If you’ve been spending your Sunday rubbing clay over your car, you’ve been doing it wrong.
Using the best fallout remover will drastically speed up the decontamination process.
It doesn’t mean you can get rid of the clay bar, but it means you’ll be safer when claying your car, and much quicker too.
Decontaminating your car after every season will allow you to start the new one fresh. It’ll also make sure that the iron particles don’t oxidize and begin to eat through the layers of your car paint.
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iron remover vs clay bar
Both the clay bar and fallout remover are designed to do exactly the same thing. They remove harsh and stubborn contaminants from your vehicle.
Which one should you choose?
Unfortunately, there’s not a black and white answer.
Most of the time you’ll be able to decontaminate your car using only a clay bar, but that doesn’t make it the right choice.
A Fallout remover dissolves the iron allowing you to wash it off without any contact. A clay bar is wiped across the car to pick up contaminants.
Remember that iron is sharp and hard, so we don’t want to touch it while it’s on the paint.
In terms of preventing scratches and pure cleaning power, fallout remover is better.
Yet, you should also remember that fallout remover is a harsh chemical. Yes, it’s safe to use on your paint, but it’s not something you should use regularly.
On cars with light contamination, I’d suggest clay barring. Heavily contaminated cars should be washed using fallout remover, 2 bucket wash, and then finished off with the clay bar treatment whenever possible.
The Best Iron Fallout Removers
While you may have your own preference, it’s very easy for me to say what the best Fallout remover is.
Bilt Hamber Korrosol has the best cleaning power and represents the best value for money. It’s also available in Canada, the US & the United Kingdom.
While Bilt Hamber is the best (in my opinion), there are many other competing products.
I’ve listed the 4 best Iron & fallout removers below.
Use the information to compare the products and find the best fallout remover for you.
This product works out to be the most expensive on this list. However, if it wasn’t for the price, it may have beat Bilt Hamber Korrosol to the number 1 spot.
CarPro Iron-X comes heavily recommended by every detailer that uses it. It’s acid-free, ph neutral, and decontaminates paintwork with ease.
The application of Iron-X is super straightforward. The product comes in a high-quality bottle with an ergonomic sprayer. Simply spray the product on the contaminated areas and watch it change color.
It’s completely safe to use on paint and any type of wheels that you may have (Aluminum, Chrome, Anodized Alloy, or Clear Coated).
That being said, don’t use it on plastic wheel trim, you’ll blast the paint off when it comes to rinsing them. (This goes for every harsh chemical product, whether it’s fallout remover or wheel cleaner).
The biggest benefit this product has over every other one on this list is the smell. You’ll notice that most fallout removers come with a disgustingly strong smell.
CarPro Iron-X has a hint of cherry making it slightly easier on the nose, not that you’re buying it to sniff it…
I’d recommend giving CarPro Iron-X a shot. It’s hard to justify the price, but it may actually be the best iron and fallout removing product on the market
Adam’s Iron Remover
Adams Iron Remover has a lower upfront cost and works out to be cheaper per liter too. You’ll receive a 16oz bottle for just under $15.
Just because it’s cheaper than the rest, doesn’t mean it’s any worse.
Adam’s is one of the best companies for detailing products. They’re a US company and focus on customer satisfaction, making them one of my favorites.
Adams Iron Remover has a 4.5* rating on Amazon with over 500 reviews. It shares the same technology as their wheel cleaner, changing color when reacting to the contaminants.
It’s a “ready to use” formula straight from the bottle, but, you can buy 1 gallon and 5-gallon containers if necessary. The bigger containers don’t have a sprayer though so keep that in mind.
The product is completely acid-free, is pH neutral, and is safe on all painted surfaces, including your wheels. Apply it to the contaminated areas, watch it turn purple, and then rinse it away using water.
It claims to have a reduced scent but, it’s a strong chemical, you should expect a strong smell.
Try your hardest not to get this product on trim, plastic, or chrome pieces. If you do, rinse it off immediately. In most cases, it should be ok, but, the harsh chemicals make it unsafe and unpredictable.
While it is the cheapest product on this list, it’s still one of the best fallout removers on the market.
Buying this product will give you a premium experience at a slightly reduced price.
Auto Finesse Iron Out Contaminant Remover
The other products on this list focus on mostly iron and fallout removal. AutoFinesse Iron Out also contains strong degreasing agents that help to remove all types of road grime.
