Can't seem to find the answer anywhere...

My kid somehow smeared diaper rash cream on the rear quarter panel on our car. The car is grey and you can see a white film. I tried a few products with not luck.

Maybe a buffer might help?

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    What have you tried to remove it? Are you talking Desitin Ointment with a high zinc content? Which product exactly? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 28 '16 at 14:49
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    Upside, your paint will not get sunburned.... – Moab Aug 28 '16 at 20:17
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    Perhaps warm water, a bath or dish soap, a soft rag and some patience would work, that's how you get zinc creams off of skin at least. Unfortunately skin is more resistant to abrasives than paint so you might just have to have a lot more on the patience side. Try that maybe? – Jason C Aug 28 '16 at 21:32

tl;dr: when you're afraid to rub, try some clear packing tape. Press on, pull off, repeat.

First, hooray kids! Every time I think I've got it all together, they bring me back to earth.

Second, I've had years of experience getting gook off of and out of places where these substances should never be. There are plenty of times when I'm afraid to scrub it off for fear of spreading. Worst ever: that time I sat down in the wife's tan leather drivers seat with a little wee spot of motor oil on my back pocket. shiver The stuff of nightmares!

Here is my secret Dad trick for surface mess removal. I have never had it make the situation worse and, many times, it has completely removed the issue.

  1. Take a nice big piece of clear packing tape. It's super sticky and you'll be able to see through it for precision targeting.
  2. Carefully (at first) press the piece down over the nasty yuck that you're trying to remove.
  3. Yank the piece of tape free. Faster is better. There's all kinds of low level adhesion physics going on but I find that a quick pull removes more blech that a slow tug.
  4. Check for improvement. Look at the surface. Look at the tape. Is it working? Could you press a little harder without making things worse? Did you reach good enough? If not, return to step two with appropriate adjustments to your tape pressure.
  5. At this point, do whatever makes sense for final treatment. For your diaper cream, you might consider a local wash with a super slick soap solution. Dish washing liquid might help but, if you go that way, remember to wax afterwards.

I've fixed so many problems with this method that in very close to saying that clear packing tape is more valuable than the fabled duct tape. It's certainly helped me avoid some serious bouts of Spouse Rage!

  • This is a great solution ... one which I'd never thought of, but makes perfect sense. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 29 '16 at 13:08

Try a soft, clean towel soaked with vegetable oil. If successful do a car wash later.

I would avoid a buffer, the cream/zinc is still on your paint and you do not know how it affects your paint when rubbed/polished in. So I would try everything else first

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