Top 10 Best Wax and Grease Remover Before Paint (2022)

Most vehicles on the road at this moment have a 3-layer finish. That is; clear coat, base primer, and a base primer. The clear coat, which is usually wax, is the protective coat applied to the top paint layer.

The smoothness of this layer determines the quality of your car’s shine. More importantly, it helps to fill small crevices in the top paint coat. While protecting the topcoat from bird droppings, stains, mall scratches, stains, and so on.

In Hurry! Then Check Our Expert Top 5 Picks:



Editor's Rating


Custom Shop Restoration KW901

Custom Shop Restoration KW901

Dupli-Color ECM543000

Dupli-Color ECM543000

Klean-Strip Prep-All Grease and Wax Remover

Klean-Strip Prep-All Grease and Wax Remover

Rust Oleum 251475

Rust-Oleum 251475 Automotive Wax and Tar Remover

Custom Shop Restoration KW901 Wax Remover

Custom Shop Restoration KW901 Wax Remover

Nonetheless, there are instances where you’ll want to strip wax, and grease from your car. One common scenario is when you’re preparing it for painting and other protective coatings. Luckily, as long as you’ve got the best wax and grease remover, that task will be quite simple!

That’s why we’ve listed some of the best car wax removers you can try. Check them out!

10 Best Wax and Grease Remover Before Paint

1. Custom Shop Restoration KW901

Custom Shop Restoration KW901

Custom Shop is an American-based manufacturer of wax remover established in 1974. Since then, they’ve developed into one of the best brands in the car paint industry. Thanks to their use of high-quality ingredients when making their products.

As a result, their coating products provide excellent results on any painting project. One such product is this KW901 wax and grease remover for cars!

Apart from coming from a reputable brand, KW901 is one of the strongest wax removers. Thus making it the ideal product for getting rid of any troublesome wax spot. Even better, it gives the surface a shiny finish without leaving blemishes. But, what makes this remover that great?

First, like any other product from Custom Shop, KW901 is made up of superior ingredients. Its formula efficiently dissolves and loosens grease, wax, and other surface contaminants. To be precise, it works on tree sap, adhesive residues, tar, silicone, and many others.

To add to its versatility, you can use this solvent on various surfaces. For instance, you can apply it to fiberglass, plastic, metal, or epoxy. Therefore, you can simply use it on most types of painted surfaces.

Moreover, this particular wax remover dries quickly without leaving resides. It promotes paint adhesions, making it suitable for painting and bodywork preparation. Besides, it has great anti-silicone and anti-static properties.

To apply, simply spray this solvent-based cleaner onto a clean lint-free cloth. Then use a separate wet cloth and removal cloth to wipe the residues off the surface. That simple, and your surface is ready for paint application.

Key Features

  • Fast-acting & effective formula
  • Comes in a 1 quartz spray can
  • Acts as an anti-static cleaner
  • Ideal for use after & before sanding
  • Safe on fiberglass, metal, epoxy, and plastic


  • Improves paint adhesion
  • Doesn’t leave residues on drying
  • Works on various types of painted surfaces
  • Removes several surface contaminants


  • Not suitable for use on leather, softer fabrics, and plastic polymers

2. Dupli-Color ECM543000 Wax Remover for Car Painting

Dupli-Color Wax Remover for Car Painting

Surface preparation is the very first step of any quality automotive painting. That’s why you need a superior cleaner like this solution from Dupli Color.

To start with, Dupli-Color is a reputable brand when it comes to automotive finish products. Besides, the company was established in 1938, so they’ve been in the market for more than 60 years. They’ve some of the best automotive products, and their ECM543000 wax remover is no exception!

Another notable feature about this liquid wax remover is that it’s soy-based as well. For that, it’s more eco-friendly as compared to removers that contain harsh chemicals. Besides, it’s entirely made from natural ingredients, so it’s safe for your hands.

