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D.I.Y. Car Paint Spillage Clean

If you spill paint in your car, you may be able to clean it up yourself.

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You've got spilt paint in your car, the tins gone over and paint has gone all around on the seats, and down in the foot well, that's usually where we find them.

So what do you do? There are several choices, you can call your insurance company and make a claim under insurance, you could let it dry and deal with it later, that would mean replacing parts normally but some things can be saved. Or you can attempt to clean it out yourself.

For cleaning up yourself you will need an extraction machine of some kind, either one of these carpet shampoo machines, that's got the handheld part, or even a good quality wet-vac.

You'll need a pump up sprayer, like a garden sprayer that you can soapy water in, preferably one of these bigger ones because you are going to find that you're going to use a lot of water. If you want to draw up the bulk of it as quickly as you can, then how it works these and you are spraying water you can brush in diluting the paint. It is a bit messy and you have to make sure that you don't stop. You can't just leave it and come back in a couple of hours because it will dry. It does actually get worse before it gets better, you'll get the paint on things but it will still be wet so you can clean it off. A bucket of water and a microfibre cloth is also good because the microfibre tends to pull the paint out of things, and if you are rubbing it on leather or fabric it draws it into the microfibre and you can rinse in a bucket and wring it out. You need to be near a water supply I would recommend because you can keep changing the water and keep changing the water.

I would recommend that if it is only something like a litre of paint, then you could potentially do it, especially if some of it has landed on a mat, and you can scoop it out. Ideally a garden hose or a pressure washer is quite good, you can lay it down and pressure wash it. You just zig-zag-zig-zag over it lots and lots of times, it will eventually rinse through clean.

It's going to take much longer than you think, the way we explain it is the 80/20 rule, which means that you get 80% of the paint out in 20% of the time. To put that another way, if you started the job, the bulk of the paint would come out pretty quickly, but it's the remaining bits that will take a long time normally.

The other alternative is if you have a cheaper car, and older one, a run-around or something -- you could just choose to let it dry. Thats another way of dealing with it, you can let it completely dry, You can then go on the internet and see if you can find some bits of carpet, replacement seats and things that you can buy from breakers yards and then clip them back in. If you are going to do that, before you let it dry you establish thatYou can actually buy the parts. So you may want to soak it, put some wet towels over it and then get on the phone and find some replacement parts, then make the decision, if you are going to clean it up or whatever way you are going to do it. But remember with the parts, if it's a carpet or something it's going to take quite a few hours to replace a carpet. Sometimes you will have to take the seats out, sometimes you will have to have the centre consul out, and the side strips, and the seatbelts sometimes need removing. Allow the time for this, don't think you are going to get a new carpet and it's twenty pounds from the breakers, it's not the ned of it, you then have to start removing it all and it can work out to be quite time consuming.

GaryGary Wray ~ 26/11/2011


If the paint is water based emulsion, then it is possible to clean up a paint spillage by mopping up, then slowly diluting and vacuuming up the paint.

Spilt paint in car

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This page was last updated on Mon, 30 September, 2013
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