How To Remove Fingerprints From Car

Alfa Romeo
Land Rover
Rolls Royce

The disappointment when you see fingerprints on your car can be huge, especially if you’re a car enthusiast.

Not to forget the embarrassment when someone points out these fingerprints and starts asking questions about your car maintenance routine.

So, what to do here? How do you remove fingerprints from cars?

Well, fingerprints can be removed by simply cleaning them with a microfiber cloth and applying appropriate cleaners. 

However, not all fingerprints are the same. Greasy fingerprints may not leave your car even after hours of scrubbing.

This is why let’s waste no more time and start discussing how to remove fingerprints from your car.

How To Remove Fingerprints From Car?

OIP 23
Source: Magazine Northeast. aaa

Generally, you can remove regular fingerprints by mixing soap in hot water and gently wiping it with a microfiber towel on the car’s surface.

However, it is better to act patient during the cleaning process, as not all fingerprints are the same. Greasy fingerprints are often more tiring and time-consuming. 

On average, cleaning greasy fingerprints takes less time than buffing a car.

5 Ways To Clean Greasy Fingerprints From Car:

If you mistakenly touched your car with greased hands, here are five ways to clean greasy fingerprints from your car.

R 20
Source: Motorola

Car Shampoo and Microfiber Cloth

One of the most straightforward and accessible methods to remove greasy fingerprints is mixing car washing shampoo and scrubbing with a microfiber cloth. 

How To Clean:

Start by rinsing the affected area with water to remove loose dirt. Then, mix a small amount of car washing shampoo in a bucket of warm water. Dip the microfiber cloth into the soapy solution, wring out any excess water, and gently wipe the fingerprints in a circular motion. 

Keep rinsing and repeat until the fingerprints are gone. Finally, rinse the area with clean water and dry it with a microfiber towel.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol, commonly known as rubbing alcohol, is an effective degreaser and can also help dissolve greasy fingerprints. 

How To Remove:

Start by dampening a microfiber cloth with isopropyl alcohol. Gently blot the fingerprints, ensuring not to rub too hard so that you may not damage the paint. Repeat the process until the fingerprints are no longer visible. 

Once the fingerprints are removed, rinse the area with water and dry it thoroughly. 

Additional tip: Be cautious when using isopropyl alcohol on painted surfaces, as excessive use or harsh rubbing may cause paint damage.

Vinegar Solution 

Vinegar is a versatile household ingredient that can help remove greasy fingerprints from car paint. Moreover, it’s also widely available, so you won’t struggle to find it.

How To Remove:

Create a vinegar solution by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water. Dampen a microfiber cloth with the solution and gently dab the fingerprints. 

Let the vinegar solution sit on the surface for a few minutes to break down the grease. Then, using a clean microfiber cloth, wipe away the fingerprints in a circular motion. Finally, rinse the area with water and dry it thoroughly to reveal a spotless finish.

Commercial Grease Removers

If traditional methods are not getting the job done, you can turn to commercial tar and grease removers formulated explicitly for automotive use. 

These products are designed to dissolve tough stains, including greasy fingerprints, without damaging the paint. 

However, it is essential to follow the instructions on the product carefully, as different removers may have varying application methods. 

Generally, you’ll need to apply the product to a clean microfiber cloth and gently rub the fingerprints. Once the fingerprints are gone, rinse the area with water and dry it.

Clay Bar Treatment 

Finally, a clay bar treatment can provide a deep cleaning solution for persistent or stubborn greasy fingerprints. 

How To Remove:

Start by thoroughly washing your car with car wash soap and water. Ensure that there is no additional dirt beforehand.

Once clean, lubricate the affected area with a clay bar lubricant. Glide the clay bar gently over the fingerprints, applying light pressure to remove the embedded grease. Remember to frequently fold and reshape the clay bar to expose a clean surface. 

Once the fingerprints are gone, clean your exterior surface, and you will have a Fingerprint car in your garage.

Are Greasy Fingerprints Harmful To Carpaint?

taking latent fingerprints from a car
Source: Mugeek Vidalondon

Greasy fingerprints are one of the worst things you can do to your car paint. These fingerprints may look innocent, but they are paint destroyers.

Here are four ways greasy fingerprints damage your car paint.

Causes Scratches 

Greasy fingerprints can inadvertently lead to scratches on your car’s paintwork. These fingerprints can attract dust particles and other abrasive substances when left unattended.

As you try to wipe away the fingerprints without proper cleaning techniques or tools, these particles can act like tiny abrasives, causing scratches on the paint’s surface.

Over time, repeated contact and friction can result in noticeable scratches that compromise your car’s appearance and create pathways for moisture and other contaminants.

Removes the Paint

Yes, you read it right. Greasy fingerprints can remove the car paint if they aren’t noticed in time.

This is because greasy fingerprints contain harmful oils, which can have damaging effects on your car’s paint. The oils from fingerprints can break down the protective layers of wax or sealant on the paint surface, leaving it vulnerable. 

And just like any new car guy, if you attempt to clean or wipe away the fingerprints using aggressive techniques or harsh chemicals, you risk removing the paint layer along with the fingerprints.

Damages: The Original Color of the Paint 

The oils present in fingerprints can also react with the paint pigments, causing discoloration or fading, which may result in getting the car a paint correction. This is particularly prominent in lighter-colored cars, as the contrast is more apparent. 

The longer the fingerprints remain on the surface without proper cleaning, the more difficult it becomes to restore the original color. Regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial to preserving your car’s paint’s vibrant and accurate color.

Softens the Paint 

Greasy fingerprints can harm the integrity of your car’s paint by softening it. The natural oils in fingerprints can soften the paint’s surface, making it more susceptible to damage. 

This softening effect can be intensified when exposed to sunlight and high temperatures, causing the oils to penetrate deeper into the paint layer. As a result, the affected area becomes more prone to scratches, chips, and other paint damage.

Final Words

In short, greasy fingerprints can badly damage your car paint if you aren’t serious about cleaning them.

However, if you have realized the situation timely, there is nothing to worry about. Follow the abovementioned methods, and you will quickly get a Fingerprint free car.

Also Read: Will Rubbing Alcohol Remove Rain X – Car Carely


Can I use household cleaners to remove fingerprints?

It is not recommended to use household cleaners, as they can contain harsh chemicals that may damage the paint. 
Stick to products specifically designed for automotive use.

Should I apply pressure while cleaning fingerprints?

No! As long as you don’t want a scratched exterior.
 Generally, It’s best to avoid applying excessive pressure, as it can lead to scratches. Instead, use a gentle and circular motion to lift the fingerprints off the paint surface.

How frequently should I clean fingerprints from my car?

It’s advisable to clean fingerprints as soon as possible to prevent them from causing damage. Regularly washing your car and maintaining a protective wax or sealant layer can help prevent fingerprints from becoming a problem


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