Quality Savannah collision repair since 1917

5 Enemies of Your Vehicle’s Finish

Solving Common Car Cleaning Problems

Taking care of your vehicle’s finish isn’t just a matter of keeping it shiny; it’s about preserving its finish, protecting it from rust spots, and maintaining its value should you want to sell it.

It isn’t just parking lot dings and scratches that can ruin your car’s paint. But a lot of things out there can do just as much, if not more, harm to the exterior of your car. From gravel to bird droppings; there are lots of small, everyday things that can damage your car’s exterior.

In this post, we highlight 5 enemies of your vehicle’s finish and provide practical steps on how to remedy these common damaging issues — like removing bugs and sap from your vehicle.

tree sap

Wiping sap off when it’s still gooey only smears it around. Use bug and tar remover, Goof Off, or mineral spirits. Use a blotting technique. Try to avoid parking under trees you know that will be an issue — like crepe myrtles. Be sure to rinse and then wax the cleaned area after using specialty cleaners.

Dirt on your car-wash tools

Even the best microfiber wash mitt on the market can be ruined if it touches the ground. We cannot stress this easy tip enough: Keep a second rinse bucket handy. Before dunking your sponge or towel in your soap bucket dunk it in a separate bucket of water to rinse off debris. Follow our instructions to wash your car like a pro and don’t drop your sponge or towels on the ground!

water from sprinklers

Water leaves hard-to-remove spots on your paint. Stay away from sprinklers whenever possible. A build up of water spots is a pain to remove and involves a complete process of cleaner wax, clay bar then applying a new coat of wax.

bird droppings

Bird droppings are acidic. Wash bird droppings off as soon as you see them. It is worth the effort to try a and get this mess as you see it. Use a quick detail spray and a soft microfiber cloth to wipe it up with a lifting motion. Don’t rub the mess into the finish.


Bug remains are also acidic. Properly wash your car as soon as you can with a good car wash solution, and for the more stubborn guts, use a bug and tar remover. As with with bird droppings, don’t rub the mess in tot the finish. Be sure to rinse well and if necessary apply a new coat of wax to the area.

We have years of experience with collision repair and making vehicles look their best and have some good tips. However, simply keeping a good coat of wax on your car is the best thing to avoid damage. Not only does it keep your vehicle looking sharp, it helps prevent most paint damage. It is also a great idea to keep a bottle of quick-detail spray and a microfiber cloth in your trunk. Many of the common problems outlined above can be handled with a quick spray and wipe.