Your car’s plastic trim withstands countless environmental factors that can cause it to crack, fade and even oxidise over time. Once the damage has been done, it can be difficult—sometimes, even impossible—to repair, impacting the overall look and feel of your vehicle. Luckily, with a good plastic restorer, you can easily restore your trim and prevent long-term damage to your car.
Here are 3 helpful tips to restore your vehicle’s trim like the pros!
Most damage to your plastic or rubber trim occurs because of harsh weather conditions. Sweltering hot and freezing cold temperatures both cause stress to rubber and plastic materials. Left unprotected, these surfaces will become dry and brittle over time, and, in extreme circumstances, they’ll even start to crack.
Black trim is particularly vulnerable to extreme weather because it absorbs more of the sun’s damaging rays. This causes black trim, which looks incredible when it’s new, to discolour and fade much quicker than lighter-coloured trim.
What’s more, the chemicals and mineral deposits left behind when it rains can cause trim to dull and oxidise. And, when these mineral deposits get exposed to the sun, it creates a chemical reaction that causes rubber and plastic surfaces to yellow and stress fracture.
So, what can you do to prevent or even restore the damage? You’ll need a solution that not only returns your trim to its original colour and elasticity, but also protects it from further damage from the elements. That’s where a car plastic restorer comes in.
Plastic restoration products, such as Turtle Wax Black in a Flash Trim & Tyre Dressing, contain conditioning agents that reverse aging and keep rubber and plastic trim soft and flexible. A good plastic restorer is also infused with powerful UV inhibitors that prevent damage from prolonged exposure to the sun.
Now that you know what causes trim to age, and what you need to solve the issue, here are three helpful tips that will make your restoration as smooth and flawless as a professional detailing!
To restore faded plastic trim to its original colour, all you’ll need is your preferred trim restorer and a good microfiber towel to massage the product into your car's interior or exterior plastic.
We highly recommend an edgeless detailing cloth with a 300 GSM microfiber blend. 300 GSM is the perfect weight for a multi-purpose detailing cloth: durable enough to withstand countless restorations, while still being plush enough to go nice and easy on your vehicle’s plastic trim. Plus, with an edgeless detailing cloth, you don’t get any of the rough, glued edges or stitching that you get with other detailing cloths, which can scratch and damage your car’s soft, interior plastic parts.
Be sure to keep the towel you use to restore plastic trim separate from the towels and other tools you use on other parts of your car. Heavier soils from your wheels, tyres, exterior paint and so on can cause damage to your vehicle’s plastic surfaces.
Plus, any leftover product from another detailing task, such as car polish, can leave behind noticeable residues that are very difficult to remove, further tarnishing that clean, even finish.
Many DIY beginners purchase a car interior plastic restorer and start by applying the solution directly to their trim before they remove dirt, stains and other abrasive contaminants. Big mistake—using restoration products on a dirty car not only seals the filth into your finish, but you also risk grinding sharp soils into the delicate, plastic material, which can cause further damage.
It’s important to always clean your trim thoroughly before applying a trim restorer and protectant. Even if your trim looks clean, there may still be tiny contaminants that are invisible to the naked eye stuck to the plastic, causing the original colour to appear dull and faded.
Even giving your trim a quick wipe-down with a detailer like Hybrid Solutions Streak-Free Interior Mist can make a huge difference in the overall quality of your finish. And, of course, if you’re looking for an easy way to clean your exterior trim, just give it a little extra love during your routine car wash! A quality car wash shampoo like Hybrid Solutions PRO Pure Wash and a good microfiber car wash mitt is all you need remove stubborn dirt and stains from any exterior surface of your car.
As you clean, pay close attention to the more intricate areas of your car interior, including the air vents and the cracks and crevices of your dashboard. These tight, hard-to-reach spaces are where dust and grime collect, and, with prolonged exposure to UV rays, this buildup can cause permanent discolouration.
Pro Tip: Use a small detailing brush or a soft-bristle toothbrush to remove stains and soil buildup from every nook and cranny of your plastic trim.
Remember, the rubber seals under your bonnet, boot and door jambs are all part of your vehicle’s trim. If these surfaces start to dry out and crack, rainwater will seep into the trunk, under the hood and even into the car as you drive, which can create serious complications down the road. Plus, nobody wants a boggy car.
Take the time to treat your rubber seals with trim restorer to keep them soft and conditioned. This will keep the car doors and boot from getting stuck or jamming after years of repeated use, and it’ll keep the rain outside, where it belongs.
And just like that, you’ve restored your worn, faded trim like the pros and protected your plastics for the next three months! We recommend restoring your trim about once every season to keep it in tip-top shape for years to come. Now—go enjoy that freshly restored finish!
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