How to Neutralize Salt on Metal

by Nicole Schmoll
IT Stock Free/Polka Dot/Getty Images

One of the most common ways that salt comes into contact with metal is when cars drive over treated roads during winter. Across much of the United States every year, cities spread sand or a mixture of salt and chemicals on highways and streets to melt ice and snow. These efforts protect drivers but not necessarily their cars. Particularly older cars with metal bumpers and exposed metal frames can suffer significant rust damage from salt. Learn how to neutralize the effects of salt on your car.

Step 1

Prepare your car for winter during late fall, particularly if you live in an area of the country such as the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, Northeast or South, where ice and snowstorms occur regularly.

Step 2

Wash your car with car soap and a shammy, paying particular attention to the undercarriage. Apply car wax to the entire surface of the car.

Step 3

Use a jack to raise your car about a foot off the ground. Put on a ventilation mask and spray wax sealant to the undercarriage of your vehicle. Focus your attention on the brake and fuel lines, spraying them with wax sealant to protect them from corrosion caused by salt during the winter months.

Wash your car often during the winter--at a car wash if need be. Apply a fresh coat of wax to all exposed surfaces and wax sealant to the undercarriage after every wash by jacking up the car again, dawning a ventilator mask and spraying wax sealant on the undercarriage.


  • If you live in warmer states but close to the ocean, your vehicle is regularly exposed to salt in the air. Wash your car monthly with a solution of water, car soap and a few tablespoons of baking soda. The baking soda and regular washing will prevent corrosion on the metal parts of your car.


  • Even though the car is raised only a foot on the jack, use wood blocks to add stability.

Items you will need

  • Car jack
  • Car soap
  • Shammy
  • Ventilation mask
  • Car wax
  • Wax sealant
  • Hose with spray nozzle attachment or carwash

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