The Ultimate Iron Remover Product Guide: Contaminants Gone!

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Are black, dirty-looking specks peppering your alloys and paintwork?

These little marks are almost certainly iron deposits embedded in your clear coat - and as you’ve probably discovered, they can be a nightmare to remove.

However, understanding a problem is half its solution! So, read a little further to find out exactly what these spots are, why they cling to your paintwork, and how to deal with them the right way.

190+ Glowing Reviews - Torque Detail Decon Soap
The Car Shampoo That Leave No Dirt

★★★★★ The Decon Wash Pack will strip previous coats of waxes and sealants, as well as remove surface contaminates. Your vehicle's surface is filled with contaminants. Some of these may be visible, such bug guts, bird droppings, water spots, and tree spots. And some contaminants, such as iron deposits, brake dust, and overspray may not be visible to the naked eye.

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Table of Contents

What Is An Iron Remover (For Car Paint) And Why Do You Need It?

Iron removers are cleaning compounds that are specifically designed to target iron contamination in your clear coat. Regular shampoos work a treat on everyday dirt like oil, mud, and dust, but they don’t stack up well against heavy contaminants like iron. To effectively release the iron from the clear coat, you need a dedicated iron remover or decontaminant.

Contaminants can wreak havoc on your paintwork. They will slowly eat into your clear coat and, if left unchecked, into the paint underneath as well. The result can be nasty stains and etchings. Unfortunately, both of these can be time-consuming and costly to repair.

To make life more difficult, many of the nasty substances that collect on our paintwork are invisible. Clean-looking paint has often picked up multiple harmful contaminants from the road and outside environment. Over time, these invisible attackers can drastically reduce the paint’s lifespan and appearance. This might actually be one benefit of iron deposits: they’re a visual reminder that we need to decontaminate!

What Is Brake Dust And Does It Contain Iron?

Brake dust is a mixture of brake pad material and metal from the brake disc. Every time we hit the anchors, the pads and discs effectively sand themselves down. Unsurprisingly, the result is a lot of dust particles!

99% of all the iron particles you find on car bodywork originate from the brakes. The dust from the discs is pure metal, and many brake pads also contain iron. Sadly, that means there isn’t a lot we can do about the cause of the problem! Until a new braking technology comes along, brake dust is just a sad fact of life.

What Is Industrial Fallout (Rail Dust) And Does It Contain Iron?

Industrial fallout is dust and particles that are released from heavy industry. Rail lines are one of the most well-known sources of fallout. When the steel train wheels run along the steel tracks, the friction between them shaves off tiny particles and releases them into the air.

The same principle applies to any industrial activity that uses metal-on-metal machinery. If you live near an industrial area, fallout might contribute to the iron particles you find on your car. However, most industry work is done far enough away from roads and residential areas that their effect is negligible. Even when working in an industrial area, our own car’s brakes are still likely to be the primary source of iron contamination!

How Does An Iron Remover (Or Fallout Remover) Work?

Pure iron won’t bind to your paintwork. A piece of clean iron would brush off without any problems. However, iron doesn’t stay clean for long. If there’s any moisture present at all, it will rust.

It’s this rust that fuses the iron to your clear coat. Because rust has a specific chemical composition (Fe203), it will not respond to regular cleaning products. So, if we want to get rid of these metallic particles, we need to use a product with the ability to dissolve rust bonds. Only once they have been dissolved will we be able to wash the iron away.

Which Product Should We Use?

190+ Glowing Reviews - Decon Soap
The Car Shampoo That Leave No Dirt

★★★★★ The Decon Wash Pack will strip previous coats of waxes and sealants, as well as remove surface contaminates. Your vehicle's surface is filled with contaminants. Some of these may be visible, such bug guts, bird droppings, water spots, and tree spots. And some contaminants, such as iron deposits, brake dust, and overspray may not be visible to the naked eye.

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A quick search online will turn up dozens of different products that claim to specifically clean iron deposits. However, we realized that none of these presented an ideal solution.

Many products are only safe to use on alloy wheels, not on paint. Considering that a lot of iron deposits end up on a car’s paintwork, these products don’t really solve the whole problem. Additionally, iron deposits are just one of many types of contaminants that can infect your paintwork.

We created Torque Detail Decon Soap to give a hammer-blow to all contaminants, no matter where they come from or where they are on your ride. Far more than a standard shampoo, Decon Soap will perform a truly deep clean. Moreover, it contains the active ingredients needed to dissolve the rust molecules that glue iron onto your car.

How To Do A Decontamination Wash

So, you’re ready to finally get rid of those ugly chunks of iron, along with the other surface contaminants!

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1) Wash The Car With Decon Soap

  • Park your car in the shade to prevent the washing water from drying out and leaving streaks.
  • Grab two buckets and fill one with pure water and the other with water plus Decon Soap. 1-2 oz. of Decon Soap per gallon is enough.
  • If you have grit guards, fit them to the bottom of each bucket.
  • Rinse the car off with a hose. This will wash away any loose dirt and debris.
  • Take a microfiber wash mitt (be sure to use microfiber!) and soak it in the soapy water. Our wash mitt comes as part of both our Decon Wash Pack and Full Decon Kit.
  • Starting from the top of the car, use the mitt to work the Decon Soap into the panels, working on one small section at a time.
  • After each section is done, rinse the mitt in the bucket of clean water to clean off all the grit and particles that could scratch your paint.
  • Return the mitt to the soapy bucket and wash the next panel.
  • Hose down the car to remove all the soap and dirt.
  • This should be enough, but if you think your vehicle needs a second clean, now is the time to do it. The first clean will have already loosened any dirt, so it will be easier to shift it the second time around.

