How To Remove Grease Stains From Car Exterior

Discovering a grease stain on the exterior of your car can be a real nightmare.

On the one hand, you don’t want to leave a big old grease mark on the car, but on the other hand, you don’t want to damage the paint in the process of removing the grease stain.

If this sounds like something you have experienced, you know how much of a headache it can be trying to get the grease off without further damaging your car.

I have been in that situation more times than I would like to admit.

If you would like to find out how to remove grease stains from a car exterior, keep reading below. 

What You’ll Need

The items below are what you are going to need in order to remove grease stains from a car exterior.

Dish Soap & Water

Dish soap is an essential tool when cleaning almost any stain from any surface. A small amount of grease removing dish soap can do wonders when removing grease from paint. Plus, it is a great tool to have around the house for all kinds of stains. 

Microfiber Towel or Rag

It’s best to use something soft and gentle on your car’s exterior, so a microfiber towel is an excellent choice in this situation. There are many great towels out there to choose from, so make sure you get the one that will be most gentle on your car’s paint.

I’ve found that this one from Amazon works great. 


For tougher grease stains, WD-40 can be a miracle worker. However, it should only be used as a last resort if no other options have worked. It can damage the car’s paint if overused, so make sure you start very small. 

Step by Step Instructions for How to Remove Grease Stains from Car Exterior

#1. Cover The Stain In Water.

Wet the stained area of the car and try to get as much excess grease off as possible.

The damage that water does to car exteriors is negligible, so you can use it as much as you want to remove the grease.

If you can’t get any excess off, don’t worry, there are still other things you can try. 

#2. Apply The Dish Soap.

If you have ever had a greasy pan after cooking, you know how well dish soap removes greasy messes.

Just because a grease stain isn’t on a dish doesn’t mean dish soap can’t remove it.

Pro Tip:

Use a gentle, high-quality microfiber towel, such as this one, whenever you are cleaning or working on your car.

It will make all the difference in the world and significantly reduce damage to your car’s paint. 

Start with a small amount of dish soap on the microfiber towel and gently scrub the grease stain.

As you begin to remove it, continue adding soap to the towel in small amounts. 

Purchase high-quality dish soap.

It is essential to use high-quality cleaning agents when you are working on the exterior of a car.

There are many dish soaps out there that will get the job done, but I enjoy using this one, found on Amazon. 

Pro Tip:

Don’t use a sponge or other coarse cleaning tool. It will do much more damage to the car’s paint than the microfiber towel will. 

#3. Rinse The Soap.

Once you have scrubbed the stain and successfully removed the grease, rinse the area off with water to make sure it is all removed.

If there are still remnants of the grease, repeat the step above until it is gone. 

#4.Try WD-40.

In some cases, dish soap will not be enough to remove grease from car paint, especially if it is a large stain or one that has been dried onto the paint for a long time.

If that is the case for you, repeat the steps above, but change the dish soap for WD-40.

The WD-40 is much stronger than dish soap, and it is much harder on the car paint.

Start with a minimal amount, and work your way up to more very slowly.

Repeat the process as many times as necessary until the stain is completely removed.

There are excellent degreasing WD-40 products out there to choose from, including this one.

If you don’t want to use WD-40, try La’s totally awesome all-purpose cleaner.  

Watch the video below to see how well it works.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can I use normal WD-40 instead of degreasing WD-40? 

Yes, normal WD-40 will do the job just as well.

If you have some sitting around the house, go ahead and use it.

However, if you are going out to purchase a new WD-40, try to find one specifically for degreasing.

Will steel wool help remove grease from my car’s exterior? 

Technically, yes, steel wool will remove grease from car exteriors, but it will also take the paint along with it or severely scratch the paint.

So it is not recommended to use steel wool to remove grease.

A gentle cleaning tool will do the job just fine. 


I hope you enjoyed learning how to remove grease stains from a car exterior.

If you ever find yourself in a sticky situation and end up with your car covered in grease, you are now equipped with the knowledge of how to quickly and efficiently remove grease from car paint.

As a bonus, you will not have to struggle through figuring it out on your own, as I did.

Following these steps will ensure that very little further damage is done to the paint on your car, and you will be able to drive with the confidence you deserve.