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Rubbing Alcohol


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#1 asm505

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 02:39 PM

Does rubbing alcohol not hurt any type of paint? The reason I am asking is because I have an area of touch up paint that I have been trying to get off. I took rubbing alcohol to it just for the heck of it (the TU paint wasn't on the car too long - about 2 wks) and it started to take it off but I was scared to rub real hard because the paint under the TU paint was a repair job by a local shop. What are your thoughts?

#2 Accumulator

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 06:39 AM

Does rubbing alcohol not hurt any type of paint? ... I took rubbing alcohol to it just for the heck of it ..and it started to take it off but I was scared to rub real hard because the paint under the TU paint was a repair job by a local shop. What are your thoughts?


I've never had it do anything to automotive paint, but I've never tried it on anything that was remotely fresh either. Since you actually saw it taking off the touchup paint you *know* what it'll do, so be very very careful. It shouldn't take off the paint done by the shop, but "shouldn't" and "won't" can be two different things.

But then rubbing "real hard" is seldom a good idea anyhow with stuff like this ;)
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#3 jimmie jam

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 07:09 AM

I've never had it do anything to automotive paint, but I've never tried it on anything that was remotely fresh either. Since you actually saw it taking off the touchup paint you *know* what it'll do, so be very very careful. It shouldn't take off the paint done by the shop, but "shouldn't" and "won't" can be two different things.

But then rubbing "real hard" is seldom a good idea anyhow with stuff like this ;)


the only thing that i've known r.a to remove is ANY kind of wax.

#4 Accumulator

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 07:12 AM

Yeah, same here, but if somebody says it took off touchup paint I'm gonna believe 'em. I suspect it was because it hadn't cured very long. Might've just been the abrasion from the rubbing, but :nixweiss
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#5 blackf0rk

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 07:13 AM

Does rubbing alcohol not hurt any type of paint?


Yes, rubbing alcohol can "hurt" some types of paint. You've already experienced its effect on touch-up paint. ;)

Using a little rubbing alcohol on a microfiber and swiping the paint to remove certain impurities (like old wax etc) won't hurt a car with a standard clear coat.

Rubbing alcohol can be used to clean an area very well (or prep) before restoring something. Exmaple: A chip on your hood. You would clean the area with rubbing alcohol to remove any unseen nasties that could interfere with the touch-up paint.



I would keep alcohol away from that touched up area though, if that is your specific question.
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#6 reyberg

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 06:55 PM

Isn't touch up paint the equivalent to single stage paint unless you actually put clear on over the TU? That is if clear even comes in TU.
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#7 tumbler

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 07:24 PM

non diluted may discolour as Ive witnessed that..

but as for your removal requirement, I would wetsand instead of using alocohol

#8 scottfridrich

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 08:12 PM

I have not noticed any paint removal on intact, clear coated finish. However I was trying this weekend to clean up the front end after driving in the midwest on a trip of about 1800 miles. I had applied a double coat of nano type wax before leaving and washed the bugs off easily with a spray wash after day one of driving. I became complacent and finished the other three days of driving without removing the bugs. By the time they had my attention again was very difficult, tried Tarminator, mineral spirits, both isopropyl and denatured alcohol. It removed some with great effort and difficulty. I noticed all the products were fine on the clear coat paint, but the bug encrusted license plate, (Colorado) was bleeding green onto the cloth. I also had trouble removing them from the clear plastic headlight lenses. After the solvents failed to remove was pretty discouraged. I had read a tip somewhere on this forum that they soaked a towel with water and applied it to the area, letting it soak to soften the residue. I was skeptical that if the solvents were not working, how could a water soaked towel help? Worked like a charm after a couple of hours was able to wipe away nearly all residue with the soaked towel. There are some great tips on this forum!

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#9 Accumulator

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 06:46 AM

I noticed all the products were fine on the clear coat paint, but the bug encrusted license plate, (Colorado) was bleeding green onto the cloth..


Maybe the single stage paint on the plate had oxidized some. I've had this happen with my plates before.

I was skeptical that if the solvents were not working, how could a water soaked towel help? Worked like a charm after a couple of hours...


Heh heh, dwell-time can make all the difference :D
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#10 the other pc

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 07:50 AM

Isn't touch up paint the equivalent to single stage paint unless you actually put clear on over the TU? That is if clear even comes in TU.

No. Touch-up paints air dry through solvent evaporation. They are much like lacquer or nail polish, they will typically re-dissolve in solvents.

Modern basecoats, like clearcoats, are catalyzed finishes. They won't dissolve in common solvents. There is some solvent evaporation but the solvent is mainly used as a spray carrier. The primary curing is process is through chemical reactions. The molecules of the paint crosslink with one another forming new, larger, stronger molecules. An OEM finish layer can often be described a single, gigantic molecule that covers the whole car.

And yes, there are clear touch-up paints.


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#11 Picus

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 08:37 AM

Interesting this thread appears now.

I use isa:water (50:50) all the time to clean up polish residue and have not had *many* problems, but I did have one instance recently where something curious happened. I was cleaning off PG after a heavy compounding (inside, not hot), hit the hood with the isa:water, wiped away the residue, but the areas where the alcohol "hit" were stained:

Posted Image

Interesting, huh?
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#12 lex89

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 12:01 PM

Did you get the stain out?

#13 Picus

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 12:56 PM

It's a work in progress. It is coming out, I just continued polishing same as I would to remove the haze (IP via rotary, 106ff via PC). Weirdest thing though; literally the isa:water hit the paint and I wiped the residue off, then right in the spot where the isa:water hit there was that stain. It is a repaint (6 months old), so maybe that had something to do with it. In any event it wasn't permenant, so no biggy, just an oddity.
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#14 autoprecise1

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 08:54 AM

I am a little confused on what happend and what is on your hood is it alcohol? Have you tested your paint to see if it sinlge stage or not? If your paint reacted that quickly more than likely it is.

The only thing it appears you can do from here is buff you hood.
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#15 Picus

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 01:13 PM

It isn't my car; it's a clients. Yes, the stain came out with further polishing, no the paint was not single stage (2001 Audi S4); however it was a repaint (about 6 months old). First time I'd seen that happen with alcohol:water, but regardless it came out. :)
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