How To Treat Your Car Before It Gets Tricked With Messy Stuff This Halloween

Kids these days! Or actually, kids from any days! For them, Halloween is a time of candy and mischief-making. And by mischief we mean, tossing eggs, Silly String or pumpkins at your car and then hooting with glee as they dash back into the night. If you want to make it easier on yourself the day after Halloween, there are a few tips you can use to prepare your car before the onslaught.

Our older, wiser siblings at Consumer Reports are all over this topic. Of course the best way you can prevent your car from getting splattered on All Hallow’s Eve is to lock it in a garage. But if you don’t have one, there are other things you can do so that all that goop doesn’t mess up your paint job or leave permanent stains.

It’s more of a worry for older cars, points out CR, as automakers have developed a clearcoat paint in the last 10 years that resists the kinds of havoc Halloween mischief can wreak.

• The best defense is a coat of wax, say auto experts. If you’ve got time the week before Halloween, that’s the perfect time to do it. And even after the Halloween threat is gone, if you live in a snowy area it’ll help your paint live through salt, sand and road grime.

• If you get to your car right after it’s been hit, rinse off any off the residue like eggshells as soon as you can. Take it through a professional washing after as well to really clean it off thoroughly.

• Small messes can be cleaned up with a spray bottle of water mixed with soap that’s meant for car-washing, or a spray-on car wax would also work. If you keep those bottles handy you can be prepared for any bird droppings or other messes that happen in every day life.

• If something has had time to set in and cause paint damage but isn’t at the point where it’s gone through the clearcoat layer, wash it thoroughly and try using a cleaner wax. These are products formulated with some abrasives; they can remove a thin layer of paint to expose the undamaged paint beneath. But if it has gone through into the color paint or down to the meta, it’ll have to be repainted.

Or again, if you don’t have a garage, ask a friendly neighbor if they’ve got room for a bunkmate for the night. It’s also a good idea to be one of those people who’s handing out “good” candy and none of that healthy stuff. That can anger the young ones.

How to protect your car on Halloween [Consumer Reports]