This cleaner is very effective at getting rid of various surface contaminants. It will help you remove unwanted grease, wax as well as a road film, leaving it free from residues.

Moreover, it’s quite safe to use on various car parts. Not to forget that it allows the paint to create a durable bond to different materials. You can use it to remove wax from car finishes on plastic, aluminum, fiberglass, and even bare metal.

Lastly, this wax and grease remover comes in a 32 oz bottle. Interestingly, you can find it in an 11 oz. spray can as well. Dupli-Color has other products like prep-wipes that you can use to apply this formula. All in all, this wax remover will improve the overall finish of your car paint, yet it’s reasonably priced.

Key Features

  • Fast-acting, chemical-free formula
  • Prepares the surface for paint application
  • Available in a 32 oz. can
  • Solvent-based & soy-based


  • Leaves the surface residue-free
  • Maximizes the paint adhesion
  • Promotes a professional-grade finish
  • Safe for use on aluminum, fiberglass, metal & plastic
  • Reasonable price point


  • No cons

3. Klean-Strip Prep-All Grease and Wax Remover

Klean-Strip Prep-All Grease and Wax Remover

As the name suggests, you can use this wax remover to prepare almost all automotive surfaces. Thanks to its ability to work on marine and automotive surfaces like fiberglass, plastic, and metal.

On the same note, you can use it to remove various surface contaminants you can think of. As an example, it removes, grime, grease, wax, and other contaminants. Therefore you can use this product in any place you’re preparing to apply paint.

Regarding the formula, this remover is made up of solvent-based ingredients. On top of that, it eliminates contaminants immediately and evaporates quickly. More importantly, it removes polish and wax from the surface completely. Thus promoting a uniform, mirror-like car finish.

Moving on, applying this Prep-All wax remover is quite simple. You just need to pour a certain amount of cleaner onto a clean lint-free cloth. Use that cloth to cover the surface you intend to clean and leave it for about 1 minute. Finally, wipe the surface dry with a separate, lint-free cloth.

Interestingly, you can either apply before or after you sand the surface. Using it before you sand the surface helps to extend the longevity of the sanding paper. While applying it after sanding helps to clean up the surface before you apply the topcoat.

On the downside, Klean Strip wax remover is flammable. For that, it can have some safety concerns if you’re planning to use it right away. Also, it contains harmful chemicals like Toulene. That’s why it’s not sold in certain states including California. Other than that, it’s quite affordable, yet it comes in a 1-gallon can.

Key Features

  • Ideal for use before painting and sanding
  • Versatile application
  • Fast-Acting formula
  • Solvent-based formula


  • Works on several types of materials
  • Removes contaminants in no time
  • Provides professional-grade results
  • Prepares all automobile surfaces and panels for painting and coating


  • Flammable and contains chemical ingredients
  • Not sold in some states

4. Rust-Oleum 251475 Automotive Wax and Tar Remover

Rust-Oleum 251475 Automotive Wax and Tar Remover

Unlike the wax remover we’ve looked at above, this Rust-Oleum product is non-flammable! However, it’s still effective and fast-acting when it comes to removing contaminants. So, you don’t have to wait for hours after application to ensure wax has been completely removed.

Besides, Rust-Oleum is safe to use on various automotive surfaces. It’s ideal for preparing fiberglass, metals, and plastic surfaces for paint application. Better still, apart from wax, it’s ideal for removing road film, tar, silicone, and oil.

This will leave your surface clean and ready to receive the topcoat. Therefore, you can either use it after or before sanding to achieve a uniform, shiny finish.

In addition to having a fast-acting time, using this wax remover is very simple. For starters, it’s available in a 32 oz. can, so it’ll serve you for quite some time. With that in mind, simply apply this liquid formula to the surface you want to clean.

Then wipe it clean with plain water and you’ll have removed all the paint, wax, and any surface contaminant. When preparing vertical surfaces for paint application, use a clean lint-free wiping cloth.

