top of page

Why Decontaminate Paintwork?

Over time ferrous metal particles, tar, sap, over spray and other contaminants become bonded to paintwork, along with alloys, glass and calipers. This contamination is not removed by washing and builds up. If you gently run your fingers over a freshly cleaned panel whilst it is still wet, the roughness felt are these contaminants. These create 3 problems:


1) The contamination scatters light making the paint look dull.


2) Ferrous metal particles expand as they rust and pit the paint. 

3) Any protective products applied onto these contaminants will prevent them bonding properly and reduce durability.

As such, their removal is a vital step in maintaining the condition of the paint, enhancing its appearance and prior to applying paint protection.


Where Do They Come From & How are They Removed?

FERROUS METALS: If a car is transported by rail, hot iron rich brake dust is thrown up from train brakes and coats the cars being transported. German built cars suffer in particular from this. If a car is parked in close proximity to a railway line the same hot brake dust settles onto and bonds to the car. In addition, brake dust from the car itself bonds primarily to the alloys and calipers, but also to the paintwork. Its removal requires one or more applications of Ammonium Mercaptoacetate to dissolves the bonded particles.

Shown best on white paint, but present on all: The purple dots are individual particles being dissolved.

Iron fallout being dissolve with Auto Finesse Iron Out

TAR: This is purely an aesthetic problem. However improper removal can cause severe paintwork damage. The use of cheaper and overly strong solvents stains paint and plastic surfaces. Scrubbing or picking at tar spots presses the sharp nibs into the paint and leaves deep scratches.

Tar Spots Being Dissolved on a Jaguar XK:


SAP: Parking under or near trees primarily in Spring will see sticky secretions drop into the horizontal surfaces. Again, they are purely an aesthetic problem, but can cause severe paintwork damage if not removed correctly. I have created a safe method through years of testing and is adjusted depending on how long the sap has been present. 

OVER SPRAY: If your vehicle has ever been to a bodyshop then it is likely that atomised paint has been carried through the air and settled onto some or all of the panels. This is equally true for SMART repairs and cars that have been parked near any spraying of paint, such as onto houses or fences. This is often very difficult to remove and requires abrasion to level anything proud of the paint often followed by machine polishing.

bottom of page