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Will isopropyl alcohol damage paint?


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#1 logan2z

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 12:39 AM

Not really a detailing question, but I thought the experts here would be able to answer this question.

I recently had a new set of Euro H4 headlights installed in my '87 911 and decided to purchase headlight protection film to protect the lights from rock damage. The installation instructions say to wet the film with a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol so that the film can be manipulated and positioned properly over the headlights. I'm a bit concerned about using the alcohol since I don't know what, if any, negative effect it will have on my car's paint finish when it invariable drips onto the paint during installation. Can isopropyl alcohol damage my car's paint? Should I forget about the alcohol and just use water during the installation? Or should I use the water/alcohol mixture and carefully cover the parts of my car's hood/bumper that could become exposed to the alcohol during the install?

#2 NotZeroSix

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 12:47 AM

no

just use 50/50 mixture

#3 BobbyG

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 03:01 AM

I've used IPA for years and never had it damage any automotive finish. After paint corrections I spray and wipe down the surface before going on to the next step.
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#4 mjs3350

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 03:22 AM

It will be fine, just hit any areas with some wax after, as it will strip any that was on there.

#5 automedix

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 03:46 AM

you could also tape off the surrounding areas of the paint. Thats what I would do.
Just make sure that you use a Masking tape with a low adhesive or you may pull the clear coat off too.
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#6 logan2z

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 06:30 AM

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the responses.

#7 96Lude

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 06:31 AM

Isopropyl alcohol should not damage the paint, many detailers wipe down the finish in between polishing steps, sometimes not even diluted with water, just straight IPA.

you could also tape off the surrounding areas of the paint. Thats what I would do.
Just make sure that you use a Masking tape with a low adhesive or you may pull the clear coat off too.


Your clear coat should not peel off with masking tape unless the tape was left there several days in the sun and glue really bonded to the paint. The 3M green automotive masking tape actually has a warning on it that says you should not leave it on any parts in the sun most likely for this same reason.

If you use regular masking tape and leave it on the surface even for a few hours your paint should not peel off.

#8 automedix

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 09:11 AM

Isopropyl alcohol should not damage the paint, many detailers wipe down the finish in between polishing steps, sometimes not even diluted with water, just straight IPA.



Your clear coat should not peel off with masking tape unless the tape was left there several days in the sun and glue really bonded to the paint. The 3M green automotive masking tape actually has a warning on it that says you should not leave it on any parts in the sun most likely for this same reason.

If you use regular masking tape and leave it on the surface even for a few hours your paint should not peel off.



Unless the vehicle,when painted, was not properly prepped. I have run into this on 3 separate occassions, and have changed the brand of tape that I use just because of this. The 3M green stuff is great for painting. The stuff that I use for Headlights is 3M highlands brand & before I stick it, I stick it to my pants first.
Automedix Automotive Appearance Specialists, LLC.
James High - Owner/Operator
http://www.automedixaas.com

#9 rcrobbins

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 12:56 PM

The 3M green stuff is great for painting. The stuff that I use for Headlights is 3M highlands brand & before I stick it, I stick it to my pants first.


I learned that in one of Craig Fraser's videos :)




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