Overall, Rust-Oleum 251475 wax remover is designed for professional applications. So, if you’re a professional looking for the best wax and grease remover before paint, it’s an excellent option. One thing you need to note though is that this formula may not remove all the paint. Other than that, it’s a reliable cleaner that works on any surface in less time.

Key Features

  • Non-flammable
  • Water clean up
  • Reliable for various surfaces
  • Promotes a uniform, shiny finish


  • Ensures professional-grade results
  • Effective, fast-acting formula
  • Removes the toughest finishes
  • Suitable for vertical surfaces


  • Does not remove all the paint

5. Custom Shop Restoration KW901 (1 gallon)

Custom Shop Restoration KW901 Wax Remover

As we said earlier, Custom Shop is well-known for using superior quality ingredients. This ensures that users get professional-grade results every time they use their products. Will, the same case applies to their KW901 wax and oil remover.

If you’re attentive enough, you’ll realize that this cleaner has the same formula as the one we look at before. However, this particular grease comes in a larger volume. To be precise, this automobile cleaner is available in a 1-gallon can. So, if you’re preparing a large surface like the entire car body for paint, it’s an economical option.

Another notable difference between this product and the 1 quartz KW901 lies in the application. That’s expected though, seeing that one comes in an aerosol can, while the other is in a can.

Nonetheless, applying the 1-gallon wax remover to your car is still simple. You just need a clean, lint-free cloth and you’re good to go! Afterward, the cleaner will dry down quickly, leaving you with a residue-free surface.

It will dissolve and loosen contaminants such as tar, tree sap, grease, and adhesive residues. As a result, your automobile surface will be ready to receive a new topcoat.

In addition to preparing the surface for topcoat application, it has anti-static properties. This will help the surface repel various contaminants like dust, dirt, and so on. It’s ideal for use on various painted surfaces including fiberglass, metal, and epoxy.

Key Features

  • Acts as an anti-silicone & anti-static panel
  • Prepares the surfaces of bodywork & paint application
  • Dries down quickly
  • Enhances paint adhesion


  • Works on any type of painted surface
  • Removes all the previous polish and wax from the surface
  • Easy to apply
  • Delivers professional-grade results
  • Ideal for use after/ before sanding


  • Has a strong smell

6. Eastwood Silicone Surface Preparation Wax Remover

Eastwood Silicone Surface Preparation Wax Remover

Eastwood was established by Curt Strohacker in 1978. Since then, it has developed into one of the best manufacturers of automotive finishing tools. Today, they have more than 4000 products, including this surface preparation wax remover.

Also, Eastwood has some incredible spray guns that deliver a clean and uniform finish. Nonetheless, if the surface is not prepared properly, you’ll get excellent results. That’s why it’s important to always prepare the automotive surface before any painting job.

Fortunately, this wax remover is very easy to apply, making it ideal for beginners. To start with, the product comes in a 32 oz. aerosol can. This makes it easy to target spots better spilling. After that, leave the formula on the surface for some time.

This will allow it to loosen all the accumulated greasy dirt and use a clean cloth to wipe it down. With those simple steps, you can remove silicone, oil, grease, dirt, and wax from any car surface.

You’ll also find this powerful cleaner to be quite fast and effective. Yet it’s safe for indoor use since it has low VOC content. It ensures that any topcoat or paint you apply on the surface adheres well.

The bottom line, this cleaner will help the bodywork accept the first coat with ease. Better still, you can use it after sanding down the base surface before you apply the primer. This will eliminate hidden chemicals that can affect paint coverage, adhesion, and finish.

Key Features

  • Low VOC formula
  • 32 oz. spray bottle
  • Removes grease, wax, silicone & polish


  • Convenient spray application
  • Fast and effective
  • Promotes paint adhesion
  • Does not damage metalwork
  • Works on different kinds of surfaces


  • Works like acetone

7. Granitize R-1G Wax, Tar & Grease Remover

Granitize R-1G Wax, Tar & Grease Remover

TR Industries initially manufactured mold release products for reinforced plastic, marble, and fiberglass. Over time, they started producing self-care products for RV, marine, and automotive manufacturers. One such product is this R-1G car grease remover.

