Fingerprints Won’t Come Off Car | This Is How To Remove

Fingerprints can persist on car surfaces for an extended period, making their removal challenging. Whether you have a new or an old car, they can make it look dirty and unkempt and difficult to remove.

To remove smudge fingerprints, start by applying vinegar on the affected areas. Vinegar will easily cut through most of the oils, greases, waxes, and a few adhesives. Rub the area with a soft, clean microfiber cloth. 

This is just an overview; the actual fingerprint-cleaning procedure may vary depending on the stain type and available supplies. I have talked about everything in this guide. Be with me to learn more about the topic!

Items & Materials Required for Removing Fingerprints 

You would probably need the following supplies when preparing to remove fingerprints from your car. Ensure to collect these and have them in your reach when starting off. 

Microfiber cloths — These lint-free, soft cloths are suitable for cleaning car surfaces without putting scratches.

Vinegar — This has the acidic properties to break through various stains such as grease, waxes, oil, and even adhesives. I always start this when removing stains from my car. 

Automotive-specific cleaners — Look for cleaners specifically formulated for automotive use. These products are created to effectively remove oils, grease, and fingerprints without harming the car’s finish.

Glass cleaner — If there are fingerprints on the windows or mirrors, a glass cleaner can help achieve streak-free and clear results.

Detailing brushes — These small, soft brushes can be useful for reaching tight spots or crevices where fingerprints may be present.

Water and bucket — Having access to clean water and a bucket can help in rinsing off loose dirt and debris from the car’s surface before cleaning.

Protective gloves — While not mandatory, wearing gloves can help protect your hands from any chemicals in the cleaning products and minimize direct contact with the oils from fingerprints.

Fingerprints Won’t Come Off Car | How To Remove Fingerprints From Cars?

After gathering all the necessary tools, it’s time to remove fingerprints from the car. These are the proper steps to learn how to remove fingerprints permanently.

1. Clean The Affected Area First. 

Before directly addressing the fingerprints, pre-clean the affected area. This helps remove any loose dirt or debris that could scratch the car’s surface during the cleaning process. 

You can rinse the area with water or use a gentle car wash solution to clean the surface lightly. Avoid using excessive force or aggressive scrubbing at this stage to avoid harsh scratches.

2. Start By Applying Vinegar.

This is where the actual process of fingerprint removal starts. Apply vinegar to the areas with fingerprints with the help of a microfiber cloth; ensure it is clean.

Once applied, rub it off with the same piece of microfiber cloth. Remember, DO NOT scrub too vigorously because doing so could harm the paint underneath.

3. Use Specialized Cleaning Products.

If vinegar doesn’t remove all the stain, use specialized cleaning products designed to effectively remove fingerprints. Look for automotive-specific cleaners formulated to break down oils and grease without harming the car’s surface. 

Apply the cleaner to a microfiber cloth or sponge and gently rub it onto the fingerprints. Follow the product instructions for the appropriate amount to use and any recommended dwell time.

Products That Can Be Used for Removing Fingerprints. 

Melamine FoamLow$30
Car Washing ShampooMedium$25
Degreaser SpraysHigh$13
Clay BarsHigh$130
WD-40 SprayHigh$20

Melamine Foam – The safest way to remove oily fingerprints is with melamine foam. The best option for removing sticky substances is degreaser spray. 

Car Washing Shampoo – The cheapest and most straightforward way to get rid of stains, grease, or oil is with car washing shampoo.

Meguiar’s A3016EU Deep Crystal – I prefer using one product for the process, Meguiar’s A3016EU Deep Crystal. 

Clay Bar With a Clay Bar Lubricant – The two most crucial facts are that a clay bar may be used effectively with a clay bar lubricant and that a degreaser can erase grease fingerprints from any surface. 

WD-40 Spray – Although it is a little more expensive, WD-40 Spray can be used to remove grease fingerprints from car surfaces.

4. Apply Gentle Scrubbing Techniques.

To tackle stubborn fingerprints, you may need to apply gentle scrubbing techniques. Use a soft microfiber cloth or detailing brush to gently scrub the affected area in circular motions. 

Note: Be careful not to apply excessive pressure, which can damage the surface. The same is applied to remove 3M tape from the windshield.

Focus on the fingerprinted areas, ensuring you cover the entire surface evenly. Do not use harsh scrubbing motions or abrasive materials that could harm the car’s finish.

5. Dry And Inspect The Concerned Area.

After successfully removing the fingerprints, dry the area thoroughly. Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to gently dry the surface, ensuring no residual moisture is left. 

Once dry, take a moment to inspect the area for any remaining fingerprints or smudges. Repeat the cleaning process or use a glass cleaner specifically formulated for windows and mirrors for a streak-free finish. 

If you want to take the game to the next level, read my guide to make your car shine like glass once you have removed the fingerprints. 

How to Keep Fingerprints Off Black Car?


