Hazards To Your Paint- What Not To Place On Your Vehicle

I know we are all guilty. Placing that hot coffee mug on our hood or not cleaning that bird poop off until it rains. Well, friends, if you care about your vehicle or want to resell it eventually, then you need to listen up. Those hot coffee mugs, bird poop, or other “hazards” will ruin your paint! So stop placing them on your vehicle & stop letting them bake in the sun for hours!

They will scratch and tear at your paint.. don’t believe me? Keep reading.

Hazards To Your Paint- What Not To Place On Your Vehicle

How many of you wash your car regularly? Have you ever noticed a ring stain? Or light scratches that weren’t there the last time you washed your vehicle?

Yea, that’s from you not paying attention to what’s on your hood. I’ve always gotten so mad at people who’ve sat on my car, placed their coffee mugs on my car, or even placed their sweaty hands on my vehicle! I’ve also always been a little possessive… but keeping things off my paint has saved my car from all those paint hazards.

Did you know, bird poop is extremely acidic so letting it sit on your paint will create a permanent stain, or worse, eat away at your paint completely? Not cool birds

Here’s a list of what NOT to put on your car. Or, as we like to call them, “car hazards”. Not even for a second should these be on your hood or trunk. Place it on the floor or open your doors and place it on the rug. A rug can easily be replaced.. but your paint cannot!

  1. Coffee Mug- I’ve mentioned it already. The heat from your coffee mug will create a small permanent stain on your paint; wearing off the wax and chipping away at the nice paint job underneath. Kinda like ringworm on your vehicle.
  2. Bird Poop- Again, bird poop is extremely acidic. I know we can’t completely stop birds from pooping, and for some reason, clean cars are always their target, but once you have bird poop on your vehicle you need to get it off. That does not mean washing your car all over again. Just take a hose, add pressure and the water will take it right off. If you let it sit, it will eat away at your paint. 


  1. Cardboard, Shopping Bags, Grocery Bags- I wasn’t kidding when I said don’t put anything on your hood. Placing those shopping bags or a cardboard box, for even a second, will scratch your vehicle… especially if you place them on dusty paint.
  2. Handbag- Ladies, never place your handbag on your vehicle. Just open the door and place it on your seat or place it on the floor.
  3. Keys- Metal on metal? Are you crazy?! A deep scratch just waiting to happen!
  4. Your Dog- Don’t let your dog jump up on your vehicle. Those huge, sharp, dirty nails will place an enormous, deep, long, permanent scratch on your lovely car.
  5. Sweaty, Oily, Dirty, Hands- Especially kids. I am not talking about the door handle, I am talking about little kids placing their hands straight on your paint. While this one won’t destroy your paint as easily, if you don’t wash it soon and let it sit out in the sun, think about what that oil does seeping into your paint…
  6. Spills- Speaking of kids.. any coffee, milk, juice, or soda spills. No good. Get your car washed ASAP.
  7. Sap- Mainly from trees. There is no way of scrubbing that stuff off if you let it sit and bake in. I get little tiny sap seeds from some tree in my yard and only notice them when I wax my vehicle. They are SO difficult to take off! And some have never come off 🙁 Disappointing.
  8. Tar- Last, but not least, tar. Tar from the road is very difficult o see on your vehicle if it is dark. If you’ve ever looked at your wheels after cleaning your car and noticed little black spots, that’s tar. I use Tarminator, from Stoner Car Care, to get rid of tar. I usually only use it before I wax ( so at least twice a year). However, the longer you let it sit, the harder it is to get off.

The bottle looks like this.


Now, you might think I am crazy. That list is practically everything you’ve always placed on your vehicle. But how many scratches, dents, and paint chips do you have? See! Hazards!!!

While you cannot prevent these things from happening all the time, you can pay more attention. Pay attention to what you place on your vehicle and think about the list. Will this scratch my paint? Will my husband be mad if he sees a coffee mug ring on my vehicle? Does this affect my resale value?

Yes.. the answer is always yes. Save your car, take care of your car. Enhance the life of your vehicle today!

Also, if you are looking for articles on cleaning and waxing, check these out below.

How To Wash Your Car (The Right Way!)

Common Car Washing Mistakes

Car Wax

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Comments 2

  1. Is cardboard safe to put on my vehicle?

    1. Post

      Hi Jamal,

      Thank you for discovering ChicMoto! I would say cardboard is NOT safe to put on your vehicle. Cardboard does not have a smooth surface so it will most likely put little scratches on your paint 🙁 To be safe, set it on the ground or on your seat.

      Hope this helps!


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