Does Vaseline Damage Car Paint? Best Answer!

Nowadays, it has become a regular practice to apply vaseline on cars after people wash and paint their car. But there are some cases in which vaseline or petroleum jelly can harm your car’s body paint.

Does Vaseline Damage Car Paint?
Does Vaseline Damage Car Paint?

If you are applying vaseline for a short period, then it might not be a big deal, but if you are leaving it for a long period, then it can cause a chemical reaction to occur, which is known as polymerization, which can be harmful to your car paint. Some adverse effects can be caused because of which it can harm your car’s body paints as it can trigger a chemical reaction known as polymerization.

We have come up with a detailed analysis of this topic and have tried to cover all the points that may be relevant to you related to this topic.

What is Vaseline?

Petroleum jelly is popularly known as Vaseline. In simple terms, it is a mixture of minerals and waxes that are combined to form an easily spreadable mixture.

Vaseline is used as a healing balm for body parts and as an ointment for wounds that are caused. Moreover, Vaseline is also very useful in the treatment of burns, cuts, or bruises.

What is Vaseline?
What is Vaseline?

Petroleum acts as a basic element in Vaseline which is the reason that you cannot use vaseline on issues like acne and your face, as your face’s skin is sensitive and can cause chemical reactions to occur.

Does vaseline damage car paint? The actual answer:

The direct answer to this question would be NO; Vaseline does not damage car paint, but here’s a catch, if you use vaseline on your car body without rinsing the place well with soap and water before applying Vaseline, then there can be issues of chemical reaction that might take place and can affect your car paint.

There are minute cracks and holes in your car body that can be filled when you apply vaseline over that area. In this case, the vaseline would react with the rust that is present in these holes as the key ingredient is petroleum in Vaseline and can cause the chemical reaction to trigger, which is polymerization. 

Does vaseline damage car paint?
Does vaseline damage car paint?

In this case, it might affect your car paint and can cause notable damage to it. But if you apply vaseline after washing the car thoroughly with soap and water, then this chemical reaction can be eliminated and will not cause any kind of harm to the car paint. 

Apply a generous layer of Vaseline petroleum jelly on the dried traffic paint and let it sit on for the duration of the night if there are large accumulations or the paint has been dry for several days. Wash your automobile under pressure. Most of the traffic paint should be removed as a result. Repeat the process if necessary. 

So this brings us to the key point of this section which is that if vaseline is used after a thorough car wash with soap and water, then it is safe to use and will not harm the car’s body paint in any case, but if it is used without the soap and water wash then it can cause chemical reactions to occur which can harm your car body paint.

What happens if you put Vaseline on a car?

Many drivers tend to put vaseline or petroleum jelly on their cars after they clean or wash their car, to remove the minor scratches on their car’s body, but if you don’t wash the spot well with soap and water before using vaseline at that part, then it can leave adverse effects on the car.

As there are minute holes and cracks present inside the car’s body, and as soon as you apply vaseline or petroleum jelly over that area, these holes are filled with vaseline and will cause a chemical reaction to start known as polymerization. 

What happens if you put Vaseline on a car?
What happens if you put Vaseline on a car?

You can also use Vaseline on the dashboard of your car as well. This can be done by wiping the dashboard with a clean cloth and water or cleaning solution, and then afterwards; you can use a small amount of vaseline and a piece of clean rag to wipe the whole dashboard to make it shine like new.

In this case, also you use soap and water or cleaning solution before applying vaseline as it is a must to eliminate the chemical reaction that takes place after directly applying the vaseline; this can lead to damaging the car. So avoid using vaseline directly over the car body.

Some people also use vaseline on the car’s battery terminal to prevent it from corrosion, clean off the corrosion well before the use of vaseline under the hood as the corrosion might react with vaseline as the base, or the key element of vaseline is petroleum jelly that can react with corrosion and can start chemical reactions to occur.

SO clean the corrosion first, then apply vaseline over the area. Make a wide spread to cover the whole spot and then will block the passage of air to stop further corrosion.

You May Also Find Useful: How Long Does It Take To Wax A Car?

How do I get petroleum jelly off my car?

IF you wish to remove the petroleum jelly or vaseline from your car, then here is how you can do it. Just follow the steps that are given below:

  • Step 1- Remove excess petroleum jelly or vaseline over the affected areas by using a paper towel and damping it in a solution of water and a drop of dish wash.
  • Step 2- Now place a clean cloth in the warm water with some detergent and let it soak in the solution; now, with the help of the soaked cloth, wipe the affected areas.
  • Step 3- Again, use a clean cloth but this time, place it in warm water only and then wipe the affected areas after rinsing it properly.
  • Step 4- In a dish, combine a solution of 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water. To get rid of any remaining Vaseline residue, dip a cloth into the vinegar mixture and wipe the glass with it.

Can I use Vaseline to shine my car?

Yes, you can use vaseline to shine your car. Just make sure to apply small amounts of vaseline over the places and not cover the whole sot with loads of vaseline or petroleum jelly. After that, let it rest for some time.

Can I use Vaseline to shine my car
Can I use Vaseline to shine my car?

If you wish to clean the dashboard of your car, then wipe it with a little water and cleaning solution; after it dries now, apply a small amount of vaseline and wipe it with a clean rag to make the dashboard of your car shine. This can also be useful to give your car a smooth, polished, and conditioned look.

Can petroleum jelly prevent rust?

Vaseline or petroleum jelly can help prevent the rust of the tools and the parts of the car. This can be done when you are cleaning your tools with soap, water and a clean rag and after the cleaning is done, just apply small amounts of vaseline over the tool t prevent it from rusting.


Using vaseline can help aid your car with protection against rusting and to make an extra layer of shine to your car, but it can be equally harmful if not used properly as it might fit into the cracks, and minor holes present can cause chemical reactions to occur.