Will Rubbing Alcohol Damage Car Paint? (Detailed Answer)

I’m sure many of you have seen or heard the recommendation to use rubbing alcohol on car paint as a way to clean it. I’ve read lots of different opinions on this subject, and I wanted to share my experience with using rubbing alcohol on my car.

I hope this will help you decide if it’s something you want to try or not.

Is isopropyl alcohol the same as rubbing alcohol?

Yes, isopropyl alcohol and rubbing alcohol are the same. They are both types of alcohol that can be used as cleaning agents or solvents.

Will Rubbing Alcohol Damage Car Paint?

rubbing alcohol on car paint

No, rubbing alcohol will not damage your car paint as long as you dilute it properly between 10% and 15%. It evaporates faster and won’t damage your car paint. In fact, it can be used to clean car paint and remove stains or streaks.

However, it would help if you kept in mind several safety procedures and precautions before spraying down your car. The last thing you want is to use the rubbing alcohol at full strength or improperly. This could have adverse effects on your car paint, including permanent damage. Here’s why.

You know that alcohol has high concentrations of ethyl, and that’s why you need to take caution when using it. Ethyl can eat through paint severely. Worse enough, it can cause damage that is more likely to appear in the form of fading of the affected part. 

Therefore, you should dilute isopropyl rubbing alcohol at all times before you apply it on your car surfaces. What’s more, you need to know that you should not use rubbing alcohol on freshly painted cars. 

How to Dilute Rubbing Alcohol?

● Ensure you have a quart-sized container, preferably 32 ounces.

● Next, fill it quarter way with 50% strength rubbing alcohol

● Then, fill the whole container with water. 

The mixture should be fine and safe for use on your car paint. This is because it is a lower-concentrated mixture. 

What is Rubbing Alcohol Used for?

Rubbing oil has a wide range of applications both at home and in car detailing. At home, for instance, rubbing alcohol is commonly used as a disinfectant and cleaning agent. You know you can use it here in higher concentrations to kill bacteria.

On the other hand, when cleaning your car or detailing, ensure you are only using adequately diluted rubbing alcohol. 

Here are a few uses of rubbing alcohol on car paint:

1. Removing Sticker Residue

Not everyone enjoys applying stickers on their cars. For some, the rigorous process involved in removing the stickers is pretty hectic. But, with rubbing alcohol at your disposal, you have to least worry about this. Rubbing alcohol has the strength to penetrate through the pores in glue and paper.

2. Removing Wax or Sealant

We all know how car sealants and wax can give your car paint a mirror-like finish. Moreover, they can help to prevent paint from discoloring due to UV rays. But, what if you want to correct your car paint? 

That’s where rubbing alcohol comes in very handy. It will help you remove sealant or wax thoroughly. 

3. Clearing Haze from Windows/Windshields

Car windows can get hazy, just like the headlights. While you can use rubbing alcohol to remove haze streaks from windows, you have to keep one thing in mind – rubbing alcohol can drip onto the paint. So, remember to dilute rubbing alcohol to avoid any chances of damaging your car paint. 

4. Restoring Headlights

Did you know that you can also use rubbing alcohol on your hazy headlights? It can help a great deal in removing any polish or dust on the lens. Just take the precautions we have highlighted above. 

Buy your rubbing alcohol below:

Swan 70% Rubbing Alcohol

Swan 70% Rubbing Alcohol

Sum Up

We have had a look at the various uses of rubbing alcohol on car paint and how you can use it properly. To ensure you are staying on the right lane, here are some of the key takeaways we thought might be helpful from now on:

● Don’t exceed 25% when using rubbing alcohol. We recommend a starting point of between 10-15% IPA to water when using rubbing alcohol.

● Avoid using pure rubbing alcohol on your car paint. It should never be in contact with your car paint.

● Rubbing alcohol is an excellent cleaning agent. But, avoid using it regularly on your vehicle. It is even safer to use it on particular sections and not the entire vehicle. 

● Don’t apply pressure, or worse enough, be vigorous when you are using rubbing alcohol. Take it easy; the ingredient can accomplish the task from the surface. 

Lastly, full-strength isopropyl alcohol can have severe effects on your car paint. Don’t use it undiluted.

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