This is a powerful formula that removes grease, wax, and tar from exterior surfaces. Even better, it’s made up of various solvents that are safe to use on cured painted surfaces. It loosens wax, silicone, contaminants, and grease, making them easy to wipe off. This makes it the ideal solvent for preparing surfaces for priming, painting, or welding.

Regarding the packaging, this heavy-duty solvent is available in a 3.78 liter (1 gallon) metal can. And since it comes ready-to use, you don’t need to dilute it with water. Instead, you can simply apply it right from the can. For convenient application though, transfer the solution into an appropriate trigger spray.

Ensure you’re cautious when applying the solvent to avoid over-spraying the surface. Otherwise, it may eat through some surfaces, especially rubber trim and unhardened plastic. More importantly, wear the proper safety gear during application.

Also, work in an area with adequate ventilation and dispose of the cleaning towels after using the product.

Apart from those issues, this wax remover is easy to use, particularly for car exteriors. Besides, it’s one of the best automotive wax and grease remover for paint preparation if you want something that will quickly get rid of contaminants. Even better, it has a clear color, so it will not affect your car paint.

Key Features

  • Suitable for preparing the surface for painting & hardening
  • Comes in a 1-gallon metal can
  • Ideal for application on exterior surfaces


  • Ready-to-use formulation
  • Removes silicone, wax, and oil among others
  • Safe to apply on car paint


  • Not ideal for use on unhardened plastic
  • Strong smell

8. VHT CM541 Wax/Grease Remover

VHT CM541 Wax/ Grease Remover

VHT CM541 is yet another incredible wax remover from the Dupli Color brand. All thanks to its unique formula that’s designed for prepping surfaces for paint. It will ensure that your painting project gets a professional and smooth finish.

Another benefit of using CM541 is that it’s extremely simple to apply. That’s because it comes in a convenient 32-oz aerosol can. You just need to spray it on the automotive surface you intend to paint and wipe it off with clothes or tissues.

Once you do that, this formula will effectively remove any wax or build-up grease on the surface. Thus leaving it completely clean and ready for topcoat or paint application.

Grease and wax are not the only things you can remove with this formula though! Instead, it works on many other contaminants like road tar, oil, and dirt. Best of all, it doesn’t leave a film residue on the surface once it dries.

That aside, this soy-based or solvent-based solution enhances the surface’s paint adhesion. Thus improving the overall finish of your project. Apart from removing wax, you can use it for touch preparation repair applications.

Even with all these incredible features, this cleaner comes at a reasonable price. So, if you want an affordable surface prep solution for your project, you can give this product a try.

Key Features

  • Spray-on application
  • Solvent- & soy-based formula
  • Dries quickly
  • Fast-acting time


  • Ensures a professional-grade paint finish
  • Improves paint adhesion
  • Doesn’t a leave film residue on drying
  • Affordable
  • Ideal for surface preparation before painting


  • No cons

9. House of Color Kc10 Wax & Grease Remover

House of Color Kc10 Grease & Wax Remover

Having been around for over 60 years, House of Kolor is another reputable brand in the car color industry. Their products are well known for providing premium custom finishes. And this Kc10 grease remover is no different! If you want a quick flashing cleaner for surface preparation, it’s one of the best options available.

Like most grease removers we’ve reviewed so far, KC10 eliminates most contaminants. For instance, it’s ideal for removing wax, grease, tar, dirt, adhesive, and silicone. Also, you can use it to get rid of insects and tree sap from your car’s painted surfaces.

There are certain things you should be cautious about when applying it though. For instance, you should not apply more solutions than you can wipe off before it dries. Or else the remover will not get rid of any contaminants. On the same note, change the contaminated wiping cloths regularly.

