Plasti dip is all fun and games until your customized look goes out of fashion. Or maybe you’re selling your vehicle and need the plasti dip gone, stat.
Though it may seem like it is, plasti dip is not permanent, and there are ways you can remove it from your wheels.
Here’s how to remove plasti dip from wheels:
- Remove the wheels from the car.
- Prepare a jar of kerosene.
- Dip a toothbrush into the kerosene and slather the plasti dip.
- Wait 10 minutes.
- Use a blunt stick to chip the plasti dip as you peel it off.
- Scrub the remainder of the plasti dip with soap and water.
- Rinse and repeat step #6 until satisfied.
What Is the Fastest Way To Remove Plasti Dip From Rims?
There are numerous ways to remove plasti dip. Since every rim will have more or less dip, there’s no way to guarantee one of these as the fastest.
You’ll have more luck with a dip doused in some kind of removal product than not. But which substance is the best is debatable.
Kerosene is among the best and comes recommended by many who’ve removed plasti dip in the past.
You could also mix and match the methods below, switching from kerosene to, say, rubbing alcohol if the former doesn’t work to your satisfaction.
Avoid physically mixing the actual substances, though. Ensure all traces of your previous attempt are gone before you switch to another of the methods below.
Method #1: Kerosene
For this method, and similar ones, you’ll need:
- A glass jar.
- Some cardboard.
- Pressure washer.
- A toothbrush.
- Thick rubber gloves.
- A stick.
- A sponge.
- Soapy water in a bucket.
Step #1: Tire Removal
To remove plasti dip, you’ll need your wheel to be separate from your vehicle. So remove the wheels, and place them on a surface you don’t mind getting messy.
If you want cleanup to be easier, lay down some old cardboard over the workspace. That way, you can just fold up the cardboard with the plasti dip in it and dispose of it easily.
Step #2: Kerosene Prep
Ensure you’re gloved-up safely, and prep your kerosene. Pour it into your glass jar, and be generous but don’t fill the jar.
You’ll be using your toothbrush here—a new brush or one ready for disposal—so dip that into the kerosene.
Let the bristles soak up as much of the kerosene as possible.
Step #3: Apply and Wait
Now you can apply the kerosene to the rims of the wheels. Avoid getting any on the tire’s rubber coating and if you do, remove the spill right away. The kerosene could cause a deformity or even dissolve part of your tire.
Once you have your kerosene carefully applied to the rims, wait about 10 minutes for it to work its magic.
Step #4: Rip It Off
Now the kerosene has had time to soak into the plasti dip; it’s time to rip it off.
This will be the hardest part of the process, but if you’re patient, you’ll succeed in no time.
Use a long wooden stick with a pointed end to chip away at the plasti dip and rip off what you can. Using a stick will ensure you don’t scratch your rim, as the blunt wooden point won’t be enough to do damage.
Once the stick works its magic, there won’t be much if the plasti dip left on your rim.
Step #5: Scrub the Rest
There shouldn’t be much plasti dip left on your rims now, so you can use a kerosene-soaked rag to attack the remains.
If there’s anything more than small, thin coats of plasti dip on the rim, you need to attack it with the stick again.
Step #6: Clean Up
With the plasti dip gone, now you’re left with a potent kerosene odor. Now you can utilize your bucket of soapy water to scrub the smell, and any plasti dip residue, clean away.
Any old sponge will do for the cleaning, and a hose will work to rinse. But, if there’s still plasti dip residue there and you did everything else right, then a pressure washer should take away the last visible stains.
Now you’re finished with this wheel; you can go back to step #1 and repeat the process on your other tires.
Method #2: WD-40
Wd-40 is one of those wonder-substances that can do pretty much anything. It lubricates, it cleans, it gets rid of rust. It also helps you free your wheels of plasti dip.
You can use WD-40 in place of kerosene, but it may not work as well.
On the other hand, people have mixed experiences. Some say all you need is WD-40, 10 minutes for it to soak in, and a pressure washer.
Once you finish with the pressure washer, most of the plasti dip should be off. Use a rag to tackle the rest, wash your rims, and you’re done.
WD-40 may not be as corrosive as kerosene, but this is certainly something you shouldn’t turn away from if you have WD-40, and kerosene is hard to come by.
As with kerosene, wear gloves and place the tire down on cardboard before you attempt this form of plasti dip removal.
But with this substance, you can worry less about getting it on the tire’s rubber coating. It won’t corrode—but you’ll need to remove it before driving again.
Method #3: Other Adhesive Removers
Besides the two well-known substances above, there are other adhesive removers available to try. Consider Goo Gone Adhesive Remover; it’s inexpensive and has fantastic reviews, so long as it stays on the rims and not the tire’s rubber coating.
Step #1: Remove Tires
Like with the kerosene, lay your tire out somewhere on cardboard. If you work with the tire attached to your car, you may get the adhesive remover on other parts of the vehicle and damage it.
Step #2: Gear Up
If you thought kerosene was potent, this is going to be worse. Consider wearing a mask as well as gloves to filter the fumes you’re breathing in.
Besides a mask, a towel or old t-shirt tied over your mouth and nose is better than nothing.
Step #3: Apply Adhesive
Using a rag covered in your adhesive remover, apply your chosen substance to the plasti dip. Massage it in as best you can, then wait about 10 minutes like with the other methods.
