Car Wash & Auto Detailing

How to remove oxidation with an exterior car detailing?

Over time, the paint on your car is subject to many frictions: dirt, wind, acid rain, contacts, contaminants… It progressively loses its depth shine and color. If you do not pay attention, even the most experienced car detailers will not be able to restore it unless he does a paint correction that is a long and very costly process. Most of our customers see oxidation as an aggregate of dirt. Let us tell you more on this subject.

What is car paint oxidation? 

If your car paint is neglected, a thin film will be formed on your bodywork that we call oxidation. The paint of your car is composed of multiple layers of paint. The one on top of the others, when not detailed regularly (with regular car wash, waxing or clay treatment) gets damaged. It is not rust or excessive quantity of contaminants but simply the fact the paint is damaged enough to lose its brightness and color. The color becomes bland and without depth. For example, bright red turns lifeless pink, rich black turns gray…
To avoid paint oxidation, you need to maintain and “feed” the paint regularly. Whether it is by doing a regular car wash or more advanced car detailing treatment like Waxing or Clay bar Treatment. Also, using waterless products is very efficient to preserve the color of your car as it contains active chemicals that will also clean in-depth the bodywork, removing the dirt and contaminants.
Oxidation can, in the long run (if it is not treated of course) eat away the protective layer of paint and weaken the paint in-depth. The way you tackle the oxidation must be different whether you have a conventional finish or clear coat finish on your car. There are two types of paint finish on a car:
  • Conventional finish: it is successive layers of paint applied on your bodywork.
  • Clear Coat Finish: It is a transparent and protective paint layer applied on top of the regular paint. It protects the paint and gives more shine to your vehicle. It is a more advanced type of finish that notably protects the car from oxidation.

How to fight oxidation on your car? 

No matter what type of finish you have, always start by thoroughly washing the car on the outside. Perform a Clay bar Treatment to remove all the contaminants on the surface of the car. It “prepares” the car to be treated for the oxidation.
 Once this is done, you have to apply the right type of polish, glaze or car paint sealant. There are many types of products according to the car you have, the level of oxidation and most of all the type of finish you have. Unless you are a car enthusiast, you may want to ask your car detailer or your preferred car body shop.
1. Apply the product you choose on a small surface of the car with a non-abrasive rag and if possible microfiber towels.
2. Use a back & forth motion and avoid any circular motion if possible. You can start with circular motion but need to stop once the cleaner or car polish starts to dry.
3. Buff the surface on which you applied the product. Don’t apply to much pressure if it is not necessary. Do it gently and look at the result often to see when you can stop.
  • If you work on a clear coat finish, the towel you are using won’t take the color of the vehicle as you work on a transparent protective paint (the clear coat). You must then stop very frequently to observe the result. Once, the clear coat gets its clarity back and its vivid color, you can go to the next area. Don’t go to deep into the buffing or might damage the clear coat.
  • If you work on a conventional finished bodywork, then the buffing will remove the oxidation and show another layer of paint that hasn’t been touched by oxidation. Your cloth will start getting the color of this new layer of paint which is a good indication on when to stop buffing. Be careful not to remove too much paint on this new layer, though!
4. Re-do the procedure on the entire bodywork, always one small area at a time. Indeed, you cannot let the polish dry on the car otherwise it will create “chunks” of product that might be hard to remove.

Can I remove car paint oxidation myself or do I need a car detailer?

The most difficult about removing oxidation is to find the right detailing product for your car and don’t go to deep into the buffing. Pro car detailers polish one side of the car at the time. However, they are experienced enough to know how not to damage the clear coat of the car.
At Washos, we’ve performed many types of oxidation removal. Indeed, the mobile detailer we work with is all experienced enough to provide this kind of service. The difficulty, business-wise, is to determine how deep the oxidation is. That is why we do not provide this type of service directly on our App or Website. However, let us know if you need this and we can come up with a custom quote for you by asking one of our detailers!
Here is a small video that shows you how to perform a car oxidation detailing.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXFd5ktuRwo]
And of course, if your need some help from professional mobile car detailer, we will be more than happy to help you! Send us an email stating that you need to remove oxidation from your car and we will find the best solution for you! And if you simply need any type of mobile auto detail service, Washos is here for you and help you protect your car paint!

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Zachary Tomlinson
    February 14, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    You made a good point that detailing your car can eliminate the oxidation on the exterior of your car. I would think that getting an auto exterior detailing would be really nice for your car, and it would help you look good in a fresh ride. If I had a vehicle that had this problem, I would definitely consider getting it detailed often.

  • Reply
    Zachary Brown
    September 1, 2017 at 5:14 am

    Really, it is a wonderful info on car oxidation. Car oxidation is nothing but the formation of thin film on its metal body, especially when we skip paint maintenance. In that case, we go for polishing the surface in order to reduce to rate of oxidation or retain the existing paint in its desired level. But what do you think? Is it an easy task to do? If you think so, then I can surely tell that you are having wrong conception. Because it is a kind of exterior detailing and if one is not technically sound, then he can not do it in an efficient way. Hence, from my point of view, it is better to hire a professional detailer, who can remove car oxidation and provide top rated exterior detailing under the spreadsheet.

  • Reply
    Linda Evans
    December 7, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Please recommend a detailed that eliminate oxidation on car

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