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Failing to prepare your car surface properly when you’re planning to paint any car surface can be a critical mistake. In fact, it will most likely force you to strip the paint, sand down the area, and start all over again.
To avoid that, it’s essential to ensure that the car surface you intend to paint is as clean as possible before you apply an auto undercoat or top coat like paint and primer.
Something you can easily accomplish by using the best wax and grease remover. Moreover, this will ensure optimum adhesion of the car undercoat or topcoat.
Unfortunately, finding the best wax & grease remover for car paint isn’t that easy. Especially seeing that there are various types in the market and all aren’t created equal. Even worse, using the wrong product might end up ruining your car’s paintwork.
Take it easy though! In this guide, I’ll help you find a wax & grease remover that’s specifically designed for car surface prep before paint application.
What is a car wax & grease remover?
As the name suggests, a car wax & grease remover is a liquid solvent that is specifically designed to strip grease, wax, and other substances from car paint.
According to some auto detailers, clay bays can also be used to remove wax from the car surface. However, this is an ongoing debate that doesn’t seem like it’s coming to an end soon.
That aside, car wax is a great product for enhancing your vehicle’s appearance. More importantly, it protects the car’s paintwork from various elements like tree sap, bird droppings, and other contaminants.
However, there are a few instances when you will want to remove it, especially when you’re preparing the car for a new coat of paint, polishing, or other protective coatings.
Also, if you want to apply a new coat of different car wax that you used before, it’s important to remove the existing one first.
Now that you know what a car wax & grease remover product is and when you may need to use it, let’s look at the best options available!
4 Best Wax and Grease Removers for Car Paint
1. Custom Shop Restoration KW901 Grease and Wax Remover
Manufactured by Custom Shop, the KW901 is the best and strongest wax and grease remover product for car paint in the market at the moment. Thanks to its ability to effectively remove any troublesome wax spot on your car surface to give it a shiny finish.
In addition, it loosens grease, adhesive residue, silicones, tree sap, and dirt from the surface, making it the best cleaner for preparing your car before painting.
Even better, this formula is safe to use on various car surfaces such as metal, fiberglass, plastic, epoxy, and painted surfaces.
Moving on, this formula is ideal for use before and after sanding to prepare the surface for top coat application. Also, you can use it as an anti-silicone or anti-static cleaner to wipe the bodywork panel before painting.
Either way, it will leave the surface clean, especially if you wipe the area clean with a clean lint-free wiping cloth after applying it on the car surface.
Regarding the packaging, this wax and grease remover is available in 2 different size options; 1 quart (32 fl oz/ 0.94 l) and 1 gallon (128 fl oz/ 3.785 l). That way, you can easily choose the best option depending on the size of your car painting project.
- Ideal for use before & after sanding
- Has anti-static properties
- Dries quickly without leaving residues
- Safe to use on metal, plastic, epoxy, fiberglass & painted surfaces
- Fast0-acting and effective formula
- Loosens and dissolves surface contaminants
- Not ideal for use on plastic polymers, softer fabrics, and leather
2. Rust-Oleum 251475 Automotive wax and Tar Remover
Removing tar, grease, wax, and road film is one of the most frustrating tasks in auto bodywork. However, with an excellent grease and wax remover product like this Rust-oleum 251475, the task becomes both simple and exciting.
Plus, this formula is relatively easy to use since you only need to pour it over the car paint like water and let it do its work!
After application, this fast-acting formula dries quickly and removes old wax buildup in no time. At the same time, it easily removes grease, tar, road film, and other contaminants on the car’s surface, leaving you with a uniform, smooth finish.
Moreover, it’s great for removing oil- and silicone-based products on the car surface when preparing to apply the topcoat.
Interestingly, despite being fast-acting and effective at removing contaminants, this formula is safe to use on various car surfaces. As a result, it’s ideal for use in preparing metal, plastic as well as fiberglass surfaces for paint application.
To use this formula, simply pour the wax & grease remover on the surface you intend to paint. Then use a clean lint-free wiping cloth to wipe the surface clean with plain water until you remove all the wax, grease, and other surface contaminants.
- Comes in a 32 oz can
- Great for use before and after sanding
- Safe to use on various car surfaces
- Provides a uniform, smooth finish
- Effectively removes tar, grease, wax & road film
- Not as powerful as the Custom Shop KW901 wax & grease remover
3. Kleanstrip Prep-all Grease and Wax Remover
As the phrase ‘Prep-All’ suggests, this Kleanstrip grease and wax remover is safe to use on all car surfaces during paint preparation. Therefore, you can use it on plastic, fiberglass, and metal surfaces, both in automotive and marine applications.
