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  • Writer's pictureDynax Detailing Co.

Paint contamination and decontamination


The five common contaminants found bonded to most vehicles on the road are:


- Bird lime and tree sap

- Iron fallout

- Overspray

- Tar


These particles can bond to your car and, unless removed as soon as possible can build up overtime causing long-term damage.


Bird lime and tree sap are acidic and in sunny conditions can lead to paint defects. In direct sunlight, the top layer of your vehicle's paint can become soft, allowing these contaminants to leave an imprint, even after they are washed away.


Iron fallout is a combination of industrial pollution and brake dust. Iron fallout is hard to see, but practically impossible to avoid. Tiny iron particles bed themselves on to your vehicle's paintwork and wheels. Even if your vehicle is washed and appears clean, unless it has an iron fallout remover applied, it will remain contaminated.




Overspray is a common result of a bodyshop or mobile repairer either spraying in an incorrect environment, or poor masking of the area being sprayed. Each case is different and can vary in severity.



Tar spots are typically found on the lower areas of your vehicle, caused by bitumen found on the road surface, flicking up and binding to your vehicle.






Regular washing of your vehicle can help to improve the overall appearance. However the majority of these contaminants, once bonded to your paintwork cannot be safely removed without paint decontamination techniques and/or paint correction.






Good news!


Defects caused by bird lime and tree sap can be rectified by machine polishing, depending on how long the contaminants have been left on the car to penetrate in sunlight.


Iron fallout can be removed using a fallout remover consisting of alkalis and acids, which is balanced to react with the iron particles found on your vehicle. Typically, the acids used are reactionary and as a result will see the iron turn red/purple as it dissolves. For best results, this can be rinsed off using a pressure washer.


Light overspray can be removed through compound machine polishing. In some cases, wet sanding may be required beforehand, if it is more severe. For heavy overspray, then you may need to return to the bodyshop for the paint to be rectified.


Tar spots are dissolvable. A tar remover, made of petroleum diluter, can be applied to break down the bonds holding the tar together, dissolving them in the process.


Dynax Detailing Company offer paint decontamination in our valeting and detailing services. For more severe cases, paint correction is also available.



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