Cleaning & Maintenance

Cartec Iron Wash, the Perfect Fallout Remover


Many have used it before: Cartec Iron Wash. A fallout remover that easily removes fly rust from the car by means of a 'bleeding' effect. But what exactly is fly rust? And why is it important to remove it? Time for a detailed explanation.

What is fly rust and brake dust?

Fly rust consists of the burnt and rusted iron particles that have ended up on the paint and rims of a car. These iron particles often come from the brake discs and pads. When a car brakes, those iron particles are thrown into the air because of the air swirls around the wheels. Then they land on the car or on the cars around. Iron particles can also land on the car via heavy industry or railroads. In most cases, these iron particles are very hot, causing them to burn into the surface. Oxygen in combination with moisture (rain for example) causes these particles to rust, resulting in fly rust. These iron particles are not always visible because of the color of the surface. However, they can be felt well. For example by gliding your hand over the clean and dry paint.

Why is it important to remove fly rust?

Iron particles will corrode the surface like rust, which can cause damage. In addition, all those rust spots do not look good on a car and reduce the gloss of the paint. It is also not desirable when polishing. The iron particles are sharp and cause scratches when they end up in the polishing pad. This will negatively affect the end result, which is a waste of all the energy put into it.

How can I remove fly rust and brake dust?

In the past, this type of pollution was mainly removed mechanically with a clay bar or a clay pad. This works well, but it only removes the iron particles and not the rust which is burned in the surface. The other option is to chemically remove fly rust. This is done with strong acids, but has in turn risks of damage to health if used incorrectly. This is where Iron Wash comes in.

What does Cartec Iron Wash do and how to use it?

Iron Wash contains special ingredients that dissolve iron oxide very effectively. You see this process take place when Iron Wash turns purple as soon as it reacts with iron oxide. This phenomenon is often described as ‘bleeding’. The iron particles and rust dissolve and can easily be rinsed off. These ingredients have a distinctive and heavy odor.

The unique and innovative thing about Iron Wash is that the product is pH-neutral. This means that it is not harmful to health or to the substrate as is the case with a strong acid.

Keep in mind that light swirls can occur when clay is applied, also when you combine it with Iron Wash. The advice is to always polish when the lacquer has been stained. An alternative is to use Iron Wash as a shampoo. In this way the lacquer doesn’t have to be stained and no swirls are formed. The product has enough power to loosen all the dirt and degrease the lacquer. However, a longer soaking time is needed to completely remove the larger iron particles.

Always rinse Iron Wash thoroughly with clean water so that no white residue remains after drying.

Cartec Iron Wash, also as rim cleaner

Because brake dust is mainly in and around the rims, Iron Wash can also be used as an effective rim cleaner. Especially with exclusive rims, such as untreated aluminum or special materials which can be very sensitive to high or low pH-values, this pH-neutral product is a must-have. However, there is a big difference in the effect compared to standard rim cleaners.

The dirty rim will start bleeding within a few seconds after applying Iron Wash. This is good and means that the dirt dissolves. The darker the color, the better the dirt loosens. Over time this dark purple color changes to light brown. Make sure the rim is rinsed with high pressure before the color turns light brown. This will happen after about 30 to 60 seconds. Then the dirt will get stuck again so the rim will not be as clean as desired.

The graph below shows how the Iron Wash works differently from the Wheel Cleaner. Here it becomes visible that the timely removal of the Iron Wash is very important for the end result. A shorter soaking time results in a cleaner rim in the case of Iron Wash.

Iron Wash vs. Wheel Cleaner

Iron Wash, a great fallout remover

All in all, Iron Wash is a unique product with special properties. The product is especially good at removing metal particles in a safe way. It can also be used as shampoo, rim cleaner, rust remover and as a lubricant for claying.

Have you tried Cartec Iron Wash yet?

Also read: ‘How to remove scratches from a car’s paintwork?

Jeroen Eggink

Started as a hobbyist and grew into the owner of a large car care company in the north of the Netherlands. Always been a fan of Cartec's products and eventually became a product trainer. Has a lot of experience in the car care industry and likes to share practical tips & tricks.


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