Step #4: Peel
Start peeling the plasti dip away with a stick, the rag or even your hands if the adhesive remover is effective enough.
You should be able to remove most of it, leaving either nothing or a very thin layer behind.
Step #5: Wipe and Rinse
Now you can use a sponge and soapy water to get rid of anything that remains on your rim. You can utilize a pressure washer here if you wish, as this will both rinse and attack the residue.
Keep washing the rim until it’s shiny and clean, and always thoroughly rinse it off at the end with the hose or pressure washer. Also, ensure the smell of the adhesive is completely gone.
Method #4: Paint Thinner
Paint thinner works decently as a solvent, so you may wish to try it on your plasti dip.
One area it should work well on is the little strips left behind after using another substance. But you can also use it on the plasti dip as a whole if you have nothing else.
The process to remove the dip is the same as the ones above, where you apply it, leave it to soak, then start scraping.
Paint thinner might only remove some of the plasti dip, so you can repeat the process until it strips away in layers. Scrubbing the plasti dip with a paint thinner soaked toothbrush may help move the process along, but it may also be no more effective than using a cloth. How easy it is to remove depends on how thick and bound together the plasti dip is.
Method #5: Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol can dissolve various organic substances. So, if it’s the only thing you have, you can attack your rims with it.
Since rubbing alcohol isn’t too toxic, face coverings and gloves aren’t vital. But if you want to be extra cautious, consider them. You’ll want to remove any that gets on your skin, too.
You’ll need gloves more depending on how high the alcohol content in the rubbing alcohol you’re using. It could damage your skin severely.
Again, with rubbing alcohol, use the same process as above. Use light layers of it, leave it to soak in, then come back and start peeling. Add more alcohol as you go until no trace of the plasti dip remains on your rims.
Be extra cautious with this product, though. It may get on your tires and damage them if left too long, and that puts anyone in your vehicle in danger. Remove it quickly.
Method #6: Nails
If you have no usable substances and an urgent need to remove plasti dip, then it’s time to be daring, but with the caution of a surgeon’s hand.
Grab a nail, chip some of the plasti dip, and peel. Don’t use a hammer to stick the nail into the dip, though!
This option works best if it’s a layer of plasti dip thick enough to pierce without hitting the rim.
However, it can be somewhat dangerous. First of all, the pointy object you’re using could damage you. Second, it could scratch your rims if you miscalculate.
Keep this method as a last resort, as it will be tedious, time-consuming, and there’s so much that could go wrong.
What To Avoid When Removing Plasti Dip
Although the steps above are the best to follow, some of you will be tempted to go your own way.
Or if the methods above are tricky, you may be tempted to amp up the intensity. Some advice? Read on.
Don’t Use Aggressive Substances
If the substances above don’t work, don’t swap them out for something more violent.
You never know what could be lurking in a cleaning substance. It could do serious damage to your rim or tire.
Another mistake to avoid is combining adhesive removers and cleaning products to make your own remover. You could end up creating a toxic blend of chemicals that may burn you, or be dangerous to inhale, even filtered.
Don’t Use a Scraper or Another Metal Object
Although it’s safe enough to chip thick plasti dip with a nail to get a peel started, the metal objects end there. It’s far too easy to scrape and damage your rims.
It’s tempting to attack residual plasti dip with a paint scraper, but please just use your fingernails. If the dip is too thick for nail action, break out the blunt stick again.
I Got the Plasti Dip Off, Now What?
Chances are, your rims won’t be looking their best now that they’re free of plasti dip. The next step is to bring them back to beautiful.
You may not care so much about their appearance, but if you’re selling the vehicle, the buyer will. So your job is far from over here.
Give your rims a final wash after they dry from your plasti dip removal. Then consider applying a chrome coating, preferably one that matches the color of the rim. Otherwise, what was all the hard work for?
Not only will adding this chrome finish look incredible, but it’ll help hide any unfortunate marks you couldn’t get rid of. Or, it can disguise scratches left from the removal.
Be mindful, though. Don’t think, “Oh, it’s fine; the finish will fix it.” The finish will not hide deep grooves or chips in on the rim; it’ll only handle the lighter dings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Goo Gone Take Off Plasti Dip?
Yes, Goo Gone removes plasti dip. However, the odor is strong, so you’ll need face protection to deal with Goo. Luckily, it’s not dangerous, so it’s fine to go without the protection if you have nothing to use.
How Do You Remove Plasti Dip From Rims With Goo Gone?
- Cover the rims in Goo Gone and let it set in.
- After 10 minutes, attempt to peel the plasti dip off.
- Wipe away any excess with a sponge.
- Rinse and repeat the previous step as needed.
Will Acetone Take off Plasti Dip?
Yes, Acetone will remove plasti dip, but it can react negatively with the tires if they’ve begun to oxidize. You can use it in an emergency, but there are better substances to utilize.
Does Plasti Dip Come Off Easily?
Plasti dip isn’t too difficult to remove, especially if you use a substance to soften it first. Generally, the thicker it’s layered on, the easier it’ll be to remove. But if you keep the layers thin, you’ll be scratching and peeling for hours.
The Final Peel
Plasti dip removal varies from rim to rim. It’ll come off in a satisfying peel some days, but other days you’ll be left chipping away for hours.
Work within the tools you have and have some patience, and you should be able to get the plasti dip off. If you continue to have trouble despite trying everything, perhaps you should consult an automobile expert. Only they can help you now.