Still, on application, avoid using this wax remover over sealers, primers, or polyesters. With that in mind, follow the following steps when using KC10. Start by cleaning the surface with mild detergent and water. Next, rinse the surface and dry it with a clean cloth.

Soak a clean cloth with the remover and use it to wipe the surface. Lastly, wipe the surface with a clean, dry cloth right away before KC10 dries. If the remover dries on the surface before you wipe it dry, repeat the application process.

Key Features

  • Comes in a 1-gallon can
  • Dries quickly
  • Ideal for use over bare metal & existing finishes


  • Straightforward application process
  • Suitable for use over OEM finishes and unsanded surfaces
  • Removes tar, wax, grease, and silicone


  • Doesn’t remove contaminants if you let dry on the surface

10. PAINTSCRATCH Grease & Wax Remover

PAINTSCRATCH Grease & Wax Remover

For your car touch-up to come out perfectly, it’s good to clean the scratch thoroughly. Thankfully, you can accomplish that by using soap and water. However, if you want professional results, use this PAINTSCRATCH wax remover. That way, you’ll get excellent results and the surface will be completely clean.

PAINTSCRATCH is one of the youngest brands on our list since it was established in 1999. Nonetheless, it’s a reputable manufacturer of touch-up paint and other automotive finish products. One such product is this grease & wax remover which comes in a 2 oz. bottle.

It’s one of the most effective solutions for preparing damaged surfaces for painting. More notably, you can use it to remove grease and wax before you paint your vehicle. Better still, its application process is quite straightforward. Simply use a soft cloth to apply it over the surface and wipe it off before it dries.

As a drawback, this formula contains some toxic ingredients and it’s flammable. For those reasons, make sure you keep it away from kids. More importantly, always wear safety goggles, rubber gloves, and a respirator during application. Also, ensure you’re working in an area that has adequate ventilation.

Key Features

  • Dries quickly
  • Available in a 2 oz. bottle
  • Ideal for preparing damaged surfaces


  • Straightforward application process
  • Effectively removes grease & wax
  • Prepares automotive surfaces for paint


  • Toxic and flammable

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does wax and grease remover damage paint?

Wax and grease removers should not be applied to freshly painted surfaces. However, they’re ideal for preparing surfaces before painting. Besides, they help to improve paint adhesion. So, instead of damaging paint, they help to ensure that the surface is free from any contaminants.

2. Can you apply thinners instead of grease & wax remover?

Thinners are sometimes used to remove grease and wax buildup from surfaces. Nonetheless, they’re not as good as wax removers since some thinners tend to leave residues.

3. Is grease and wax remover safe on paint?

Grease and wax removers remove contaminants from surfaces before paint application. But, in concentrated amounts, some formulas can damage the exterior layer of the car paint. Also, some solutions have stain residues that leave marks on the paint or cause it to fade away.

4. Does alcohol remove wax and grease?

Although rubbing alcohol breaks down oil, it lacks enough strength to act as a wax and grease remover.

5. Should you remove old wax before waxing the car?

It’s good to remove the old wax from your car before you apply a new wax coat. Or else the old wax will streak or cause the paint job to appear dull.

Final Words

Painting your car can be a difficult and expensive task. That’s why it’s important to make sure everything is done properly. Luckily, provided you’ve got the best wax and grease remover before painting a car, that task will be very simple.

Even better, our comprehensive list contains some of the top wax removers out there. Any of these products will help to reduce damage to the paint and prevent scratching.

More notably, they’ll give your automotive surfaces a durable paint protection solution. So, feel free to select any wax remover from the ones we’ve included in our list.

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About Tools Archive Team

Avatar for Tools Archive TeamWe're a group of people who know a lot about home improvement and automobiles. All of our members are experts in their fields. We wrote this blog to answer your questions about home improvement and automobiles.