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#1 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 08:45 PM
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Angry How to clean this

On Aptil 28th, I was going to a car show about 110 miles from home. About 5 minutes on the interstate and 1 lane was blocked because they were cutting the cement interstate, with a cement saw and water. When I stopped at the rest area to meet the other people convoying to the show; I had a fit when I saw my car. My clean and shiny black car looked like a DIRTY WHITE car. I left the other cars and went looking for a car wash. I found a car wash where I washed the car and headed out. When I got to the show, I could see that I had missed a lot. So I spent an hour and a half cleaning my car with spray bottles of vinegar and water. Two days latter when I got an oil change, the bottom of the car had chalkey white cement all over. How can I clean the bottom?

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#2 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 08:58 PM
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You should never use vinegar on any painted surface.

Clean the bottom of the car with a power washer.

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#3 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 10:53 PM
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I use a long, soft bristle car was brush for stuff like that. They work great under the hood, in the wheel wells and on the wheels.
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 11:10 PM
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i got under my car with a spray bottle of diluted purple cleaner and rags,i didnt want to try a pressure washer,it took most of a saturday but i got most of the red mud off.then i treated the plastic parts with a uvprotector,it looked good!
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 10:55 AM
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You should never use vinegar on any painted surface.
....distilled white vinegar is a safe, relatively mild and widely used solution for the removal of some contamination like mineral deposits left by water spots. I have used it myself for this purpose over the years. Stepping up from this would be acidic/alkali decontamination systems like those from AutoInt (Valugard ABC) and Finish Kare's Decon Kit.

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#6 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 12:09 PM
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As Kean stated...I've used distilled white vinegar for many years to remove hard water deposits off clearcoat...it is safe to use when applied properly.
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#7 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 02:24 PM
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I would suggest you seal>wax your paint to prevent etching from the water spots.
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Kean View Post
....distilled white vinegar is a safe, relatively mild and widely used solution for the removal of some contamination like mineral deposits left by water spots. I have used it myself for this purpose over the years. Stepping up from this would be acidic/alkali decontamination systems like those from AutoInt (Valugard ABC) and Finish Kare's Decon Kit.
Distilled white vinegar has a ph of 2.4, i would never put it on my car. Point being, as others have mentioned, wax or sealant will prevent having to use abrasive products. When the clear does have contaminants, a clay bar is the best way to go.
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#9 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 11:53 PM
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The vinegar itself isn't the problem, the interaction with the hard water/calcium deposits is the problem and can cause etching in the paint/clear coat as the vinegar dissolves the spots.

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#10 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 04:36 PM
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Distilled white vinegar is basically a relatively mild solution of acetic acid. ….it’s also not abrasive in itself (although the process of how you apply it could be). I’m not a chemist but I wouldn’t say pH level is an automatic indicator as to how products interact/react with surface(s) you apply them to. I mentioned this in my last post but decon systems like Valugard ABC are basically acid and alkali baths. The “B” step (in the “ABC”) is actually a mix of acids far more potent than vinegar and has a pH level of ~1. However, this product is safe to use on vehicle finishes as directed to help dissolve/release contamination from the paint. In fact, this product in particular has been tested, endorsed and even included in some TSB’s from several of the largest car manufacturers (including Chrysler). These companies are actually who AutoInt develops a lot of their products for.

I agree that LSP’s (last step product; waxes, sealants, coatings, etc.) do help to mitigate the risk of damage by acting as a sort of sacrificial barrier but they are not a guarantee against damage or bonding that would require some sort of chemical/mechanical removal. IMO/IME, whether clay and/or a chemical solution is a better choice will depend on the type of contamination you’re dealing with and (in some cases) personal preference. Personally, I typically prefer to start out with chemical alternatives first when dealing with deposits like these before moving to mechanical/abrasives methods. Water spot removers, decon kits and even basic home products (like vinegar) can really help in these situations even when coupled with clay.
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