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Will Pledge Damage Car Paint?

A bottle of pledge spray on table.

Car cleaning hacks are a great way to keep your vehicle clean, or add extra shine. We all love things that make our lives easier, and keeping your car looking great can feel like a full time job. 

When I first heard about using pledge on a car, particularly the paint, I was surprised. It never occurred to me that it could be used to “wax” or shine my car. 

Upon further research, I decided I had to try it. It turns out that pledge can clean and shine nearly your entire car with one product. 

Is Pledge Safe for Your Paint? 

There are a few things to consider when determining if Pledge is safe for your paint job.

The first step to knowing is Pledge is safe for your paint job is understanding what’s in it. Does it have harmful ingredients?  Another key factor is the experience of others.

Since Pledge isn’t marketed for use on car paint, there are no manufacturer recommendations or studies on this. However, experiences of car enthusiasts can give us vital clues about using Pledge. 

What’s in Pledge?

Pledge Dust & Allergen Multisurface Cleaner Spray, Works on Leather, Granite, Wood, and Stainless Steel, Multi, Lemon, 9.7 Ounce (Pack of 3)

Pledge contains a lot of ingredients that may sound scary to put on your car. These include butane, alkylate, dimethicone, propane, and silicones. 

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Surprisingly, propane and butane are both petroleum distillates. Petroluem distillates are used in car wax and many other products.  Dimethicone and silicone are also commonly found in car wax. 

It can safely be assumed that since these ingredients, or very similar ingredients, are found in car wax, they are likely safe for your vehicle’s paint. 

Pledge is an Oldschool Secret 

Pledge 72354 Multi-Surface Aerosol Spray Cleaner, 9.7-oz. - Quantity 6

Now that you know the ingredients in Pledge are probably safe for your vehicle, it’s time for the real evidence. Pledge has long been used at car shows. 

Since discovering this tradition, I’ve spoken with several people who have shown valuable cars for years. They swear by Pledge. Even with long term use, they’ve noticed absolutely no damage to their paint job.

Keep in mind, car show enthusiasts are extremely anal about their vehicle. The average person may be a bit oblivious to things like the strength of their clear coat, or minute scratches. 

However, when you attend car shows, you quickly learn that people who enter them know everything about their car. They are aware of every tiny imperfection. 

If Pledge was harmful, they would literally be the first to know because of this attention to detail. 

How Can You Use Pledge? Let’s Count the Ways 

I mentioned that Pledge can be used for nearly every part of your vehicle. Now it’s time to expand on this wonder multi-use product. 

Pledge can shine your car’s paint, revive your interior, and even clean your tires. Suprised? So was I!

Using Pledge On Car Paint 

A hand spraying on car paint.

You want to take the plunge and see if it brings your dull paint job back to life. To do this, you’ll need to start with a clean vehicle. If it’s not clean, wash it before proceeding. 

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Dirt can create scratches in the paint or clear coat, particularly when you are buffing the paint with a towel or rag. This is why the car must be clean first. 

Now, you’ll need a clean soft rag. My favorite cloth to use is an old t-shirt. Cheese cloth or microfiber towels are also options. If you have a t-shirt you’ve been meaning to toss, use it. 

Spray the Pledge on the rag or towel you are using. Don’t spray it directly onto the car. Wipe it onto the car. When the rag gets a bit dirty, and it will, use a new one or fold it over to a clean area. Respray the rag as needed. 

That’s it. It will provide extra shine for the next few hours, and maybe even a few days. Remember that it doesn’t offer the protection wax does, so it’s not a replacement for a good wax job. 

It is great for giving your car a little extra shine and pop. This is why it’s so popular at car shows. No matter how great your car looks, Pledge can up the game a bit. 

Pledge for Tires 

A man's hand spraying on car tires.

There are claims that Pledge even states that their furniture polish can be used on “the exterior of the vehicle” and tires in particular. I couldn’t find a reference to this on the Pledge website.

However, it is clear that Pledge makes an excellent tire shine alternative. Pledge won’t give your tires a wet shine. However, it will make them look great. If tire shine products are high gloss, consider Pledge semi-gloss.  

To apply Pledge to your tires, you’ll apply a generous amount directly to the tire. Allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then, grab a brush and scrub it in. If there’s excess Pledge on the tire, wipe it away with a clean rag. 

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Don’t worry if it gets on your wheels. Pledge is also safe for metal surfaces, including your wheels. It may even make them look shinier as well. 

Using Pledge on Car Interior 

A man on driver seat spraying on driver wheel.

You can also use Pledge on your car’s interior. Essentially, anywhere you would use Armor All, you can use Pledge.

Unlike Armor All, Pledge doesn’t leave behind a residue or build up. Pledge is generally less expensive as well. 

Pledge is safe to use on plastic, metal, wood, leather, and vinyl. This covers all the components of car interior that aren’t cloth or glass. 

Pledge is primarily a cleaner, so it’s great for cleaning your dashboard and other interior areas. It has conditioning properties as well, which can add shine to your hard surfaces. 

Unlike Armor All and other products formulated for car interiors, Pledge doesn’t  leave a very greasy residue behind. This is one reason why it’s popular.  

Keep in mind that Pledge does have a few downsides. Like Armor All, you’ll want to avoid getting it onto electronic screens and glass surfaces. The other downside is that it doesn’t offer UV protection. Products designed for your car interior do. You may find your dash fades over time, as it would without any product being used on it. 

Will Pledge Damage Car Paint FAQs

What should I use to clean the interior of my car? 

An oil soap and water is the best start to cleaning your car. Castile soap is also a good choice. Once you’ve cleaned all hard surfaces, then you can apply other products. Pledge will make the dash shine, without the buildup of armor all. Leather conditioner or dash restorer are also good options. 

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What happens if Pledge gets on windows?

Man on gloves spraying on car window.

It turns out that pledge works great for windows as well. Many people use pledge to clean their car windows. They say it leaves them very clean and smooth. This is likely due to the silicone in the product. 

What are the benefits of using Pledge on my car?

There are a few reasons to use Pledge on your car. It’s surprisingly  effective at cleaning or detailing the entire vehicle, from tires to windshields. 

 It can also prevent bugs and other dirt from sticking to your car, which keeps it a bit cleaner between washings.