Oil spill on truck paint job

Aright guys… I never got into house washing with the idea of ever wanting to clean vehicles. And…I still don’t. However, I had an oil spill last week in the bed of my truck and I’m summoning the rubber scrubber gods to share their infinite wisdom with someone as lowly as myself.
When I washed out my truck bed I had my tailgate down and naturally some of the oil water mix got under the plastic trim on the tailgate and has been weeping out slowly onto my paint job. Any suggestions? I’ve heard that Dawn dish detergent destroys your wax / clear coat so I’m hesitant to try that, but I’m not sure if I have anything else just laying around the house here that’ll tackle the job without harming the truck paint.

If you want to summon them, you need to do so by name! :joy:

@PPWofLexSC hereby calls upon
@Hotshot @dperez @GeorgeNicholson
for their great insight and wisdom.


I think you have to say each one 3x?! :crazy_face:


Oh, you’re right!!!

@Hotshot @Hotshot @Hotshot

@dperez @dperez @dperez

@GeorgeNicholson @GeorgeNicholson @GeorgeNicholson



In the mirror with the light off?


Just start watching the movie Broke back Mountain. They’ll probably show up knocking on your front door with a tub of popcorn in hand.



Do I have to?

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I honestly wouldn’t know what to use that would be price effective for you. Unless you plan on getting into fleet washing and buy some kits from Hydro-Chem and get HSC-400 it wouldn’t be worth your while. 1 pail of the HSC-400 is $60 but shipping is flat rate of around $120.

Where do you live at? Maybe one of us is close enough for you to send you a pint of it.

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Dawn and done, if you don’t want it to strip your wax and it did you could rewax a gate in 10 min. If it never had wax and you’re only concerned with your clear coat don’t be unless you’re using something you wouldn’t let a kid play with. I’m going back to bed!


Old man!

Thank you Sir, and good night! :zzz:

Which reminds me of how disgusted I am with a particular fleet wash company with the work they put out. They use Dawn because they don’t have heat on any of their trucks!

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What kind of oil? Some will eat your clear especially DOT3

Just some small engine oil. I had picked up a small cheapo pressure washer off the side of the road during my day job. Unit is way too small for what I want to do with it, but I figured I might be able to look it over and sell it. I only realized once it had tipped over in the truck that there was an extra hole - I just assumed it was an air injection port for a turbo or something :rofl:.

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When internals become externals it’s usually not good.


I agree with @dperez with the dawn, I’d also put you tailgate back down and hose out the bed the same way that you already
did with hot water if available to melt the remaining oil out under your trim / camera.
Easy peasy bubby.


Dawn will take off whatever wax you applied on the surface yes but it won’t mess up your clear coat. Dawn can’t strip paint. It does however leave the clear coat unprotected because you removed the protective wax layer. On my G8 GT, before I sold it, once every 6 months, I would use dawn to strip all the waxes off the car so I could polish the bare surface where needed, then apply 2 fresh coats of wax to seal the cars paint. You will be fine, just apply some wax after you clean the oil out!


Thank you all. Your greatnesses may all go back into your lamps. I’m sure I’ll need to rub them again some day. :genie:‍♂ I likely won’t be able to try this until Saturday morning as it was too warm already this afternoon (mid 80’s) for me to want to try and wash my black truck’s paint job.

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