Professional Carwashing & Detailing

What are the various types of paint overspray removers?

June 11, 2014
  • Chemical: Used to remove paint overspray from vehicles. Such a product should not in any way damage the paint finish. However it may not remove all types of paint overspray. In some cases a simple cleaning solvent or thinner can work as well. Be sure to use caution when considering straight lacquer thinners to remove overspray. They can seriously damage some paint finishes.
  • Clay: Body clay has become the product of choice to remove paint overspray as well as industrial fallout (IFO) on paint finishes with no resultant damage. There are numerous clays available on the market. Find one that works for you.
  • Mag or aluminum polish: A variety of such products are available in liquids, creams, or pastes. All are designed to polish and/or remove stains from magnesium and aluminum wheels.
  • Adhesive remover: As the name conveys, a special cleaner designed to quickly remove pin striping and side molding adhesive as well as decals, etc. 3M offers a very good product.

R.L. “Bud” Abraham is president of Detail Plus Car Appearance Systems of Portland, OR, and is a nearly 40-year member of the car care industry. He is a founding member and the first executive director of the International Detailing Association and a member of the Western Carwash Association Board of Directors. Abraham can be reached at