8 Must-Knows when Cleaning Exterior Car Trim
January 8, 2018
With the many facets to cleaning a vehicle, key areas might be overlooked. Maintaining your vehicle extends the life of it, including the small details. Replacements for car parts tend to be expensive and the only way to avoid it – care for you car!
One important part of vehicles that drivers forget – exterior car trim. Most people consider it clean once they have soaped up and rinsed the outside of the car. However, this isn’t the case!
What is Exterior Car Trim Exactly?
Basically, the exterior car trim includes your bumpers, trim, window/door seals, wheel wells, and headlights. Most of the trim consists of plastic, but rubber and vinyl appear in some parts as well. Manufacturers use these to add aesthetics, increase function, and add flexibility to the car design.
For an owner caring for their car, this means addressing what elements may cause premature aging or “degradation”. Degradation breaks down plastics resulting in the loss of strength, decreased flexibility, discoloration, cracking and other unsightly features.
The second culprit that ages the exterior car trim – direct sunlight. UV rays fade car trim! Keeping your car out of constant sunlight helps avoid this. Here are some other tips and tricks to restore and prevent your exterior car trim from degrading over time.
1. Undress It
The first step for preventative care – removing old residue. Despite what people might believe, soaps and waxes leave residues behind on their vehicles. Every two months, clean off the outside of your vehicle to remove leftover polishes. Use McKee’s 37 Wax Remover for plastic and a microfiber towel.
2. Make it Sparkle!
Some polishes, waxes, and sealants will leave a white, chalky appearance if allowed to dry on the surface. Using the proper car wash products with a wash mitt helps to avoid this result. Rinse thoroughly to remove any residue.
Be careful not to let dirt mix with your cleaning tools! This leads to scratches, which creates a dull appearance. Drying it by hand with a microfiber towel works best.
3. Wear a Mask
Masking Tape! This simple household item assists you when you polish your car’s paint by covering the trim/molding. It prevents the polish or protectant from touching the exterior car trim and fading it. However, this process takes time – utilize it for larger pieces of trim! Despite the length of time it takes, protecting these parts of your car will pay off down the road.
4. Deep Clean it
Products specifically designed for plastic dissolves any lingering sealants remaining on your vehicle. This will keep it from fading due to the chemicals in the sealant solutions. An alternative method – use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser! Following up with a restorative product creates the best results after you deep clean.
ReNu Finish and Wipe New restore exterior car trims. The best on the market; these solutions renew and refresh parts. These highly-rated products outperform their competitors and last longer with a rich, dark finish for old trims.
6. Apply a Dye
If restoration for your trim fails, try Forever Black! This product works as a black dye for coarse rubber and plastic pieces. It contains UV protectants to prevent future fading from the sunlight. The polymer formula ensures lasting color. However, Forever Black is a permanent dye so be careful when applying the solution.
7. Dress it Up!
Don’t have black trim? Black WOW, a clear restorative coating that works on any color exterior car trim. It is NOT a dye but a clear, matte finish trim restorer for all smooth and lightly-textured trim. Black WOW may darken the polymer and probably will look different for a few weeks. However, the finished product shines like the day you drove it off the lot! This choice restores non-black trims without breaking the bank.
Be careful! The products used when you wash, wax, and polish are created to clean your car’s paint. Make sure you buy the right product/solution for the exterior car trim. For protectants, compare the product to the manufacturer’s specs.
Try products like Miracle Coat, a solution that restores and protects plastic fiberglass products to their original sheen and luster. It helps remove oxidation, as well as, small scratches.
With this knowledge, you should be able to successfully maintain your exterior car trim. However, if you would like the ultimate showroom finish, check out DetailXPerts. With highly-trained technicians, they provide the most eco-friendly mobile auto detailing.