Yes, it’s a product that’s focused on removing brake dust and iron particles, but it’ll take off bugs and tar at the same time. Bonus!
Unfortunately Iron Out is only available in a 1-liter bottle, the 500ml is sold out everywhere. This means you may need to pay a higher cost upfront in comparison to Adam’s iron remover.
I cannot fault the product at all though. It’s closely priced with CarPro Iron-X and Bilt Hamber Korrosol but it also provides a similar experience.
That being said, there’s one thing that makes this product stand out, and it’s partly why I’ve added it to the list.
AutoFinesse claims that the product is suitable to use on most exterior surfaces. This means you can cover your car in the product without having to worry about it getting onto your glass, rubber, plastic, and chrome.
Using this product twice a year (as recommended by AF) or as the seasons change will ensure your car is kept free of contaminants.
A fallout remover that contains strong degreasing agents is certainly useful for the pre-wash stage. Despite this, you should still wash the car properly afterward.
Bilt Hamber Korrosol
Finally onto my favorite fallout remover and the one that I recommend the most.
Because my car wheels were almost pink with iron filings, I researched and bought Bilt Hamber Auto Wheels, which is considered one of the best wheel cleaners.
Bilt Hamber Korrosol is like Auto Wheels but is 100% safe to use on paintwork and some other exterior surfaces.
Like every other product on this list, it’s pH neutral and is also non-acidic. It changes color when reacting to the contaminants and softens the iron & fallout on a vehicle.
It’s a very strong smelling product, I stored it in my room after opening it and woke up with a headache. That being said, it’s very effective at what it does. It’s 100% safe to use on painted surfaces, glass, and wheels and it’s even biodegradable.
The 1-liter bottle sits nicely in your hand, and I’ve not had any issues with the sprayer across many bottles.
While most of the products on this list are similarly priced, I feel like I get a little bit more from Bilt Hamber Korrosol. This is why I’ve said it’s the best value for money, it’s purely opinion-based.
It may seem slightly bias, but you really won’t understand until you try the product yourself.
What is Car Fallout?
Fallout is a very general term that can be used to describe many types of contamination. In theory, fallout covers any contamination that floats in the atmosphere.
Yet, talking about “car fallout”, it’s referring to iron particles that are a result of braking hard. You’ll often find these iron filings on your wheels, fenders, and surrounding areas.
Industrial fallout is another type of fallout that people find on their cars. This is more to do with leaving your car in the wrong places, rather than a result of driving or daily use of your car.
Where Does Fallout Come From?
The most common cause of fallout is obviously your brakes. It’s inevitable that you’ll have iron particles on your alloys and surrounding paintwork.
You can cut the amount of fallout generated by your brakes with a conservative driving style.
Because of the type of driver I am, my wheels get covered in brake dust and filings very quickly. Thankfully, it can be removed easily with wheel cleaners and fallout removers.
Industrial fallout is a result of where you park and the type of work that goes on in the surrounding environment.
If you park near a railway line or near a manufacturing plant, odds are your car will get covered in fallout.
Just be wary of where you’re parking your car. Make sure not to do any metalwork in your garden or driveway if your car is parked nearby. Maybe even cover it up if you like.
It’s not the end of the world if your car gets covered in iron, That said, it’s very inconvenient. Fallout can be very difficult and stubborn to remove, even with the right products.
How To Remove Iron From Car Paint
Because iron fallout is a hard and sharp contaminant, it’s best to remove it as quickly and safely as possible.
If you don’t remove these particles from the surface and they are dragged across the surface of your car, they can create deep swirls and scratches.
Using the right products you’ll be able to remove fallout without too many issues. Just make sure to use fallout remover and a lot of soapy water as lubrication.
Follow these steps to prevent scratches while removing fallout:
- Apply Fallout Remover To The Paint
- Watch the product react (Normally changes color)
- Rinse the product from your car. Do not let it dry on your car!
Once you’ve thoroughly rinsed your car, I’d still recommend washing it properly with the 2 bucket method, before drying it and performing the clay bar treatment.
This is how you safely remove all contamination from your car, making it ready for the polishing stages. It’s a lot of effort, and you do need a handful of products and equipment.
If you’re not going to polish the car, you could skip the clay bar stage, however, it will ensure that your paint has the slick factory finish that you desire.