Decontaminate Your Vehicle For Spring

Not many people are aware of just how contaminated your paint can be. It goes beyond just the top layer of dirt, dust, road grime, and pollen that you see on your vehicle at the end of the day. Industrial fallout, embedded brake dust, and ultra-sticky sap and tar aren’t something that can just be washed away using your favorite car wash – these are contaminants that require special decontamination, either chemical or mechanical.

As the weather turns milder, spring is the perfect time to decontaminate your paint and wheels in preparation for paint correction or application of your favorite coating, sealant, or wax. So what do you need to decontaminate? Below we’ve outline the best ways to do this using the Speed Master Clay Mitt (mechanical method) and Optimum Ferrex (chemical method).

Speed Master Clay Mitt

First, let’s look at the Speed Master Clay Mitt – utilizing a rubberized coating designed to help remove dirt, paint overspray, rail dust, industrial fallout, brake dust, bonded elements, tree sap and other harmful contaminants from your car safely, the Speed Master Clay Mitt is worn like a regular wash mitt and can be used during your regular car wash.


Decontaminating paint with Speed Master Clay Wash Mitt & Pinnacle Clay Lubricant Decontaminating paint with Speed Master Clay Wash Mitt & Pinnacle Clay Lubricant


The Speed Master Clay Mitt can be used with either a dedicated clay lubricant spray directly onto the surface, or with your car wash as a lubricant. The latter method is generally the more time-efficient choice, but both are just as effective at removing the contamination impairing your car’s natural shine. Once your surface is fully cleaned of all embedded materials, it’s now ready for compounding, polishing, or protecting.

Optimum FerreX Iron Remover

If you’re looking for a quicker, and slightly more dramatic, method of decontamination, check out the Optimum FerreX Iron Remover. Optimum FerreX is a powerful cleaner that bonds to and dissolves ferrous oxides (iron particles) from all exterior surfaces including paint, wheels, glass and chrome. This acid-free, pH-balanced iron remover protects your vehicle’s exterior surfaces from long term damage caused by corrosive iron deposits. In addition to removing iron deposits, Optimum FerreX Iron Remover cleanses your paint of tar and old waxes, leaving the paint clean and ready for polishing.

Optimum FerreX Iron Remover changes color as it dissolves iron particles, showing you that it’s working effectively at removing those hazardous materials.

Spraying Optimum FerreX onto paint to remove embedded contaminants. Spraying Optimum FerreX onto paint to remove embedded contaminants.


Optimum FerreX Iron Remover is simply sprayed directly onto the surface that is being cleaned, including paint and wheels in this case. Allow this to dwell and once you see the colors start to change, you’ll know it’s working!

Optimum FerreX on ground next to wheel with bleeding effect of product. Optimum FerreX on ground next to wheel with bleeding effect of product.


In some cases, and especially on wheels, additional agitation may be required to remove all of the contamination. Be sure to keep these wash mitts, towels, and any other tools used on wheel separate from the rest of your detailing supply so as to avoid cross-contamination with the ferrous material you just removed from the surface.

Be sure to fully rinse after washing and dry before moving onto the next step of detailing.

Why decontaminate in the first place?

While decontamination may be a time-consuming task, it’s an important one. Imagine if you never washed your car, but continued to apply your favorite wax every weekend. You’d be layering this wax on top of dirt, dust, road grime, tree sap, tar, and countless other contaminants, and your layer of wax is now useless.

If we take that one step farther and consider how embedded this ferrous material is in your vehicle’s exterior, we realize just how necessary it is to remove it before your vehicle can be properly polished or protected. In a very high view step-by-step process of detailing, decontamination, using either a mechanical or chemical method of removal, is step number 2 (right behind car washing).

If you’re serious about making sure your car is as shiny and sleek as possible, decontaminating it using your preferred method is important – and spring time is the best time to start!