What Is The Most Effective Degreaser? Our Team Explains

22 February 2023 Automotive

Before primer or topcoat can be applied to a car’s paintwork, every trace of contamination must be removed to ensure the new coating bonds well and that no surface blemishes develop. This contamination includes obvious dirt such as traffic film and other environmental pollutants.  Still, not all contaminants are visible: they can include residues of polishing compounds, polishes and waxes used in car care, and even oils from fingers or clothing.

Degreasers used to prepare car paintwork are also called panel wipes or panel prep. They are all formulated to remove common contaminants while remaining safe to use on existing paintwork and bare metal.

But not all panel wipe degreasers are equal: let’s look at the options available in the ProXL PanelWipe range to see how they can vary and why each is the best for different applications.

Solvent-Based Panel Wipe Degreasers

Slow Panel Wipe Degreasers

PanelWipe PWG20-S Slow Degreaser has a slower evaporation rate, which means that the degreaser stays on the surface for longer, giving it time to soften and dissolve contaminants, while its formulation is gentler on surfaces such as some plastics that can be sensitive to solvents.

A slow degreaser is most suitable for larger areas.

Fast Panel Wipe Degreasers

PanelWipe PWG20-F Fast Degreaser is an ideal all-around panel wipe degreaser that offers faster evaporation yet is still gentle on solvent-sensitive surfaces.

PWG20-F is also available in a convenient 500ml aerosol that brings the speed and practicality of spray application to smaller-area repairs.

Extra-Fast Panel Wipe Degreasers

PanelWipe PWG20-XF Extra-Fast Degreaser is ideal for spot repairs as its high evaporation rate means the surface is quickly prepared for the next stage of the process. This makes it the ideal panel wipe for SMART (Small to Medium Area Repair Technology) refinishing.

Water-Based Panel Wipe Degreasers

With manufacturing moving towards low-VOC and VOC-free alternatives to traditional products, PanelWipe Water-Based Degreaser offers a product that is gentler on the environment and kinder to human health.

Another advantage of water-based degreasers is that they have better antistatic properties than solvent-based degreasers, which makes them better for use on plastic panels.

ProXL will be launching their new PanelWipe Water-Based Degreaser at Automachanika in Birmingham on 6th – 8th June 2023.  More details will be released soon.

Which Panel Wipe Degreaser Is Best For Me?

Solvent-based degreasers are more effective at removing grease, heavy dirt and silicones. As all degreaser needs to completely evaporate before priming or painting can begin, their faster evaporation rates are another important consideration.

On the other hand, the health and environmental benefits of water-based degreasers are important factors, as are their antistatic properties.

For this reason, solvent-based and water-based degreasers are often used alongside each other. Solvent-based degreasers can be used to remove stubborn contamination (which typically covers only parts of the total surface), followed by water-based degreasers for an all-over wash that will reduce the risk of particles being attracted to the surface by static charge.

How To Apply Panel Wipe Degreasers

Panel wipe degreasers can be applied in one of three ways:

  • If you are using the PanelWipe PWG20-F Fast Degreaser Aerosol, simply spray it directly onto the surface from a distance of 250mm and then wipe it with a dry, clean lint-free or microfibre cloth.
  • Non-aerosol degreasers can be decanted into a pump-action bottle, sprayed onto the surface, and then wiped as above.
  • The degreaser can be used directly from the can; place a lint-free or microfibre cloth over the opening and dampen the cloth with a degreaser, then wipe it over the surface. Follow this up with a dry, lint-free cloth.

ProXL professional automotive refinishing products are available from a network of approved distributors throughout the UK. If you would like to know more about ProXL products and distributors, contact us on 01634 823900 or via our online contact form.