Does Degreaser Remove Paint? (Explained)

I’m guessing you have seen degreaser remove tough stains and splatters and you are wondering– Will degreaser remove paint? Here is the answer to that.

Degreaser will remove paint stain but only if the paint stain is still wet or fresh. If the paint stain has dried, then you’ll need to use a degreaser and a solvent or paint scraper to have any luck in removing the dried paint stain.

Degreaser however can’t remove paint coating either fresh or dried. But there is more to know about this topic and this post digs right in.

Tip: Keep your eyes peeled for helpful tips in their article.

See, you got one already. Let’s go deeper.

What Degreaser is Safe on Paint?

Technically, all products advertised as degreasers are safe on paint. WD-40 is especially safe on paint.

This is because degreasers are cleaning products. Among workers, degreaser is used to remove grease. The active ingredient in degreasers is sodium carbonate (or soap ash) which is also the active ingredient in laundry detergents.

As a cleaning agent, degreaser is not designed to remove paint. Instead, the product is designed to be safe to use on painted surfaces. Degreasers are designed to remove stains from painted surfaces without damaging or smearing the paint underneath.

As a result, degreasers will not remove paint.

However, if left on the painted surface for too long, degreasers can cause paint to become tacky. If left for hours, the paint can begin to peel off the surface.

There exists the misinformation that degreasers will remove paint. This misinformation is publicized by users that have carelessly applied degreaser on a painted surface.

The careless application of degreaser over a painted surface would have caused the paint to peel off the surface, hence the misinformation that degreaser removes paint.

Degreaser on the contrary is safe to use on painted surfaces and will not remove paint. If the product is correctly applied, it will not cause any damage to your paint.

However, if you leave the degreaser on a painted surface for too long, it will damage the paint. This is because the longer the degreaser is left on, the more it can penetrate the paint coating causing discoloration and peeling.

However, this doesn’t mean that degreaser can be used to remove paint coatings if you leave it for enough time.

To remove paint coating with degreaser, you’ll need a whole lot of degreaser and this will just lead to a big messy job because degreaser can’t remove paint coating either dried or fresh.

Tip: don’t leave degreaser on a surface for over an hour. On porous surfaces like wood and fabrics, degreaser shouldn’t be left over 30 minutes. If not, the degreaser will soak in the material.

Will Degreaser Remove Dried Paint?

Degreaser will NOT remove dried paint. This is because the degreaser is designed to be safe for use on dried paint without smearing or removing the paint.

To remove dried paint, you’ll most likely need a paint stripper or an alcohol-based solvent. Even petroleum distilled products like white spirits don’t remove dried paint easily.

Degreaser doesn’t have any ingredient in its formula that will remove paint. Degreaser only has soap ash or sodium carbonate which is as good as powdered detergent.

If used on dried paint, a degreaser will not give any result but polish the paint surface.

Dried paint is paint, finish, or stain that has hardened. When the paint dries completely, the paint particles harden to become almost water-resistant. This process is called curing.

For paint that has cured, degreasers won’t do anything. The only thing degreaser will do to dried paint is polish and clean it. However, degreasers might work if used with a paint scraper or alcohol-based solvent,

If you scrape the bulk of the dried paint off with a paint scraper, the remaining can be softened using degreasers. But you’ll need to wait a few hours for the degreaser to even have any effect on the remaining paint stain.

Degreaser is however rumored to be too strong for car paints. So if your car’s frame is what you are worried about, I wouldn’t suggest using a degreaser on it.

But that’s for cars… will degreaser remove paint from concrete? Let’s take a closer look.

Will Degreaser Remove Paint From Concrete?

Degreaser will not remove paint from concrete. Degreasers might work in removing fresh or wet paint from concrete but the product will not remove dried paint from a concrete surface.

This is because dried paint will have hardened over time and to remove it, the paint needs to be dissolved first. Degreasers are not capable of dissolving paint so it can’t remove dried paint from concrete.

Fresh paint stains however can be removed from concrete using degreasers. But you’ll need to remove the bulk of the fresh paint stain first with a paint scraper. Then you can use a degreaser to wipe off the remaining paint residue from the concrete.

For removing paint from concrete, it’s best to use an alcohol-based solvent or chemical paint stripper. These products have active chemicals and ingredients strong enough to dissolve and remove paint.

This is also because concrete surfaces are not the most convenient to work on.

But if the paint stain on concrete was noticed early and is still fresh, you can remove it using a degreaser.

Though degreasers will not remove dried paint, the product shouldn’t be left on the concrete for too long. If the degreaser stays on the concrete for too long, then it can cause staining.

Will Degreaser Remove Paint From Wood?

Degreaser will not remove dried paint from wooden surfaces. This is because the degreaser is not strong enough to dissolve and remove paint from wood.

Degreasers are cleaning agents made from sodium carbonate. To remove paint, the solvent needs to have a high level of alcohol. Degreasers don’t have any alcohol or ingredient strong enough to remove paint from wood.

Degreasers will just mess up the wood making it difficult to finish or paint over later.

Another reason degreasers don’t work for removing paint from wood is that wooden paint is usually applied in multiple coats. Polyurethane for instance requires 3 coats of wood. Latex, acrylic, and enamel paints will also require two coats of paint on wood.

To remove the paint on wood means to remove multiple coats of paints. You’ll need a product strong enough to remove up to 3 coats of paint to remove paint from wood. Degreasers are just not strong enough.

Since degreasers wouldn’t remove paint, what can you use the product for?

Final Words

Overall, degreasers are good for cleaning and “degreasing” but when it comes to removing paint, degreasers wouldn’t cut it. It’s best to go with a paint remover or alcohol-based solvent.

However, you can use a degreaser to clean a surface after removing the paint with a solvent or chemical.

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