To add to its versatility, this formula can get rid of almost every surface contaminant you can think of. For instance, it removes wax, grease, and grime, making it an excellent product when you’re planning to paint any surface.
Surprisingly, despite its ability to get rid of all these contaminants, this formula is non-toxic and biodegradable. Instead, it is made from solvent-based ingredients, allowing it to get rid of surface contaminants immediately after application and evaporate quickly.
For excellent results, pour the amount of wax & grease remover onto a lint-free cloth and put it on the car surface you intend to clean for about 1 minute. Then use another clean lint-free cloth to wipe the surface dry.
Unfortunately, this formula isn’t available for sale in some states like California. This is because it contains chemicals that are known to cause birth defects and cancer according to the state of California’s regulations & restrictions.
Also, it can have some safety concerns since it’s flammable. Other than that, it comes in quite effective at preparing car surfaces for paint application and comes in a 1-gallon can.
- Suitable for use before and after sanding
- Fast-acting solvent-based formula
- Safe to use on various materials
- Removes surface contaminants in no time
- Delivers professional-grade results
- Prepares all car surfaces and panels for coating and painting
- Not available for sale in California
4. Dupli-Color ECM54300 Grease and Wax Remover
Established in 1938, Dupli-Color is another reputable brand in the automotive paint industry that produces high-quality products. One such product is its ECM543000 grease and wax remover.
This liquid formula is very effective at eliminating unwanted grease, wax, road film, and other surface contaminants. However, what makes it stand out from the rest of the wax removers is that it does this with a natural, soy-based formula!
That’s right! Unlike some of the wax & grease removers we’ve reviewed above, Dupli-Color ECM543000 doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.
Instead, its soy-based formula is entirely made from natural ingredients, making it the best eco-friendly option on our list. More importantly, this makes it safe for your hands and an excellent option for those with health concerns.
In addition to being environmentally friendly, this wax and grease remover is safe to use on different car parts. At the same time, it allows the car paint to form a durable bond to various surfaces. Some of these surfaces include; plastic, bare metal, aluminum as well as fiberglass.
Finally, this formula comes in a 32 oz (1 US Quart) bottle, making it relatively easy to apply, especially if you’re using the Dupli-Color prep wipes.
Alternatively, you can choose the Dupli-Color EPS100000 PREp spray grease & wax removers that come in an 11 oz spray can. Either way, both formulas are reasonably priced and will improve the overall finish of your car’s paint job.
- Improves the car paint adhesion
- Leaves the surface residue-free
- Safe to use on metal, plastic, fiberglass, and aluminum surfaces
- Fast-acting, chemical-free formula
- Reasonably priced
- Prepares the surface for paint application
- Ideal for interior and exterior use
- You need to pre-wash the car before applying the wax remover for better results
How to choose the best wax and grease remover for car paint (Buyer’s Guide)
There are 2 main types of grease and wax removers for preparing the car surface before paint application. That is; water-based and solvent-based grease and wax removers.
It’s important to determine the right one for your project before you settle on any product since each formula has its benefits and drawbacks.
In general, solvent-based grease & wax removers are more effective at getting rid of grease and wax buildup. However, they’re usually more expensive than their water-based counterparts.
More notably, some solvent-based formulas can be harsh on the car’s paintwork. For that reason, it’s important to test any solvent-based formula on a small area of the car’s bodywork before you use it on the entire car.
In comparison, water-based wax and grease removers for car paint are less likely to damage your car’s paintwork and are more affordable than solvent-based formulas.
Unfortunately, they may not be as effective as solvent-based cleaners at removing tough wax and grease stains.
Considering how much it costs to paint a car, it’s important to ensure that everything is done properly. More importantly, surface preparation is a crucial step if you want to get a good finished product.
For instance, if you do not prepare the car surface properly, the paint will not adhere well, causing it to chip off or peel down the road.
Why take that risk when you can adequately prepare the surface with the best wax and grease remover for car paint? These products contain special formulations that are designed to remove wax, grease, and other contaminants and are safe to use on various car parts!
Read Next: Car Wax VS Sealant VS Ceramic Coating.