Can I use Clorox bleach on car paint to remove a stain?

There’s a really ugly paint stain on the hood of my car, from a can of house paint, and nothing seems to get it out. I’ve gone through the car wash three times. I tried washing it by hand twice. Nothing helps! Can I use Clorox bleach on car paint? Would that damage the paint?

Matt Terzi · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
We know how frustrating this can be and we’re sorry you’re going through it. But no, you can’t use Clorox bleach, or any other brand of bleach for that matter, on car paint.
Bleach is a corrosive chemical. It works by oxidizing a surface—releasing oxygen molecules into it—to essentially dissolve colors, leaving something like a shirt or a bed sheet white or near-white. Bleach will chew through your paint’s clear coat, effectively ruining your paint job completely. And adding insult to injury, it won’t even do a very good job of eliminating the stain to begin with.
Here are a few options that might help:
  • Try using WD-40
  • Use a clay bar kit, available at your local automotive parts store
  • Use a mixture of warm water and white vinegar
  • Carefully use ethyl acetate (non-acetone) nail polish remover
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