Degreaser Safety: Is It Worth in Car Paint

Is degreaser safe on car paint? The answer is both yes and no. ‘Yes,’ because the degreaser doesn’t directly destroy the car paint, especially, when a mild solution is applied moderately, and the solution isn’t left for longer.

And ‘no,’ because the degreaser can remove the wax and damage the outer layer. As a result, the paint (clear coat) of the car is exposed to harsh weather elements and could get faded or be destroyed over time. Leaving the degreaser solution on the car surface for longer could worsen the damage. It may also contain stain residues that could peel off the paint or cause marks.

Is there a safer version of degreaser for car paint? Or, is there any safer way that wouldn’t harm the car paint? We’ll find the answers in this article here.

Why Use a Degreaser on a Car?

A degreaser is simply a cleaning agent designed to remove oil, grease, grime, corrosive elements, or anything that’s water-insoluble. However, removing oil and grease is its primary concern when it comes to car cleaning.

But the most important question is which part of the car can you use the degrease on? Because using it on the wrong surface can create a mess. We’ll learn about which surfaces we consider wrong surfaces. But let’s first see which car surfaces or components you can clean with a degreaser.

Primary Use

Generally, the purpose-made degreaser for cars is primarily made to clean the engines. The engine degreaser is sprayed thoroughly while cleaning the engine or engine bay. It breaks down the oil, grease, or other corrosive elements in the engine, and those are wiped off later on.

Other Uses

A degreaser is a popular cleaning agent used to clean dirty car hubcaps or rims. It’s also used to remove oils and grease from the door jams. Generally, it’s mixed with baking soda and dish detergent to use for these purposes.

What Are Some Wrong Car Surfaces to Use a Degreaser On?

You’ve seen where’s a degreaser used in a car. The surfaces that it’s used on aren’t very delicate. But there are some delicate surfaces in your car where you shouldn’t be tempted to use the degreaser even if it catches any grime or grease. Some of these surfaces include your car paint and seat upholstery.

Using a cleaning degreaser can leave stubborn marks on these surfaces. So you’ll be requiring one more cleaning task to clean up the mess created by another cleaning agent! That’s not a time or money saver and you wouldn’t love something like that!

How does the degreaser going to hurt the paint on your car? Let’s find out more about that in the next section.

How Degreaser Can Damage Your Car Paint?

You’ve seen the degreaser isn’t designed to clean the exterior of your car. It’s because typical degreasers are an aggressive cleaning option. But generally, the car paint is covered by a protective and delicate layer of wax.

It makes your car paint hydrophobic (water-resistant) and protects the clear coat (the finishing) from harsh weather elements like snow, UV rays, bird droppings, etc. All in all, the wax ensures that your car paint remains protected and looks shinier for longer.

Using a degreaser on the car paint can remove the wax from the clear coat. As a result, your paint will come in contact with harsh weather elements reducing its lifespan.

If you want to put a new layer of wax and strip the old one, only then you can use a degreaser to remove oil, stain, or grease on its surface. However, you should also know degreaser doesn’t directly spoil the car paint or peels it off. It only removes the protective layer and lets some other factors destroy the car paint.

Can you dilute the degreaser to make it milder, or is there any milder version available? Let’s find out.

Is Diluted or Milder Degreaser Safe on Car Paint?

There are milder degreaser solutions available along with heavy-duty ones. You can even dilute a degreaser solution by mixing some water. It’ll reduce the potency of the degreaser yet it’ll remain effective enough to clean typical grease residues.

You can also use a diluted solution on car paint to clean the exterior, but it should be sprayed moderately and wiped off immediately.

Is It Worth Using the Degreaser on Car Paint?

No, it’s probably not. The main reason is there are better and safer alternatives available to get the grease or oily residues off the car paint. So there’s no point taking the risk of damaging the wax layer, hence, the car paint.

You can pour a regular dish soap or dishwashing liquid and use a microfiber towel to gently rub the grease stain. After a few scrubs, you’ll see it coming off. You can also buy a professional car cleaning agent, pour it into a sprayer (use professional spray bottles for car detailing), and do the cleaning task the way it should be done. The bottom line here is to stick to basics as it’s more worth it.


If you’re still left with some queries, find some of the common FAQs answered here.

Will a microfiber towel scratch car paint?

No, a fresh microfiber cloth that’s dedicated to cleaning the car exterior only, won’t scratch the car paint. Make sure to remove its label or sticker before you use it on the car.

What if I accidentally put the engine degrease on the car paint?

In such a case, wash the degreaser off immediately using water. The water will dilute the concentration of the degreaser and prevent any significant damage to the car paint.

Do I have to paint my car again if the degreaser strips off the wax?

If you realize applying degreaser has stripped off the exterior layer of the car wax, apply the wax back as soon as possible. Reapplication of the wax and polishing should cover the imperfections and restore the original finish. Besides, you should generally wax your vehicle every three months to make the paint last long

Final Words

A degreaser is a heavy-duty solution designed to dissolve grease or grimes. Although it doesn’t directly damage or fade the car paint, it’s still potentially harmful. It can strip off the protective layer of the wax and expose the clear coat to harsh weather elements.

As a result, the finish of your car paint will fade and get spoiled over time. So one way or the other, a degreaser is unsafe on car paint. Besides, it’s something not even made for such applications.

If you see any stain of grease, oil, or grime; use a good dishwashing liquid or a professional cleaning agent to clean it since they’re perfectly safe on both the wax and the car paint.

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