Once you have removed the dried mud from your car and the fingerprints, taking care of the future is essential. These are the preventive measures to minimize fingerprint adhesion at separate points.

Maintain a regular cleaning routine for your car, focusing on areas prone to fingerprint buildups, such as door handles, trunks, and windows.

Use automotive-approved cleaning products to effectively remove dirt, oils, and fingerprints from the car’s surfaces.

Apply protective coatings (ceramic coating or powder coating) or sealants to create a barrier on the car’s surface, making it more difficult for fingerprints to adhere.

Consider using transparent protective films on high-contact areas like door handles and touchscreens to reduce direct contact and potential fingerprint marks.

Choose well-lit and secure parking spots, such as garages or monitored parking lots, to minimize the risk of intentional fingerprinting or vandalism.

Avoid parking near trees or areas with potential sources of contaminants that could leave marks or residue on the car’s surface.

What Makes Fingerprints Stay On The Car?

Getting fingerprints off of cars can be very difficult, especially if they’ve been ignored for a while. Our hands’ oils, dirt, and sweat stick to the car’s surface, making it challenging to remove them using standard cleaning techniques. 

Why do fingerprints sometimes challenge our greatest cleaning efforts? Well, there may be several causes, which I have tried to explain below. 

Composition Of Surface Material Of The Car.

The type of material used in the car’s surface can impact the persistence of fingerprints and cat pee stains. Some materials, such as unpainted plastic or textured surfaces, have small pores or crevices where oils from fingerprints can settle, making them more difficult to remove. 

On the other hand, smoother and non-porous surfaces like glass or metal may make it easier to clean off fingerprints. So, if your car has such material used on the body or the parts where fingerprints are, this might be the reason. 

Higher Temperatures Causes Oils to Bond Strongly.

Temperature affects how firmly fingerprints adhere to the car’s surface. Higher temperatures can cause the oils from fingerprints to bond more strongly, making them more resistant to removal. 

Environmental Conditions, Such As Sunlight, Pollutants, etc. 

Additionally, environmental conditions like sunlight, humidity, rain, or exposure to pollutants can affect the persistence of fingerprints. These factors can cause the oils to spread or interact with the surface, making the fingerprints harder to remove.

Time Duration for What Fingerprints Remained. 

The length of time fingerprints remain on the car’s surface can impact their persistence. Over time, the oils from fingerprints can penetrate the surface, making them more deeply embedded and difficult to remove.

Chemical Structure of the Fingerprints or Marks. 

Oils, sweat, and dirt found in fingerprints can be difficult to clean off. Due to the makeup of these prints, they are resistant to common household cleansers and need to be thoroughly removed using specialized cleaning techniques.

Inefficient Cleaning Methods Can Cause Scratches. 

Use delicate techniques to remove fingerprints from a car without damaging its paint. Certain cleaners or harsh objects can cause unattractive blemishes or scratches, so it is important to use delegate methods.

Understanding these factors can help choose the appropriate cleaning methods and products to effectively remove fingerprints from car surfaces.

How Long Do Fingerprints Stay On A Car?

Every stain is unique, so each stain may take a different time to be removed. So, I can’t tell you a specific time frame for a fingerprint to stay on the car. I suggest you promptly tackle the stain and use the techniques I have told you to remove it as soon as possible. 



Does WD 40 Remove Fingerprints?

Yes, WD-40 can be used to remove fingerprints from various surfaces, including car paint, stainless steel, and plastic. 

To use WD-40 to remove fingerprints, simply spray a small amount of the product onto a clean, soft cloth and rub it over the fingerprint. 

The WD-40 will dissolve the oils and dirt that are causing the fingerprint, leaving the surface clean and smooth.

How Do You Get Fingerprints Off A Car?

To remove fingerprints from a car:

  1. Pre-clean the area by rinsing with water or using a gentle car wash solution to remove loose dirt.
  2. Apply automotive-specific cleaners or mild detergents to a microfiber cloth or sponge and gently rub onto fingerprints.
  3. Use gentle scrubbing with a soft cloth or detailing brush on the fingerprinted areas.
  4. Thoroughly dry the area with a dry microfiber cloth to eliminate moisture.
  5. Check for any remaining fingerprints or smudges. Repeat the cleaning process if necessary, or use a glass cleaner for streak-free results.

How Do I Completely Remove Fingerprints?

To completely remove fingerprints, follow these steps:

  1. Make a cleaning solution of water and mild detergent.
  2. Dampen a soft cloth with the solution and gently wipe the fingerprints.
  3. Rinse the cloth, repeat if necessary, and dry the surface to ensure complete removal.

What Chemical Gets Rid of Fingerprints?

Proper cleaning techniques and regular maintenance are key to keeping surfaces free from visible fingerprints. 

Common cleaning agents like isopropyl alcohol, ammonia-based cleaners, or mild detergents can help remove oils and residue associated with fingerprints.