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Is there some way to rejuvenate the rubber?

Old 12-03-2014, 08:31 AM
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Default Is there some way to rejuvenate the rubber?

Is there some way to rejuvenate the rubber?
by Mike Phillips

I get e-mails all the time from people with questions about detailing their cars. While I prefer people to join our forum, become part of our community and then post their questions to the forum I know not everyone in the world is going to do this so I always do my best to share the nutshell version of an answer I would invest the time and resources to type out if I were typing on the forum.

That's because you can do so much on the forum and so little in an e-mail and typing time is limited.

That said, I received an e-mail from a gentleman working on as he describes it, black rubber trim on a 1991 Mercedes-Benz of some type.

First, a 1991 Mercedes-Benz would be 24 years old. So he's working on my either rubber or black plastic trim and it over 2 decades old.

If the car in question has been garage kept all these years it's possible the trim is still in pretty good shape. If not... then it's probably in worse shape.

So here's the deal with renewing or restoring and then maintaining exterior black rubber and plastic trim.

First you want to get the trim really clean using some type of APC or All Purpose Cleaner. Rubber and plastic trim oxidize just like most things exposed to the atmosphere over time and instead of trying to make oxidized rubber or plastic "particles" look black again just remove the dead stuff by a vigorous scrubbing with some type of cleaner.

This will also remove any previously applied dressings or whatever it is that has been applied.

As we say in the biz... this will get you down to a fresh base.

Next, it's pretty simple.

Find something you like and use it often

This means, find a trim coating, (not a dressing), and use it. The only way to find out if you like it is to use it and if you do like that means it's working and now you just need to keep using it.

Don't look for a one-time application of some miracle product to both restore neglected, faded trim and then keep it that way forever because it's not going to happen.

Here's one product I've had great luck with the but key is to first get the trim really clean and then apply and maintain, the word maintain as I'm using it here means RE-APPLY on a regular basis. For trim in bad shape re-apply after each car wash.
Once you get the trim to start looking decent then you can re-apply less often, like twice a year.

Wolfgang Exterior Trim Sealant 4 oz

Wolfgang Exterior Trim Sealant 16 oz.

Here's part of how re-applying works....

By touching the trim and by touching I mean you rubbing some type of applicator over the trim with the product and some PRESSURE - this has a cleaning effect and it's all of theses things,
  • Cleaning
  • Applying
  • Regular basis
That keeps your trim looking new.

Now here's some pictures of this product in action....

Note I'm using some microfiber to provide some scrubbing action...

Chere's some before and after on the black plastic cladding....

Advice on taking care of plastic trim on NEW cars, truck and suvs
For anyone reading this into the future that has just purchased a brand new vehicle or even a brand new Slingshot with lots of black plastic or rubber trim.

RIGHT NOW - While the trim still looks new, find something you like and start using it.

Don't wait for 3-4 years to go by and then one day notice the trim no longer looks new and wonder...

How did that happen?

Nothing lasts forever, not even you or I so when it comes to maintaining exterior black trim get on it and stay on it.

Hope that helps....
Old 12-03-2014, 11:51 AM
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