Step 2) Clay Bar The Vehicle To Remove Embedded Contaminants

When it comes to decontamination, clay bars are the gold standard.

Even the best soap in the world can’t reach every single contaminant. A thorough decontamination wash is essential, but if you want to give your paintwork the best possible treatment, following it up with clay will guarantee the best results. However, beware that claying your paint is far more aggressive than washing it, so only do so when totally necessary.

Our Torque Detail Clay Kit has everything you need for a full clay bar clean that’s guaranteed to get your paintwork pristine!

If you want to read our full guide to using clay, you can check it out here. But if you’re in a rush, here’s a quick run-down of what you need to do:

    • Clay needs a completely dry paint surface, so first, dry the car after your clean with microfiber towels.
    • Take the clay lube (included in the Clay Kit) and give a 4x4ft area of bodywork a spray.
    • Take your clay pad and lightly run it over the lubricated surface. Move it in long straight lines to guarantee even coverage, and don’t press too hard.
    • Continue working over this whole section until the paint becomes smooth and there is almost no friction left.
    • Wipe the entire area down with a clean microfiber cloth and repeat the process on the next section.
    • When you move to a new section, try to use a new area of the clay pad. This will help to avoid rubbing any dirt back into the paint.
    • After you’re done, run your hand over the surface of the paint. Give a second treatment to any patches that still feel rough.

Step 3) Correct & Protect

Now that your paint is immaculate, it’s the ideal moment to repair any scratches or swirl marks in your clear coat. If you have used clay, it may have left very light surface scratches in the paint. Because it’s a more aggressive cleaning technique, a quick paint correction afterward is a good idea.

To correct these light scratches, we need to gently polish down the clear coat’s very outer layer until the scratches disappear. Don’t worry - this won’t damage your clear coat because we only need to polish away a small portion of the coat’s total thickness.

Traditionally, the only ways to do this were either to take your car to a professional detailer or invest in power tools to do it yourself at home.

However, we knew there had to be a more efficient way to get the job done!

Reverse: Scratch And Swirl Remover allows you to take care of these paintwork imperfections at home, and at a fraction of the cost of taking your ride into the detailing shop.

It’s straightforward to do, and your fresh, newly decontaminated paint will thank you for it!

Check out Reverse: Scratch And Swirl Remover here and see what our customers are saying about it!

The final step is to protect your ride from the new iron, dirt, and contaminants that come its way. A top quality wax or sealant layer will take the brunt of these attacks before your clear coat. This has three benefits. Firstly, it buys you precious time to deal with the problem before the damage becomes permanent. Secondly, it’s more difficult for contaminants to stick to a coating, so it will be easier to clean. And thirdly, your ride will look its best with a gorgeous shiny paint finish.

Waxes and sealants like Mirror Shine remain popular for good reason, but the new king of the hill is Ceramic Shine. It’s guaranteed to give your paintwork five-star protection and a gorgeous, lagoon-like finish. Take a look at it here.

Removing Iron From Wheels: Our Recommendations

As we mentioned earlier, many of the iron removal products on the market focus on cleaning wheels. And it does make sense to think about the wheels first! Because brake dust is the number one cause of iron deposits, at least 70% of the mess will be concentrated on your wheels.

So, do we need a wheel-specific iron remover after all?

Actually, no.

When we created Torque Detail Decon Soap, we knew we had to make it tough on iron deposits, but also that we had to make it safe for every area of a car. Decon Soap is just as effective at cleaning iron deposits off wheels as it is at cleaning it off the bodywork. Unlike wheel-specific products, this also means you don’t have to worry about it spraying onto your body panels and damaging the paint.

Once your rims are clean and catching every ray of sunlight, you’ll want to protect them. Many of our customers are now also using Ceramic Shine on their wheels. We’ve also used Mirror Shine with excellent results in the past, but wheels suffer a lot of abuse from dirt, iron, and dust. Ceramic is a far harder, more durable compound that’s more than up to the challenge of protecting your rims from whatever gets thrown at them - and of course, it will give them a beautiful deep gloss finish!

How Often Should You Decontaminate Your Car?

Between two and three times a year is ideal. A full wash with Decon Soap will strip away your sealant or wax and leave your clear coat unprotected - but that’s definitely a good thing! A ground-up decontamination and re-application of sealant will significantly increase the longevity and appearance of your ride. However, unless you frequently drive long miles in terrible road conditions, it’s not necessary to do this more than every four months.

The most important thing to remember is that when you do it, do it properly. After a full decontamination, check out your paint and then polish and correct it wherever needed. And finally, don’t skimp on that final protective coating!

190+ Glowing Reviews - Decon Soap
The Car Shampoo That Leave No Dirt

★★★★★ The Decon Wash Pack will strip previous coats of waxes and sealants, as well as remove surface contaminates. Your vehicle's surface is filled with contaminants. Some of these may be visible, such bug guts, bird droppings, water spots, and tree spots. And some contaminants, such as iron deposits, brake dust, and overspray may not be visible to the naked eye.

BUY NOW

Summary

Iron deposits can be one of the trickiest and most frustrating types of dirt to clean off our cars. And the truth is, we can’t really do much to stop them from getting on there in the first place. However, we absolutely do have the power to prevent them from becoming a menace to our paint and our sanity! Now that we know how to use ceramic to get ahead of the problem and what decontaminating products to use to deal with it afterward, there really is no reason to put up with dirty iron deposits ever again!

Published on Mar 05, 2021