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When you are washing your car, the last thing that you want to do is get a big blob of Vaseline on it. But is this going to hurt the paint job? Does Vaseline hurt car paint? The simple answer is No, it doesn’t, but there are other adverse effects of applying Vaseline on your car paint, which we’ll cover below.
While we don’t know for sure, there are some things that we can tell you about what might happen if you put Vaseline on your car’s paint and then wash it off.
And that is precisely what we will be talking about in today’s post, so you’ll know whether to protect your car paint from Vaseline or not.
Let’s get started!
What is Vaseline?
Vaseline is a semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons, originally promoted as a topical ointment for its healing properties. It may also be used in other applications such as lubrication and coating.
Hydrocarbons are organic compounds that consist entirely or partly of hydrogen and carbon atoms (HCC). Vaseline is a mixture of both unsaturated and saturated hydrocarbons.
Unsaturated means that these molecules have one or more double bonds between carbon atoms in the backbone, while a saturated molecule has no double-bonded carbons.
The most common isomer (a variation) of methylcyclopentane is called n-pentadecane.
The hydrocarbons in Vaseline are also known as petroleum jelly, which is a trade name for the semisolid fraction of petroleum that remains after distillation and atmospheric gas oil cracking (cracking crude oil to extract different parts).
Vaseline has been used on skin wounds since ancient times, including those suffered by soldiers. It was also used by some Native American tribes as an anti-septic.
The ancient Greeks and Romans, including Galen, recommended the ointment for earaches that had not responded to other treatments; today it is still sometimes applied in this way.
Does Vaseline Hurt Car Paint?
The question of whether Vaseline can hurt car paint might sound strange, but there is a reason it comes up.
The simple answer is NO, Vaseline does not directly hurt car paint, but it will have some effect on your car paint over time due to a chemical reaction called polymerization.
The petroleum jelly-like substance has an easy way to make its way into small cracks in your car’s paint job and, as long as you’re not diligent about cleaning the area with soap and water before application, then eventually it can get in between the layers of paint and cause some damage.
We’ve all heard that petroleum jelly is bad for your skin, so why would it be any different on a vehicle’s exterior surface?
Well, there are two major differences when you’re talking about something like this: handling and exposure.
First, when you’re using Vaseline on your skin it might not be as easy to keep from transferring the product onto other surfaces because of how quickly and easily our hands come into contact with anything else.
Your car’s exterior is a more contained environment with less potential for cross-contamination than say, touching doorknobs or door handles.
Second, the exposure to Vaseline on your skin is a lot more constant because you’re touching it and exposing yourself to it with every single movement you make.
When using petroleum jelly as an exterior car treatment people are typically only applying when they feel like their vehicle needs some protection against environmental elements that might damage its paint job (e.g., salt, chemicals from the road).
Sadly, this is not a lasting solution and will cause some harm on your car paint over time.
What Happens If You Put Vaseline On A Car?
If you put Vaseline on your car, it will not protect the paint from damage. The oil in Vaseline attracts dirt and dust which can cause scratches to accumulate rapidly.
It also causes more problems for people who live near a beach or ocean. Sand stuck to the sandpaper effect created by Vaseline becomes embedded into the clear coat, causing scratches.
You need to wax your car regularly if you want it to look good. Vaseline is not a long-term solution for protecting the paint job from damage and dirt accumulation.
When using Vaseline as an emergency measure, avoid applying too much oil in one area of the panel – this can cause excessive build up.
Vaseline can’t protect your car’s paint job. It will attract dirt and dust, cause scratches to accumulate rapidly, and make it more difficult for people near the beach or ocean because sand gets stuck in the oil coating.
When you put Vaseline on a car as an emergency measure, it’s best to avoid putting too much oil in one area of the panel. Otherwise, you’ll have excessive build up and paint job damage.
Conclusion | Does Vaseline Damage Car Paint?
There are many people that have concerns about using Vaseline on their cars. They worry about things like whether or not it will damage the clear coat and how long it takes for it to dry.
So, does Vaseline hurt car paint? The answer is that it doesn’t, but you should never apply the product to your vehicle. This is because of a chemical reaction called polymerization. It’s easy to avoid this problem by simply not using Vaseline in the first place.