sap

When the branches or trunk of a tree is damaged by pruning, rot, or termites, the wood “bleeds” a resinous substance called tree sap. Even if you do not park under trees, tree sap will likely get on your car at some point. Because tree sap naturally works to repair damages to the tree’s wood, it can be tricky to remove when it gets on other surfaces.

The chemical makeup of the tree sap will vary based on the type of tree. Evergreen trees produce a highly acidic resin that can easily eat away at the paint job. The stains from the tree sap can become deeply soaked into the clearcoat, causing spots to appear.

Removing tree sap or resin as soon as possible is essential for keeping the pain intact. The longer the sticky, acidic substance sits on the surface of the paint, the more it can soak in.


Tar is the black sticky material that they use to repair cracks in the road. Tiny particles of tar fly up and hit the underside of your car as you drive, which can eventually be rough on the paint. The flecks of tar will build upon the car and ruin the paint job. It can eventually damage the clear coat and erode the paint underneath.

There are a few different ways to clean tar off of the car. It is important to note that tiny rocks can get stuck in the tar, and if you rub it in, it will scratch the paint. Instead of rubbing the tar off, you need to use a tar remover or WD40. Some DIYers have also found success with using peanut butter to remove tar because the heavy oil content loosens the tar from the surface.

Bird Poop

Bird droppings are an unsightly side effect of parking your car outdoors. Getting bird poop on your car is unavoidable, which is why you should know how to clean and remove bird poop. Similar to bug splatters, bird poop is highly acidic, which means it can cause a lot of damage to the paint. The longer it sits in the sun, the worse the damage can be. It can be difficult to get bird poop off of a car if it has dried and depended on the bird’s diet. If there are seeds in the droppings rubbing, it could scratch the paint. Torque Detail has a Turbo Waterless Detailer, which is highly effective at safely removing bird stains.

Other Common Car Stains

There are many ways that car paint can become stained. Tree sap, bug splatters, berry stains, and bird poop are some of the various ways that nature can mess up your paint job. Using the wrong kind of cleaner, driving over tar, and exposure to road salt can also erode your paint job.

Daily driving of the car exposes it to dust, grime, tar, salt, and small rocks on the roads, which will eventually begin to damage the paint. Keeping the car clean is the best way to prevent car stains.

The Safest Way To Remove Most Stains

One of the worst things you can do for your paint job is to use the wrong kind of cleaning products. There are so many car cleaning products on the market that it can be difficult to determine which one is the right one for your car. Depending on the kind of stain, there could be different materials needed to clean it.

Give Your Car a Decontaminate Wash

A decontaminate wash is also called a decon wash. To give your car a decontaminate wash to remove stains, you need a good decon soap. Decon soaps strip through the previous layers of wax, sealants and contaminate the paint’s surface. You need to remove all of the wax and sealants’ layers to remove stains effectively.

Once all of the contaminants have been washed away and the old wax/sealant is stripped away, your car will be ready for a fresh coating of wax, ceramic coating, and other sealants. The Decon Wash Pack from Torque Detail comes with a high-quality decon soap and wash mitt.

The wash mitt ensures that there are no swirls or scratches left in the paint. It may be necessary to use a clay bar to remove contaminants heavily ingrained in the surface. If the paint feels rough when you glide your hand over it, then this indicates that the use of clay is necessary.

Apply Reverse by Torque Detail

Reverse by Torque Detail removes and repairs can scratches and stains. It effectively removes multiple kinds of paint blemishes. Water spots or water stains and swirls from using the wrong types of cleaners will be easily remedied by applying Reverse by Torque Detail with a microfiber towel. Using the right kind of towel with the cleaner is essential for getting the best results.

Using Reverse by Torque Detail is the easiest way to remove all kinds of paint stains from your car. It contains no wax or fillers, which helps to prevent streaks or swirls. It effectively corrects a multitude of problems. It is an all-in-one paint cleaner and correction product that makes car detailing easy. Instead of using multiple cleaners, you can remedy multiple things at once.

  • Car scratches
  • Swirl marks
  • Water spots
  • All-in-one paint correction
  • Oxidation
  • Spider marks
  • Imperfections

To use the decon soap kit from Torque Detail effectively, you first need to wash the car’s surface to remove dirt, small rocks, sticks, and other contaminants that could scratch the pain. The best waterless wash to use is the Turbo Waterless Wash by Torque Detail.

How To Prevent Paint Stains In The Future

For you to prevent paint stains caused by bird poop and tree sap, it is best to park your car in a garage or carport. Keeping the car clean is the best way to prevent future stains. Removing bird poop, tree sap, bug splatters, and other contaminants as soon as possible helps to keep their acidic makeup from having time to erode the clear coat.

Avoid driving in icy conditions to reduce the chance of road salt causing corrosion to the paint. You should also try to stay clear of roads with freshly applied tar or construction zones. It is unavoidable that your car’s paint job will be threatened with damage from external damage caused by nature and the roads, but you can do your part to prevent paint stains by only using the best cleaning products on the surface of your car.

An important factor in protecting your car’s paint is what kind of coating, sealant, or wax you are using over the clear coat. Ceramic coatings have proven to be far more effective and easy to use than waxes for DIY car detailing. Our recommended product for such a task is the Torque Detail Ceramic Spray.

DIY CERAMIC COATING - 1yr of Protection
The Best Spray-On Ceramic Coating. Period.

★★★★★ "My car is slick as glass!! I put the Ceramic Spray on my Corvette Stingray and it is very slick and shiny. I should have purchased it sooner. It is a great product. It made my wheels look new. Keeps off dirt and dust." - Charlie F.

15% Off Deal


There are many threats to your car’s paint job both in your driveway and on the road. You can avoid paint stains by keeping your car as clean as possible. Things like bug splatters, bird poop, and tree sap can be hard to control, but you can control what kind of cleaning products and coating products you apply to your car. Reverse by Turbo Detail is an all-in-one paint scratch/stain remover and repairer.

To prevent stains, the most important thing to remember is that the longer the stain/scratch/blemish is allowed to go untreated, the worse the problem can get. Some stains and corrosion may be so set in that it requires professional help, but for the common issues like water spots, paint swirls, and minor scratches.

  • Published on Jun 23, 2021