Industrial fallout occurs when small airborne metal particles settle on the surface of your car and bond to it. They then begin to oxidize, looking very unsightly and if left untreated can damage the paintwork underneath.
Industrial fallout commonly comes from railway lines and metal production/fabrication processes found in industrial areas and the contamination occurs when a car is parked in these areas. It is a fairly common problem but many people either don’t notice it until damage has been done, or if they do notice it they don’t know what it is or how to deal with it. Although industrial fallout can look severe and even irreversible there are a few ways in which it can be removed depending on how badly affected the area is.
The first thing to do is to clay the car. If the fallout is not too severe and has not been sitting on the surface for long, claying may well be able to safely and effectively lift off the metal contaminants. A fine clay however will probably not be able to deal with the fallout so you may have to step up to a more aggressive grade of clay.
If the contamination is quite severe and has began to oxidize then the chances are that claying will not remove it. The next step would be to use a designated fallout remover product. These are acid based and actively dissolve the metal particles without inflicting any damage onto the paintwork. They do however have the potential to inflict damage if left to dry on the surface and so should only be used in a cool shaded area or somewhere under cover.
After using a fallout remover the car should be thoroughly washed, rinsed and dried to remove any product residue. You should not use the two processes in conjunction with each other i.e – use the fallout remover then clay the area because the acid based remover will simply dissolve the clay bar too and create allot of unneeded mess. Instead you should simply use a micro fibre towel to help lift off the contaminants if necessary.
Here we have another example of why it is important to ensure your car is regularly cleaned, polished and protected. If your car has been properly polished and has a good quality wax or synthetic sealant applied then this will help to protect the paintwork from such problems and would make it much easier to remove than on a car that has not been correctly cared for. Regular cleaning of your car also ensures that you will catch things like this before they have a chance to inflict any real damage.