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Looking for recommendations for how to get mildew off vehicles paint

Dericsh

Supporting Member
1,511
727
Nov 25, 2002
Pearl River, Louisiana
Hey everyone, here’s a photo of my wife’s RAV4 *AFTER* I spent an hour hand washing it. I just can’t get this stuff off with regular car wash soap. She doesn’t park under a tree at home, I’m not really sure how it developed.

I threw away my whole bag of car wash stuff about a year ago because it had been in a storage shed for 8 years before that. I’m not much of a hand washer if I’m being honest, or I haven’t been historically until the prices of everything started going up lately.

I’m just looking for recommendations for what product to try for this to make the job easy? Clay bar? Magic eraser (LOL)? What’s new out there in the last ten years that works well?

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AWD-Tony

Supporting Member
6,800
3,688
Sep 11, 2017
Cincinnati, Ohio
It’s going to be harder to remove if the clear is gone obviously.
Clay bar or mr clean magic eraser if the clear is gone.
If there’s clear coat left, use compound on a wool pad.
Sorry but that’s all I got for you. Another option would be to have it wrapped
 
Last edited:

Dericsh

Supporting Member
1,511
727
Nov 25, 2002
Pearl River, Louisiana
It’s going to be harder to remove if the clear is gone obviously.
Clay bar or mr clean magic eraser if the clear is gone.
If there’s clear coat left, use compound on a wool pad.
Sorry but that’s all I got for you. Another option would be to have it wrapped
Thanks, sounds like I was already on the right path. It’s definitely not getting wrapped, it’s more than just the spoiler, it’s all over the roof and pillars. Maybe I’ll magic erase it and get a diy ceramic kit. Might be good practice.
Tried a pressure washer?
Yeah, thought the pressure would help but the above photo was post pressure wash as well.
 

Stapl3

15+ Year Contributor
1,599
167
Oct 27, 2004
MI, Michigan
I have the same on my 01 montero. I used the pressure washer a few days ago and it seemed to work but I was very gunshy with it. I think using one to get it all gone would have some adverse affects on the paint. The clear coat feels like a micron thin. Even clay barring it would feel like I was removing color that should be there. I plan to try a steam cleaner next.
 

BLACK'98DSM

Proven Member
3,764
1,368
Feb 9, 2019
Alabama
DO NOT USE A MAGIC ERASER ON ANY PART OF YOUR CAR BESIDE THE WINDOWS.
A magic eraser is equivalent of 2500 grit sand paper. So it will scuff the hell out of your paint and make it look dull as hell.

I REALLY wish I had a picture of my 2005 Impreza. Someone slapped stickers all over the driver fender. And when I peeled them off a ton of glue was left behind so I grabbed a magic eraser and some water and got to work. Soon as the water dried there were swirls all over the fender and it wasn't shiny anymore. 2 hours of buffing later and it finally had shine again, but still had some small swirls.

Now if the clearcoat is gone anyway, then go for it. But at that point I would just be repainting it.
 

Dericsh

Supporting Member
1,511
727
Nov 25, 2002
Pearl River, Louisiana
Not like this thread really needed a follow up but I’ll give one anyway.

For an early Christmas gift for my wife this year, her parents and I split a detail job with one of the top paint correction shops in my area. The service we agreed to was a full inside detail, recondition both headlights, and a “one step polish with wax”.

He really did a great job to bring some of the shine back and the buffer got rid of the caked on dirt and mold spots. Of course I couldn’t get him to tell me which exact products he uses.

I’ve never paid this kind of money for a detail job in my life but the guy had it for several days and i certainly don’t have the time to put into it like that. I’ll save my 4.5 star review for 6 months from now when we see how well I can maintain the look with the product recommendations he is suppose to be sending me.

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