What will damage clear coat and or paint?

My car was vandalized two nights ago. The people vomited on it, put baking powder or soda on it and some kind of syrup or soda that turned into a syrup.

It leaked down into the door around where the window goes into the door so I know I have to have that professionally cleaned but I want to make sure that it’s the finish is not damaged and if there’s any possibility of that I will take it and have someone look at it for sure but I don’t have time to do that if it should be fine. It was washed within about 6 hours and I washed it 3 times. But, there’s still residue that I cannot get off and that was two days ago.

Any ideas?

Bummer! What will damage clear coat? Anything that is acidic, caustic or abrasive. There’s a good chance that you probably got at least acidic and caustic with vomit and baking soda. But the offensive material was removed from the finish fairly quickly, so there’s hope. Suggest you wash the area well, then treat it with detailer’s clay and a suitable lubricant. If there was “residue” left behind, clay will take it off. That may be enough to correct the problem. If it is, finish off with a good coat of wax or synthetic sealant for protection. If clay alone doesn’t take care of the problem, the area will have to be machine polished (but don’t use rubbing compound, only finishing polish) and then waxed. Good luck.

How often do you wax your vehicle. Wax is a very good paint protector. Keep a car waxed and something like that wouldn’t effect the paint.

The clear coat is only on the outside. I doubt that vomit would be acidic enough to cause problems. I don’t think that baking soda would be caustic enough to cause problems, either. BTW, how do you kno wit was baking powder? Also, if the baking powder got mixed with the vomit, they would tend to neutraize each other.

In the end, if you can’t see damage, it is probably not damaged. The clearcoat would be frosted if it started to dissolve. Put a bright light on it at an angle and look closely at it. The best place to do this is in a garage. If you don’t have one, do it after dark. Move your head from side to side and up and down; move the light, too. You are looking for any change in the surface, and you may need to have just the right orientation of light, eyes, and car body to see a change in the clearcoat. Paint damage would be obvious.

I kinda chuckled when I read that because I was a victim of something similar albeit a bit more corrosive than the OP’s situation. So, I’m not contradicting your assertion, just offering my experience for your reading pleasure. I brought one of my prized cars to work one day last year. It has 6 layers of clearcoat over the color layers and perhaps as many coats of wax on top of all that. I only bring it in when I work half days so I can enjoy a nice cruise home in the afternoon. When I came out, I found a seabird had made a deposit on it and it had burned through the wax and most of the clearcoat! After getting over the rage, I was amazed at how fast it ate through the paint. It has never looked the same even with my best patching and smoothing effort…