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Car washing.A man cleaning wheels using high pressure water jet at car wash station.

Pressure Washing Interior Wheel wells to remove highway paint splatter

One of the absolute joys we get to experience living in the Northeast United States is the ever growing number of construction projects that get started as soon as the weather warms-up. This allows us to experience the next joyful experience of highway paint removal off cars.

So after a hard days work and an even harder trip through one of the many detours established for our convenience, isn’t it wonderful to discover “fast drying” heavy duty highway line paint all over your wheel wells and rocker panels? You get your choice of either white or yellow. Either way, the paint is designed to dry fast, only problem is it doesn’t seem to dry fast until it gets picked-up by your tires and splattered all over your car.

Click Here for more detailed info on Paint Overspray Removal

Highway Paint Removal

We’ve been offering highway paint removal services for years. So when you’ve got a new multi-color or two tone section of your one color car it, helps to have somewhere you can go to find out how to remove it. I always start highway paint removal with a two step process. You have to loosen the paint with an acetone or paint remover. Take a sponge or towel and soak the paint with acetone to loosen it. Then power wash the area with your pressure washer. The biggest area that this helps with is in the wheel wells where the surface is rough. If the area of coverage of the paint is large then you will need to apply several coats of acetone with a pump-up sprayer with viton seals (chemical resistant) letting each coat soak for approx. 5 minutes. ¬†After 2 to 3 applications it should be soft enough to power wash the wheel well and the paint should remove fairly easily.

Our Old School Fallback Trick

Here’s another tip that we have heard numerous places and actually tried quite a few times when our normal highway paint removal techniques didn’t work. Our old school fall back trick is Easy Off Oven Cleaner sprayed on the wheel wells. You spray it, let it soak in, then spray it again letting it soak longer. Then you powerwash like the above highway paint removal process instructs.

First Loosen the Highway Paint

Important note, be careful using any of these highway paint removal processes on the exterior painted surfaces. Depending on the psi of the pressure washer and the age of the paint, it can sometimes blow the paint right off the car. A good nozzle for this would be the 25% pressure washer nozzle at 2,000 psi for the wheel wells (see our page on Mobile Detailing Equipment for more on this). On the vehicles painted surfaces first use a plastic razor to try and first loosen the highway paint after soaking.  This will help to reduce the chance of damaging the paint with the pressure washer.

Once this highway paint removal process is completed, the exterior surfaces must be high-speed buffed because they will be lightly scuffed due to the plastic razors and acetone removal process.

The costs of having a highway paint removal service professionally done really depends on the coverage area of paint over the vehicle. As a customer you can expect your professional detailer to charge you anywhere from $150 to $550 or more for expert highway paint removal services. Again, this pricing greatly depends on the area being cleaned and the length of time the detailer believes the highway paint removal process will take.

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Go Back To Home Auto Detailing Step-by-Step Page